Healthy Ways to Cook

Dr. Jo, what cooking methods should I use in meal preparation?

Before we start discussing cooking let’s talk about eating raw food. To be optimally healthy Dr. Pottenger, MD, a pioneer in nutrition, advised eating at least half of your food raw to preserve the enzymes in the food. The more enzymes in the food, the easier your body can digest the food. Congratulations if you are able to eat more than half of your food raw.

Some of us cannot eat any raw food because our bodies have degenerated too much to handle digesting raw food. So we start by eating all of our food lightly steamed or gently cooked in some other manner.

As the ability to digest improves eat as much raw food as your digestive tract will handle. You may have to steam all your vegetables and proteins initially because your GI tract just can’t handle a lot of raw food, but gradually, try to add in some raw vegetables.

If you cook the food, use gentle heat such as sautéing, steaming, stir cooking, or baking. Don’t cook anything at a temperature higher than 375 degrees, because higher temperatures tend to damage the fats in the foods.

You can barbeque meat as long as the temperature of the barbeque doesn’t climb too high. Be sure the fat doesn’t hit the flame causing flare ups and back-splattering onto the meat. The back-splattering can create chemicals in the meat that may induce cancer.

Cook meat sources such as beef, poultry, turkey, etc lightly but completely to kill any bacteria or parasites that might contaminate it. Avoid cooking meat so long that the proteins become damaged (denatured).

Steaming, sautéing, baking (not over 375 degrees Fahrenheit), and cooking in a crock-pot all cook the meat without denaturing the protein. Denatured (damaged protein) is very hard to digest. Cooking at high heat, frying and microwave cooking all damage the protein and fats making them unsuitable as building blocks for your body. Of course, cooking food too long with any safe method damages the nutrients in the food.

Never fry anything. Frying causes trans-fats to be formed in our foods, which are damaging to our cell membranes.

Microwaving also is more damaging to food than conventional cooking, so Dr. Jo avoids it like the plague. Dr. Jo’s Natural Healing Cookbook will spark your imagination for preparing foods in delicious combinations by a variety of cooking methods.

When you’re ready to add the Class B food back into your diet you will have a greater selection of raw food to eat. (See Dr. Jo’s Natural Healing Cookbook for and explanation and diagrams of the Food Classification system.)

As your health improves or if you still have a healthy digestive tract, eat raw fruit and nuts and seeds. Consider sprouting grains, legumes, nuts and seeds for even greater enzyme value in your raw food.

Have fun cooking up those colorful, delicious, nutrient-packed meals.