By Don Bennett, DAS
You eat for two basic reasons: 1. For fuel (measured in calories), and 2. For nutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc.). There are also emotional reasons for eating, but the above two requirements are the only reasons your body needs to have food. Keeping these two requirements in mind, let’s look at how they can keep you from being the weight nature intended you to be.
The amount of calories you need during a day depends on your energy output. If output equals input, you neither gain nor lose weight. So, optimally, the food you eat should meet your daily energy requirement. If you eat more than you need to satisfy your caloric requirement, most people gain weight. If you eat less than you need to satisfy your caloric requirement, you get hungry. So under normal circumstances, you become hungry as a signal to satisfy your caloric needs.
You also have daily nutrient needs. If you consume more nutrients than you need, unlike calories, it’s no big deal. But if you consume fewer nutrients than you need, your health will suffer. Not overnight, but over time… chronically. Long term malnutrition contributes to chronic degenerative disease.
So in nature’s infinite wisdom, our food contains far more nutrients than we need in a day. That way, no matter what our level of activity (no matter how many calories we need), we will still get enough nutrients. But there are some things that can change this natural ratio of fuel-tonutrients. If a food is grown in nutrient depleted soil, it will be lacking in nutritional value.
But by far the biggest factor that affects the fuel-tonutrient ratio is cooking. When a food is exposed to temperatures over 115 degrees, some nutrients are damaged, becoming unusable by the body. For example, vitamin C and the B vitamins are especially heat sensitive.
What happens when your body doesn’t get enough fuel? You get hungry. But your body also lets you know when you aren’t getting enough nutrients. If you’re eating foods whose fuel-to-nutrient ratio is the opposite of what nature intended due to cooking (more fuel than nutrients) your body says, “Yes, I’ve got enough calories, but not enough nourishment; so keep eating.” And you do.
Empirical evidence shows that a person eating a diet composed mostly of uncooked plant-based foods will find their unnatural weight eventually “melts off”, and stays off. Once you give your body what it needs, and stop giving it what it doesn’t want, your eating becomes less of a response to cravings, and more of a desire to eat foods that you love, and that love you back… as nature intended!
This article is proudly brought to you courtesy of Mewsum Wong of Raw Food Asia. Don Bennett is an insightful, realitybased author, and health creation counselor who uses the tools in his toolbox – like logic, common sense, critical thinking, and independent thought – to figure out how to live so you can be optimally healthy. Don shares his enlightening and empowering information through his articles and books available at health101.org