Special Advantages Of The Milk-egg-vegetable Diet
( Originally Published 1913 )
It would not be difficult for us to prove that the milk-egg-vegetable diet is the most rational for man, especially for the adult. When near the age of puberty, the addition of a certain quantity of meat would be advisable for reasons which have already been given.
That the milk-egg-vegetable diet is that best adapted for man is shown by the fact that each one of the principal components of which it is made up, i.e., the milk, the eggs, and the vegetables, plays a most useful part in our nutrition. Their useful properties have already been treated at length. The best feature of such a method of feeding is that each of the three foods is possessed of advantages, but of no evil effect. To live upon milk alone would be difficult as well as inadequate, even if very large quantities were taken; the same remark applies to vegetables. When, however, eggs are used in conjunction with milk and vegetables, a very substantial diet is obtained, and as I have noticed in my patients, and like-wise with myself, one can gain considerably in weight when living upon such a diet. When 1 1/2 liters of milk are taken per day an average of about 60 grams of albumin is received; 2 eggs added daily to the milk will raise the albumin assimilated to 70 grams ; if 4 eggs are taken, one will have obtained a fully sufficient quantity of albumin. I have myself lived upon such a milk-egg-vegetable diet for several months, and got on very well indeed with 70 grams of albumin, although I was taking considerable exercise at the time. I have also observed that a diet of milk and eggs and plenty of carbohydrates has a tendency to accustom one to thrive on a rather smaller amount of albumin.
There is probably no other diet which contains less of substances which are injurious for our various organs. The milk diet is the least injurious. Both milk and eggs do not form any uric acid, nor do they contain any injurious extractive substances. The same is the case with most of the vegetables, especially those which are richest in starch, such as rice, tapioca, sago, etc. The majority of ripe fruits, with the exception of those containing considerable amounts of oxalic acid, are also free of injurious substances. In order to carry on such a diet in a rational manner, it would be necessary to take, as a basis for it, 4 or 6 eggs daily, with some cheese. At each meal, or at midday and in the evening, 2 eggs should be taken, with milk and cheese, and perhaps for breakfast i of the pancakes previously referred to—made of various kinds of flour—with honey or some fruit syrup; fresh fruit at every meal; fresh fruit for breakfast, and both cooked and fresh fruits at dinner and supper. I also consider it very beneficial to eat, during several days, fruit only at the evening meal; this might also be done on certain days of the week instead of on successive days. For such a meal the most nourishing foods would be dried fruits, bananas, St. John's bread (the dried fruit of the locust tree—which must be thoroughly masticated), figs, dates, nuts, with dried currants and raisins (thus mixed they taste very good), almonds, and particularly pistachio nuts, which are the most easily digested of the oily nuts. In winter the fat-containing nuts and fruits are best; on hot summer days principally fresh fruits should be taken—cherries in the spring and early summer, grapes in the autumn, and in midsummer apples, pears, and plums.
I particularly advise the taking of plenty of fruit because, among all our foods, with the exception of milk, this food is the only one which we take just as it was made by the Creator, without any cooking or the addition of other substances. In this way all of the natural properties remain undisturbed. We must here emphasize the fact that many of the important ferments contained in various foods are destroyed in the preparation of the latter, so that we lose all of their effects. As, how-ever, many of the fresh fruits contain rather too much acid, which has an injurious effect upon some persons, dried fruits or those containing but little acid when fresh, such as bananas, dates, etc., should be taken when considerable quantities are to be eaten. A healthy stomach and intestine is required, and then bread, butter, and cheese, with fresh and dried fruits, will furnish a good and healthful meal.
There is no diet which will as certainly preserve good health or which will so effectively favor a return to health as the milk-egg-vegetable diet, scientifically employed. With no other diet can so much be done to keep the blood-vessels in good condition, and to insure a proper composition of the blood and its adequate circulation. Such a diet would be the very best in arteriosclerosis, but here not more than i liter of milk divided into several portions must be taken. According to my experience with a large number of patients, there can surely be no better mode of nutrition than the above, and all of my liver patients—without exception—had a better color and looked much more healthy after two or three weeks of such a diet. I wish to call attention to the fact that particularly in cases of gallstones it gave very good results, especially be-cause the functions of the bowels were perfectly carried on. The advantages of this diet in such affections reside in the fact that the lactic acid fermentation (I prefer to give sour milk, jogurt, and kefir in such cases) brings about antisepsis of the intestine and prevents the development of injurious bacteria, so that infection of the gall-duct—the principal factor in inflammation of the gall-duct and the disease above mentioned —is more readily prevented. Plenty of grapes taken with such a diet gave excellent results in gall-stone disease, in my experience. That it is also very beneficial in gout is self-evident, but vegetables containing purin bodies—of which a list is given on page 361—should as far as possible be avoided. Chiefly the ripe acid fruits should be used. In renal calculi consisting of uric acid a diet of this sort also has an excellent effect; when there are phosphatic stones it should, on the contrary, be avoided. For diabetic patients it is an ideal diet, but a milk without sugar, like the Gaertner preparation, should be used, and the fruit be carefully selected and taken only in moderation. In obesity it is likewise an excellent régime; the quantity of milk must however be decidedly diminished, and the butter and oily fruits and nuts must be eliminated. Owing to its favorable action upon injurious bacterial intestinal flora, such a diet would be beneficial in intestinal affections, with a careful selection of the vegetables and fruits to be taken. In constipation it would prove a sovereign remedy which would after a short time render all medicines superfluous. In many cases of neurasthenia and hysteria it would give brilliant results, if the foods giving the greatest number of calories were selected. Since such a number of diseases are benefited by this diet, healthy persons should profit even more from it. Indeed, after having personally, tried the various modes of diet during a certain length of time, having first eaten a great deal of meat and then only once, a day ; again for a time only vegetables, then principally milk, then chiefly fruits, I came to the conclusion—after observations made upon others as well as upon myself—that a milk-egg-vegetable diet is the best and at the same time the most rational for mankind.