100 years ago there was a dentist named Weston A. Price.
Price became interested in the role that diet plays in dental health.
He was so enamored with this question of diet that he set out on a mission to study the teeth of indigenous peoples all across the world.
His investigations occurred at a time when there still existed remote pockets of humanity untouched by modern inventions.
- Isolated Swiss villages
- A windswept island off the coast of Scotland
- Traditional Eskimos
- Indian tribes in Canada and the Florida Everglades
- South Seas islanders
- Aborigines in Australia
- Maoris in New Zealand
- Peruvian and Amazonian Indians and
- Tribesmen in Africa
Dr. Price did have one modern invention that allowed him to keep a permanent record of all the primitive peoples he studied – a camera.
Price studied their teeth and their diet and released his findings, along with thousands of photographs, in his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.
What he found shocked him…
The primitives had a high degree of physical perfection and beautiful straight white teeth.
He concluded that Western methods of commercially preparing and storing foods stripped away vitamins and minerals necessary to prevent these diseases.
In addition, he learned that various diseases endemic to Western cultures of the 1920s and 1930s – from dental cavities to tuberculosis – were rarely present in non-Western cultures.
He also studied primitives that had left their tribes and lived a modern life. He found that when indigenous cultures abandoned their natural diet, they too fell prey to modern diseases such as tuberculosis and dental decay.
These people had abandoned their traditional diet for foodstuffs available in the newly established stores—sugar, refined grains, canned foods, pasteurized milk and devitalized fats and oils–what Price called the “displacing foods of modern commerce.”
In these peoples, he found rampant tooth decay, infectious illness and degenerative conditions.
He argued that as non-Western groups abandoned indigenous diets and adopted Western patterns of living, they showed increases in typical Western diseases.
He noted that physical degeneration occurred in children of native parents who had adopted the white man’s diet; while mixed race children whose parents had consumed traditional foods were born with wide handsome faces and straight teeth.
So what did they eat that kept them so healthy?
He found their prized food was never any vegetable or grain, like so many vegetarians may expect (the only “vegetarians” Price found were cannibals).
The prized food of all healthy indigenous cultures was always the saturated fat from an animal.
Price found that…
Animal fats, organ meats and fatty fish all supply fat-soluble vitamins A and D, which Weston Price recognized as the basis of healthy primitive diets.
These nutrients are catalysts to the assimilation of protein and minerals. Without them minerals go to waste and the body cannot be built tall and strong.
When tribes have access to an abundance of fat soluble vitamins, the offspring will grow up with “nice round heads,” broad faces and straight teeth.” (source)
Why is saturated animal fat so important?
Humans need saturated fats because we are warm blooded. Our bodies do not function at room temperature, but at a tropical temperature.
Saturated fats provide the appropriate stiffness and structure to our cell membranes and tissues.
When we consume a lot of liquid unsaturated oils, our cell membranes do not have structural integrity to function properly, they become too “floppy,” and when we consume a lot of trans fat, which is not as soft as saturated fats at body temperature, our cell membranes become too “stiff.” (source)
Dr. Price was not the only white man who learned of the great benefits of saturated animal fat…
There was an explorer named Vilhjalmur Stefansson who spent 10 years among the eskimos. For 8 of those years he lived on nothing but meat and water.
The tribes that Stefansson lived with lived on meat and water alone.
Vilhjalmur Stefansson released his findings in his book The Fat of the Land.
When Stefansson returned to the states, they did not believe it was possible to live on meat alone.
Stefansson proved them wrong by doing a year long study where he and another man ate nothing but meat for an entire year. At the end of the year, both men were in perfect health.
This is what Stefansson had to say about the importance of fat…
The Indians preferred the older animals because they had built up a thick slab of fat along the back. In an animal of 1000 pounds, this slab could weigh 40 to 50 pounds. Another 20-30 pounds of highly saturated fat could be removed from the cavity.
