( Originally Published 1922 )
We are laying special stress on the mineral element and vitamins because these are the elements which have been overlooked and the absence of these elements in our foods has been the cause of much illness. But in order to avoid confusion it is really necessary that you should have a clear and condensed knowledge of all classes of food, food divisions and food values.
Food taken into the body serves two purposes:
1st. It repairs waste and builds tissue. 2nd. It supplies heat and energy.
The mineral element supplies material for bones and teeth and without it the blood and digestive organs cannot properly function. We may therefore consider the minerals as the tools which the blood must have in order to properly handle the other tissue-building, heat-producing foods.
Most of you are familiar with the old academic food division, viz., Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fats. A few there may be who are not. Don't be disturbed by the high sounding names. They are in reality very simple.
PROTEIN is the element found in meats, etc. CARBOHYDRATE 1S the element in starches and sugars.
Protein is a tissue-building food.
Carbohydrates and fats are chiefly heat and energy foods.
Proteins are of two kinds—Vegetable and Animal. Animal Proteins are found in meat, fish, eggs, milk and cheese.
Vegetable Proteins are found in nuts, whole grains (wheat, corn, rye, oats, etc.), and in beans, peas, lentils, etc.
Opinions differ as to whether you should eat animal protein in the form of meat at all, but all scientists agree that at least one-half of your proteins should be of vegetable origin. Also it has been demonstrated that about three ounces of protein is all one person in normal health can take care of in a day. Any more than that overloads the kidneys. This means about one and one-half ounces animal proteins, which equals about six ounces of lean meat or fish. (The fat in the meat is estimated as fat.)
A great majority of you have been overeating on protein foods. The kidneys cannot take care of it. The overload is a slow poison. Cut down on the protein.
Carbohydrates being starches and sugars, your own intelligence will guide you in locating them. Starches are most abundant in potatoes, bread, cereals, beans, peas, etc. The tubers—turnips, car-rots, parsnips, etc.—contain very little. All starches are turned into sugar during the process of digestion.
All dietitians use the academic division and agree that a balanced diet should consist of
1st. Protein 10 to 15%
Sometimes this fourth division is mentioned, sometimes not, but not much stress has ever been laid on it until very recently.
THIS 4TH DIVISION IS THE MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL; WITHOUT IT THE BODY Cannot PROPERLY MAKE USE OF THE OTHER FOOD ELEMENTS.
In other words, the mineral element is necessary for proper functioning. Food must be digested and burned. Combustion cannot take place without the proper balance of mineral in the blood.
Furthermore a diet of Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fats is purely acid-forming. The mineral element must be present in sufficient quantities to sweeten the blood and make it alkaline.
The vitamins are with the minerals—inseparable. The sailors on board the Kronprinz Wilhelm were fed on the perfectly balanced diet according to this old academic division, and we know what happened to them. They had no mineral balance and they suffered the consequences.'
Just remember that it is almost impossible to pre-pare an ordinary old-fashioned meal without its Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fats (meat, potatoes, bread and butter) while in millions of American homes today the mineral element is almost totally absent.
The menus given in the following pages have a fair balance of all the food divisions.
One thing more—The Proteins found in the gluten of wheat are feeble, but the Proteins found in the germs are rich and health-giving. This precious germ is removed in the milling of white flour. Don't forget that. Not only the minerals but the Proteins are lost.