Like it or not, it is our digestive system that determines our diet. I said “Like it or not…” because of how and what we eat today, it would seem that it is the other way around. Anyway, in order to know what should we eat, it is essential that we become familiar with our digestive system – the different parts – and compare it with the digestive system of other animals.
There are categorically three major types of animals: carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores. Although we belong to the omnivore group, we lean more towards the herbivores because we have more similarities with them as compared against the carnivores.
Also, since there are two dimensions of the digestive process (the physical or mechanical and the chemical), we have to analyze each segment of the digestive system appropriately.
Our digestive system begins in the mouth. Our teeth is similar to plant eaters, where the front ones are flattened (vertically) for cutting vegetation, the middle ones somewhat jagged or pointed are for gnawing tougher vegetation, and the rear ones are flattened (horizontally) for grinding and for mashing the food – just like those of horses, of cows, etc. The teeth of carnivores are either pointed/needle-like or jagged only – the front ones are for biting and for tearing flesh, the middles ones for slicing through ligaments and other tougher meats, and the rear ones for crushing bones – like those of cats and of dogs.
Also in the mouth, our saliva’s chemical composition has an abundance of enzymes that are designed to digest carbohydrates and sugar, but not meat. Another argument that meat is not for us.
In the stomach, our gastric juice is not as strong as carnivores, but more like herbivores.
In the intestines, we have intestinal flora that digest plant matter (not meat). While plant matter is fermented in our intestines, to be broken down for absorption, meat will putrefy (causing gas to be produced, giving rise to a lot of gas and farting); this is why a lifetime of farting may eventually lead to diseases like cancer. (Foul-smelling fart is an indication of a meat diet – due to the nitrogen component of protein; while a plant diet will not give off any foul-smelling gas or body odor.)
Still in the intestines, the length of our intestines is at least ten times our torso length. In meat eaters, the proportional length is four to seven times the length. Plant eaters have a much longer length. This is because plant matter takes a longer time to digest (due to the insoluble fiber or cellulose); the intestines must be very long so that the food will stay in the body long enough for the body to absorb the nutrients.
On the other hand, meat eaters have relatively short intestines because meat putrefy and become highly toxic, once digested. Therefore, the nutrients must be absorbed as soon as possible and the putrified meat must be eliminated quickly. The longer the putrefied meat stays in the intestines, the greater the possibility that the toxic substances resulting from the digestion process will be re-absorbed. (This is one of the principal causes of colorectal cancer and of polyps in the intestines.)
Since our intestines are very long, the meat will take a longer time to navigate the entire length before being eliminated. This increases the chances of giving rise to the various diseases that plague modern man.
In addition, meat-eating per se is not the point because there are those among us who are carnivores and yet enjoy a life of health; one specific group of people are the Inuit people, whose traditional diet consist mainly of fat (or blubber) and some red meat. In their habitat, it is not possible to live on a vegetarian diet … for two important reasons.
One, since snow and ice (permafrost) is all around for practically the whole year, it is impossible for plants to grow. Two, a vegetarian diet will not provide enough calories to keep and maintain a constant body temperature for a warm-blooded creature. (This is reason why the manatees of Florida are confined there and do not migrate. Their plant diet does not provide them enough body warmth to cross the cold waters that surround their native habitat.)
So, what does their environment have to do with their carnivore diet (60-70% fat) and why does their traditional carnivore diet not causes diseases, the way that it does to most other people?
Because there are not vegetation around, they are not able to cook their food (no firewood). Eating the fat and meat raw is what makes their carnivore diet different from most other people. (If you prefer a carnivore diet to a vegetarian diet, to avoid all the diseases that come with a carnivore diet, make sure you do not heat/cook your meat.) The fat/blubber that they get from the food animals they kill are not enough to use a fuel for cooking. Instead, what little fat they can spare from their diet is used for heating and for lighting purposes, not for cooking.
Finally, another argument is that the body instinctively knows and recognizes what is its food; this is done through salivation. Salivation is the initial process to prepare the digestive system for its task. When you show a carnivore (say a dog) with a piece of raw blood-dripping meat, it will salivate. It recognizes the meat as food. If, instead, you show it a piece of fruit, no salivation occurs – it is not food.
On the other hand, when we see a piece of fruit, we begin to salivate. But, if we are shown a piece of raw meat dripping with blood, we are turned off; our stomachs turn. (Of course, I am talking about most people, because there are some people who are not turned off by dripping bloody meat.) Our body instinctively knows it is not food. We have to fool the body by cooking the meat to make the body accept the meat as food.
My next post will cover some popular misconceptions and deceptions regarding diseases, pharmaceuticals, and treatment protocols.