My First Go Around With Dr. Eric Serrano (Part 2)

JP: You’re not a fan of milk, but you don’t mind other dairy products like cottage cheese or heavy whipping cream. Why is this? Also, what type of cottage cheese do you recommend: organic, low- or high-fat, or does it matter?

Dr. S: Let’s clear up the first part. It’s not that I’m not a fan of milk. I’m not a fan of pasteurizing and homogenizing milk! Heating at high temperatures for a short period of time is okay, I guess, but filtering the fat through small filters completely changes the composition of milk. Raw milk is great, but it’s difficult to obtain (unless, of course, you get it straight from the breast!) Goat milk is a better choice than cow milk because it has more fat and fewer carbohydrates, and it tends to be a lot friendlier for people with milk allergies because the protein sources are different. Cottage cheese is one cheese that will actually elevate sugar and insulin levels. I would recommend organic, high-fat (the highest you could find) cottage cheese.

JP: Explain why you believe this whole concept of acidity is faulty.

Dr. S: I assume that you’re talking about the acidity of the blood. This being the case, the human system is so keen on controlling the pH of the blood that any change affects the body. For that reason, the body will try to fight acidity or even alkalization. I don’t believe too much in this concept. I do agree, however, that certain foods will affect the pH of the blood for a short period of time, but it’s nothing to worry about. The most common change in pH is secondary to a lack of oxygen. If this happens and you go too acidic, then you’re in deep shit!

I have a problem with those that claim that eating too much meat will make you too acidic. Let’s go back to prehistoric times when there was no agriculture so there were no grains. Basically, we had to hunt to eat. We ate lots of meat and got our fiber from eating intestines, not grains. In the summer, we had plenty of fruit to feed on, like cherries, strawberries, and so on, but what happened when winter came? It’s gone! The only thing left is food that is walking around so we had to follow this food that would migrate south. Now, we would stumble across other sources, like bananas for instance, which would influence nutrient intake. Our bodies, therefore, were never deficient because we would transition between seasons. This is one of the reasons why I believe in a food rotation diet. Anyhow, to get back to my original point, if you’re going to tell me that eating meat is going to make me too acidic, then there were plenty of “acidic” people millions of years ago and we would not have survived.

JP: What are your views on food combining?

Dr. S: The body is prepared to digest food, plain and simple. It doesn’t have a separate blueprint for each individual food. Do you think your body automatically recognizes that you’re eating a banana or a strawberry? No, it doesn’t work that way. It’s true, though, that combining certain foods can affect you hormonally. For instance, eating carbohydrates with protein will elevate insulin levels and facilitate the transport of amino acids into the muscle cell which is beneficial post-workout. However, people are misguided if they feel that food combining will aid digestion. If you have a healthy digestive system, then food combining is unnecessary. If that is not the case, then fix it!

JP: Can you clear up the whole egg issue. For one, some people don’t believe that we digest eggs all that well and that they’re a common food allergy; whereas, others feel that since eggs are so similar to human tissue, they’re easy to digest. Then there’s the issue of cooking them or not. On one side of the coin is Dr. Joseph Mercola who believes that cooking destroys some beneficial enzymes and nutrients and that the risk of salmonella poisoning is actually quite rare. Then there’s Dr. John Berardi who says that cooking the eggs will increase their absorption. And finally, what are your thoughts on the whole egg and cholesterol issue?

Dr. S: Eggs are one of the most allergenic foods you could eat. Is there a difference between boiling, scrambling, or eating raw eggs? Yes. The more you cook eggs, the greater the free form amino acids. Eating raw eggs provides intact proteins that are more allergenic. Boiling is a step in the right direction, but I believe that you should cook your eggs as much as possible. Mercola is right in that cooking will destroy some enzymes, but it’s a trade-off where I prefer fewer allergies over more enzymes. I definitely agree with Berardi that cooking eggs will increase their absorption.

Don’t worry about whole eggs raising your cholesterol levels. It’s not an issue at all. I can’t believe that people still make a fuss over this. Almost every hormone you have is cholesterol-based, except for protein-based hormones like insulin and growth hormone. The lower your cholesterol levels after the age of 55, the higher the chance of cancer!

Tomorrow in Part 3, we’ll review some common weight training injuries, tips to speed up healing, how to structure your training for best results, and Dr. Serrano’s secret method for rehabilitating biceps injuries.

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