If we look at the dietary history of different world cultures, we can see that there are common denominators in the healthiest ones, even with the differences afforded by their locations and the foods that are available. While the specifics of these diets may be different, what they have in common is that the diet is primitive, and therefore unprocessed and relatively fresh.
We can liken this common thread to the one found by Dr. Weston Price roughly 75 years ago in his book “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.” Dr. Price, a dentist and researcher, studied several different groups of relatively primitive, indigenous people. He found that while their diets were vastly different, they were all totally unprocessed, virtually pristine and chemical free. These people also had flawless teeth and gums, as well as well-developed jawbones; and they were generally very healthy. The foregone conclusion is that their health was not about what was in their diets but what they omitted. They were not eating processed foods.
This is the key to the human body living according to natural law.
A lot of people get locked into the successes of their chosen diets, without considering that other people are doing something different and getting similar results. Many people don’t truly understand why or how they are getting positive results so they assume that a diet that deviates from their’s, won’t give them the same positive outcomes. This is, of course, wrong. A diet baring little resemblance to the one a person presently follows can render almost identical results, favorable or unfavorable, based on what both diets do not include.
Even though I live on a 100 percent raw food diet, it is my intention to take an objective view of the macrobiotic diet and judge it on its own merits.
According to Misio Kuchi’s book explaining the macrobiotic lifestyle, the basic principles involve eating all organically grown food. The diet contains roughly 70 percent starches. In addition to vegetables, Kuchi uses miso soup, which is made from fermented soy. He also recommends sea salt as an alternative to salt and for its own merits, as well as sea vegetables, which are extremely rich in minerals. He recommends everything be prepared fresh, but everything is COOKED in Kuchi’s macrobiotic diet.
Additionally Kuchi backs the health claims of a macrobiotic diet by quoting many people who testify to their recovery from serious disease. One of those quoted is actor Dirk Benedict, who reports that he did not start to recover from cancer until he went on a macrobiotic diet. Subsequently, he says, he made a complete recovery. Another woman who had cancer says she underwent chemotherapy and radiation but stopped with only a partial course and inconclusive results. Then she went on a macrobiotic diet and soon after was found to be in remission.
Giving further credence to his view that animal protein, fat and dairy products contribute to poor health, Kuchi notes a very interesting study analyzing what happened in Denmark in World War I. At the time, the country was suffering a shortage of food. Denmark’s population was approximately 3,500,000 people. There were also five million animals and, basically, farmers fed the livestock grains.
Foreseeing a food shortage and future food rationing, the government decided to kill 4/5 of the pig population and 1/5 of the cattle. People ate the remaining rationed grains. This also led to less meat consumption. In one year, what happened to Denmark’s population was very surprising. Their health improved dramatically. Deaths from coronary heart disease dropped significantly, diabetes went down markedly, and people had less arthritis. The condition of their health substantially IMPROVED.
While Kuchi is trying to show the benefits imparted by a shift to a macrobiotic diet, the reality is that any time you omit so much of what was detrimental in the national diet similar results would have followed. The success came not from the macrobiotic diet itself but from the degree of change.
Of course, dramatically changing your diet without parameters or guidelines, or without taking your nutritional needs into account can also yield negative outcomes.
Dirk Benedict recalled that during this period in his life he was trying to follow the tenets of a macrobiotic diet but was hindered by his circumstances traveling around the country, virtually homeless. By his account, he was sort of living on oatmeal, and, he said, instead of eating healthy, what he probably was doing was starving himself without realizing it. This is an extreme example of what can happen on any diet.
I’ve seen people who followed self-regulated regimens, including the raw food diet, and they simply were not getting all the nutrients they needed. They were living according to some philosophical
concept or following some anecdotal information that might not be reliably translated into healthy eating.
So, when we’re looking at other diets we have to evaluate them from this perspective as well. I’ve evaluated many dietary programs, including the high-protein Atkins diet. Some people did get some positive results with these diets. But, there were also some disasters – more disasters than improvements.
We must realize that what we leave out is the key no matter what the dietary lifestyle. There is a reciprocal relationship: for everything harmful or deleterious you leave out, there will be a corresponding amount of improvement. For example, if you stop doing drugs, your health will improve. This principle holds true all the way up to omitting everything that is processed, everything that is cooked. At this point one must make sure that they’re getting all the nutrients.
With the macrobiotic diet, one study we can’t ignore is the study by T. Colin Campbell at Cornell University: the China Study. It was an epidemiological study of the country’s peasant population. The nomad peasants had moved for 50 years from where they originally lived and changed their diet at each different location. Campbell was able to see big changes in their health based on what they were eating in different locales and he cataloged many of these changes. Some were eating a lot of animal products; some people were eating more rice and vegetables. These studies are very informative if you look at them objectively and take a broad view, not just to evaluate one particular diet, but to evaluate all diets.
Sometimes in order to evaluate one diet, we need to compare it to diets in general. Also we have to consider that when you’re eating a macrobiotic diet or any other, even if you leave out all the processed foods, if it’s all cooked, it has a deleterious effect.
