Almost 90 years ago, a dentist and health researcher named Dr. Weston A. Price embarked on a world-wide investigation to learn why native populations, who consumed traditional foods, lived longer and exhibited perfect physical health. His research led him to examine remote tribal communities of Swiss, Eskimo, Polynesian, African, New Zealand and other peoples. Dr. Price published his conclusions in his 1939 book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. He observed that as native populations adopted industrially processed foods, leaving behind their traditional diets, their health began to decline.
Today, according to a recent article, we are breeding a diseased future generation. After all, the majority of children and young people in our culture are consuming the standard American diet, high in sugar and comprised primarily of processed foods. They do not recognize that processed, pre-packaged and fast food is very different from real, natural food.
Until this trend is reversed, more and more people will continue to develop degenerative diseases, and researchers now know that the genetic mutations and malfunctions that cause disease can be carried forward to future generations.
The link between diet and the diseases endemic in modern populations is indisputable. Once you begin to understand that link you can see that nearly every disease can be traced back to the foods you select to eat. For example, obese women are up to 60 percent more likely to develop some form of cancer than women whose weight is optimal.
Estrogen is one of the links between obesity and some kinds of cancer. For example, breast cancer is often fueled by estrogen, and one place estrogen is produced is in fat tissue. Fast food, which is high in trans fats and sugar, is a significant contributor to obesity. Sugar, and particularly high fructose corn syrup, is a main ingredient in most processed and prepared foods. These are both main causes of type 2 diabetes, and they contribute to the inflammation that is implicated in cardiovascular disease.
Let’s compare the “food” most people eat today with the foods of the native populations studied by Dr. Price. Today’s standard American diet consists of chemical concoctions, artificially colored and flavored to look and taste like food. It is loaded with antibiotics and hormones. The ingredients of our processed foods are genetically modified to double as pesticides.
The traditional diets that supported long life and abundant health consisted of natural, unprocessed and organic foods, with no sugar other than an occasional small amount of honey or maple syrup. Food was grown in its natural environment. It was grown locally and consumed seasonally. A significant amount of food was eaten raw. All the cultures Dr. Price studied ate animal products, but they foraged for their own food and either lived in the wild or were raised on family farms.
Traditional diets included ten times the amount of fat-soluble vitamins and four times the amount of calcium and other minerals and water-soluble vitamins as did Western diets in the 1930s. The traditional diets were high in enzymes from fermented and raw foods, and people ate ten times the amount of omega-3 fats.
Ninety years later, the standard American diet has deteriorated even further, and there is a greater disparity between the foods most of us eat and the healthy, traditional diets of native populations. More and more, however, Americans and people in other Western countries are becoming aware of the importance of eating food in its natural state, to reclaim health and longevity.