Mat Lalonde - Cooking vs. raw - Extracting Nutrients

Answered on October 11, 2013
Created October 11, 2013 at 3:13 PM


I'm new to this forum. Been an 80/20 Paleo eater for almost 4 years. I whole heartedly believe in it. Recently I've been listenting to Mat Lalonde interviews and he talks about cooking vs raw. I know he always preaches 'Nurtient Density' and he talks about when cooking food - you extract more nutirients. Cooking gave us smaller guts, bigger brains, long ago etc. I'm trying to understand this. How does cooking allow us to extract more nutrients. I know some raw vegans who would completely disagreee saying that cooking destroys nutrients.


  • 51e711c1e7f827ccf322a5d8406d8213

    asked by

  • Views
  • Last Activity
    1745D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

4 Answers



on October 11, 2013
at 06:02 PM

Bit off topic, but I reckon Lalonde is the best on optimal eating - he doesn't publish, so I use his occasional podcast interviews to explore stuff from PHD etc.


on October 11, 2013
at 05:19 PM

Ok good info. That makes a lot of sense. I love roasted or sauteed veggies but also love chomping on raw brocoli, cauliflower, or carrots. thanks!


on October 11, 2013
at 04:33 PM

some vegetables are pretty indigestible in their raw state. cooking breaks down cell walls and helps out with that. it also often reduces the volume so you can eat more. Oh, and people with gut problems often find cooked veg much easier on the tummy. They may not get much helpful nutrition from piles of raw veg.

Interestingly both Chinese and Indian traditional medicine systems value cooked foods as more digestible.

Personally i think it is good to get a mix of raw and cooked veg in the diet. As samc says, some nutrients are destroyed by cooking and some are made more available so if you mix it up you can get both. And of course you should be aware of what your body does best with. I find a lot of raw veg very difficult to digest. I still eat some raw veg every day, but in smaller quantities. I also tend to marinade my raw veg with acid and salt for a bit before eating to help "pre-digest" a bit.

Medium avatar


on October 11, 2013
at 03:49 PM

Certainly some nutrients are destroyed, others are made more available. Tomato is more beneficial cooked, for Lycopene. I think you would have to analyze it food by food to come up with a scientific answer.

Answer Question

Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!