Posted by: 4pack | August 31, 2009

“Ideal Diets”: The First Successful Diets By Horace Fletcher And John Harvey Kellogg Stressed Limiting Calories And Prolonged Chewing

Kellogg and his younger brother, Will K., invented wheat flakes, then corn and rice flakes - affordable grains while the wealthy continued their meat-and-eggs breakfasts. For patients with loose, bad or missing teeth, Kellogg ground up nuts. When he soon found peanuts to be less expensive, the result was peanut butter. In 1877, he baked a multigrain biscuit which was crumbled and sold as Granola (until sued by a competitor selling Granula).

Kellogg and his younger brother, Will K., invented wheat flakes, then corn and rice flakes - affordable grains while the wealthy continued their meat-and-eggs breakfasts. For patients with loose, bad or missing teeth, Kellogg ground up nuts. When he soon found peanuts to be less expensive, the result was peanut butter. In 1877, he baked a multigrain biscuit which was crumbled and sold as Granola (until sued by a competitor selling Granula).

An early diet was “Fletcher-ism,” inspired by Horace Fletcher (1849-1919). He advocated chewing each mouthful of food, including liquids, 32 times, once for each of our usual 32 teeth. This presumably reduced the amount of food consumed.

Fletcher, known popularly as the “Great Masticator,” from the Latin masticare, to chew, also advocated low-protein and low-fiber in his diet plan. His scheme included self-stool exams to monitor the “health” of the diet. Chewing, of course, does nothing to fiber. Concurrent with Fletcher’s death, the idea of calorie counting appeared – input over output, finally.

Physician and surgeon John Harvey Kellogg (1852-1943), said to be a friend of Fletcher’s, operated a large hospital, the Battle Creek (Mich.) Sanitarium. Kellogg basically was a vegetarian (lacto-ovo – dairy and eggs): no meat, sparing consumption of refined sugar, eggs and dairy products, and no alcohol, tea, tobacco, coffee or chocolate. Emphasized were fruits, legumes, nuts and grains. Chewing and water were in, stool exams were out but replaced by daily enemas.

Kellogg was a high-energy man. He performed more than 20,000 surgeries while pursuing dietary reform. Still advocating chewing (Fletcherism) as essential, he required his patients to begin each meal by chewing a twice-baked German bread – zwiebach. After a broken tooth, Kellogg and his younger brother, Will K., invented wheat flakes, then corn and rice flakes – affordable grains while the wealthy continued their meat-and-eggs breakfasts. For patients with loose, bad or missing teeth, Kellogg ground up nuts. When he soon found peanuts to be less expensive, the result was peanut butter. In 1877, he baked a multigrain biscuit which was crumbled and sold as Granola (until sued by a competitor selling Granula).

So, a century or so after Fletcher and Kellogg (and others), are we better off? Yes, to vegans, lacto, lacto-ovo and semi-vegetarians (occasional meat). A 12-year study of 6,000 vegetarians and 5,000 nonvegetarians in the United Kingdom demonstrated lower malignancy and heart disease rates among vegetarians.

Are the differences huge? Not really. Another 76,000-person, 10-plus-year study showed 20 percent reductions (in malignancy and heart disease) in occasional meat eaters, 26 percent in strict vegans and, surprisingly, 34 percent in the lacto-ovo group. Grass-fed livestock, a better choice, is available.

Wild game also is an exception and, like fish, might qualify as “health” food for meat eaters. Thankfully – and the bottom line – stool checking and daily enemas are gone.

www.alanfraserhouston.com Dr. Fraser Houston is a retired emergency room physician who worked at area hospitals after moving to Southwest Colorado from New Hampshire in 1990.

http://durangoherald.com/sections/Features/Columnists/La_Plata_Health_Watch/2009/08/31/Chewing_and_diet__a_quick_history_lesson/

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