What Is The Best Diet ?
LET’S DITCH THE LOW-FAT SCHOOL!
When God created mankind, he also provided all the nutrients we needed to maintain a healthy body. He did not hide those nutrients from us, and he didn’t package them separately in brightly coloured boxes or write books to explain to us the functions of each one of them.
He simply put an abundance of nutrients in the foods that we would eat. These were not processed, packaged, artificially ripened, genetically altered, or overcooked. They were simply whole foods that God gave people to eat, knowing they were life-bearing foods containing all man needed to thrive, be happy and healthy.
Health And Dentition.
At the turn of the century a perceptive, observant dentist from Cleveland, Ohio, noticed that his patients were suffering more and more chronic and degenerative diseases. He also noticed that his younger patients had increasingly deformed dental arches, crooked teeth, and cavities. These young children also suffered from frequent infections, allergies, asthma, poor vision, lack of coordination, fatigue and behavioural problems. These problems are also very familiar to mothers in the 21st century. Price did not believe that such “physical degeneration” was God’s plan for mankind.
Price had heard of native cultures who lived happy lives, free of disease. He decided to close down his busy dental practice and travel the world in search of these primitive cultures to find out if (1) they really are healthy, and (2) find out what they're doing to keep themselves healthy.
Together with his wife he traveled to distant locations and studied people who had not yet been touched by civilization. His research included Swiss village inhabitants, Eskimos, Indian tribes in Canada and the Florida Everglades, Southsea Islanders, Aborigines in Australia, Maoris in New Zealand, Peruvian and Amazonian Indians and tribesmen in Africa.
After gaining trust and confidence of the tribal and village elders, he did what came naturally to him – he counted cavities and physically examined them. To his surprise he found that less than 1% of permanent teeth were decayed. The 14 isolated groups that he found and studied were free from tooth decay, they had never seen or visited a dentist and they had never bushed their teeth!
Dr. Price also noticed that, in addition to their healthy teeth and gums, all the people he discovered were hardy and strong, despite the sometimes difficult living conditions they had to endure. Degenerative diseases that are common today such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and infectious diseases that were common in Price’s day such as TB were absent from these “primitive” people.
The Diets Of The Healthy Natives. The diets of these people were all different:
The Swiss mountain villagers subsisted primarily on unpasteurized and cultured dairy products, especially butter and cheese. Rye also formed an integral part of their diet. Occasionally, they ate meat (beef) as cows in their herds got older. Small amounts of bone broths, vegetables and berries rounded out the diet. Due to the high altitude, not much vegetation grew. The villagers would eat what they could in the short summer months, and pickle what was left over for the winter. The main foods, however, were full fat cheese, butter, and rye bread. The children’s teeth were covered in green slime, but he only found 1% tooth decay.
Gaelic fisher people living off the coast of Scotland ate no dairy products, but instead had their fill of cod and other sea foods, especially shell fish (when in season). Due to the poor soil, the only grain that could grow was oat, and it formed a major part of the diet. A traditional dish, one considered very important for growing children and expectant mothers, was cod's head stuffed with oats and mashed fish liver. Again, due to the extremely inhospitable climate, fruits and vegetables grew sparsely. Price noted that a young Gaelic girl reeled in puzzlement when offered an apple: she had never seen one!
Eskimo, or Innu, ate a diet of almost 100% animal products with hefty amounts of fish. Fish roe, walrus and seal, and other marine mammals also formed an integral part of the diet. Blubber (fat) was consumed with relish. Innu would gather nuts, berries, and some grasses during the short summer months, but their diet was basically all meat and fat. Price noted that the Innu would usually ferment their meat before eating it. That is, they would bury it and allow it to slightly putrefy before consuming it. Innu would also eat the partially digested grasses of caribou by cutting open their stomachs and intestines. Eskimo women gave birth to one healthy baby after another with little difficulty. They did not suffer from any health problems or cavities.
The Maori of New Zealand, along with other South sea islanders, consumed sea food of every sort - fish, shark, octopus, sea worms, shellfish - along with fatty pork and a wide variety of plant foods including coconut and fruit.
African cattle-keeping tribes like the Masai consumed virtually no plant foods at all, just beef, raw milk, organ meats, and blood (in times of drought).
The Dinkas of the Sudan, whom Price claimed were the healthiest of all the African tribes he studied, ate a combination of fermented whole grains with fish, along with smaller amounts of red meat, vegetables, and fruit. The Bantu, on the other hand, the least hardy of the African tribes studied, were primarily agriculturists. Their diet consisted mostly of beans, squash, corn, millet, vegetables, and fruits, with small amounts of milk and meat. Price never found a totally vegetarian culture. Modern anthropological data support this: all cultures and peoples show a preference for animal foods and animal fat.
Hunter-gatherer peoples in Northern Canada, the Florida Everglades, the Amazon, and Australia, consumed game animals of all types, especially the organ meats, and a variety of grains, legumes, tubers, vegetables, and fruits when available.
