Good morning Jeff,
I suppose... which is better or worse, since it's been mentioned around that blending may not be the ideal way to eat a whole food, but cooking seems to better accepted. They both break down cell walls and stuff.
The Heat or the Blade? Do tell
Sorry, I used the 'stuff' word again DOHHH!!!
I think they both can have their place in a healthy diet. Both have been shown to increase availability of certain nutrients. And, depending on the person and the situation, both may have some concerns.
One concern I have with "blending" is when someone is insulin resistant, has metabolic syndrome, or is diabetic, and is struggling with their numbers, then the blending and/or grinding of foods like fruits, starches, whole grains may not be in their best interest, till they get their numbers inline. Blending/grinding increases the surface area and availability of the sugars/starches, reduces the effectiveness of the fiber, and increases the insulin and blood sugar response. So, in this case, the less blended or ground up the food, the better.
Another concern I have is that you can also consume much more food and many more calories from foods that have been blended up or ground up than in whole foods, so this may be a concern for weight.
Neither of these 2 concerns would apply to non starchy veggies.
The other concern I have with blending is when someone is trying to consume "most" or "all" their food thru blended salads, soups, drinks, smoothies, etc. While in certain situations all of this can be appropriate, and any of these could be included in a healthy diet, in general, I would not recommend anyone to consume all their food blended, as we are meant to chew our food. Chewing is an important part of digestion and oral and dental health, and is associated with increased satiety. It is also great exercise for all your facial muscles. Chewing ability has been also been found to be associated with heart health and longevity. viewtopic.php?t=5822
One last one. Clearly, a standard diet is deficient in many nutrients and so it has become popular and common for many people who follow a typical diets to try and "Super charge" it and/or find some benefit by adding in things like super foods, supplements, green drinks, green smoothies, smoothies, and/or blended salads. While I don't agree with that approach, I can understand it. Personally, I would rather see them change their whole diet than to try and add super foods to a bad diet..
However, we now have many health conscious people on whole food, unrefined plant based diet believing they must maximize their nutrient and anti-oxidant intake and try to get as much in as possible and the only wat to do it is to incorporate these green smoothies/drinks and blended salads, etc. Yet, there is no evidence that this is required or necessary or of any benefit to anyone on an already healthy diet. And, in light of all past experience with nutrients, we know that more is not always better. A healthy diet, as recommended here, will provide adequate if not optimal nutrient intake. More, may not always be better.
We now have many people trying to hit the highest level of antioxidant, phytochemical intake possible, but where is the evidence that this is required, let alone good? We know with many well known nutrients (calcium, iron, zinc, copper, selenium, B6, etc) more, and/or getting in too much above and beyond what is needed, is not better.
In regard to enzymes, we do not use or benefit from the enzymes in plants. They are for the plant, not for us. The effect of cooking and/or blending on enzymes does not matter, as either way, or even if we ate all the food raw, the enzymes in the food are all broken down to amino acids in our stomach. Dr Harris covers this in one of his talks on the raw food diet at the http://www.vsh.org
My main, and probably only concern, in regard to cooking, is that we know the very high heating of foods for very long periods, can cause some toxic compounds to be formed. Most of these are created by the high heat cooking of animal protein, animal fat, fat, and refined and processed carbs, especially if they are made with added fat, so that should not be a concern for someone who is only baking a potato. Conservative cooking, as we discussed in the AGE discussion, is fine, and make many foods more enjoyable and palatable. viewtopic.php?t=7050
You may hear that "cooked food is dead food" but this is not true. Cooking has little if any effect on minerals and conservative cooking does not have a huge effect on vitamins either.
We reviewed this in this discussion here with a link to charts on the actual effects of cooking on vitamins and minerals. viewtopic.php?t=6456
So, the "heat" or the "blade"?
Depends on the total context and many other factors.
In general, probably not a big deal, but I did love both the movie Blade with Wesley Snipes and Kris Kristofferson and the movie Heat with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. Between those two, I would pick Heat, but it is a much longer movie running almost 3 hours.