Below 70 degrees: As my own diet moves more... - Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating

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Below 70 degrees


As my own diet moves more towards raw foods I have become aware of the arguments against cooking. This is not to say I am against cooking, but rather I am more aware of techniques and advantages of cooking at low temperatures and indeed not at all. I was triggered today to write about this because I wanted to know the difference between cacao and cocoa, so let me finish that here and now.

From it says



Cacao’ refers to any of the food products derived from the cacao bean that have remained ‘raw’. These products include cacao nibs, cacao butter, cacao mass or paste, but most commonly cacao powder. Raw cacao powder is made by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans, this process retains the living enzymes and removes the fat (cacao butter). Cacao and Cocoa look the same however there is a big difference. Cocoa powder is the ‘raw cacao’ that’s been roasted at high temperatures. The effect of roasting the cacao is the molecular structure of the cocoa bean changes, lowering the overall nutritional value and destroying the health benefits"


So that's that. Cacao is somehow a healthier option. Obviously raw fits the same bill of retaining enzymes. It is actually possible to cook and retain enzymes, the generally agreed maximum temperature is around 70 degrees and above that enzymes are destroyed.

Enzymes are obviously important, they are the teeth that break food down into useful nutrition. I think it is right to say without enzymes we could eat all the food we want but the body could not make use of the food.

Up to about age 30 our bodies generate all the enzymes we need. After age 30 the body produces less and less enzymes. This is why things like probiotic rich foods (which add useful enzymes) are worth considering later in life, to ensure our digestive systems can make use of the foods we consume. It is also likely that lack of sufficient enzymes is one reason we tend to suffer from chronic illnesses as we age.

8 Replies

Hi Andy,

I didn't know the difference between cocoa and cacao, so thanks for sharing that information.

I am trying to include more probiotic rich foods in my own diet.

I hope you're enjoying the weekend so far.

Zest :-)

andyswarbs in reply to Zest

Thanks Zest, this weekend I am helping my son move home. Given the snows & freezing conditions not exactly the best time to move house. Anyway the main move is done now. Hope yours is going well also. Cheers

ZestStar in reply to andyswarbs

Hi Andy,

I hope the House Move goes well, in spite of the weather - and good luck with everything.

I'm off to watch TV now, and I can hear the rain and wind outside.

Zest :-)

Hiya, the one obvious benefit of eating raw is the convenience.

I used to look up the various arguments but to be honest you can feel the difference after a couple of weeks.

andyswarbs in reply to mdr1000

I guess a number of others are less preparation time, more convenience, less cleaning afterwards, lower carbon footprint.

If I was starting over an instant pot (that can control lower temperature cooking) might do most of my needs so a smaller & cheaper kitchen would be needed since I would not need an oven or hob!

Activity2004Administrator in reply to mdr1000

When did you start eating raw, mdr1000?

mdr1000 in reply to Activity2004

Morning, about 6 years ago I began researching the natural human diet to check that what I was assuming based on anthropological and archeological studies I'd read were true. Not for work or anything, my mum had just died from food related cancer (she was a chef so it seemed particularly unfair) and because I'm interested in it / boring like that.

So that I don't begin to ramble, in a nutshell I found that I felt the strongest and most physically able and 'with myself' (if that makes sense) when I began to eat just whole fruit, veg, nuts, eggs and a bit of meat and fish. Anything which had to be mixed together or adapted, I avoided. It was only meant to be for a couple of months for a detox, for want of a better word but it stuck apart from I often cook things up to make them more family friendly in the winter and on a Sunday, that kind of thing.

For example, I'm just heating up a curry for my breakfast tho cheer me up in this weather which I hate. We're it warmer, I'd be having a banana and some nuts, followed by more fruit, a bit of salmon and different nuts in a couple of hours.

A lot of the nicest stuff doesn't need cooking like taboulleh made with cauliflower instead of bulgur wheat, Mayo, guacamole, salads etc. I do cook eggs though if they're not going into Mayo.

In the uk, it's easier from April to October though, the winter months are hard to maintain it plus- why would you!?

Foods were originally cooked to kill bacteria; where very fresh fruit and veg are always available, a raw diet is so much easier to follow (such as on the mediterranean).

However, it is a shame to waste food, that could otherwise have been preserved for longer by cooking. I cook batches of tasty casseroles in a slow cooker and freeze them until required. I make thick winter soups using left-over veg and meat stock, blended, and which also can be frozen until required.

Other ways to preserve foods are smoking (Cheese and fish), salting (e.g.ham and bacon), using sugar (Jam and canned fruit) and freezing. Mixing different foods and cooking them just gives a wider variety of flavours & textures to keep our food interesting, but I agree that too many "processed" foods where we don't know what is in them or what processes they have been through are not necessarily good for us!

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