Nutrition and Physical Degeneration: A Comparison of Primitive and Modern Diets and Their Effects

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration: A Comparison of Primitive and Modern Diets and Their Effects

An epic study demonstrating the importance of whole food nutrition, and the degeneration and destruction that comes from a diet of processed foods.For nearly 10 years, Weston Price and his wife traveled around the world in search of the secret to health.

Dr. Price traveled to hundreds of cities in a total of 14 different countries in his search to find healthy people.

He observed perfect dental arches, minimal tooth decay, high immunity to tuberculosis and overall excellent health in those groups of people who ate their indigenous foods.

Dr. Price documented this ancestral wisdom including hundreds of photos in his book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.

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Body-building minerals include calcium, phosphorus, iron and magnesium. In the production of white flour approximately eighty per cent or four-fifths of the phosphorus and calcium content are usually removed, together with the vitamins and minerals provided in the embryo or germ of the grain. The diets of the native Eskimos contained as much as 5.4 times as much calcium as the modern diet 5 times as much phosphorus, 1.5 times as much iron, 7.9 times as much magnesium, 1.8 times as much copper, 49 times as much iodine, and at least ten times that number of fat-soluable vitamins. They got enough nutrition in their foods that the saliva composition protected their teeth without brushing or modern methods of cleaning teeth. (p 286) The proper chemical content of saliva is directly related the the minerals absorbed by following a proper diet. Available data indicate that the blood and saliva normally carry defensive factors which when present control the growth of the acid producing organisms (bacteria) and the local reactions at tooth surfaces. The origin of this protective factor is provided in nutrition and is directly related to the mineral content of the foods and to known and unknown vitamins particularly the fat-soluable. (p288) The nutrition provided in this one meal included the following foods. The menu was varied from day to day by substituting for the meat stew, fish chowder or organs of animals....These meals provided approximately 1.48 g calcium and 1.32 g phosphorus. Make particular efforts to get double to quadruple the minimum daily amounts of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron along with natural Vitamins A, B, C, D, and E.

Isolating variables in human being living habits is next to impossible and why spend all your time trying to do that to cure sick people when instead you can go hunting for healthy people and learn from them? I don't think he has the evidence to prove that nutritional deficiencies in utero also cause criminals and other problems.

One would expect a work on dental health in primitive cultures to be dry going, but Weston Price has an eye for the beauty in Nature, especially the beauty of the unmarred and healthy physical form, and therefore he regularly interrupts the scientific narrative to discuss weird or colorful items in his journey across the world. Only the vitamins and minerals present in non-synthetic primitive diets can ward off such modern ills as heart disease, dental crowding, and infant deformities. Modern diets have tended to focus exclusively on the former, which means that the vegans are right, in a way - meat does present serious risks when it comes from the feedlot system, but a diet that contains no animal products whatsoever not only cannot deliver vitamins and minerals efficiently, but has been rejected by the primitive cultures of the world, who have not suffered tooth decay, degenerative disease, or mental retardation in the process.

White flour and sugar were common ingredients in many meals I consumed between childhood and into my 40s. He found many people with beautiful perfect teeth, and he found many with serious dental problems, like his patients in Cleveland. The people with happy teeth ate the traditional diet of their region, never used a toothbrush, and never saw a dentist. The people with crappy teeth ate a modernized diet, including white flour, refined sugar, canned vegetables, jams, and marmalades. Among those eating the modernized diet, the incidence of problems varied from place to place. The children of those who ate modernized diets had even worse problems. In addition to tooth decay, their dental arches were deformed, so their teeth were crowded and crooked (like mine). For the first 200 pages, the chapters proceed, region by region, comparing the health of the people, based on their diet. All of those enjoying good health included some animal-based foods in their diet. I did some research to see if white flour and sugar were newer foods for the working class and poor. This was a time-consuming process, so white flour was expensive. Since people perceived white flour to be a desirable luxury food, they eagerly consumed it. New regulations required that white flour be enriched with nutrients, including thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and iron. By 1900, 20 percent of the calories in the English diet were provided by sugar. Many factory workers started their day with a slice of white bread spread with sugar-packed jam, marmalade, or treacle many calories, few nutrients. Diabetes and cancer are far less common in societies that do not eat a Western diet. In numerous locations, 20 years after the arrival of white flour and white sugar, primitive people started to suffer from heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, gallbladder disease, and colitis. Mintz, Sidney W., Sweetness and Power The Place of Sugar in Modern History, Penguin Books, New York, 1985.

Interesting stuff, but not as relevant to the modern reader as it might seem.

The principles of health, extracted from fine specimens of "primitive" peoples, include: 1. excluding all white flour; only including freshly ground whole-grain flours. The problem with looking for good food is that even the best soils in the USA are dying, and the soils of the humid South East are millions -- millions -- of years old with virtually all soluble minerals long gone. Sea foods, greens, sprouts, whole grains, cold fermented foods, dried foods, organ meats, cod liver oil, mineral-dense butter oil (from fast growing grasses).... I would posit that a vegetarian diet is ALSO possible, and if Price had access to more information on mushrooms, which have more protein than meat AND zero calories, he too would gladly embrace that possibility.

Children born under the primitive diets were healthier, stronger, and had resistance to cavities, while children born under the modern diets had stunted bone development, high disease (tuberculosis was particularly common) susceptibility, and low cavity resistance.

  • English

  • Health

  • Rating: 4.35
  • Pages: 524
  • Publish Date: May 29th 1999 by Keats Publishing
  • Isbn10: 0879838167
  • Isbn13: 9780879838164