This fat was saved, sometimes by rendering, stored in the bladder or large intestine, and consumed with dried or smoked lean meat. Used in this way, fat contributed almost 80 percent of total calories in the diets of the northern Indians.
Beaver was highly prized, especially the tail because it was rich in fat. But small animals like rabbit and squirrel were eaten only when nothing else was available because … they were so low in fat. In fact, small animals called for special preparation.
The meat was removed from the bones, roasted and pounded. The bones were dried and ground into a powder. Then the bones were mixed with the meat and any available grease, a procedure that would greatly lower the percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids, while raising the total content of saturated fat. When a scarcity of game forced the Indians to consume only small animals like rabbits, they suffered from “rabbit starvation.”
The groups that depend on the blubber animals are the most fortunate, in the hunting way of life, for they never suffer from fat-hunger. This trouble is worst, so far as North America is concerned, among those forest Indians who depend at times on rabbits, the leanest animal in the North, and who develop the extreme fat-hunger known as rabbit-starvation.
Rabbit eaters, if they have no fat from another source-beaver, moose, fish-will develop diarrhoea in about a week, with headache, lassitude and vague discomfort. If there are enough rabbits, the people eat till their stomachs are distended; but no matter how much they eat they feel unsatisfied.” (source)
As is with all messengers of unpopular truths, in this case that man is meant to live on animal foods, many people did not believe Dr. Price or Mr. Stefansson…
Modern investigators find it hard to accept the fact that groups exhibiting superb physical development and perfect health ate liberally of the very dietary component that modern nutritionists have demonized: Saturated animal fat.
Yet, even a cursory look at disease trends exonerates traditional fats like butter, lard and tallow. As these fats have been replaced by commercial vegetable oils in the western diet, cancer and heart disease have soared.
Dietary saturated fats actually play many important roles in the human biochemistry:
- Saturated fatty acids constitute at least 50% of the cell membranes, giving them necessary stiffness and integrity;
- they play a vital role in the health of our bones;
- they lower Lp(a), a substance in the blood that indicates proneness to heart disease;
- they protect the liver from alcohol ingestion;
- they enhance the immune system;
- they are needed for the proper utilization of essential fatty acids;
- they are the preferred food for the heart;
- and they have important antimicrobial properties, protecting us against harmful microorganisms in the digestive tract.
Even more important, animal fats are carriers for vital fat-soluble vitamins A and D, needed for a host of processes, from prevention of birth defects to health of the immune system, to proper development of the bones and teeth.
In fact, Price was convinced that these “fat-soluble activators” were key to the beautiful facial development and freedom from dental caries that characterized the people he studied.
When he analyzed their diets, he found that they contained at least four times the minerals-calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and so forth- and TEN times the fat-soluble vitamins as the American diet of his day.
The richest sources of vitamins A and D are the very foods modern man eschews: animal fats, organ meats, lard, fish eggs, shellfish, eggs and butter-but not pale, commercial store bought-butter.
Butter rich in fat-soluble vitamins is the soft, orange-yellow product that comes only from cows eating green grass on fertile pastures, a commodity that is almost impossible to find in western supermarkets.
Vitamin A from animal sources is not the same as its precursors, the carotenes found in plant foods. The conversion of carotenes in the human body is often compromised, and even under optimal conditions is not efficient enough to supply the amount of true vitamin A Price found in the diets of healthy isolated populations.” (source)
Many have not listened to the researchers who brought them the truth of health, and they have paid the price with their very own health.
I, on the other hand, listened to these great teachers and I modified my diet accordingly.
In the past I have tried all diets in an effort to find the best.
I have tried paleo, vegetarian, vegan, low fat/high carb bodybuilding diet, intermittent fasting, and everything in between.
All high carbohydrates/low fat diets are a living hell. All low fat diets are starvation diets.
All low fat diets do the exact opposite of what the “experts” claim they do…
Low fat diets completely rob you of health.
I cut out all “modern” foods from my diet such as grains, pre-packaged foods, sugars, rice, wheat, soy, vegetables, fruits etc.
