Direct from the mouth of the Weston Price Foundation, here is a summary what healthy people around the globe have traditionally eaten and guidelines for consuming a nutrient dense, traditional diet in today’s modern world.
Characteristics of Traditional Diets
- The diets of healthy, nonindustrialized 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 lowfat 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, nonindustrialized 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.
- Eat whole, unprocessed foods.
- Eat beef, lamb, game, organ meats, poultry and eggs from pasture-fed animals.
- Eat wild fish (not farm-raised) and shellfish from unpolluted waters.
- Eat full-fat milk products from pasture-fed cows, preferably raw and/or fermented, such as raw milk, whole yogurt, kefir, cultured butter, whole raw cheeses and fresh and sour cream. (Imported cheeses that say “milk” or “fresh milk” on the label are raw.)
- Use animal fats, especially butter, liberally.
- Use traditional vegetable oils only–extra virgin olive oil, expeller-expressed sesame oil, small amounts of expeller-expressed flax oil, and the tropical oils–coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil.
- Take cod liver oil regularly to provide at least 10,000 IU vitamin A and 1,000 IU vitamin D per day.
- Eat fresh fruits and vegetables–preferably organic–in salads and soups, or lightly steamed with butter.
- Use whole grains, legumes and nuts that have been prepared by soaking, sprouting or sour leavening to neutralize phytic acid, enzyme inhibitors and other anti-nutrients.
- Include enzyme-enhanced lacto-fermented vegetables, fruits, beverages and condiments in your diet on a regular basis.
- Prepare homemade meat stocks from the bones of chicken, beef, lamb and fish and use liberally in soups, stews, gravies and sauces.
- Use filtered water for cooking and drinking.
- Use unrefined salt and a variety of herbs and spices for food interest and appetite stimulation.
- Make your own salad dressing using raw vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and a small amount of expeller-expressed flax oil.
- Use natural sweeteners in moderation, such as raw honey, maple syrup, maple sugar, date sugar, dehydrated cane sugar juice (sold as Rapadura) and stevia powder.
- Use only unpasteurized wine or beer in strict moderation with meals.
- Cook only in stainless steel, cast iron, glass or good quality enamel.
- Use only natural, food-based supplements.
- Get plenty of sleep, exercise and natural light.
- Think positive thoughts and practice forgiveness.
- Do not eat commercially processed foods such as cookies, cakes, crackers, TV dinners, soft drinks, packaged sauce mixes, etc. Read labels!
- Avoid all refined sweeteners such as sugar, dextrose, glucose, high fructose corn syrup and fruit juices.
- Avoid white flour, white flour products and white rice.
- Avoid all hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats and oils.
- Avoid all refined liquid vegetable oils made from soy, corn, safflower, canola or cottonseed.
- Do not use polyunsaturated oils for cooking, sautÃ©ing or baking.
- Avoid foods fried in polyunsaturated oils or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.
- Do not practice veganism. Animal products provide vital nutrients not found in plant foods.
- Avoid products containing protein powders as they usually contain carcinogens formed during processing; and consumption of protein without the cofactors occurring in nature can lead to deficiencies, especially of vitamin A.
- Avoid processed, pasteurized milk; do not consume ultrapasteurized milk products, lowfat milk, skim milk, powdered milk or imitation milk products.
- Avoid factory-farmed eggs, meats and fish.
- Avoid highly processed luncheon meats and sausage.
- 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.
- Avoid canned, sprayed, waxed and irradiated fruits and vegetables. Avoid genetically modified foods (found in most soy, canola and corn products).
- Avoid artificial food additives, especially MSG, hydrolyzed vegetable protein and aspartame, which are neurotoxins. Most soups, sauce and broth mixes and most commercial condiments contain MSG, even if not indicated on the label.
- Individuals sensitive to caffeine and related substances should avoid coffee, tea and chocolate.
- Avoid aluminum-containing foods such as commercial salt, baking powder and antacids. Do not use aluminum cookware or deodorants containing aluminum.
- Do not drink fluoridated water.
- Avoid synthetic vitamins and foods containing them.
- Avoid distilled liquors.
- Do not use a microwave oven.
The following nutrient-rich traditional fats have nourished healthy population groups for thousands of years:
- Tallow and suet from beef and lamb
- Lard from pigs
- Chicken, goose and duck fat
- Coconut, palm and palm kernel oils
- Extra virgin olive oil (also OK for cooking)
- Expeller-expressed sesame and peanut oils
- Expeller-expressed flax oil (in small amounts)
For Fat-Soluble Vitamins
- Fish liver oils such as cod liver oil (preferable to fish oils, which do not provide fat-soluble vitamins, can cause an overdose of unsaturated fatty acids and usually come from farmed fish.)
The following newfangled fats can cause cancer, heart disease, immune system dysfunction, sterility, learning disabilities, growth problems and osteoporosis:
- All hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils
- Industrially processed liquid oils such as soy, corn, safflower, cottonseed and canola
- Fats and oils (especially vegetable oils) heated to very high temperatures in processing and frying.
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