Price noted that all peoples, except the Innu, consumed insects and their larvae. He also noted that all cultures consumed fermented foods each day. Foods such as cheese, cultured butter, yogurt, or fermented grain drinks like kaffir beer (made from millet) in Africa, or fermented fish as with the Innu were an important part of native diets.
Curiously, all native peoples studied made great efforts to obtain seafood, especially fish roe which was consumed so that we will have healthy children. Even mountain dwelling peoples would make semi annual trips to the sea to bring back seaweeds, fish eggs, and dried fish. Shrimp, rich in both cholesterol and vitamin D, was a standard food in many places, from Africa to the Orient.
The last major feature of native diets that Price found was that they were rich in fat, especially animal fat. Whether from insects, eggs, fish, game animals, or domesticated herds, primitive peoples knew that they would get sick if they did not consume enough fat. Explorers besides Dr. Price have also found this to be true.
Fallacies Of Modern Nutritionists Dr. Price’s findings contradict virtually everything that “politically correct” nutrition holds. If the studies are accurate then the low-fat school must be ditched. One can conclude from the Dr. Price’s findings that when the people were eating traditional fats like butter, lard and tallow made from organic milk and animals, degenerative diseases were still virtually unheard of. It was only when traditional fats were replaced by commercial vegetable oils that cancer and heart disease have soared. Saturated fatty acids constitute at least 50% of the cell membranes, giving them, necessary stiffness and integrity, they have a vital role in the health of our bones, they lower Liprotein A, a substance in the blood that is a good indicator of heart disease, they protect the liver from alcohol ingestion, they enhance the immune system, they are needed for the proper utilization of essential fatty acids, they are the preferred food for the heart, and they have important antimicrobial properties, protecting us against harmful microorganisms in the digestive tract.
Saturated Fat, Vitamin A & D And the “X” Factor. Animal fats are carriers of vital fat-soluble vitamins such as A and D, needed for prevention of birth defects, health of the immune system, and proper development of bones and teeth. Price was convinced that these “fat-soluble activators” were responsible for the perfect teeth with a band of dazzling whiteness, no crooked teeth, broad, round faces and an absence of disease. When he analysed these diets he found that they contained at least 4 times the minerals – calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and iron, and TEN times the fat-soluble vitamins that consisted the American diet of his day.
The richest sources of Vitamin A and D are the very foods that modern man avoids with a fervour for fear of developing disease.
Price also discovered another fat-soluble vitamin that was a more powerful catalyst for nutrient absorption than vitamins A and D. He called it “Activator X” or the “X” Factor. All the healthy groups Price studied had the X Factor in their diets. It could be found in certain special foods which these people considered sacred – cod liver oil, fish eggs, organ meats and deep yellow Spring and fall butter from cows eating rapidly growing green grasses. Price used the combination of high vitamin butter and cod liver oil with great success to treat osteoporosis, tooth decay, arthritis, rickets and failure to thrive in children.
What About Seeds and Grains? Traditional cultures prepare grains, nuts and seeds by sprouting, roasting, soaking, fermenting and sour leavening. Research has shown that legumes and grains contain enzyme inhibitors which help the seed hibernate for long periods of time – it is part of their natural cycle. However, when these inhibitors enter our bodies, they can inhibit a variety of enzyme systems, and additional phytic acid present in the bran of all grains, can prevent the absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc.
A seed is a treasure chest of latent energy in the form of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. When it is soaked in water some remarkable changes occur. Enzymes which until then have lain dormant become active; they begin to break down stored starch into simple sugars such as glucose and fructose, they split long-chain proteins into free amino acids, and they convert saturated fats into free fatty acids. The tendency that some seeds have to produce flatulence when eaten unsprouted is drastically reduced. In fact enzyme activity in plants is never so intense as at this early sprouting stage. Physicians who use freshly grown sprouts as part of healing diets claim that it is this high level of enzyme activity that stimulates the body’s own enzymes into greater activity. Sprouts are, in effect, predigested and as such have many times the nutritional efficiency of the seeds from which they grew. Sprouts provide more nutrients ounce for ounce than any other natural food known.
Experiments show that protein levels rise with germination, and that as germination proceeds the ratio of essential to non-essential amino acids changes, providing more of those the body needs. When maize seeds germinate, for example, the concentration of lysine and tryptophan (two essential amino acids whose low levels in un sprouted corn make it a poor quality protein food if eaten on its own) increase, while the concentration of prolamine, an amino acid not necessary for human nutrition, decreases.
The vitamin content of seeds also increases phenomenally when they germinate as mentioned below:
FACTS AND FINDINGS OF EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH FROM SEVEN UNIVERSITIES. - Dr. Ralph Bogart, Kansas Agricultural Experimental Station, sprouted oats and found in a quantity of 40 grams, 15mg. Of Vitamin C, more than in the corresponding amount of fresh blueberries, blackberries, or honeydew melon.
- Dr. Berry Mack, University of Pennsylvania, found that his sprouted soya beans by the end of 72 hours had a 553% increase in Vitamin C.
