Next time you reach for a bag of chips or a bagel you may want to think twice!
You have heard that eating processed food is not good for you, but do you know why? Sure, the preservatives, food coloring and other chemicals present in most processed foods is obvious, but what about digestive leukocytosis? (Leukocytosis is a white blood cell count (the leukocyte count) above the normal range in the blood). This is a term you may have never heard, and like it or not, it is directly related to eating all processed foods, including that organic cereal you’re eyeing.
In 1930, at the Institute of Clinical Chemistry in Switzerland, Dr. Paul Kouchakoff conducted research to demonstrate the effect of eating cooked/processed food vs. raw food had on the immune system. It was already known that after a person ate cooked food that a rise in the number of leukocytes (white blood cells) would occur in the blood. This was considered a natural phenomenon that led Kouchakoff’s team to a significant discovery.
Analyzing the blood of test subjects, Kouchakoff discovered that when raw food or food cooked at low temperatures was eaten, little or no increase in leukocytes occurred. Whereas, subjects that ate food heated beyond a certain temperature or refined processed food, the increase in leukocytes was significant.
Kouchakoff’s team tested many different types of food and consistently found that when consumed, raw food or food that was not refined caused no reaction in the blood—the body recognized these foods to be non-threatening. However, the response was starkly different for heated/refined foods. The body treated these foods just as it would any invading pathogen, to protect itself by increasing white blood cells. The worst offenders of all, heated or not, were foods that were refined, such as white flour and white rice, homogonized, pasteurized, and preserved.
- Clinically, “leukocytosis” is an increase in the number of white blood cells in the blood, generally caused by the presence of infection, and is usually temporary.
- “Digestive leukocytosis” is an increase in the number of white blood cells that occurs after eating certain types of food. It is a response to food that is toxic or which has not been properly digested.
- “Pathological leukocytosis” is an abnormal condition of the white blood cells, commonly found in cases of infection, intoxication, poisoning, eating highly heated food or eating abnormally altered food.
Heat Shock Categories
Depending on the type of food eaten, the elevation of the white blood cells is graded according to the severity of the response of the white blood cells (WBCs).
Category I – No Increase in WBC Count
- Raw foods
- Foods heated to 200 degrees F. or less
Category II – Mild Increase in WBC Count
- Foods cooked at boiling temperature (212 degrees F.)
- Slow-cooked foods
Category III – Moderate WBC Elevation
- Foods heated well above boiling temperature, such as baked goods: breads, muffins, buns, biscuits, pretzels, crackers, cakes, etc. (350 to 450 degrees F.)
- Pressure-cooked food, canned food
Category IV – Severe Leukocytosis
- Refined foods such as white flour, white sugar, commercial vinegar
- Fried foods (french fries, chips, pan-fried foods, etc.)
- Carbonated soft drinks, alcohol, commercial table salt (highly heated)
Category V- Violent Reaction of Leukocytes (Equivalent to the Leukocytosis seen in Poisoning)
- Cured, salted and cooked meats, char grilled meats
- Microwaved foods and beverages
- Pasteurized foods such as milk, dairy and juices
- Foods with manmade chemicals such as hydrogenated oil, margarine (plastic fat), MSG (monosodium glutamate), aspartame (NutraSweet), artificial colorings, flavorings, etc.
Your Solution to Minimizing Pathological Leukocytosis Caused By Your DietObviously sticking to foods in Categories I and II while eliminating Categories III, IV and V is your best solution. Most foods that come in a box, bag or can are highly heated and cause a massive amount of stress in your body–not only to the blood, but to the digestive system as well.
Here are some tips to help you minimize the deliterous effects of eating highly heated, processed food:
- Incorporate more raw foods and juices into your diet.
- Stick to the 70/30 Rule – Eat 70% whole foods and 30% processed.
- Avoid soda, artificial sweeteners, candy, protein bars, bottled juices, margarine, lunch meats, cured meats, commercial soy sauce, commercial vinegar, pasteurized dairy, pasteurized eggs, canned food, chips, baked goods, cereal, and crackers like the plague.
- When choosing processed foods, look for companies that use artisan methods of processing like, bionaturæ®
- Cook your food gently. Lightly steam veggies, slow boil grains, and slow bake other foods.
- Absolutely ditch the microwave!
- Reheat your food with a toaster oven.
- Avoid barbecued and fried foods.
- Use the grill as a flower pot.
- Minimize/eliminate alcohol consumption.
- Feed babies gently heated veggies and softened food, rather than commercial baby food which is highly heated.
- Feed babies easy to digest raw foods such as bananas, homemade applesauce, and avocado.
- If unable to breast feed, make your baby formula from raw coconut milk (similar to mother’s milk).