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Dr. Weston A. Price, a Cleveland dentist, has been called the "Charles Darwin of Nutrition." In his search for the causes of dental decay and physical degeneration that he observed in his dental practice, he turned from test tubes and microscopes to unstudied evidence among human beings. Dr. Price sought the factors responsible for fine teeth among the people who had them- the isolated "primitives." The world became his laboratory. As he travelled, his findings led him to the belief that dental caries and deformed dental arches resulting in crowded, crooked teeth and unattractive appearance were merely a sign of physical degeneration, resulting from what he had suspected-nutritional deficiencies.
Price travelled the world over in order to study isolated human groups, including sequestered villages in Switzerland, Gaelic communities in the Outer Hebrides, Eskimos and Indians of North America, Melanesian and Polynesian South Sea Islanders, African tribes, Australian Aborigines, New Zealand Maori and the Indians of South America. Wherever he went, Dr. Price found that beautiful straight teeth, freedom from decay, stalwart bodies, resistance to disease and fine characters were typical of primitives on their traditional diets, rich in essential food factors.
When Dr. Price analysed the foods used by isolated primitive peoples he found that they provided at least four times the water soluble vitamins, calcium and other minerals, and at least TEN times the fat soluble vitamins from animal foods such as butter, fish eggs, shellfish and organ meats.
The importance of good nutrition for mothers during pregnancy has long been recognised, but Dr. Price's investigation showed that primitives understood and practiced preconception nutritional programs for both parents. Many tribes required a period of premarital nutrition, and children were spaced to permit the mother to maintain her full health and strength, thus assuring subsequent offspring of physical excellence. Special foods were often given to pregnant and lactating women, as well as to the maturing boys and girls in preparation for future parenthood. Dr. Price found these foods to be very rich in fat-soluble vitamins A and D nutrients found only in animal fats.
These primitives with their fine bodies, homogeneous reproduction, emotional stability and freedom from degenerative ills stand forth in sharp contrast to those subsisting on the impoverished foods of civilisation-sugar, white flour, pasteurised milk and convenience foods filled with extenders and additives.
The photographs of Dr. Weston Price illustrate the difference in facial structure between those on native diets and those whose parents had adopted the "civilised" diets of devitalised processed foods.
The discoveries and conclusion of Dr. Price are presented in his classic volume Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. The book contains striking photographs of handsome, healthy primitives and illustrates in an unforgettable way the physical degeneration that occurs when human groups abandon nourishing traditional diets in favour of modern convenience foods. In addition to his work on nutrition, Dr. Price conducted extensive research into the destructive effects of root canals, detailed in his two-volume work Dental Infections Oral & Systemic and Dental Infections & the Degenerative Diseases. His conclusions, ignored by the orthodox dental establishment for over 50 years, are gaining renewed acceptance as holistic practitioners are discovering that the first step to recovery from degenerative disease often involves removal of all root canals in the patient's mouth.
The "primitive" Seminole girl (left) has a wide, handsome face with plenty of room for the dental arches. The "modernised" Seminole girl (right) born to parents who had abandoned their traditional diets, has a narrowed face, crowded teeth, and a reduced immunity to disease.
1. The diets of healthy primitive and non-industrialised peoples contain no refined or denatured foods such as refined sugar or corn syrup; white flour; canned foods; pasteurised, homogenised, skim or low-fat milk; refined or hydrogenated vegetable oils; protein powders; artificial vitamins or toxic additives and colourings.
2. All traditional cultures consume some sort of animal protein and fat; from fish and other seafood; water and land fowl; land animals; eggs; milk and milk products; reptiles; and insects.
3. Primitive diets contain at least four times the calcium and other minerals and TEN times the fat-soluble vitamins from animal fats (vitamin A, vitamin D and the Price Factor) as the average American diet.
4. In all traditional cultures, some animal products are eaten raw.
5. Primitive and traditional diets have a high food-enzyme content from raw dairy products, raw meat and fish; raw honey; tropical fruits; cold-pressed oils; wine and unpasteurised beer; and naturally preserved, lacto-fermented vegetables, fruits, beverages, meats and condiments.
6. Seeds, grains and nuts are soaked, sprouted, fermented or naturally leavened in order to neutralise naturally occurring anti-nutrients in these foods, such as phytic acid, enzyme inhibitors, tannins and complex carbohydrates.
7. Total fat content of traditional diets varies from 30% to 80% but only about 4% of calories come from polyunsaturated oils naturally occurring in grains, pulses, nuts, fish, animal fats and vegetables. The balance of fat calories ps in the form of saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids.
