The argument between which is better for your health between raw and cooked food is one that comes up a lot in the plant-based community.
It is our view at MEA Lifestyle that eating food in its god-given natural raw state remains an optimal level of healthy eating. That everything remains perfect in its natural state and any kind of processing including cooking which is a form of processing will compromise natural food to a certain degree.
When you think about nature there are more than 5000 species of mammals on the planet, and cosmic law has it that every single species has a diet-specific food, and that should go without saying for us humans as well. And again we find that no animal or mammal on the planet cooks its food with the exception of us humans.
In 1920 a Dr by the name Paul kouchakoff MD made the discovery of a biological condition known medically as digestive leukocytosis. Leukocytes are white blood cells, these are cells in the blood that help the body fight infection and a host of diseases. When the number of white blood cells in the blood are higher then normal this is called leukocytosis. This normally happens when you are sick or the body is under stress, they are sent to sites of tissue injury or infection with the aim of eliminating the inflammatory trigger. Dr kouchakoff on his research discovered that whenever their human subjects where given cooked food digestive leukocytosis would take place but, when subjects were exposed to raw uncooked food this did not infringe on their blood formula.
Fastward 82 years later, 2002 a black female scientist Dr Eden Tareke while doing her research, made the discovery of a chemical in food known as acrylamide. Acrylamide is a highly controlled substance as it is a known neurotoxin chemical, it is used in various industrial processes; plastic and dye production, water purification and cosmetics. It is also found in cigarette smoke. In animal studies, acrylamide produced various types of cancers, paralysis, and reduced ability of male animals to produce offspring. Simply put acrylamide in animals is a confirmed carcinogen that interferes with DNA.
What Dr Eden discovered was that food when heated at high temperature especially those high in carbohydrates formed acrylamide as they go through a chemical process called Maillard reaction which is also responsible for the odour, texture and taste of browned heated food. [Potato and potato products, food made from grains such as cereals and cookies, toast and Coffee]
Cooked/fried/barbequed/grilled protein-based foods such as meat [beef, pork, fish, poultry] showed a lesser degree of acrylamide but produced other carcinogenic chemicals such as heterocyclic amines [HCAs] and Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons [PAHs]. These chemicals damage DNA, and in animal tests both HCAs & PAHs lead to tumours in various organs; prostate, breast and colorectum.
There are many other potentially carcinogenic chemicals that are formed by heating or cooking foods containing sugar, one of such chemicals is Hydroxymethylfurfural [HMF]
In conclusion, even though some of these chemicals have been classified by some government agencies as probable cancer-causing, science has proven that taking minute amounts of any chemical daily multiple times on a continuous basis will eventually lead to cancer or some other health defect. Therefore, if it is our ultimate goal to live a healthy life we must then learn to drastically reduce our exposure to these carcinogenic chemicals.