Gastrointestinal tract

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The liver secretes bile into the duodenum to neutralize the acidic conditions from the stomach, and the pancreatic duct empties into the duodenum, adding bicarbonate to neutralize the acidic chyme , thus creating a neutral environment. The human body was thus well designed for its purpose. People were very concerned with health and digestion in those days. A phagosome is a vacuole formed around a particle absorbed by phagocytosis. Pig and calf intestines are eaten, and pig intestines are used as sausage casings. Redirected from Digestive tract.


Our society seems to be polarised into those who do not eat any raw vegetables or fruit whatsoever, and those who eat far too many raw vegetables or only raw foods. Much in the same way that political views and social strata are highly polarised.

It breaks down starch molecules into more digestible pieces. It 'denatures' protein molecules, helping to 'unfold' their amino acid chains, making them easier to be broken down by own digestive enzymes. And in most cases, heat softens food, which makes it easier to digest. This is true for vegetables but for fish and meat, cooking tends to soften it to a degree, but then overcooking tends to toughen it up like leather well done steak being virtually inedible!

So even though cooked food is no more calorific, the body requires fewer calories to digest it and process it, to extract the nutrition and energy from it. Previous studies had shown that raw and cooked food were equally well digested because they were focussed on the actual stool coming out of the anus, i. Some food types cannot be eaten if uncooked as they are either too hard or are simply not digested at all e.

How much of this is down to inadequate chewing by the mice and how much is down to actual digestion of properly chewed food pellets? Clearly this has wider implications for CFS patients, as mitochondrial function and digestive enzyme levels are much lower in these individuals, and changing the diet to food types that are harder to digest and require more energy to do so, despite the nutritional benefits, may have disasterous results.

Clearly there are many different and degrees methods of cooking, and this is explored in the section further below on Convenience Foods. Some cooking methods are better than others and retain nutrients better.

Light steaming and blanching are better than higher temperature methods such as baking or frying. Microwaving is the cooking method that should be avoided at all costs as it damages DNA and RNA to the greatest extent, and there have been cases of accidental death due to patients having their blood samples microwaved prior to injection to warm it up.

Richard Wrangham, Harvard biological anthropologist, has studied chimpanzee cultures in the wild for over 30 years. He has theorised that homo sapiens would have never have physically evolved if it were not for the practice of cooking. He believes that cooking with fire was the breakthrough needed for Homo erectus, the precursor to Homo sapiens, to develop the larger, brain filled skull and narrow pelvis and rib cage. A larger brain requires more energy, and most animals with larger brains also have a larger abdomen and pelvis to accommodate a larger gut.

A more efficient way of digesting food and absorbing energy from food would thus mean that the gut could grow shorter and the brain size could expand as there was more energy available to power a larger brain.

The driver for this may have been the instinctual desire for softer food that tasted better and was easier to eat. This shift in eating patterns has been estimated as having occurred roughly , years ago, although it is possible that it started up to , years ago. The above hypothesis rides on the concept of eating more 'energy rich' foods, or more specifically, foods where more energy can be obtained more easily.

A recent study on a group of individuals who were to only subsist on raw vegetables, unprepared, who had no blenders and had to chew everything, resulted in weight loss in all participants the majority spending most of their day just chewing food , some with severe weight loss as they gave up on chewing around the clock.

The human being is genetically programmed to seek energy rich foods. This is a survival mechanism so that during times of plenty, an individual can stock up on fat reserves, to get him through times of low food availability.

The human body was thus well designed for its purpose. If we go back to the early s, the working class of the UK were very poor and were undernourished and very skinny. With the advent of readily available refined sugar-containing foods, and increasing wealth, the working class of Britain gradually became well fed and now there is actually no class difference between the rich and poor in terms of nutritional health and risk of obesity, colonic cancer and heart disease.

Now we have an unnatural scenario where we are living in a western society where calorie-rich food is readily available and cheap, and that one has to actually resist one's natural urges to eat purely fatty and sweet foods or one will become obese and suffer other health issues.

One could argue that today's society goes against our genetic instincts and the health epidemic we observe today is a result of this. Extreme self-discipline is required to maintain a healthy dietary regime. This is why many 'health-freaks' are regarded as killjoys and too 'uptight'. A friend of mine once commented that one day mankind will probably evolve to adapt to the modern environment, computer usage, modern diets etc.

The older I get, and the more I learn, the more this seems ridiculous. The human body still maintains its genetic desire for energy-rich foods, let alone being unable to effectively adapt to the influx of foreign chemical toxins, electromagnetic smog and postural stresses. One could argue that standards and expectations have simply increased in today's society, and that the human body is meant to be mechanically worn out at the end of one's life - and that few lived past the age of 35 if one goes back years.

However, animals stay 'fit' until they die, they do not generally turn obese and unhealthy in their prime! We have simply removed certain stressors and added new ones.

We should really treat raw fruit and steamed vegetables seperately from raw vegetables. Everyone should probably eat at least a couple of pieces of fruit a day, and plenty of different kinds of steamed vegetables, no matter what condition he is suffering from. Of course there is no harm eating an occasional raw vegetable, but to do so regularly may well cause energetic problems in the body in those that are in severe imbalance already.

According to TCM, cold energy foods, dairy products and foods contained refined sugar or brown sugar tend to have a detrimental effect on individuals with a weak spleen meridian.

The stomach and spleen meridians tend to be quite weak in indiviuals with CFS, but of course the exact energetic pattern varies from individual to individual and should be identified by a qualified practitioner. I have noticed that the body appears to be most susceptible to disruption from cold energy food sources when the body is low in energy itself, in particular when qi deficiency, qi stagnation and yin deficiency are present in the body.

This may of course vary according to the individual. A sign of too much cold energy intake is a continuous damp headache, particularly after eating the food source in question e. An excess of cold food consumption cannot be counterbalanced by eating certain hot foods or herbs.

It is unfortunately not as simple as this. Please see the section below on Endocrine System Disrupting Foods for a discussion of those raw vegetables that should be cooked lightly prior to consumption and preferably not eaten raw in any significant quantities raw. Consuming too many sources of 'hot' energy e. For example, Cayenne Pepper is recommended for both internal and external use by some herbalists for those with chronic illness, to stimulate blood circulation.