8. Traditional diets contain nearly equal amounts of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids.
9. All primitive diets contain some salt.
10. Traditional cultures consume animal bones, usually in the form of gelatin-rich bone broths.
11. Traditional cultures make provisions for the health of future generations by providing special nutrient-rich foods for parents-to-be, pregnant women and growing children; by proper spacing of children; and by teaching the principles of right diet to the young.
1. Eat whole, natural foods.
2. Eat only foods that will spoil, but eat them before they do.
3. Eat naturally raised meat including fish, seafood, poultry, beef, lamb, game, organ meats and eggs.
4. Eat whole, naturally produced milk products from pasture-fed cows, preferably raw and/or fermented, such as whole yogurt, cultured butter, whole cheeses and fresh and sour cream.
5. Use only traditional fats and oils including butter and other animal fats, extra virgin olive oil, expeller expressed sesame and flax oil and the tropical oils-coconut and palm.
6. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, preferably organic, in salads and soups, or lightly steamed.
7. Use whole grains and nuts that have been prepared by soaking, sprouting or sour leavening to neutralise phytic acid and other anti-nutrients.
8. Include enzyme-enhanced lacto-fermented vegetables, fruits, beverages and condiments in your diet on a regular basis.
9. Prepare homemade meat stocks from the bones of chicken, beef, lamb or fish and use liberally in soups and sauces.
10. Use herb teas and coffee substitutes in moderation.
11. Use filtered water for cooking and drinking.
12. Use unrefined Celtic sea salt and a variety of herbs and spices for food interest and appetite stimulation.
13. Make your own salad dressing using raw vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and expeller expressed flax oil.
14. Use natural sweeteners in moderation, such as raw honey, maple syrup, dehydrated cane sugar juice and stevia powder.
15. Use only unpasteurised wine or beer in strict moderation with meals.
16. Cook only in stainless steel, cast iron, glass or good quality enamel.
17. Use only natural supplements.
18. Get plenty of sleep, exercise and natural light.
19. Think positive thoughts and minimise stress.
20. Practice forgiveness.
1. Don't eat commercially processed foods such as cookies, cakes, crackers, TV dinners, soft drinks, packaged sauce mixes, etc.
2. Avoid all refined sweeteners such as sugar, dextrose, glucose and high fructose corn syrup.
3. Avoid white flour, white flour products and white rice.
4. Avoid all hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats and oils.
5. Avoid all vegetable oils made from soy, corn, safflower, canola or cottonseed.
6. Do not use polyunsaturated oils for cooking, sautéing or baking.
7. Avoid fried foods.
8. Do not practice strict vegetarianism (veganism); animal products provide vital nutrients not found in plant foods.
9. Avoid products containing protein powders.
10. Avoid pasteurised milk; do not consume low fat milk, skim milk, powdered milk or imitation milk products.
11. Avoid battery-produced eggs and factory-farmed meats.
12. Avoid highly processed luncheon meats and sausage containing MSG and other additives.
13. Avoid rancid and improperly prepared seeds, nuts and grains found in granolas, quick rise breads and extruded breakfast cereals, as they block mineral absorption and cause intestinal distress.
14. Avoid canned, sprayed, waxed, bioengineered or irradiated fruits and vegetables.
15. Avoid artificial food additives, especially MSG, hydrolysed vegetable protein and aspartame, which are neurotoxins. Most soups, sauce and broth mixes and commercial condiments contain MSG, even if not so labelled.
16. Avoid caffeine-containing beverages such as coffee, tea and soft drinks. Avoid chocolate.
17. Avoid aluminum-containing foods such as commercial salt, baking powder and antacids. Do not use aluminum cookware or aluminum-containing deodorants.
18. Do not drink fluoridated water.
19. Avoid synthetic vitamins and foods containing them.
20 Do not drink distilled liquors.
21. Do not use a microwave oven.
These nutrient-rich traditional fats have nourished healthy population groups for thousands of years:
These new-fangled fats can cause cancer, heart disease, immune system dysfunction, sterility, learning disabilities, growth problems and osteoporosis:
Saturated fats play many important roles in the body. They provide integrity to the cell membrane, enhance the body's use of essential fatty acids, enhance the immune system, protect the liver and contribute to strong bones. Saturated fats do not cause heart disease. In fact, saturated fats are the preferred food for the heart. Your body makes saturated fats out of carbohydrates.
