On May of 2003, world-renowned periodontal specialist Dr. Byung Pal Yoo lectured at the International Cancer Immunotherapy Seminar with the title, Cancer & Aging? We have decided to serialize a column for his restricted calorie diet, but first we interviewed him about the raw food and the related projects.
What made you research about aging, especially the effect of aging prevention through restricted calorie diet?
I originally majored in physiology and was a lecturer in one medical school in Florida. I have begun to take interest in aging after attending a workshop about aging and I have moved to University of Texas in order to study in depth about aging. Through my research, I found out that rats with restricted calorie diet (30% less) had 40-50% longer life span than the rats that freely fed.
Based on this result, I try to find out why restricted calorie diet prevented the aging process. As I was experimenting with the rats and saw that the rats with restricted calorie diet lived longer, I could no longer eat as much as I used to eat. I was 160cm and weighed 73kg, which was considered as being overweight. I started to watch what I was eating and reduced the amount.
I only ate lunch and dinner but I often ate only two apples for lunch.
Honestly, eating only apples for lunch was not to control my diet but simply because I did not have the time to eat.
I heard that you only eat one meal a day now.
I only eat lunch. If you count the calorie, it comes out to about 1,500-1,800kcal.
It is very small compared to the recommended daily calorie intake for adult (2,200-2,500kcal), but I am not at all hungry, probably because I was on a restricted calorie diet for 30 years. I think my stomach shrunk according
to my diet.
I mainly eat Korean food. For rice, I always it boiled rice and cereals and I often eat potato or sweet potato. For the side dishes, they are usually vegetarian but I especially enjoy eating broccoli. Broccoli has more organic matter than most of the vegetables and contains a lot of antioxidant.
I slightly boil the broccoli and dip it in vinegar red pepper paste. I also
use the vinegar red pepper paste when eat carrots or cucumbers. I eat fish once every two days. At my house, beef, pork, and any other red meat does not make it on the table. I only eat skinless steamed chicken once every two weeks for protein intake.
I think we use raw food to control our calorie and vegetarian-friendly, restricted calorie diet, why is it that you can live longer when you eat less?
First, it increases immunity. Plants have nutrients (phytonutrient) maximizes and accelerate the natural healing ability and immunity of our body. Most of these nutrients are destroyed with heat so you have to eat them raw.
Second, raw food contains ample amount of antioxidant. Aging is caused by the accumulation of oxidative stress, caused by the toxic oxygen, in our body. Thus, oxidative stress accelerates aging and is the cause of various diseases such as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and arteriosclerosis so control it is the key to longevity
Our body has barriers against toxic oxygen but they deteriorate for various reasons. Antioxidants like vitamin E and C fortify these deteriorated barriers, but they are also weak against heat. We can intake enough antioxidant by eating raw foods.
Third, plants contain a lot of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber absorbs body's waste and toxic matters and excrete them out of the body. It also reduces cholesterol and density of heavy metal in our system. Dietary fiber can be taken in through plant products when heated its fibrin's solubility in water changes so raw food is also good for intake of dietary fiber.
Finally, you can restricted calories through raw food. I have said that oxidative stress, which is caused by toxic oxygen, destroys the barrier, mitochondria, cell membrane, genes, and enzymes, thus causing lose of balance in oxidation-reduction in our body. By eating less, not only can you strengthen the barrier that can protect your body from oxidative stress, it also smooth out the oxidation-reduction process.
Raw food is receiving a lot of attention lately.
By looking at the global phenomenon of acrylamide, it is clear that we should eat raw food. The substance is found in French fries, cereals, and toasts and if these are fried or roasted, then the glucose reacts to the amino acid and becomes cancerous substance.
Also, the current ‘recommended serving amount itself is too much. Even though we have different metabolism rate, this recommended serving amount was determined by measuring people who had highest metabolism rate.
We have to reduce our current calorie intake by 30%. Raw food is not a new thing. Cabbages, herbs, and lettuce can be considered as raw food and they have been in our diet for a long time. On top of all the research, I hope that more scientific evidence and research can support raw food so that more people can enjoy health and youth through raw food.