There is no argument about what happens when you cook food: You change the vital force and chemical structure of it and you lose the life force and the electrical energy in it. There is an electrical energy in real, fresh foods. We have to remember that the human condition is spiritually and vibrationally induced, electrically and chemically empowered, and biologically carried out.
I believe the most important part of our human condition is our spiritual nature because this becomes our belief system which determines our reality. It guides all our choices: what we eat, how we behave. I believe that this is more important than anything else.
If we try to discern what was originally intended for man, before the advent of fire, whatever people ate had to be raw, not cooked. Thereafter, if you read the Bible and all the ancient scriptures, if you read what the Essenes said, you will conclude that the electrical energy in the food, the vital force in live food is critically important. Live food in its most vital capacity is as close to original seed, free of man-made chemicals, processing and cooking, and has been recently picked.
A lot of raw food is described as live foods, when acutally the vital forces are gone because the life remains only five to six hours from when it’s taken from its source. That’s why, in my clinical experience, the macrobiotic diet might not be the best approach. The food has lost its electrical energy. Although some people get some good effects with it, most of the food is cooked and therefore without vitality.
The question I would like to pose is, “Why are we not living longer when the body is really a wonderful self-healing, re-generating biological organism? Why are we incurring diseases at younger and younger ages?”
Everyone thinks living to be 70, 80 or 90 is heroic, but it really isn’t when you think about how the body works.
The study of genetic expression is really starting to explain that disease can begin in our thoughts and resulting choices. Much evidence proves that the higher the quality of the food we eat, or the higher the vital force, the greater the chance for a better genetic expression, even of those genes that are considered mutations. We’re now finding that the DNA alone is not what controls the cell. Now we’re learning that what’s outside the cell also plays a major role. The environment outside the cell includes the quality of the food we eat, the toxins surrounding us and the spiritual level of our thoughts. This is what truly controls the health of the cell and thus the health of our body. This is what turns the genetic expression, the epigenetic switch on or off. So it is critically important to our long term health that no matter what kind of diet you follow, examine your lifestyle.
So if you eat all cooked foods, in some respects this puts you at a disadvantage. Of course, if you’ve eaten this way generation after generation, your body has adapted to it genetically and you may do okay, but just okay. But if you try to move toward a lifestyle in which you ingest more live foods and electrical energy, then your body must transform – a tranformation which could be pretty profound.
Understand that live food is different, it’s a step above raw food, and there is so much more to the equation of lifestyle changes and diet that we don’t always consider. I think most people look only at the paradigm in which they live. Because people get good results, they don’t’ realize that they could get bettter results, achieve amazing health and longevity.
My hope is that more scientists begin to examine the science of a healthier life. I say we need more people to explore the benefits of following a healthier lifestyle and retrace the mistakes we made in previous generations. We need more people to study how to change the biological terrain in the human body so that we live a much longer and more vibrant disease-free life. I’m not talking about drinking these juices that tout antioxidants. That might help a little bit but that certainly is not the answer.
This is what we know. There is free radical damage throughout our culture. We are bombarded with chemical toxins in our environment. We all look forward to a degenerative illness that will debilitate us. Our youth are succumbing to chronic physical and mental diseases. If you want to eat and live according to the right lifestyle you have to connect all the dots. Understand that a foundation in a spiritual life is the key that will lead you to greater clarity of your thoughts and direct you to eat the right foods. This is a real lifestyle change for many people. So my hope and my prayer is that we start to take a closer look at the truth and keep looking for more answers.
There is plenty of good in macrobiotic diet, and people have found good results with it. But remember, these benefits are derived from omission. That leaves ample room for improvement in the macrobiotic diet. I believe the answers are right here and all we have to do is look. Then we make our choices, become a willing participant in our own recovery and trive for an optimum state of being, not settle for mediocrity.
People who seek the highest degree of health must always remember that the body is spiritually and vibrationally induced, electrically and chemically conducted and biologically carried out. In other words, our body is really at the bottom of this paradigm; everybody puts it at the top. I believe this is where we make a very serious mistake. So many people are struggling with their diet. They’re constantly looking for new and different ways to eat because they are obese or ill. Of course, so many eating disorders abound that many people cannot control their diet. That’s basically because of what they’ve done in the past, eat like a drug addict takes drugs. To have dominion over our foods and have control over our diet, we must take control of our spiritual life so we can make the right choices.
No matter how we look at it, we’ll have to consider that people need to understand where they’re at presently in their health and try to design a diet and lifestyle with plenty of raw foods that takes them from where they are now to where they want to be. This is a step by step process. People must be willing to leave out what’s detrimental and undergo the critical process of detoxification in order to clean up the biological terrain in the human body. Then we may venture into an all-raw diet or eat some cooked foods – a ratio of 20 percent cooked to 80 percent raw is ideal. This will create a greater semblance of health which will build a more vibrant physical, mental and spiritual condition. God bless you on your journey.
Dr. Fred Bisci has had a clinical nutrition practice for over 40 years. Please visit his website at Vol”>www.fredbisci4health.com
Vol 28 Issue 4 Page 24