All I have been eating is grassfed meat that I buy (at a premium) from local ranchers. These cows are fed their natural diet of green grass.
I don't eat standard supermarket meat, I pay a premium for healthy animals.
For many months I have lived solely on animal products and even for over 35 days I lived on meat and water alone.
When I tell people I eat nothing but meat there is a big misunderstanding…
When many people think of meat they think of LEAN meat.
But I do not eat lean meat, I eat the fattiest pieces of meat I can find.
I always start by eating the fat and then I eat a little lean until I'm sick of it. Often I will carelessly give the lean to the dogs.
But I ALWAYS eat the fat, I never let the fat go to waste.
Saturated animal fat is the treasure of health.
I have never felt better in my entire life since I started eating high amounts of saturated animal fat at every meal.
After eating a meal of fatty beef I often smile uncontrollably and kick my feet in the air like a happy toddler.
As Dr. Price discovered…
Price took samples of native foods home with him to Cleveland and studied them in his laboratory.
He found that these diets contained at least four times the minerals and water soluble vitamins–vitamin C and B complex–as the American diet of his day.
It was when Price analyzed the fat soluble vitamins that he got a real surprise. The diets of healthy native groups contained at least ten times more vitamin A and vitamin D than the American diet of his day!
These vitamins are found only in animal fats–butter, lard, egg yolks, fish oils and foods with fat-rich cellular membranes like liver and other organ meats, fish eggs and shell fish.
Price referred to the fat soluble vitamins as “catalysts” or “activators” upon which the assimilation of all the other nutrients depended–protein, minerals and vitamins.
In other words, without the dietary factors found in animal fats, all the other nutrients largely go to waste.” (source)
Like Stefansson found, the all meat and water diet also known as the zero-carb carnivore diet is perfect for human nutrition and I do absolutely perfect on nothing but beef.
I know what you're thinking…
“What about cholesterol?!”
The truth is that cholesterol is your best friend. It is vital for the function of the nervous system and the integrity of the digestive tract. Steroid hormones that help the body deal with stress are made from cholesterol. Sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone are made from cholesterol. Bile salts that the body uses to digest fats are made from cholesterol. Vitamin D, needed for thousands of biochemical processes, is made from cholesterol.
Cholesterol is a powerful antioxidant that protects us against cancer. It is vital to the cells because it provides waterproofing and structural integrity. And, finally, cholesterol is the body’s repair substance. When our arteries are weak and develop fissures or tears, cholesterol is sequestered and used for repair. When cholesterol levels in the blood are high, it’s because the body needs cholesterol. Blaming heart disease on cholesterol is like blaming a fire on the firemen who arrive to put out the flames. (source)
But what about carbs and vitamins from plants?
Carbs are fine if prepared correctly and poisonous if not prepared correctly.
Today, we do nothing to prepare plant foods. We simply eat them as is, which is a big mistake.
The savages that price studied ate both animal and plant foods, but they prepared the plant foods differently than we prepare them.
Plant foods are toxic without the right preparation, which is why I do not currently eat them.
Indigenous cultures had long routines to prepare their plant foods because plants have anti-nutrients that must be neutralized before you can get any benefit from them.
You also must have saturated fat to be able to digest them.
Mother Nature puts anti-nutritional factors and toxins in grains, nuts, seeds and beans for a variety of reasons. Phytates, for example, block seeds from sprouting prematurely. Protease inhibitors, saponins, lectins and phytoestrogens harm insects, animals and other predators that would otherwise eat too many of them.
If evolutionary theories are correct, wounded plants produce extra inhibitors and other anti-nutrients to save the plant species. The idea is to cause predators—including plant-eating humans—to experience slowed growth and diminished reproductive ability.