Whilst this may well be effective in the short term, long term use of chilli peppers will elevate one's hot energy levels and may well be detrimental to one's overall health and energy levels as can be seen in the case study below. There may be a connection between consumption of excessive hot or warming foods and elevated Nitric Oxide production and nervous system excitation. The vanilloid receptor in the nervous system responds to heat as well as vanilloids which are also hot in nature and produces Nitric Oxide when stimulated.

This is examined in more detail on the Nitric Oxide and Peroxynitrite page. Additionally, foods with 'hot' or 'cold' properties may be an expression of the suitability of the chemical composition of the food in question to one's metabolic typing or oxidising rate - not actually the 'energy' of the food, but more the properties of the chemical compounds in the food, including oil content and several others.

For those suffering from CFS or related conditions, a poorly functioning digestive system and chronic energetic imbalance is often at the heart of their problems, and a raw food-biased diet is unlikely to provide great benefit, and may conversely make the person more ill and further negatively impact the energetic system. However, some individuals have shown to benefit greatly from such diets. However, response is not uniform, and one has to consider each individual's physiology and digestive and energetic health before prescribing a blanket approach.

Those who benefit from raw food diets in general probably do not have chronic energetic problems in terms of spleen function, for example. There is no 'one size fits all' diet, and each individual's needs, tolerances etc. For those with impaired digestive systems, it is probably best to be conservative and exercise caution, and avoid or limit those food types that will put a strain on one's digestive system or that are too 'cold' in energetic terms, for example, avoiding too many fried foods, soft drinks and too much raw food.

Chinese doctors in general recommend eating fresh fruit, but in general only raw vegetables a couple of times a week for those with impaired digestive systems. The easiest 'vegetables' to digest raw are lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes tomatoes are strictly speaking a fruit, but are usually eaten with savoury foods and not with other fruit. All other vegetables are much harder to digest raw. Moderation is the key. Once one's digestive system is functioning much more effectively i.

Whilst some non-mainstream dieticians recommend raw food diets, they are often looking at diet from a Western perspective, and are ignoring 5, years of oriental medicine and health science. It is not the business of this web site to give dietary advice, but we recommend that you seek dietary advice from a number of different sources, including oriental medicine specialists, and not just rely on one particular source.

And use your common sense of course. Please note that bananas are a source of cold energy and excessive banana consumption disproportionately favoured over other fruits can result in too high a cold energy intake. In addition, consuming chilled foods or drinks e. In addition to the cold energetic property, they require heat from the body to warm them to the body's own internal temperature.

It is generally best to avoid eating overly hot or cold foods. Below is a chart listing the energetic properties of a cross section of food types.

There is no 'one size fits all' diet recommended by practitioners of TCM. This is extremely important. Whilst I agree with many of the principles of macrobioticism, this web site does not subscribe necessarily to all macrobiotic concepts relgiously or at all.

Macrobiotic concepts derive from Japanese internal medicine and practices like Shiatsu. The web sites below discuss hot and cold energy and how they relate to the macrobiotic diet. Clearly some types of food are detrimental to all physiological types!

But we are talking 'proper food' here. Some specialists base this on blood type. There may perhaps be some parallel here to the Ayurvedic medicine's concept of Dosha type. Or perhaps TCM's hot and cold energy concept and the qi bias of a particular person.

It may even relate to the modern idea of DNA-based dietary supplements. I am an ideal case study for this subject matter. For example, from the age of 18 onwards, I developed a taste for Indian and Mexican food, and any foods that were spicy, as they had more 'flavour' and were 'more interesting'.

When I left home, I cooked all my own meals and made either a spicy curry or a spicy chilli almost every single night of the week. In addition, I would eat bagels with cinnamon and cardamom in them, and often eat Swedish gingerbreads which contained plenty of ginger.

As well as large amounts of butter and cheese being vegetarian it is sometimes tempting to rely heavily on such hot energy dairy products. The net result was that my daily intake of hot energy herbs and foods was extremely high. This resulted in frequent sweating, especially at night, a total downward spiral of his immune system frequent colds - with stress as an additional factor, constant thirst and of course a red tongue.

Eventually I came down with exhaustion and post viral fatigue syndrome where I would feel exhausted a month or two after each bout of influenza, but after that I would feel ok again. The second acupuncturist I saw was clued up enough to question me about my diet, and put me onto a herb and spice free diet, along with eating 'white' foods such as white basmati rice, potatoes, vegetables, butter, and some cheese and beans etc. I was also prescribed bags of very strong Chinese herbs.

This could perhaps be likened in some respects to a Salicylate -free diet which is part of the Guaifenesin protocol and the FailSafe Diet. Ayurvedic medicine has a similar approach, where it frequently prescribes aromatic basmati rice as a major food staple to patients, as it is easy to digest.

Anyway, I made a massive recovery, hardly needed more than 5 or 6 hours sleep a night, and felt full of energy. Many years later, I went to a Tony Robbins seminar , where I was sold the idea of eating large amounts of raw green vegetables and salads. I altered my regime massively, and ate blended raw green vegetables every morning for breakfast either green peppers, broccoli high in goiterogenic compounds that suppress thyroid function or celery with added water to make it possible to blend it.

I would also eat large amounts of salad with lunch and dinner. This was a huge intake of cold, damp energy. Initially this felt very good after a 7 day raw blended vegetable cleanse - incurred huge and unhealthy weight loss I was asked if I had been in a concentration camp by one ex-colleague and I went back to needing very little sleep each night, but over a period of a few months, this feeling of wellbeing disappeared and I gradually had one cold after another, before coming down with the flu and never recovering into full blown CFS.

Over a 2 month period, I ate just green peppers each morning for breakfast, which although they do not contain any goiterogenic compounds, still kept him in this constant feeling of malaise i. I did read a newspaper article about the damage raw food diets can do, with a baby being fed raw vegetables by its parents and actually dying an extreme case.

