Weston A. Price
One of the best testimonies to how humans live when they are aligned with nature is from Weston A. Price. He documents the most thorough investigation of dietary variations among primitive people in his book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. In the early 1930’s Price traveled the globe investigating the relationships between health and diet among native people.
This was a pivotal time, as there were still tribes left to study that were untouched by Western civilization. His records were extensive in comparing the health of natives who had deviated from their natural diets to those who continued with their traditional ways of eating.
Priced identified some 16 diverse cultures whose diets varied greatly depending on where they lived and what foods were available. Some groups, such as the Eskimos, ate diets high in fats and protein, while other groups such as the Quetchus Indians of South America, ate a small amount of meat and mainly plant base foods. These diets did however share several underlying characteristics, some of which include: NO processed, refined or denatured foods, all consumed animal products, and all had high levels of nutrients and enzymes. In all of Price’s journey’s he did not come across a single healthy tribe or group that existed on a diet completely free of meat.
Price, along with many other pioneering doctors found these people to have robust health, had excellent physiques and were virtually disease-free. In all his 36 years of contact with these people, he had never seen a case of malignant disease among a truly primitive culture (virtually no heart disease, diabetes or cancer). In fact, the most feared disease in the world at that time was tuberculosis which was non-existent with these people. Some cultures did not even have a word for “depression.” He did, however, see all of the “diseases of civilization” frequently occur when these people became modernized and started eating a “white man’s diet” consisting of refined and processed foods. These foods included white sugar, white flour, pasteurized dairy and hydrogenated vegetable oils, which are staples in the diet of our modern era.
Healthy African Boys
Africans Eating a Modern Diet
Characteristics of Traditional Diets
- The diets of healthy, non-industrialized peoples contain no refined or denatured foods or ingredients, such as refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup; white flour; canned foods; pasteurized, homogenized, skim or low-fat milk; refined or hydrogenated vegetable oils; protein powders; artificial vitamins; or toxic additives and colorings.
- All traditional cultures consume some sort of animal food, such as fish and shellfish; land and water fowl; land and sea mammals; eggs; milk and milk products; reptiles; and insects. The whole animal is consumed–muscle meat, organs, bones and fat, with the organ meats and fats preferred.
- The diets of healthy, non-industrialized peoples contain at least four times the minerals and water-soluble vitamins, and TEN times the fat-soluble vitamins found in animal fats (vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin K2–Price’s “Activator X”) as the average American diet.
- All traditional cultures cooked some of their food but all consumed a portion of their animal foods raw.
- Primitive and traditional diets have a high content of food enzymes and beneficial bacteria from lacto-fermented vegetables, fruits, beverages, dairy products, meats and condiments.
- Seeds, grains and nuts are soaked, sprouted, fermented or naturally leavened to neutralize naturally occurring anti-nutrients such as enzyme inhibitors, tannins and phytic acid.
- Total fat content of traditional diets varies from 30 percent to 80 percent of calories but only about 4 percent of calories come from polyunsaturated oils naturally occurring in grains, legumes, nuts, fish, animal fats and vegetables. The balance of fat calories is in the form of saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids.
- Traditional diets contain nearly equal amounts of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids.
- All traditional diets contain some salt.
- All traditional cultures make use of animal bones, usually in the form of gelatin-rich bone broths.
- Traditional cultures make provisions for the health of future generations by providing special nutrient-rich animal 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.