A Thought on Nutrition

America is in a health crisis! We face a very real crisis today, with the prevalence of obesity among adults and children. As a society, we are woefully out of shape, and our diets are models of overindulgence in the wrong foods. As a result, we are overweight and out of shape, and the incidence of obesity in young children has increased at an alarming rate. Medical myopia prevails as researchers look for the magic bullet in the form of a drug or operation that might stem this crisis.

You may be interested to know that health research scientists are different from medical research scientists in one important way. They are not closely affiliated with the drug companies. Health research scientists often make remarkable discoveries. Unfortunately, it usually takes years before these discoveries become part of the mainstream, because of the bias and opinion shared by most of the modern medical community.

The information in this book is light years beyond the knowledge and practice of the average physician. Eventually, it will be applied by your doctor, but I often find that it is only public pressure that brings about change in the health care system.

So, I feel it is critical to provide this information so that consumers will be educated on the issues and choices. I’ve provided a foundation of nutritional information, so you’ll have a background on the issue of obesity in this country and how it came to the point of crisis. I think you will be amazed and intrigued by this information.

The Research – The research of Weston Price D.D.S., and his findings regarding modern nutrition and diet

No article or study about obesity would be complete without a discussion of nutrition.

As an orthodontist, I have often wondered why there are malocclusions. A malocclusion is a misalignment of the teeth or the upper and lower jaw — in other words, a bad bite. Whenever this question is asked, the typical answer given is that you inherit your mother’s lower jaw and your father’s upper jaw. Before I was an orthodontist, I was a dentist who graduated from dental school. And the dentist in me has asked a lot of other questions over the years about general health and how and why people come into a dentist’s office with certain complaints — why do people get cavities, why is there periodontal disease?

In dental school I learned that cavities come from the consumption of refined sugar, and that there didn’t seem to be any logical answer for periodontal disease except for poor hygiene. But I had a rather amazing epiphany many years later when I started to seriously study nutrition. I discovered that among the ranks of my dentist brethren, there were some true leaders in nutrition, though I was not told this in dental school!

Dr. Weston Price, a Cleveland dentist, was a pioneer, who practiced dentistry back when processed food was first introduced. He noticed a large increase in tooth decay and further noticed that his younger patients had deformed dental arches and crooked teeth.This was of great interest to him because he had not seen these problems in his practice during the 10 to 15 years before processed food became commonly available. He wondered — what was happening to cause this? He also noticed a strong correlation between dental and physical health. A mouth full of cavities was often coincident with a person’s complaints of generalized weakness and susceptibility to disease.

Tuberculosis was also a major problem at the time he was practicing, and Dr. Price noted that the children with disease teeth were often the ones who became infected with tuberculosis. He had heard stories and read research about native cultures and tribes whose primitive people lived lives free of disease. He decided to travel to some of these areas to find out what these cultures were doing to stay healthy.

Dr. Price spent 9 years traveling, and on his quest he found some primitives who, as a culture, had various health problems. He kept detailed notes of these cultures and continued looking, finding tribes and people who lived in more remote areas. Those people who had health problems often suffered from food shortages, especially in animal protein. His travels took him to the islands off the coast of Scotland, to isolated villages in the Swiss Alps, to the Andes Mountains in Peru and to locations in Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Northern Canada and the Arctic Circle. He gained the trust of the elders in these tribes and locations and was allowed to examine the teeth of the people who lived in the villages.

What he found was quite startling!

Less then 1% of the people he examined had decayed teeth.

In most cases, their teeth were straight and white with normal, well rounded dental arches, and they had well formed faces. Interestingly, none of these people had ever practiced dental hygiene or owned a toothbrush.

There was no incidence of the type of disease that plagues our society. There was no obesity, Tuberculosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, hemorrhoids, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, or osteoporosis.

The type of foods eaten from one tribe and location to another was broad and varied. Swiss villagers ate primarily un-pasteurized, cultured dairy products — especially butter and cheese. Rye was an important part of their diet. They occasionally ate meat and small amounts of vegetables, and berries, but their primary food sources were full fat cheese, butter and rye bread.

On the other hand, the Gaelic fisher people, of Scotland, ate no dairy products. Instead they ate fish and other seafood — especially shell fish in season. Because the soil in their region was very poor, the only grain they included in their diet was oats. Fruits and vegetables were eaten, but only rarely.

Eskimos ate a diet that consisted almost entirely of animal products with a considerable amount of fish.

Walrus and other marine mammals were part of their regular diet and blubber was consumed with relish. They ate some nuts, berries and grasses in the summer, but their diet was almost entirely comprised of meat and fat.

The Maori people of New Zealand ate seafood, pork and a wide variety of plant foods. The African cattle-keeping tribes — like the Masai — ate virtually no plant foods, but rather consumed beef, organ meats and blood, in times of drought.

Dr. Price felt that the Dinkas of the Sudan were the healthiest of all African tribes. Their diet consisted of fermented whole grains and fish, with smaller amounts of red meat, vegetables and fruit.