I then stopped eating the raw vegetables for breakfast and immediately felt much better, as if a constant background 'brake' had been removed. I later discussed this with another acupuncturist who concurred that the high intake of cold, damp energy was very bad for the immune system and energy levels.

Unfortunately, at the time, I did not know all that I know now and did not begin a positive health regime for full recovery from CFS. Does anyone have a time machine please? Therefore I had to stay off eating too many saturated fats, spicy foods, and also damp producing foods.

The herbs I was suggested to take were warming herbs, to drive out the dampness, but which were not TOO hot or at least were not to be taken in too large a quantity to produce too much heat as to increase my heat burden. This formula felt very warming indeed, but did increase my energy levels. I also found that taking a small amount of fresh Ginger every day was very helpful.

According to TCM, white pepper is ok for driving away dampness but black pepper is too warming i. Probably the most convenient method of sprouting is to use a glass sprouting jar with a screw top mesh lid. And my favoured sprouted seed is Alfalfa, which is easier to fork out of the sprouting jar when ready, compared with beans sprouts which can be a real pain! If you eat nuts and seeds, then it may be beneficial to soak them for 2 hours prior to consumption.

This helps to remove the enzyme inhibitors and mineral absorption inhibiting phytic acid. This of course does not just comprise of raw vegetables and fruit, but also nuts, nut oils, sprouted beans etc.

It could be argued that no animal cooks its food apart from humans. And this is a valid point. However, if one looks to historical context, humans have been cooking food for many thousands of years. Not that thousands of years of habitual activity necessarily constitutes something positive. However, not all forms of cooking are equal and some are more damaging than others e.

Microwaving is clearly the worst and also has the greatest negative effect on the DNA and RNA content of protein rich foods. Oriental medicine's studies of the body have been in existence for many thousands of years, and raw food diets have only become popular in the last 30 years or so, mainly amongst Western Industrialised countries, amongst a small segment of the population.

Who has the greater wealth of knowledge and experience? You decide for yourself. It may well be possible to obtain vegan wine, but is it really doing you any good? There is nothing energising about consuming alcohol, a concept which is cited as being one of the main reasons for the raw food intake in the first place.

Is this consistent with the anti-drugs stance? Many people appear to have benefitted from a raw food diet, whereas others have experienced rapid decline in their health and in extreme cases, death.

It is not always possible to fulfill all criteria, but a balance can be achieved, or at least one can focus more on short term targets if immediately pressing issues must be addressed. It also removes bitterness, makes the vegetables more digestible, more colourful, and sweeter. Excessive consumption of foods high in sulphur e. Goitrogens and sulphur containing foods have been reputed to play a role in reducing cancer, which seems to occur concurrently with a suppression of thyroid function.

Brassica family vegetables also play a role in promoting Liver function. Some argue that it is fine to eat these vegetables and nuts raw, as long as one eats a wide variety of raw foods, including those that promote thyroid function. Others argue that they should be avoided eaten raw entirely. I am of the latter opinion please see further down for his personal experiences. As stated above, some argue that one should totally avoid eating RAW: Conversely, traditional fermentation is said to increase the goitrogens in grains e.

Please note that broccoli and broccoli sprouts do contain a number of other useful flavanoids antioxidants. The most important of these is Sulphoraphane Glucosinolate a. Sulforaphane Glucoinolate or SGS. Scientists have identified SGS as a long-lasting natural antioxidant and detoxifier. SGS contributes to the integrity of all cells. More than publications have been released detailing the importance of SGS in activating the body's natural detoxification and antioxidant enzymes, i.

Glutathione, protecting the body from free radical damage. It is a processed, value added product. However, if one considers the actual nutritional composition, it is roughly 10 times lower in fibre than just eating soya beans or other types of beans.

It is not the first time that processing a healthy food source adds cost to the consumer and decreases nutritional benefit! This is not to say that bean curd is 'bad' for you, but if eaten with other foods that are high in fibre, is probably a healthy food. However, the point being made here is that if one simply eats cooked soya beans with the same food types, it would be even healthier and containing more fibre!

There is some debate about bean curd being bad for you. This is based upon the Phytoestrogens contained in bean curd and soya protein products, which are similar molecules to mammalian hormones and its enzyme inhibited properties. Studies show also that Asians eat only a fraction of the amount of soya than that consumed by Western vegetarians and those who substitute soya for dairy and meat products.

Some arguments against soya are listed below. Modern western food is obsessed with combining as many food types into a single meal as possible, regardless of the effects on effective digestion, for example, meat, dairy products, vegetables, fruit, starchy carbohyrates, grains, etc.

For example, fruit is best digested on an empty stomach and away from other food types. Starchy vegetables such as potato should be eaten away from large amounts of protein for optimal digestion. Everyone has no doubt experienced feeling incredibly bloated for many hours after eating a steak with french fries, or even worse, a hamburger with french fries and a milkshake!

Not every meal requires a dessert. In fact, desserts are best avoided completely. When a lion makes a kill on the plains of Africa, does it pause before tucking in to cook some french fries or boil some rice? Does it stop to suck milk from a mother's breast? Does it bake a loaf of bread? Or when it has finished consuming the carcass, does it have a chocolate mousse? The human body has yet to adapt properly to modern diets, and is probably not likely to ever do so.

Food combining is a discipline whereby one is selective in terms of what food types one eats together, to ensure that the minimum of energy is employed in the actual digestion of these food types. By eating certain food types apart, one uses up less energy digesting them and digests them more efficiently, absorbing more nutrients from them, then if one ate them together.

In addition, there is less chance of mucin production and thus mucoid plaque formation if one combines food properly. Food combining essentially gives us a little more energy 'for free' with little effort.

It is highly recommended for CFS patients and those with related conditions. Please take note of the above food combining chart. It illustrates what food types are best combined and which are not. In particular, fruit is best eaten on its own, on an empty stomach i. Melons are best eaten alone. Sweet fruits can be eaten with sub-acid fruits but not acid fruits. Acid fruits can be combined with sub-acid fruits.

Fruit classification is not always so clear cut, and certain fruits, e. It is probably not as critical to correctly combine fruit as it is other food types, although I have noticed quicker digestion when combining easily definable fruit types correctly.

