How We Metabolize & Oxidize Food
September 2, 2014
Answer Yes or No to the following:
- Raw fruits and vegetables are alkaline – yes?
- Meat and milk are acid – yes?
- Eat 80% alkaline foods – yes?
If you answered Yes to any one, you may be wrong! According to the clinical research of Dr Gabriel Cousens in Arizona.
Acid And Alkaline Foods
For more than a century scientists have tested a food for its alkaline or acid content by burning that food down to its ashes, its inorganic minerals. Minerals are teeny rocks, all that's left after a fire, which we see as ash. They pour these ashes into pure water and test the solution to see if the ashes are more acid, or alkaline.
Some minerals are alkaline, like sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and silicon. Others are acid, such as sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine. So if a food has more acid minerals, its ash will test acidic, and a food chart will list that food as "acid."
If a food has more alkaline minerals – like raw fruits and vegetables – we used to believe its alkaline-forming, that it leaves more alkaline minerals in our blood after digestion. Same for acid foods such as meat and milk, we thought they left an acid ash in our blood.
Do You Have a Fire Inside You?
Just one error here, everyone assumed our digestive systems are burning food down or oxidizing it perfectly, one hundred percent. That when our digestive and energy systems are finished with a food, there's nothing but ashes (minerals) left.
For most of us, that's simply not true. We don't have little fires inside us! We have metabolic pathways where a gazillion things are gawky. That's "clumsy and bumbling along."
First we gulp our food and don't chew it to a liquid – drink your food and chew your drinks! From there it's an endless sea of problems right through our digestive tract, such as low HCL (hydrochloric acid) in our stomach after age 40, or collapsed intestinal villi from a lifetime of bread – collapsed villi can't absorb food, so perfectly good food passes on to your colon and out into the toilet.
Sang Whang writes in Reverse Aging © 2001:
"Many diet books contain tables with acid forming foods and alkaline forming foods.
The big assumption made here is that the food will be completely oxidized (metabolized) by the cells; therefore, the acidity or alkalinity of the food residue (ash) is exclusively determined by these inorganic minerals.
Unfortunately, 97% of all foods (the organic elements of carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen) do not burn completely and they leave organic acidic waste products.
For this reason, even if you eat nothing but alkaline forming foods, your urine will be acidic and so will your perspiration."
What's Your Dominant Metabolic System?
For argument's sake, let's say we DO digest our food perfectly, then are raw fruits and vegetables alkaline? Meat and milk acid?
Nope, wrong again. Dr. Gabriel Cousens at the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center in Arizona is proving that some people can eat raw foods and have excess acid in their blood afterwards. He tests how alkaline or acid his patient's blood is after a meal (measures the change in their blood pH).
He reports in his book Conscious Eating © 2000:
"The blood pH tests are totally different than what is taught in medical schools and in most of the naturopathic literature ... The research shows that food behaves differently in people ... it is the dominant metabolic system of that person which determines whether a nutrient will react in an acid or alkaline way in the body."
What is a metabolic system? It is the organ and pathways that take care of a specific function, e.g. our heart and circulatory system, our lungs and pulmonary system.
Our Oxidative System is in every little cell. It plucks atoms from the food we eat, to make molecules of energy called ATP (see how on next page).
Dr. Cousens writes: "The oxidative system is dominant in approximately 60% of the population ... fruits and vegetables in the oxidative-dominant system will cause the blood to move to the acid side."
Wow, for the 60% of us who are oxidative-dominant, raw foods will acidify us! David Wolfe in The Sunfood Diet Success System prints a chart showing most fruits to be slightly acid-forming.
But Cousens' clinical work shows that this is true only when your oxidative system dominates over your other systems. We could be slow oxidizers or fast oxidizers.
Do you know about Dr Joseph Mercola's Nutritional Typing? And Bill Wolcott's Metabolic Typing?
It's all the same thing. A slow oxidizer is a Carb Type and a fast oxidizer is a Protein Type.
Dr Cousens writes in his book Conscious Eating:
"My understanding of this exciting breakthrough has come directly from many hours of dialogue with W.L. Wolcott."
