Real Talk The Paleo View

TVP Podcast, Episode 304: What’s Better: Raw or Cooked Vegetables?

Ep. 304: What’s Better: Raw or Cooked Vegetables?

In this episode, Stacy and Sarah discuss the prevailing debate about whether it is better to eat veggies raw or to cook them first.

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The Paleo View (TPV), Episode 304: What’s Better: Raw or Cooked Vegetables?

  • Intro (0:00)
  • News and Views (0:40)
    • Sarah is on summer break mode and the girls have been entertaining themselves!
    • Brace yourself: Cole turns 13 this summer!
    • Stacy and family will be transitioning into summer mode in the coming weeks.
    • Stacy is really excited about this week’s show.
      • Afterall, her original hashtag is #morevegetablesthanavegetarian.
      • Even with all the veggie-related shows we’ve done, there are still topics we haven’t covered.
  • Question from a Listener (7:40)
    • Marin asks, “This podcast and you have truly changed my life for he better.  I’ve been a listener for 3 years and totally binged listened before that!  I Have cured so many things from acne to being able to live life like a boss with RA. Really appreciated you opening up about depression and it was helpful listening to you coming off meds and it wasn’t something you had to just add to this list of meds you’d take forever. I wish I have the time to list all the health things you’ve helped me through!  Really appreciate the cool books too and you guys sharing all the recommendations. My question is can you break down or talk about  raw vs cooked foods. This came up in looking at adding more veggies and some of the reading I found (vegan based) said it was better to eat more raw than cooked veggies. Is this really true?  I just kinda figured veggies were veggies. Is it really that beneficial to consume more raw than cooked? One of the “rules “ was raw till 4. Thoughts? Thank you for all you and your teams do.” 
    • The bottom line is that there are benefits to both raw and cooked, so mix it up!
    • There were two main drivers of us evolving our large brains.
      • 1. Fire and Cooking
        • 1.5 million years ago.
        • Increases the energy that can be digested out of food.
          • It costs us less energy to get the energy out of our food.
          • More time in the day for socializing and communicating.
          • Our brains use 20-25% of the calories we burn every day.
      • 2. Eating starchy roots and tubers.
    • A study in 2011 looked at mice fed meat and sweet potatoes prepared in different ways.
      • Cooked food delivered more energy than raw, both meat and sweet potato.
      • Cooked food gave more energy than pounded foods, pounded foods gave more than raw foods.
        • Mice showed a preference for cooked foods.
    • Micronutrient content in foods.
      • Sarah strongly believes that micronutrient sufficiency is the primary criteria for a healthy diet.
      • Some micronutrients are volatile in heat.
        • Vitamin C degrades with heat.
          • For example, steamed broccoli may have a 10% drop in vitamin C versus raw.
        • Polyphenols are partially destroyed with cooking.
        • Myrosinase, whose activity forms sulforaphane, known to prevent cancer, is found in raw broccoli but destroyed in cooking.
        • The allicin in garlic (the compound responsible for its antibiotic and antimicrobial effects) is less stable in heat.
        • In general, boiling and blanching can cause phytochemicals to leach out into the water.
      • Some nutrients are formed during cooking.
        • Heat breaks down cell walls and can liberate nutrients that would otherwise be locked up.
          • Carotenoids increase in bioavailability when cooked.
          • Lycopene increases when tomatoes are cooked or sun-dried.
          • Indol (in cruciferous veggies) is only formed when those veggies are cooked.
    • What about the fiber content in raw versus cooked vegetables?
      • Cooking partially breaks down some of the fiber.
        • Does this alter how the fiber feeds the microbiome?
          • There are only a handful of studies that have looked at this.
      • The diversity of fibers types from different vegetables feeds a diversity of microbes.
      • A study that looked at carrots showed faster fermentation of cooked versus raw.
        • It also produced more short-chained fatty acid.
      • One study looked at raw and toasted wheat fiber on common gut microbes.
        • Bifidobacterium growth didn’t show preference for raw or toasted.
        • Lactobacillus only grew with raw wheat fiber, not the toasted.
          • A study that looked at brown seaweed found similar results.
            • They concluded that raw fiber supported more lactic acid producing bacteria.
            • Heat treated fiber supported more butyric acid producing bacteria.
    • You can see that it’s hard to make a statement of if cooked fiber or raw fiber is better.
      • They both act differently on the microbiome.
      • Cooked fiber:
        • Is more readily fermentable = increase in short-chain fatty acids.
          • Lowers the acidity of the colon, which supports growth of probiotic bacteria.
          • This is why cooked veggies and soups is great for your intestinal health.
      • Raw fiber:
        • Certain good bacteria species prefer this raw fiber.
      • Both children and adults can benefit from mixing up raw and cooked veggies.
    • Collagen Veggie Blend
    • Previous Veggie-Loaded Podcasts:
  • If you’ve enjoyed the show, please recommend it to someone who might enjoy it.
  • We love when you share and when you leave reviews for us! Thanks for listening!

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