In this group we include the flesh of animals used as food - beef, veal, mutton, lamb, poultry, game and rabbit.

All meats are highly nitrogenous, and most of them are easy of digestion and assimilation, because they contain the same chemical elements as our own bodies.

The digestibility, however, is largely governed by the method of cooking. For instance, a broiled steak is more easily digested than a fried steak. The outside cut of baked meat is not as easily digested as a center cut.

Raw beef and mutton, scraped, are more easily digested than cooked meat, but cooking is necessary to destroy the parasitic, living organisms that may be accidentally present in it. Cooking also develops the flavor and appearance of meat, and makes it more palatable.

Mature, well-killed and "hung" lean beef and mutton are more easily digested than the flesh of young animals, as veal and lamb.

The flesh of veal and rabbit is especially dense, and quite unfit for food for the sick, although veal and rabbit broth are frequently recommended in certain cases of chronic gastritis.

Meats for the sick must be perfectly fresh and carefully selected. Lean meat from a fat animal is more tender than lean meat from a lean animal.

Next to the mammals, barnyard poultry is the most important from a dietary standpoint, excepting birds and deer. The flesh of these wild animals is generally quite free from fat, which makes them more easy of digestion and better adapted for diet for the sick.

Next in order comes the white-fleshed fish - an important article of nourishment, providing they are perfectly fresh. There is nothing more dangerous, however, than stale sea food. The flesh of salmon and sturgeon approaches the composition of lean beef more nearly than the flesh of white fish. Mackerel, eels, catfish, herring and shad are all characterized by the presence of fatty matter mingled throughout the flesh, which makes them more difficult of digestion.

Of the white-fleshed fish, the ordinary white fish of the lakes, cod, rock bass, halibut, haddock, sole and flounder are to be preferred.

Shell fish differ widely in digestibility. The oyster has a decided advantage over the clam and scallop. Oysters have a place in diet for the sick; the clam itself has not, but clam bouillon is highly recommended in many diseases. The oyster is no doubt a nutritious, easily digested food; opinions differ, however, regarding this fact. They are more easily digested raw than cooked, but, like meat, they should be cooked to remove the danger of micro-organisms that may be present. Unless one knows that their oysters have been fattened in perfectly clean water, they had better eat them thoroughly cooked.

The Crustacea

The Crustacea are regarded in this country as choice and attractive foods, but the flesh is dense, firm and unfit for diet for the sick; in fact, they frequently cause digestive troubles in persons who are quite well, and if not perfectly fresh are dangerous.