Ditto, Dr Mercola writes in his pdf report Discover the Magic of Nutritional Typing: Nature's Best-Kept Secret for Optimizing Your Health and Weight:
"I will be eternally grateful to Bill Wolcott for revolutionizing the way I practiced medicine."
How do Drs. Mercola and Cousens differ? Well, Cousens is convinced Protein Types can get all their protein from plant sources, whereas Mercola is positive they need animal protein.
Not all integrative doctors agree with Wolcott's metabolic typing. High-vegan Dr. Joel Fuhrman trounces it at Metabolic Type: Unscientific Premise, Dangerous Advice.
|Slow Oxidizers||Fast Oxidizers|
|high-carbohydrate foods like fruits and grains make you feel good emotionally and energetically||high-carbohydrate foods don't satisfy you or they make you feel worse|
|you love sweets and need sweet with a meal to feel satisfied||you prefer fatty foods over sweet – you don't feel good after fruit and candy|
|excess fatty foods (avocados, nut butters) or high-protein foods (beans, nuts, flesh) make you feel lethargic and sleepy||a high-protein or fatty meal (like seed milk) gives you energy and a feeling of well-being|
|perhaps you grew up with an aversion to flesh foods||you crave flesh foods|
|you don't like sour foods like lemons||you like sour and salty foods|
|you can skip meals and maintain energy||you have a strong appetite for each meal|
|you have trouble falling asleep if you eat too late||eating before sleep helps you to sleep through the night|
|you can handle fasting without dreadful shakiness or headaches||you don't enjoy fasting, you feel jittery, weak and hungry|
|Click through to next page for best food to eat if you're slow or fast oxidizer|
How an Ionizer-Filter Helps
Some of us are mid-range, neither fast nor slow oxidizers. We're mixed oxidizers, what a mouthful. Sounds like a concrete mixer!
Dr Cousens mentions:
"With prolonged optimal health I have seen people shift toward more of a mixed oxidizer."
In other words, none of this applies if you're living on fresh fruit + veg! You're in balance. Fruit + veg are alkaline for you.
Natural hygienists such as Dr Doug Graham (The 80/10/10 Diet) say that our true nature is to enjoy super health and energy on raw organic fruits + vegetables. This business about oxidative-dominant humans is nonsense. All you need do is to eat fresh fruit + veg!
I agree with both Dr Cousens and Dr Graham. As an alcoholic and sugar-addict, I began my health journey as a slow oxidizer. I needed more carbohydrates in my diet. I did well on lots of fruit and raw grain crackers.
But the more I Reach for Raw, and the more years I've done it daily, the more I shift toward mixed oxidizer. Today I prefer a high-protein food like a huge blend of leafy greens, rather than a chocolate. I munch happily on the most bitter of greens! Something I could never do 20 years ago. I'm going ape...
I never crave flesh foods! That's because I went vegetarian at a young age, in 1971 when I was 23. The longer you abuse a substance, the more addicted you are. So if you eat animals, birds and fish to the age of 30 or 50, it's harder to give them up than if you go vegetarian as a teenager (chicken and fish are not vegetables).
If you're moving away from SAD (Standard American Diet) you have a 60% chance that your oxidative system is still the whip-cracking dominatrix over all your metabolic systems. This means you need to take in more alkaline minerals even when you're eating fruits and vegetables.
This applies to both slow and fast oxidizers. It's likely you'll feel a difference in your energy and overall sense of well-being, when you drink alkaline water.
If you eat meat or cooked food, then for you alkaline water will quench all those free radicals – see Quench Free Radicals.
We are each biochemically unique. No two faces are the same and no two humans work the same inside. This is so clear when it comes to our food choices.
Respecting your neighbor's food likes and dislikes is Step Four of the 12 Steps to Raw Foods: How to End Your Dependency on Cooked Food by Victoria Boutenko: "I shall live in harmony with people who eat cooked food" [cooked includes flesh such as chicken, meat, fish].
One reason we crave different foods is because our oxidative system is converting food into energy at different speeds.
Our oxidative system is the metabolic pathway in each and every cell whereby proteins, fats and sugars from food, are converted into ATP and heat.
ATP is our gasoline, the molecule that provides energy to enzymes when they need a little "push" to do their work. Every cell has about two million ATP molecules in use every minute, providing energy for its chemical reactions.