All dried fruit is classified as sweet, and is also acid producing. Celery and lettuce can be combined with fruit if desired, but in general most other vegetables do not combine so well with fruit, although some will disagree.

Always avoid eating fats with high protein meals. Some food combining charts classify beans as proteins rather than carbohydrates, but most do not. Beans are regarded by some as being hard to digest, because they contain both copious amounts of protein and carbohydrate usually between 1: Nuts also contain both, but not as much carbohydrate usually 3: Therefore it is commonly held that when eating beans it is best to eat them with either vegetables, salad, or other carbohydrates such as grains, in order to dilute down the protein content slightly.

Additionally, eating beans and wholegrains together provides a complete protein source, whereas eating beans without grains does not. Some protein source in jars or tins come preserved in olive or sunflower oil, e.

This is not ideal from a food combining perspective. Fish preserved in brine is better, although not as tasty! Fresh fish is clearly better if possible.

It is best to avoid vinegar with carbohydrates as it impairs carbohydrate digestion, which means avoiding vinaigrette dressing with beans. Many dried greens or superfood powders or fruit powders may contain a wide variety of ingredients, but often different fruit types are mixed together, e.

Some believe that greens and fruits can be happily mixed together, even though the greens are essentially a high protein food source. I am not totally convinced. Equally if you want to take a small amount of greens mixture with a meal, then it is best to take it with a protein meal. Otherwise it can be very useful, although perhaps does not always have to be followed religiously - one may notice the difference combining correctly and not.

I have tried drinking a small amount of pomegranate juice when his previous meal was almost fully digested, and it considerably lengthened the time it took to digest the last remaining amount in the stomach. As stated above, one should not combine two different incompatible food types in the same meal. This also means that one should not begin the next meal before the previous meal has fully left the stomach. Even if you are eating a compatible food type with the previous meal, it is good practice not to eat a meal until one is fully hungry, as otherwise one may be prolonging the amount of time the last part of the previous meal is in the stomach, leading to fermentation or pushing the food through to the intestine too early.

Many of us are not used to be fully hungry, i. So to implement this may require some discipline. Some metabolic types do not cope so well on an empty stomach as others.

To wait for the last part of your meal to be digested may feel like you are starving yourself! However, you may notice benefits in terms of your digestion quality and stools.

In reality, to completely empty the stomach in between meals is totally impractical for most, as it involves waiting several hours in a hungry state. For the majority of us, there will be some mixing of meals in the stomach and intestines, but the goal is to keep this to a minimum as much as possible. So the consumption of MCT oils does not put a strain on your pancreas at all. However they are readily absorbed and may overload your liver if eaten in excess.

Long Chain Triglycerides and Short Chain Triglycerides however require enzymes for their absorption and although they require lipase from the liver to digest, do not overload the liver so much as they are absorbed more slowly into the blood stream. Regarding food combining, MCT oil essentially Caprylic acid and Capric acid triglycerides can be eaten with Protein easily i.

Coconut oil may be eaten in moderation with protein e. So it is not ideal but it is not as bad as consuming polyunsaturated oils and other types of saturated fat.

Food combining also dictates that one should not eat too much of one food item or type in a meal, e. Diversity in general is the goal for any diet, and with food combining it should be diversity within compatible food types in the same meal.

Eating the same food item every day, or worse still, eating the same food item two or three times a day, may quickly result in the body rejecting that food type. This is typically noted in it not tasting as good as it once did, or even the body becoming temporarily allergic to it. Some foods that one is mildly sensitive to can be eaten occasionally without too many problems, but to eat them more than once a day will likely produce a severe allergic reaction.

Most food combiners recommend eating fruit in the morning, carbohydrates for lunch and protein for dinner. However, some do better with carbohydrates or proteins for breakfast and feel faint on fruit first thing in the morning. Joseph Mercola uses a metabolic typing to classify people into groups according to what kinds of foods they thrive best on, which is in contrast to others who believe all individuals should be raw vegan and eat low protein diets.

Mercola tends to emphasize high protein and good saturated fat diets in general. Digestion times in the stomach for various food types can be found below. In the new millennium, people tend to have busier and busier lives, work longer hours, feel they have to be an expert at everything they do and be successful in all relationships and love, cram in more and more leisure activities, spend large amounts of time spoiling their children, have more and more stress, and instead of eating better food to compensate, we often tend to rely on nutritionally inferior processed and pre-packaged convenience foods and 'ready meals', which have a minimal nutritional value.

It is no surprise that the majority of the population of your country has poor intestinal health. The UK is the most constipated country in the world according to statistics. Below is a link to a time line of the last century, entitled the 'Slippery Slope Index', containing statistics regarding mortality rates and health problems, and relating these to the changes in agriculture, the rise of mass production techniques e. Clearly, it is up to the individual as to how to interpret these figures, but they do paint a rather disturbing picture about modern dietary and health mal practices and their huge cost on modern populations.

The information was compiled by Randall Fitzgerald in his slightly controversial but factual book 'The Hundred-Year Lie: Please see the Toxins page for information about how additives and toxin levels have increased the average human decomposition rate. Supermarkets today are interested in maximising their profits, naturally, as is any business. That is the purpose of a business. Supermarkets specifically choose to promote the products that generate them the biggest profits. These are often ready meals and processed foods, particularly from their 'premium', 'finest', 'healthy choice', 'good for you' or 'healthy living' ranges.

Naturally, such premium ready meals have to have as long a shelf life as possible and appeal to the broadest tastes, to appear attractive looking in terms on the packaging! Inevitably, such convenience foods are often very high in saturated fat, sugar and salt. Sugar, salt and fatty ingredients are often added to improve the taste of the bland, often low quality ingredients or resulting overcooked ingredients.

Simple carbohydrates are often used, e. This applies even to supposedly healthy choices, which are rarely actually healthy, despite advertising claims to the contrary. It is very rare to find any convenience food that is actually highly nutritious and good for you!

