Wherefore The Calorie
( Originally Published 1922 )
Now, referring again to the definitions of a Calorie, and of vitamins, which knowledge does your judgment tell you is the more important in preparing your menus?
Some of the points which destroy faith in the value of caloric knowledge are these:
1st. The caloric value of a cupful of white (polished) rice and a cupful of natural brown rice is exactly the same, despite the Japanese incident.
2nd. The caloric value of a piece of white bread is exactly the same as that of the same sized piece of whole wheat bread, and yet:
Animals fed on white flour products alone will die quicker than if they were not fed at all, while animals fed on whole wheat exclusively will thrive indefinitely.
The Kronprinz Wilhelm sailors had plenty of white bread—and they were all sick. On the Donald McMillan expedition the food supply depleted and for nearly - a year the crew lived chiefly on whole wheat biscuits—and they returned in perfect health.
Verily—"Wherefore the calories?"
Of what use is it to you, as a housewife, to know that a certain portion of food will produce a certain amount of heat in the body, if that same food will not sustain life?
These are only two of the points which destroy faith in caloric values.
[The caloric value of a fried egg is greater than of a poached one. Fat counts.
The calorie is without doubt very scientific and very helpful to the dietitian in proportioning energy foods, but
Since the quality of your blood "depends absolutely upon the quality of the food which enters the digestive organs, don't you think it behooves you to center your attention upon said quality?
You see the emphasis was laid on the importance of calories previous to the time that science discovered and recognized the importance of minerals and vitamins.
You could eat the prescribed number of calories per day and in a short time develop anemia.
Anemia is result of the absence of iron and other mineral in the blood.
You could eat the prescribed number of calories per day and develop a case of acidosis, etc.
Acidosis is the absence of the mineral balance to sweeten the blood.
The calorie will measure some of your necessary foods but not all of them; hence the best thing to do is to remember that your daily food supply should contain the four food divisions in approximately their right proportions, and that these proportions can be reached without a knowledge of calories.
Habit alone will direct you to the energy foods, and the addition of a generous supply of the min. eral and vitamine foods will help to curb the tendency to overeat of the Proteins and Starches.