Although it might sound like a “rotten idea,” squirrels are smart to bury nuts in the ground, then dig them up and eat them weeks and months later. Similarly, people in traditional cultures all over the world process their grains, nuts, seeds and beans by a process akin to pre-digestion before cooking and eating them.” (source)
Regarding the preparation of plant foods in indigenous diets…
A variety of plant foods were used throughout the North American continents, notably corn (in the temperate regions) and wild rice (in the Great Lakes region). Dry corn was first soaked in lime water (water in which calcium carbonate or calcium oxide is dissolved), a process called nixtamalizacionthat softens the corn for use and releases vitamin B3, which otherwise remains bound in the grain. The resulting dough, called nixtamal or masa, can be prepared in a variety of ways to make porridges and breads.
Often these preparations were then fried in bear grease or other fat. Many groups grew beans and enjoyed them as “succotash,” a dish comprised of beans, corn, dog meat and bear fat. As an adjunct to the diet, corn provided variety and important calories. But when the proportion of corn in the diet became too high, as happened in the American Southwest, the health of the people suffered. Skeletal remains of groups subsisting largely on corn reveal widespread tooth decay and bone problems.21
Tubers like the Jerusalem artichoke (the root of a type of sunflower) were cooked slowly for a long time in underground pits until the hard indigestible root was transformed into a highly digestible gelatinous mass. Wild onions were used to flavor meat dishes and, in fact, were an important item of commerce. Nuts like acorns were made into gruel or little cakes after careful preparation to remove tannins. In the Southeast, pecans contributed important fat calories. In the southern areas, cactus was consumed; in northern areas wild potatoes.
Staples like corn and beans were stored in underground pits, ingeniously covered with logs and leaves to prevent wild animals from finding or looting the stores. Birch bark was used to make trays, buckets and containers, including kettles. Water was boiled by putting hot rocks into the containers. Southern Indians used clay pots for the same purpose.
In general, fruits were dried and used to season fat, fish and meat-dried blueberries were used to flavor moose fat, for example. Beverly Hungry Wolf recalls that her grandmother mixed wild mint with fat and dried meat, which was then stored in rawhide containers. The mint would keep the bugs out and also prevent the fat from spoiling. (source)
The modern man is rich in material wealth but he is deficient in health.
And there is one thing we know to be true in this world:
Health is wealth.
And in regards to health, modern man is living in dire poverty.
But something can be done.
You can change your diet to a modern version of the primitive diets that Dr. Price studied.
- Eat whole, unprocessed foods.
- Eat beef, lamb, game, organ meats, poultry and eggs from pasture-fed animals.
- Eat wild fish (not farm-raised), fish eggs 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, full-fat raw cheeses and fresh and sour cream.
- Use animal fats, such as lard, tallow, egg yolks, cream and butter liberally.
- Use only traditional vegetable oils—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. Use vegetables in salads and soups, or lightly steamed with butter.
- Use organic 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-rich lacto-fermented vegetables, fruits, beverages and condiments in your diet on a regular basis.
- Prepare homemade stocks from the bones of pastured poultry, beef, pork and lamb fed non-GMO feed, and from wild seafood. 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 traditional sweeteners in moderation, such as raw honey, maple syrup, maple sugar, date sugar, dehydrated cane sugar juice (sold as Rapadura) and green 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.
And don't forget the #1 best tip for improving your health, wealth, and happiness…
Eat more saturated fat!
As Dr. Price found, as the explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson, as the poet Victor Pride found, saturated fat is the treasure of nutrition.
With fat, everything is better.
Without fat, dear God, everything is so horrible.
Please do yourself a favor…
- Don't starve yourself anymore
- Don't torture your body anymore
- Don't eschew your natural diet anymore
You must have saturated fat if you want health.
You must look around to see that our modern diet is killing us.
If we want health, we must become natural.
We must eat fat.
Our modern diet is killing us, but…
And we will.
To your health,
PS – Without the knowledge of nutrition given to use by Dr. Price, I would still be living in purgatory. For this Thanksgiving week, and from the bottom of my heart, I give thanks to Dr. Price for giving us the truth. Let us all raise our knives and forks in praise to Dr. Price for his great work.
DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this article is medical advice. Consult your doctor for medical advice.