And it is not really surprising. For example, breakfast cereals often make claims about high fibre content on the boxes, implying they are a healthy choice, despite the fact that they are often very high in sugar. How can eating something with a high refined sugar content be good for you? They often use abnormally small portion sizes when quoting the nutritional information e.

This makes the cereal sound healthier. In addition, it does not take into account what kind of milk is being used. I find that unsweetened Soy Milk is quite unpleasant, and of course sweetened soy milk typically increases the carbohydrate levels. It is a little like eating rice but without all the fibre and with nearly all the carbohydrate.

One has to ask how 'healthy' it is to drink pasteurised milk and indeed an expensive vegan milk substitute. What purpose does it serve? Why the obsession with breakfast cereals and milk? Rice Dream contains approximately 23g of Carbohydrate per 8oz cup. Semi-skimmed milk typically contains approximately Soy Milk typically contains 15g of Carbohydrate per 8oz cup.

Breakfast bars have become more fashionable and popular, with breakfast cereal manufacturers making a 'bar' version of a cereal. These are often marketed as a breakfast replacement for busy people on the move. Basically it is a sweet, not a breakfast. Breakfast or cereal bars have a very high sugar content, and often contain jam or chocolate. They also often contain partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, i.

They do contain some cereal, but on the whole they are almost as unhealthy as eating a Mars bar for breakfast. Consumers seem to be brainwashed by labelling and advertising that low fat products are healthy, even though they contain a large amount of sugar which will still make you obese, rot your teeth and mess up your gut flora! Get up earlier and eat a proper breakfast, or bring some porridge oats to work with you add hot water and mix, or microwave with water.

A breakfast bar, in its small convenient packaging, for 'breakfast' on the move has as much to do with breakfast as a Nissan Micra has to do with a Ferrari. One should bear in mind that most are very high in simple carbohydrates, are generally low in fibre, may well contain transfats and are often slightly browned or burnt meaning that they probably contain a significant level of carcinogens. This is not taking into account the margarine or sugary jams and marmaldes people often spread onto their baked breakfast goods.

Of course, wholegrain or brown versions are better, but still, there are better starts to the day. Many yoghurts, as described above, make claims to being healthy, but often contain sugar, artificial colours and preservatives, even those that contain probiotic bacteria. Ready made sauces nearly always contain sugar, and the vast majority of ready meals with a sauce in them contain sugar. Since the turn of the 20th Century, the popularity of Sourdough bread aka Natural Leaven Bread has decreased, perhaps more so since the s onwards.

Sourdough bread is made by capturing wild yeasts in the dough or batter, a small part of which is kept apart from each batch prior to baking the loaves and reused for the next batch - the process can be repeated indefinitely. This is in contrast to the popular cultured yeasts that are used in conventional commercial baking the 'fast loaf'.

Sourdough bread has a characteristic 'tangy' or mildly sour taste. I have some experience of making sourdough bread in his early 20s. Because of reasons of profitability, the long term of fermentation and pandering to more commercial tastes sweeter and more bland , bread production shifted from sourdough bread to the common variety.

Whilst eating conventional white bread is leads to increased incidences of Candida and bad bacterial overgrowth, eating conventional brown bread may also cause problems with digestion also in some individuals. Perhaps sourdough bread, not always based upon wheat, may help to mitigate such problems.

Alternatively one could consider not eating bread at all, and stick to other whole grains, such as Oats etc. The idea of supermarket displays is to entice people to pick things up as they walk past. Petrol stations do this to good effect in the UK, by making one 'walk the gauntlet': When one is queuing, one may spend a minute or two right next to hundreds of chocolate bars, and they are of course intended to encourage a compulsive purchase, which they often succeed in, helping to fatten up the drivers who probably often spend too much time driving everywhere and not enough time walking or exercising as it is.

Sweets and snacks have very little if any nutritional value, except for energy from fats and sugar. This is not the best form in which to consume these types of constituent i. Canned foods were first introduced in the 19th Century, where they were seen as a novelty and luxury food item by the middle classes.

In early canned foods, lead was used as the solder, resulting in cases of lead poisoning in canned foods containing moist or liquid foods. The most famous case was the Franklin expedition of the Northwest Passage. The basic construction of older cans is a cylindrical segment and two flat pieces for the top and bottom, made of tin coated iron, and soldered on using Lead. The tin coating meant the iron was not rusted away by the food and that tin was preferentially leached into the food rather than iron.

Tin is not know to cause significant toxicity problems. Lead soldering has largely, although not completely, been replaced by other types of can construction such as welded double seams.

Modern cans use tin coated stainless steel rather than wrought iron. Lead soldering still remains on 3. These tend to be for dried foods where there is less likelihood of the lead leaching into the food.

Imported cans may however employ lead soldering on them, so it is wise to check. Please see the links below regarding lead use in tin cans. It is used to minimise bacterial growth inside certain canned food stuffs.

This appears to be more prevalent amongst Infant Formulas. This bacterial strain is especially heat resistant, and is normally killed by heat treatment of canned foods at C for 3 minutes. Food manufacturers have used brand advertising to create a feel good factor around household brands, and bombard the public with advertising, to the extent that consumers become brainwashed into thinking that the household brands offer quality, they are there to look after them somehow, they are safe, they can always be trusted and they make you feel at home.

But are they really 'looking after you'? Taking an extreme example, the Scott Expeditions to Antartica at the turn of the previous century used free food products on the condition that they took photographs in polar locations consuming them, to be used in advertising in Europe. Scott knew very little about nutrition and took with him the food types that he thought were luxurious and high in energy. Cadbury's Drinking Chocolate ran adverts featuring Scott long after most of Scott's expedition had died of starvation.

A good example of misleading advertising by household brands, not unknown in the present day! Similarly, the food in restaurants does not really cost that much money to make. It is the service, place and atmosphere that people come to a restaurant for, a place to hang out and eat tasty food.

The concept of a restaurant or caterer is that they are there to really look after you. The types of foods you are likely to eat when eating out are likely to be high in fat, salt and sugar, because they are prepared to taste as good as possible, to increase the enjoyment of your visit. When eating out, people like to treat themselves with alcoholic beverages, fatty and sugary milkshakes or soft drinks etc, which again contain more calories, additives and sugar.