The Bantu, the least healthy of all the African tribes studied, were almost entirely vegetarian in their approach to diet. They ate beans squash, corn, vegetables and fruits, and very small amounts of milk and meat. In all his travels he never found a culture that was totally vegetarian, as all cultures showed a preference for animal foods and fat.

The hunter gatherer peoples in Northern Canada, The Florida Everglades, the Amazon, and Australia ate game animals of all types and a variety of grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits, when these were available. Dr. Price also found that all of these cultures consumed insects and their larvae, and ate fermented foods every day. Foods such as cheese, cultured butter, yogurt or fermented grain drinks like kefir and beer were a major part of their diet. All of them tried to eat seafood, especially fish eggs. The mountain people, for whom this seafood consumption was the most difficult, would make semiannual trips to the sea and bring back fish eggs, seaweed, and dried fish. Shrimp was a standard food in many places.

Dr. Price also noted that the diets of the people he studied were usually rich in fat, especially animal fat. These people seemed to know that they would get sick if they didn’t consume enough fat. Here are the major differences he found between the diet of our modern Western culture and the diets of these remote regions and tribes.

  • All of their food was, of course, natural and unprocessed, with no colorings, preservatives or additives.
  • Their foods did not contain processed sugar, white flour or chemicals used in canning or packaging.
  • Milk products were not pasteurized, homogenized or low fat.
  • The animal and plant foods were not given growth hormones or antibiotics.

Dr. Price analyzed the foods and diets he noted in each region and found that these diets contained 10 times the amount of fat soluble vitamins, and at least 4 times the amount of calcium and other minerals, and water soluble vitamins when compared to the Western diets of that time. No wonder these people were healthy!

Price took over 18,000 photographs and found many elderly people of at least 60 years of age, with grey hair; still able to function normally and contribute to the tribe and community. He found that the native people that consumed diets of high meat and fat content did not suffer any degenerative diseases — especially heart disease and osteoporosis, and he learned about native remedies for minor illnesses such as headaches, colds, wounds and burns.

I can only imagine his excitement in discovering that his premise that natural is better was the correct approach as proven by many remote and native cultures. His research concluded that the foods we eat today, packaged, processed and treated — do not allow the human body to reach its full genetic potential and to naturally confront and defeat disease and illness. The results of this depletion and the affects on the human body apply to bone development in the body and head, as well.

In other words, our poor diet prevents our bodies from achieving optimum function at all levels. The most offensive foods are:

  • refined sugar
  • white flour
  • jams
  • jellies
  • cookies
  • condensed milk
  • canned vegetables
  • pastries
  • refined grain products
  • refined fat products such as margarine and vegetable oils

What Dr. Price found was that as soon as these items were introduced into remote cultures and diets, these primitive people started to experience ill health and tooth decay. Bases on his studies, Dr. Price, accurately predicted that as Western man consumed more and more refined sugar, and substituted vegetable oils for animal fats, disease would increase and reproduction would be more difficult.You might be shocked to learn that 25% of Western couples today are infertile.

Perhaps less shocking based on what you’ve heard and read in the media is that the rate of chronic disease such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease has skyrocketed.

The work of Weston Price was buried for many years but it must be reviewed and brought back out into the open today so that rational, thinking people can better understand the modern diet and the impact it has on their health.

The fact is that the diets most of us follow in today’s culture are woefully inadequate in keeping us healthy and active.

Look at the food pyramid, established years ago. It is very high in fruits, grains and vegetables and carbohydrates, and protein and fats are very low on the list of things you should consume. Contrast this with the emphasis upon fats, meats, seafood and protein from the people and cultures in Price’s research study.

Your Diet and Your Health – How our modern diet fails us

The profoundly obvious message of Dr. Price’s research is that for optimum health, we must eat better. To remain healthy, our bodies need fresh, whole unprocessed foods. More and more people are beginning to see this and as a result the organic food movement has taken root. Organic, whole foods are good for the soil, and the environment, as well as the human body. Eating food that tastes good encourages us to eat the right food and we need to realize that it is okay to sauté foods with butter, and that it is healthy to consume whole milk, to eat meat with fat, and to other meats, eggs, shrimp, and lobster without fear. So, don’t hesitate to add the dripping and fat from meat the next time you make that home made soup.

Here are some facts about food that may help you to understand the true impact of processing and packaging for mass distribution.

Milk: You should know that whole milk is not the same as pasteurized milk and homogenized milk.

Pasteurization is a process that destroys valuable enzymes, useful bacteria and many nutrients as well.

Homogenization is a process which breaks down milk into tiny particles and releases a substance called xanthine oxidase. This substance has been implicated in causing artery wall damage within the human body.

Harmful processing methods like homogenization destroy much of the nutritional value of the milk and make it difficult for the body to properly digest dairy products.

In addition, these processes almost certainly contribute to the widespread phenomenon of dairy allergies. You may be interested to know that these lactose allergies are almost non-existent in cultures where raw milk products are consumed.

Dairy products that are labeled as organic are not usually raw. That is they are not pure milk in its most natural form. The organic reference usually just means that the cows from which the milk comes are fed organically grown feed. This milk is superior to commercial products but is not ideal.