- Dr. C. Bailey, University of Minnesota, found only negligible amounts of Vitamin c in wheat, but after a few days of sprouting, he found a 600% increase.
- Dr. Andrea at McGill University, found 30mg. Of Vitamin C per 110 grams of sprouted dry peas, favourably comparable to orange juice.
- Dr. Beeskow, Michigan Agricultural Experimental Station, found the maximum of Vitamin C in sprouts after 50 hours of sprouting.
- Dr. Paul Burkholder, Yale University, found the Vitamin B2 content of sprouted oats increased by 1300%, and when the little green leaves appeared on the sprouts, the amount increased to over 2000%. He also found the following approximate increases in: Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6): 500%, Pantothenic acid: (Vitamin B5) 200%, Folic Acid: 600%, Biotin: 50%, Inositol: 100%, and Nicotenic Acid: 500%.
- Dr. Francis M. Pottenger, Jr., M.D., from California, found sprouted legumes and beans to contain first quality, complete proteins.
- Dr. Clive McCay, Cornell University, wrote a series of articles recommending a “kitchen garden” of sprouts in every home to produce fresh sprouts through the year.
Soaking grains and seeds, which helps them ferment with natural bacteria, is also another way of breaking down the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. For example, in India, rice and lentils are fermented for at least two days before they are prepared as idli and dosas.
What Is The Best Diet ?
The obvious conclusion of Price's research is that for humanity to survive, it must consume whole, fresh and unprocessed foods. More and more, people are beginning to see this and have been changing their eating patterns. Sadly for the majority, however, the continuation of negative dietary habits will inevitably lead to decreased vitality, unhealthy children, in short, the degeneration of the human race.
Whole foods are delicious! The first positive, happy lesson to be learned from traditional diets and Price's work is that good food can and should taste good. Its absolutely OK to saute vegetables and meats with butter. Its OK to consume whole (unpasteurized, non-homogenized, denatured, pesticide, antibiotic filled) milk, meat with its fat, eggs, shrimp and lobster, and liver with onions and bacon. Its OK and healthy to eat home made soups made from gelatin-rich bone broths and sauces made from drippings and cream.
The building blocks of our diet should be eating organic, wholesome, untampered, genetically modified, pesticide-free, plant foods raised on naturally enriched soils, and healthy animals that live free to graze and manure the paddocks of their farms, as opposed to standing in a cramped stall, never seeing sunlight, being fed soybeans and corn meal, and being shot up with steroids and antibiotics.
Another positive to eating whole foods is that it is beneficial to the environment and relatively cruel free with regards to the animals involved in food production.
Eating whole foods is an ethically better decision to make for the economy as well. Organic foods are usually raised by small farms. Each time you buy an organically raised plant or animal product, you are helping someone to earn a living. Isn't that preferable to giving your money to a multinational food company that mass produces its product, not caring about the health of the soil, the planet, the animals, or ourselves?
Finally, eating organic, whole foods is healthier. We humans evolved eating certain food stuffs in certain ways. You did not see a caveman trimming the fat off of his meat - he ate the whole thing. You did not see a Swiss Alps villager eating low fat cheese - she ate the whole thing. You did not see Maori fishermen avoiding shellfish for fear of cholesterol - they ate the whole thing. Foods are packaged in ways that Nature intended: they contain all the nutrients within themselves for optimal assimilation by our bodies. Eating whole foods insures us the highest amount of nutrients food has to offer. Tampering with them is not wise.
Westerners live in countries where food is readily available, unlike other parts of the world where people routinely starve or are malnourished. Further, we live with a choice between two ways of eating: the way of whole foods, and the way of processed, deranged junk food. With such a privilege, we owe it to ourselves and our children to choose the way of life: the way of whole organic foods. By making this decision, we can avoid the tide of chronic disease that threatens to consume our bodies and minds. Let us make that decision and embrace the ways of our ancestors. It is only by turning to the wisdom of traditional diets that we can find our biological salvation.
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The Preference for Animal Protein and Fat: A Cross-Cultural Survey, Food and Evolution, Marvin Harris and Eric Ross, eds., Temple University Press, 1987.
Diorio, L.P., et al The Separate Effects of Protein and Calorie Malnutrition of the Development and Growth of Rat Bone and Teeth, Jnl of Nutrition 103:856-865, 1973.
Fallon, Sally. Nasty, Brutish, and Short? The Ecologist, Jan/Feb 1999.
Menaker & Navia Jnl of Dental Research, 52:680-687, 1973.
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Price, W. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, Keats Publishing, 1943.
Spencer & Kramer Factors Contributing to Osteoporosis, Jnl of Nutr, 116:316-319, 1986.
Further Studies of the Effect of a High Protein Diet as Meat on Calcium Metabolism
The New Raw Energy – Leslie Kenton.
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Barbara is a qualified nutritionist offering Health, Nutrition & Lifestyle Counseling. She gives Healthy weight loss advice and promotes the Mediterranean diet. She is the author of the Med Life Diet - creating healthy lifestyle habits and attitudes for life !