Processed food and ready meals is often either fried or contains rich sauces full of additives and saturated and trans fats, rather than being eaten dry unfried! People must become aware that food labelling and packaging is there to try to make you buy the product and is not really there to educate you. It is a sales pitch.

Much like a politician is not really interested in stating a list of facts, but in influencing and making rapport and persuading the individual. The picture on the packaging does not often reflect what the food will look like when you have cooked it, much like a McDonalds burger that arrives on your tray doesn't look as good as the idealised picture you see in the adverts and pictures. Just because food packaging makes big claims about being containing certain amounts of a nutritious component, or low amounts of something bad, this does not necessarily mean very much.

Guideline Daily Amounts for different ingredients vary from country to country, and are frequently quoted in a range rather than a single ceiling value. The concept of a ceiling value is also misleading, as it suggests that as long as one is just below it, one is going to be eating a healthy meal or having a healthy lifestyle. Food manufacturers often use the lower GDA for a nutrient such as a vitamin or fatty acid, but use the higher GDA value for 'bad' ingredients, such as saturated fat content as percentage of maximum recommended daily intake.

In this way, they can make big claims about their products and make them sound as appealing and healthy as possible. For example, food manufacturers frequently state that a certain product contains Omega 3, but it may not be the best kind of Omega 3 or enough for one's daily intake. Regular consumption of food products that are high in saturated fats and trans fats will lead to increases in bad cholesterol levels and the build up of plaque on the artery walls. Please see the fatty acids section of the nutritional deficiencies page for more information.

The average daily salt requirement is 6g. It is not uncommon for people consuming processed foods and ready meals regularly to eat up to 25g per day. High salt intake can result in a high blood pressure.

Many ready meals balance the amount of salt with a corresponding amount of sugar. Both of these ingredients help to improve the taste of what is probably quite bland food or poor quality ingredients. Other ways of improving the taste of food include picking high quality ingredients, not overcooking the food, adding small amounts of herbs, spices or garlic hot energetic qualities of course.

If one is consuming processed and ready meals regularly, then over time the combination of a raised blood pressure and constricted arteries can result in heart disease or heart failure. In addition, a high trans fat and saturated fat intake over many years can result in so much fat build up around the organs and into the muscle tissue of the heart, that the heart also becomes very weak, making this even more likely.

In general processed foods, ready meals and junk foods are low in fibre e. This can often mean than when eating them, we do not chew them so much and eat them quite quickly, which not only does not signal to the brain that we are becoming full, but also we do not taste the food very much instigating more stuffing of the face! In addition, low fibre foods result in a build up of mucoid plaque in the small and large intestines, and also result in a low faeces volume.

This may contribute to an increased likelihood of bowel cancer. Faeces volumes in industrialised countries is often many times lower perhaps up to 10 times in extreme cases! This way of eating is however flawed and not clever, as it generally means that the total fibre intake is relatively low and cholesterol levels may well go up. In addition, it may be putting additional strain on the adrenal glands as there is less blood sugar reserves available during the day. People in general do not consume enough water every day, and so if one skips meals also, the total faeces volume may become very low indeed, and the build up of mucoid plaque all the more likely.

There is some good news regarding processed foods. As a general rule, tinned fruit and vegetables and frozen vegetables may contain little qi but they are still high in fibre and nutrients.

Whilst it is clearly better to eat fresh vegetables, tinned or frozen vegetables can still be consumed beneficially. In some cases, tinned or frozen vegetables actually contain more nutrients than fresh vegetables that have been stored in the fridge too long. There is nothing normal about being obese. It is not a natural condition. The human psyche is programmed to seek rich foods in order to put on fat in order to survive the winter. Eat whilst food is available! That is what the human mind is programmed to do.

Obesity and processed food consumption is now equally common amongst the wealthy and the poor. In the early s, the working class of Britain were mostly extremely skinny and underfed. With the introduction of mass food production and processed foods, calories became more readily available, resulting in a gradual weight gain amongst the country's working class.

Obesity is on the increase and is particularly a problem amongst children. However each individual is and their lifestyle choices are their own to make and is not anyone else's business. Diets that are very high in simple carbohydrates, common in those who regularly eat processed foods in industrialised societies, may lead to diabetes in the long term.

The optimal diet for diabetics is also the optimal diet for everyone else, namely avoiding foods that are high in simple carbohydrates and instead deriving most of one's carbohydrate intake from complex carbohydrates slow release energy. Diabetes is in many cases completely reversible once one reverts to a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Diabetes is often associated with chronic obesity. Diabetes may also lead to renal failure. We as a society are often conditioned to believe that adults tend to be obese and children tend to be slim. The understanding is that one unavoidably becomes more obese as one becomes older, like the older generations; perhaps because of busy lives without time to cook or exercise properly.

A little like one becoming a little like one's parents as one sees them so much as 'normal' when one is growing up and learn their values. However, there is nothing natural about being obese. Excessive fat is not a sign of maturity or of increased wisdom that comes with age! It is important when thinking about excess fat that it is not just the visible fat we are looking for.

The most visible fat is of course the subcutaneous fat, that which lies below the skin. This is what makes a person look 'flabby'. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. People who displays excesses of fat on their bodies also carry around a large amount of internal fat. This surronds the organs. A person who looks fit or normal may indeed be carrying a large amount of internal fat in their bodies, and have a higher fat percentage that a person who looks more obese. It is this level of internal fat that is most important in health terms.

In extremely or morbidly obese people, postural problems set in and organs are actually displaced in the body. The diaphragm is pushed up because of the fat around the intestines, and mucoid plaque in the intestines, the lungs are compressed making exercise and breathing very difficult , the heart enlarges to compensate.

The liver should be filled with water and contain little fat. In those with diets high in saturated fat and trans fat, and high body fat percentages, the liver may be enlarged and full of fat. In extreme cases their liver may resemble a goose's liver that is prepared for fois gras!