Dietary cholesterol contributes to the strength of the intestinal wall and helps babies and children develop a healthy brain and nervous system. Foods that contain cholesterol also provide many other important nutrients. Only oxidised cholesterol, found in powdered milk and eggs, contributes to heart disease. Powdered milk is added to 1% and 2% milk.
Polyunsaturates in more than small amounts contribute to cancer, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, learning disabilities, intestinal problems and premature aging. Large amounts of polyunsaturated fats are new to the human diet, due to the modern use of commercial liquid vegetable oils.
Red meat is a rich source of nutrients that protect the heart and nervous system including vitamins B12 and B6, zinc, phosphorus, carnitine and Coenzyme Q10.
Eggs are nature's perfect food, providing excellent protein, the gamut of nutrients and important fatty acids that contribute to the health of the brain and nervous system. Americans had less heart disease when they ate more eggs. Egg substitutes cause rapid death in test animals.
meat and drink low fat milk"
Lean meat and low fat milk lack fat-soluble vitamins needed to assimilate protein and minerals in meat and milk. Consumption of low-fat foods can lead to depletion of vitamin A and D reserves.
consumption to 30% of calories"
30% calories as fat is too low for most people, leading to low blood sugar and fatigue. Traditional diets contained 40% to 80% of calories as healthy fats, mostly of animal origin.
servings of grains per day"
Most grain products are made from white flour, which is devoid of nutrients. Additives in white flour can cause vitamin deficiencies. Whole grain products can cause mineral deficiencies and intestinal problems unless properly prepared.
Salt is crucial to digestion and assimilation. Salt is also necessary for the development and functioning of the nervous system.
5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day"
Fruits and vegetables receive an average of 10 applications of pesticides, from seed to storage. Consumers should seek out organic produce. Quality counts!
Modern soy foods block mineral absorption, inhibit protein digestion, depress thyroid function and contain potent carcinogens.
Myth: Heart disease in America is caused by consumption of cholesterol and saturated fat from animal products.
Truth: During the period of rapid increase in heart disease (1920-1960), American consumption of animal fats declined but consumption of hydrogenated and industrially processed vegetable fats increased dramatically. (USDA-HNI)
Myth: Saturated fat clogs arteries.
Truth: The fatty acids found in artery clogs are mostly unsaturated (74%) of which 41% are polyunsaturated. (Lancet 1994 344:1195)
Myth: Vegetarianism is healthy.
Truth: The annual all-cause death rate of vegetarian men is slightly more than that of non-vegetarian men (.93% vs .89%); the annual death rate of vegetarian women is significantly more than that of non-vegetarian women (.86% vs .54%) (Am J Clin Nutr 1982 36:873)
Myth: Vitamin B12 can be obtained from certain plant sources such as blue-green algae and soy products.
Truth: Vitamin B12 is not absorbed from plant sources. Modern soy products increase the body's need for B12. (Soybeans: Chemistry & Technology Vol 1 1972)
Myth: For good health, serum cholesterol should be less than 180 mg/dl.
Truth: The all-cause death rate is higher in individuals with cholesterol levels lower than 180 mg/dl. (Circulation 1992 86:3:1026-1029)
Myth: Animal fats cause cancer and heart disease.
Truth: Animal fats contain many nutrients that protect against cancer and heart disease; elevated rates of cancer and heart disease are associated with consumption of large amounts of vegetable oils. (Fed Proc July 1978 37:2215)
Myth: Children benefit from a low-fat diet.
Truth: Children on low-fat diets suffer from growth problems, failure to thrive & learning disabilities. (Food Chem News 10/3/94)
Myth: A low-fat diet will make you "feel better . . . and increase your joy of living."
Truth: Low-fat diets are associated with increased rates of depression, psychological problems, fatigue, violence and suicide. (Lancet 3/21/92 v339)
Myth: To avoid heart disease, we should use margarine instead of butter.
Truth: Margarine eaters have twice the rate of heart disease as butter eaters. (Nutrition Week 3/22/91 21:12)
Myth: Americans do not consume enough essential fatty acids.
Truth: Americans consume far too much of one kind of EFA (omega-6 EFAs found in most polyunsaturated vegetable oils) but not enough of another kind of EFA (omega-3 EFAs found in fish, fish oils, eggs from properly fed chickens, dark green vegetables and herbs, and oils from certain seeds such as flax and chia, nuts such as walnuts and in small amounts in all whole grains.) (Am J Clin Nutr 1991 54:438-63)
Myth: A vegetarian diet will protect you against atherosclerosis.