Chemicals

Eating pesticide free foods is essential, but difficult to do in this society. Most of our vegetables and fruits are sprayed with pesticides so that they look nice in the produce section and can be more easily shipped without deterioration. Wash your produce well, before you consume it. It is best to soak it in spring water with tablespoon of Clorox for 30 minutes and then wash it thoroughly before you eat it.

Fish may come straight from the ocean to your table at the restaurant or to your kitchen at home, but there are problems there too. Most fish are contaminated by mercury to a certain degree. Predator fish like shark, swordfish, and tuna are particularly susceptible. Of this type of fish, the younger, smaller fish are better to consume. But even these should be eaten in moderation.

The best fish to eat are bottom dwellers like halibut. Farmed fish are also problematic because they absorb the runoff of pesticides and other products into their ponds.

Eating healthy animal foods — with no hormones injected — is also essential for good health. This means you should buy and eat beef and chicken that are free range and have actually eaten grass.

The organic food movement is good for the economy because it encourages a return to small farms and a move away from the mass production done by huge factory farms.

Natural Minerals

In the 1930s Congress said that our vegetables were mineral deficient because they were grown in the same soil, year after year. In the old days farmers would rest their fields from season to season, rotating crops to different fields to give the soil and chance to return to its normal state. But even after the statement made by Congress over 70 years ago, re-mineralization is not practiced today in today’s mega farm system.

Paul Bergner, Clinical Director of the Rocky Mountain Center of Botanical Studies in Boulder, Colorado studied the mineral content of plants grown in the U.S. over the past 50 years.

His data reveals that, since 1948, levels of essential minerals, iron, manganese, and copper have declined significantly in a variety of crops. The iron content of lettuce, for example, has dropped from an average of 52 mg per 100gms (in 1948) to a mere 0.5 mg (today).

Bergner says that this serious depletion of nutrients in the country’s food supply is leading our nation toward malnutrition and disease.

Are you beginning to understand why so many people have turned to vitamin and mineral supplements to enhance their dietary intake and to improve their health?

There is a growing movement to educate people on the risks of our current dietary deficiencies and people are responding to that. They realize that there is a problem with our food delivery system. The problem is they have to guess what they need to add to be healthy, and how much of each supplement they need to take?

One of the most important things you will learn in this book is how to determine whether you need a supplement, and how much of that supplement you should take.

A big problem is there are so many variables in the produce and foods that we buy in the market, and we have no idea how much nutritional value is actually present from one geographic area to another, from one supplier to another and from one batch to another.

All of the available studies are based on ideal conditions and have little to do with how old the product is, where it was grown, what fertilizers or pesticides were used, when it was picked, the sun exposure, or the amount of rainfall. They ignore what were the plant conditions and what were the pesticides used in the foreign country where much of our current produce is grown.

Needless to say studies don’t even scratch the surface when it comes to how the food was handled and harvested, the method of transportation and storage or how it was processed and packaged.

You see the problem?

Under these circumstances, how can you ever evaluate the quality of the food and know whether it is good for you?

Another good reason for supplementation is stress. The stress level in your daily life has most certainly increased. And emotional and physical stress is known to deplete valuable minerals and vitamins in our bodies.

And you may be additionally impacted by environmental stress, by the pollution in your area, and of course, by the drugs you are you taking.

What other environmental hazards are present in your life, related to where you work, the job you do, how much time you spend outside, the amount of sunshine to which you are exposed, noise levels, smog, pollen levels, dust and mold, the type of lighting in your home and office, The list goes on and on.

We know that vitamin and mineral deficiencies lead to chronic disease and judging by studies of healthy people, vitamin deficiencies are rampant in our population.

Here are some alarming facts:

  • One in three American households follows a diet that is deficient in calcium and vitamin B6.
  • More than 50 percent of men and women in a Michigan test were deficient in Vitamin A.
  • In a California study, over 33 percent were deficient in riboflavin (B2).
  • In Texas and Washington, over 25 percent were deficient in Vitamin A.

We know that supplementation supports six basic body systems:

  1. immune system
  2. muscular skeletal structure
  3. digestive system
  4. neurological network
  5. cardiovascular system
  6. endocrine system

We also know that a lifetime of substandard function of these systems will lead to many degenerative diseases. Also, emotional disorders like depression, insomnia, hyperactivity and PMS are all created or made worse by a poor diet.

Optimum supplementation prevents the development of illness, and in some cases, can even cure illnesses. Symptoms and ailments can be decreased and stopped by correcting deficiencies and increasing vitamin dosage to correct specific symptoms.

You might also be interested to know that if you have a mineral or vitamin deficiency, you will have a very difficult time losing body fat.

Furthermore, nutritional deficiencies can have genetic consequences. In tests of lab animals, zinc deficiency in parents caused the next two generations to suffer from depressed immune system function.

This means that feeding children adequate diets does not necessarily reverse a system malfunction. If the parent suffers from this deficiency and the child does not develop naturally in the womb, it may be too late to correct these deficiencies later. And the orthodontist in me knows that among the problems health care professionals may see in these children are malocclusions!