Such geese are force fed corn or maize, and have a liver that is almost 10 times the size of a healthy liver. The liver is almost purely made up of fat. The liver function of such birds is extremely impaired. This is what happens to human livers in extremely unhealthy individuals over time on a slightly lesser scale. Please see Dr Sanda Cabot's web site Liverdoctor.

The average level of alcohol consumption in the UK has doubled since the s. Most people who drink regularly are blissfully unaware of the damage they are causing to their livers, and are regularly overloading their livers with high saturated fat levels as well as excessive alcohol levels and the usual high levels of toxins from environmental sources, commercially available non-organic food sources, poor cooking practices, stimulants coffee etc.

The daily recommended safe limit for an adult female is units and the daily recommended safe limit for an adult male is units. However, this does not mean that all these units should be drunk all at once, and that one can drink more safely on one day as one did not have anything the previous day.

Regular drinking over these limits, as well as the other factors discussed, will contribute to the onset of liver disease for which there are often no visible symptoms. The liver is able to self-repair itself up to a certain point, but the stage where people usually discover they have liver problems is when this point has been long passed and where permanent damage has occurred. Information pertaining to liver problems and inefficient liver founction can be read Inefficient Liver Function on the Toxicity page.

The daily recommended total fat intake for an adult female is 70g and 95g for an adult male. This does not make any references to fat type, and most of this intake should ideally be monounsaturated Omega 9 and polyunsaturated fats Omega 3 and 6 , rather than bad saturated fats and trans fats. In many cases, processed foods, junk foods or ready meals contain almost the total daily fat allowance in one meal.

What happens at the other meals is another question! There has been a general trend in supermarket labelling to display the fat content on the labels of food, and if a particular processed meal has less fat, then it is better for you. So for example if a dessert contains plenty of sugar but uses skimmed milk and contains little fat, it is still going to make you fat.

It will also help to rot your teeth. Sugar, simple carbohydrates and alcohol are probably the biggest culprits in weight gain, with bad saturated fats as opposed to good saturated fats and trans fats running them a close second. Gastric juice in the stomach starts protein digestion. Gastric juice mainly contains hydrochloric acid and pepsin. As these two chemicals may damage the stomach wall, mucus is secreted by the stomach, providing a slimy layer that acts as a shield against the damaging effects of the chemicals.

At the same time protein digestion is occurring, mechanical mixing occurs by peristalsis , which is waves of muscular contractions that move along the stomach wall. This allows the mass of food to further mix with the digestive enzymes.

After some time typically 1—2 hours in humans, 4—6 hours in dogs, 3—4 hours in house cats , [ citation needed ] the resulting thick liquid is called chyme. When the pyloric sphincter valve opens, chyme enters the duodenum where it mixes with digestive enzymes from the pancreas and bile juice from the liver and then passes through the small intestine , in which digestion continues. When the chyme is fully digested, it is absorbed into the blood. Water and minerals are reabsorbed back into the blood in the colon large intestine where the pH is slightly acidic about 5.

Some vitamins, such as biotin and vitamin K K 2 MK7 produced by bacteria in the colon are also absorbed into the blood in the colon. Waste material is eliminated from the rectum during defecation. Digestive systems take many forms. There is a fundamental distinction between internal and external digestion.

External digestion developed earlier in evolutionary history, and most fungi still rely on it. Animals have a tube gastrointestinal tract in which internal digestion occurs, which is more efficient because more of the broken down products can be captured, and the internal chemical environment can be more efficiently controlled.

Some organisms, including nearly all spiders , simply secrete biotoxins and digestive chemicals e. In others, once potential nutrients or food is inside the organism , digestion can be conducted to a vesicle or a sac-like structure, through a tube, or through several specialized organs aimed at making the absorption of nutrients more efficient. Bacteria use several systems to obtain nutrients from other organisms in the environments.

In a channel transupport system, several proteins form a contiguous channel traversing the inner and outer membranes of the bacteria. It is a simple system, which consists of only three protein subunits: This secretion system transports various molecules, from ions, drugs, to proteins of various sizes 20 — kDa. The molecules secreted vary in size from the small Escherichia coli peptide colicin V, 10 kDa to the Pseudomonas fluorescens cell adhesion protein LapA of kDa.

A type III secretion system means that a molecular syringe is used through which a bacterium e. One such mechanism was first discovered in Y. The conjugation machinery of some bacteria and archaeal flagella is capable of transporting both DNA and proteins. It was discovered in Agrobacterium tumefaciens , which uses this system to introduce the Ti plasmid and proteins into the host, which develops the crown gall tumor.

The nitrogen fixing Rhizobia are an interesting case, wherein conjugative elements naturally engage in inter- kingdom conjugation. Such elements as the Agrobacterium Ti or Ri plasmids contain elements that can transfer to plant cells.

Transferred genes enter the plant cell nucleus and effectively transform the plant cells into factories for the production of opines , which the bacteria use as carbon and energy sources. Infected plant cells form crown gall or root tumors. The Ti and Ri plasmids are thus endosymbionts of the bacteria, which are in turn endosymbionts or parasites of the infected plant. The Ti and Ri plasmids are themselves conjugative.

Ti and Ri transfer between bacteria uses an independent system the tra , or transfer, operon from that for inter-kingdom transfer the vir , or virulence , operon. Such transfer creates virulent strains from previously avirulent Agrobacteria. In addition to the use of the multiprotein complexes listed above, Gram-negative bacteria possess another method for release of material: Vesicles from a number of bacterial species have been found to contain virulence factors, some have immunomodulatory effects, and some can directly adhere to and intoxicate host cells.

While release of vesicles has been demonstrated as a general response to stress conditions, the process of loading cargo proteins seems to be selective. The gastrovascular cavity functions as a stomach in both digestion and the distribution of nutrients to all parts of the body. Extracellular digestion takes place within this central cavity, which is lined with the gastrodermis, the internal layer of epithelium. This cavity has only one opening to the outside that functions as both a mouth and an anus: In a plant such as the Venus Flytrap that can make its own food through photosynthesis, it does not eat and digest its prey for the traditional objectives of harvesting energy and carbon, but mines prey primarily for essential nutrients nitrogen and phosphorus in particular that are in short supply in its boggy, acidic habitat.