Truth: The International Atherosclerosis Project found that vegetarians had just as much atherosclerosis as meat eaters. (Lab Invest 1968 18:498)
Myth: Low-fat diets prevent breast cancer.
Truth: A recent study found that women on very low-fat diets (less than 20%) had the same rate of breast cancer as women who consumed large amounts of fat. (NEJM 2/8/96)
Myth: The "cave man diet" was low in fat.
Truth: Throughout the world, primitive peoples sought out and consumed fat from fish and shellfish, water fowl, sea mammals, land birds, insects, reptiles, rodents, bears, dogs, pigs, cattle, sheep, goats, game, eggs, nuts and milk products. (Abrams, Food & Evolution 1987)
Myth: Coconut oil causes heart disease.
Truth: When coconut oil was fed as 7% of energy to patients recovering from heart attacks, the patients had greater improvement compared to untreated controls, and no difference compared to patents treated with corn or safflower oils. Populations that consume coconut oil have low rates of heart disease. Coconut oil may also be one of the most useful oils to prevent heart disease because of its antiviral and antimicrobial characteristics. (JAMA 1967 202:1119-1123; Am J Clin Nutr 1981 34:1552)
Myth: Saturated fats inhibit production of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins.
Truth: Saturated fats actually improve the production of all prostaglandins by facilitating the conversion of essential fatty acids. (Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation Journal 20:3)
Myth: Arachidonic acid in foods like liver, butter and egg yolks causes production of "bad" inflammatory prostaglandins.
Truth: Series 2 prostaglandins that the body makes from arachidonic acid both encourage and inhibit inflammation under appropriate circumstances. Arachidonic acid is vital for the function of the brain and nervous system. (Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation Journal 20:3)
Myth: Beef causes colon cancer
Truth: Argentina, with higher beef consumption, has lower rates of colon cancer than the US. Mormons have lower rates of colon cancer than vegetarian Seventh Day Adventists (Cancer Res 35:3513 1975)
Myth: Use of soy as a food dates back many thousands of years.
Truth: Soy was first used as a food during the late Chou dynasty (1134-246 BC), only after the Chinese learned to ferment soy beans to make foods like tempeh, natto and tamari.
Myth: Asians consume large amounts of soy foods.
Truth: Average consumption of soy foods in Japan and China is 10 grams (about 2 teaspoons) per day. Asians consume soy foods in small amounts as a condiment, and not as a replacement for animal foods.
Myth: Modern soy foods confer the same health benefits as traditionally fermented soy foods.
Truth: Most modern soy foods are not fermented to neutralise toxins in soybeans, and are processed in a way that denatures proteins and increases levels of carcinogens.
Myth: Soy foods provide complete protein.
Truth: Like all legumes, soy beans are deficient in sulfur-containing amino acids methionine and cystine. In addition, modern processing denatures fragile lysine.
Myth: Fermented soy foods can provide vitamin B12 in vegetarian diets.
Truth: The human body cannot use the compound that resembles vitamin B12 in soy; in fact, soy foods cause the body to require more B12
Myth: Soy formula is safe for infants.
Truth: Soy foods contain trypsin inhibitors that inhibit protein digestion and affect pancreatic function. In test animals, diets high in trypsin inhibitors led to stunted growth and pancreatic disorders. Soy foods increase the body's requirement for vitamin D, needed for strong bones and normal growth. Phytic acid in soy foods results in reduced bioavailabilty of iron and zinc, which are required for the health and development of the brain and nervous system. Soy also lacks cholesterol, likewise essential for the development of the brain and nervous system. Megadoses of phytoestrogens in soy formula have been implicated in the current trend toward increasingly premature sexual development in girls and delayed or retarded sexual development in boys.
Myth: Soy foods can prevent osteoporosis.
Truth: Soy foods can cause deficiencies in calcium and vitamin D, both needed for healthy bones. Calcium from bone broths and vitamin D from seafood, lard and organ meats prevent osteoporosis in Asian countries-not soy foods.
Myth: Modern soy foods protect against many types of cancer.
Truth: A British government report concluded that there is little evidence that soy foods protect against breast cancer or any other forms of cancer. In fact, soy foods may result in an increased risk of cancer.
Myth: Soy foods protect against heart disease.
Truth: In some people, consumption of soy foods will lower cholesterol, but there is no evidence that lowering cholesterol improves one's risk of having heart disease.
Myth: Soy estrogens (isoflavones) are good for you.
