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EatEat - Food-Guide fallacy
Okay, this may come across as a bit of a rant, but I was researching further last night about traditional diets, and well, I simply can't understand where the current so-called healthy diet pyramids and food guides are coming from. What we are being told to eat simply makes no sense. The problem with western medicine is we are missing the forest for studying the trees, and when it comes to health, we are studying disease in order to figure out how to be healthy! Doesn't that seem a little upside-down and backwards to you? If you wanted to become a world-class piano player, would you study the worst piano player you could find in order to learn what not to do? Of course not! In order to figure out why we are suffering from so many chronic diseases today, we have to study the healthy and model them. That might be tricky in today's world, because what populations are healthy to enough to study?
Luckily, we can look at the research of Dr. Weston A. Price, a dentist from Cleveland Ohio in the 1940s, who traveled the world looking at populations that were completely isolated and had not yet come in contact with "white man's food". He looked at the peoples from an isolated Swiss village, the Inuit from northern Canada, the Australian aborigines, a few different African tribes and many other cultures, and even though each culture had a unique diet, he noticed that all of these peoples had beautiful bone structure and perfect, straight teeth with next to no cavities, and they were strong, lean and in perfect health. Their palates were wide so there was no crowding of the teeth. This was not what he was seeing in his dental practice in the States. Here he saw that the bone structure below the eyebrows was narrowing, palates were small so there was not enough room for all the teeth, and jaw bones were also narrow - almost like the lower face was hanging from the skull, rather than the lower face supporting the skull. Look around you, folks! How frequently do we see nice broad faces and jaw lines? How many kids don't need braces? Is this an accident? No. The traditional peoples were eating a diet that provided the raw materials required by the body to create a healthy bone structure, and most of us today are not, in spite of the efforts of many people to follow food-guide recommendations.
When we look at Francis Pottenger's famous cat studies, we learn that it took only three generations of processed and cooked food before the cats could no longer reproduce. With each progressive generation, their skulls had narrowed and their bones had become more brittle. Meanwhile, the cats that were fed their natural raw diet, remained healthy and strong, and had no problems reproducing.
The kids of today are of the third generation since we came off traditional foods and moved towards convenience and processed foods. And notice how fertility problems are becoming a larger and larger issue for our society! We need to change how we eat now, on a massive scale, so that we can regain our health, and we can learn a lot from how these healthy traditional societies ate. Drugs are not going to be the panacea for our ailing health. We need to start with the building blocks of proper nutrition, so we can build ourselves strong, healthy bodies that function optimally.
So, what foods should we be eating more of? Exactly what the food guides tell us to avoid. All traditional cultures highly valued animal foods, and particularly saturated fats from animals, in the form of raw cream, raw butter, eggs, animal fat, organ meats, fish oils or fish roe, depending on the culture being examined. This makes complete sense, as quality saturated fats are critical for the development of a healthy nervous system, digestive tract, cell walls, and also for the absorption of the vitamin A and D, and most minerals. Without quality saturated fat, you can't mineralize your bones. Human breast milk is loaded with saturated fat and cholesterol for a very good reason - these nutrients are vital to a growing baby. And guess what is the vital precursor to the sex hormones, which are needed for good fertility? Cholesterol! It should be noted that none of these traditional cultures had problems with heart disease, despite in some cases eating a diet that was mostly saturated fat.
The other big message is these traditional cultures ate no foods that were denatured, altered or processed in any way, with no additives. Any grains that were consumed were fermented first, and frequently meat was fermented as well. As soon as these cultures were exposed to the displacing foods of white sugar, white flour, pasteurized dairy, vegetable oils, canned vegetables and other forms of processed food, the bone structure and teeth of their offspring started to degenerate. Read Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Dr. Weston A. Price and see the photos of the natives. It becomes blatantly clear that by following today's food guides that recommend huge quantities of unfermented grains and minimal amounts of quality saturated fat, we are heading down the road to chronic disease and degeneration.
Food - our raw material
Saturated Fat - the misunderstood nutrient
High cholesterol does not cause heart disease
Price, Weston A. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration Price-Pottenger Foundation, La Mesa, CA, 2000.
Pottenger, Francis MD Pottenger's Cats; Second Edition Price-Pottenger Foundation, Lemon Grove, CA, 1995.
Enig, Mary; Know Your Fats: The Complete Primer For Understanding the Nutrition of Fats, Oils, and Cholesterol Bethesda Press, Silver Spring, MD, 2003.
Fallon, Sally and Enig, Mary; Nourishing Traditions, Revised 2nd Edition NewTrends Publishing Inc., Washington, D.C., 2001
Ravnskov, Uffe, MD, PhD The Cholesterol Myths: Exposing the Fallacy that Saturated Fat and Cholesterol Cause Heart Disease, New Trends Publishing Inc., Washington D.C., 2000.
German, B and Dillard, C Saturated Fats: What dietary intake? American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 80, No. 3, 550-559, Sept. 2004.
Online at www.westonaprice.org
Online at www.pricepottenger.org
Online at www.ravnskov.nu/cholesterol.htm