A phagosome is a vacuole formed around a particle absorbed by phagocytosis. The vacuole is formed by the fusion of the cell membrane around the particle. A phagosome is a cellular compartment in which pathogenic microorganisms can be killed and digested. Phagosomes fuse with lysosomes in their maturation process, forming phagolysosomes.

In humans, Entamoeba histolytica can phagocytose red blood cells. To aid in the digestion of their food animals evolved organs such as beaks, tongues , teeth, a crop, gizzard, and others. Birds have bony beaks that are specialised according to the bird's ecological niche.

For example, macaws primarily eat seeds, nuts, and fruit, using their impressive beaks to open even the toughest seed. First they scratch a thin line with the sharp point of the beak, then they shear the seed open with the sides of the beak. The mouth of the squid is equipped with a sharp horny beak mainly made of cross-linked proteins.

It is used to kill and tear prey into manageable pieces. The beak is very robust, but does not contain any minerals, unlike the teeth and jaws of many other organisms, including marine species. The tongue is skeletal muscle on the floor of the mouth that manipulates food for chewing mastication and swallowing deglutition.

It is sensitive and kept moist by saliva. The underside of the tongue is covered with a smooth mucous membrane.

The tongue also has a touch sense for locating and positioning food particles that require further chewing. The tongue is utilized to roll food particles into a bolus before being transported down the esophagus through peristalsis. The sublingual region underneath the front of the tongue is a location where the oral mucosa is very thin, and underlain by a plexus of veins.

This is an ideal location for introducing certain medications to the body. The sublingual route takes advantage of the highly vascular quality of the oral cavity, and allows for the speedy application of medication into the cardiovascular system, bypassing the gastrointestinal tract.

Teeth singular tooth are small whitish structures found in the jaws or mouths of many vertebrates that are used to tear, scrape, milk and chew food. Teeth are not made of bone, but rather of tissues of varying density and hardness, such as enamel, dentine and cementum.

Human teeth have a blood and nerve supply which enables proprioception. This is the ability of sensation when chewing, for example if we were to bite into something too hard for our teeth, such as a chipped plate mixed in food, our teeth send a message to our brain and we realise that it cannot be chewed, so we stop trying. The shapes, sizes and numbers of types of animals' teeth are related to their diets.

For example, herbivores have a number of molars which are used to grind plant matter, which is difficult to digest. Carnivores have canine teeth which are used to kill and tear meat. A crop , or croup, is a thin-walled expanded portion of the alimentary tract used for the storage of food prior to digestion. In some birds it is an expanded, muscular pouch near the gullet or throat. In adult doves and pigeons, the crop can produce crop milk to feed newly hatched birds. Certain insects may have a crop or enlarged esophagus.

Herbivores have evolved cecums or an abomasum in the case of ruminants. Ruminants have a fore-stomach with four chambers. These are the rumen , reticulum , omasum , and abomasum. In the first two chambers, the rumen and the reticulum, the food is mixed with saliva and separates into layers of solid and liquid material.

Solids clump together to form the cud or bolus. The cud is then regurgitated, chewed slowly to completely mix it with saliva and to break down the particle size. Fibre, especially cellulose and hemi-cellulose , is primarily broken down into the volatile fatty acids , acetic acid , propionic acid and butyric acid in these chambers the reticulo-rumen by microbes: In the omasum, water and many of the inorganic mineral elements are absorbed into the blood stream.

The abomasum is the fourth and final stomach compartment in ruminants. It is a close equivalent of a monogastric stomach e. It serves primarily as a site for acid hydrolysis of microbial and dietary protein, preparing these protein sources for further digestion and absorption in the small intestine. Digesta is finally moved into the small intestine, where the digestion and absorption of nutrients occurs.

Microbes produced in the reticulo-rumen are also digested in the small intestine. Regurgitation has been mentioned above under abomasum and crop, referring to crop milk, a secretion from the lining of the crop of pigeons and doves with which the parents feed their young by regurgitation.

Many sharks have the ability to turn their stomachs inside out and evert it out of their mouths in order to get rid of unwanted contents perhaps developed as a way to reduce exposure to toxins.

Other animals, such as rabbits and rodents , practise coprophagia behaviours — eating specialised faeces in order to re-digest food, especially in the case of roughage. Capybara, rabbits, hamsters and other related species do not have a complex digestive system as do, for example, ruminants. Instead they extract more nutrition from grass by giving their food a second pass through the gut.

Soft faecal pellets of partially digested food are excreted and generally consumed immediately. They also produce normal droppings, which are not eaten. Young elephants, pandas, koalas, and hippos eat the faeces of their mother, probably to obtain the bacteria required to properly digest vegetation. When they are born, their intestines do not contain these bacteria they are completely sterile.

Without them, they would be unable to get any nutritional value from many plant components. An earthworm 's digestive system consists of a mouth , pharynx , esophagus , crop , gizzard , and intestine. The mouth is surrounded by strong lips, which act like a hand to grab pieces of dead grass, leaves, and weeds, with bits of soil to help chew. The lips break the food down into smaller pieces.

In the pharynx, the food is lubricated by mucus secretions for easier passage. The esophagus adds calcium carbonate to neutralize the acids formed by food matter decay. Temporary storage occurs in the crop where food and calcium carbonate are mixed.

The powerful muscles of the gizzard churn and mix the mass of food and dirt. When the churning is complete, the glands in the walls of the gizzard add enzymes to the thick paste, which helps chemically breakdown the organic matter.

By peristalsis , the mixture is sent to the intestine where friendly bacteria continue chemical breakdown. This releases carbohydrates, protein, fat, and various vitamins and minerals for absorption into the body. In most vertebrates , digestion is a multistage process in the digestive system, starting from ingestion of raw materials, most often other organisms. Ingestion usually involves some type of mechanical and chemical processing. Digestion is separated into four steps:.

Underlying the process is muscle movement throughout the system through swallowing and peristalsis. Each step in digestion requires energy, and thus imposes an "overhead charge" on the energy made available from absorbed substances. Differences in that overhead cost are important influences on lifestyle, behavior, and even physical structures.