Truth: Soy isoflavones are phyto-endocrine disrupters. At dietary levels, they can prevent ovulation and stimulate the growth of cancer cells. Eating as little as 30 grams (about 4 tablespoons) of soy per day can result in hypothyroidism with symptoms of lethargy, constipation, weight gain and fatigue.
Myth: Soy foods are safe and beneficial for women to use in their postmenopausal years.
Truth: Soy foods can stimulate the growth of estrogen-dependent tumors and cause thyroid problems. Low thyroid function is associated with difficulties in menopause.
Myth: Phytoestrogens in soy foods can enhance mental ability.
Truth: A recent study found that women with the highest levels of estrogen in their blood had the lowest levels of cognitive function; In Japanese Americans tofu consumption in mid-life is associated with the occurrence of Alzheimer's disease in later life.
Myth: Soy isoflavones and soy protein isolate have GRAS (Generally Recognised as Safe) status.
Truth: Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) recently withdrew its application to the FDA for GRAS status for soy isoflavones following an outpouring of protest from the scientific community. The FDA never approved GRAS status for soy protein isolate because of concern regarding the presence of toxins and carcinogens in processed soy.
Myth: Soy foods are good for your sex life.
Truth: Numerous animal studies show that soy foods cause infertility in animals. Soy consumption enhances hair growth in middle-aged men, indicating lowered testosterone levels. Japanese housewives feed tofu to their husbands frequently when they want to reduce his virility.
Myth: Soy beans are good for the environment.
Truth: Most soy beans grown in the US are genetically engineered to allow farmers to use large amounts of herbicides.
Myth: Soy beans are good for developing nations.
Truth: In third world countries, soybeans replace traditional crops and transfer the value-added of processing from the local population to multinational corporations.
In addition to his work on nutrition, Dr. Price conducted extensive research into the destructive effects of root canals, detailed in his two-volume work Dental Infections Oral & Systemic and Dental Infections & the Degenerative Diseases. His conclusions, ignored by the orthodox dental establishment for over 50 years, are gaining renewed acceptance as holistic practitioners are discovering that the first step to recovery from degenerative disease often involves removal of all root canals in the patient's mouth. The principles of holistic dentistry, based on the research of Weston Price, are as follows:
The Weston A. Price Foundation is a non-profit, tax-exempt charity founded in 1999 to disseminate the research of nutrition pioneer Dr. Weston Price, whose studies of isolated non-industrialised peoples established the parameters of human health and determined the optimum characteristics of human diets. Dr. Price's research demonstrated that humans achieve perfect physical form and perfect health generation after generation only when they consume nutrient-dense whole foods and the vital fat-soluble activators found exclusively in animal fats.
The Foundation is dedicated to restoring nutrient-dense foods to the human diet through education, research and activism. It supports a number of movements that contribute to this objective including accurate nutrition instruction, organic and biodynamic farming, pasture feeding of livestock, community-supported farms, honest and informative labelling, prepared parenting and nurturing therapies. Specific goals include establishment of universal access to clean, certified raw milk and a ban on the use of soy formula for infants.
The Foundation seeks to establish a laboratory to test nutrient content of foods, particularly butter produced under various conditions; to conduct research into the "X" Factor, discovered by Dr. Price; and to determine the effects of traditional preparation methods on nutrient content and availability in whole foods.
The board and membership of the Weston A. Price Foundation stand united in the belief that modern technology should be harnessed as a servant to the wise and nurturing traditions of our ancestors rather than used as a force destructive to the environment and human health; and that science and knowledge can validate those traditions.
The Foundation's quarterly journal, Wise Traditions in Food, Farming, and the Healing Arts, is dedicated to exploring the scientific validation of dietary, agricultural and medical traditions throughout the world. It features illuminating and thought-provoking articles on current scientific research; human diets; non-toxic agriculture; and holistic therapies. The journal also serves as a reference for sources of foods that have been conscientiously grown and processed.
By becoming a member you'll have the opportunity to receive our informative quarterly journal: WISE TRADITIONS In Food, Farming, and the Healing Arts and to support our projects and objectives:
To become a member, visit our website at www.WestonAPrice.org
Subscribe to the journal of the Weston A Price Foundation.
The Weston A. Price Foundation only accepts contributions from members and/or private donations, and does not accept funds from the meat or dairy industries.
© 1999 The Weston A. Price Foundation. All Rights Reserved.
You teach, you teach, you teach! -Last words of Dr. Weston A. Price, June 23, 1948