Tagged: Weston A. Price
July 6, 2013 at 1:16 pm #7344
So I’m trying to get my head around this whole thing and this is my understanding. Please let me know your thoughts, your understanding on the subject.
Healthy people in Asia/Africa with no heart disease, cancer, etc.. surely they don’t eat thousands of calories per day like we are and are healthy regardless. My understanding is that this is because they have a healthy metabolism to start with and therefore can live a healthy life on restricted calories? Would this same apply to people living at the beginning of 20th century? Like our grand parents?
Weston Price and his study of isolated people and loss of health of those who departed from traditional diets. Again, I’m assuming those healthy ones that ate their traditional diets didn’t eat thousands of calories, again a healthy metabolism. Those that departed from traditional diets, did they get ill either because of lack of food, being starving, therefore a low metabolism or because they only ate processed food?
I’m trying to make sense of Weston Price’s work and apply it in such a way that I do least damage whilst allowing to enjoy food and life and making sure that my kids turn out alright.July 6, 2013 at 1:21 pm #7346
Also I wonder, if you are going to eat restricted calories then you better make it a healthy choice otherwise with slow digestion and generally things not working as they should, eating a poor quality diet would lead to more illnesses?
Please someone tell me I might be onto something. It would be a great relief to make some understanding of this all.
So basically by raising metabolism we can get away with eating anything we want (pretty much) as the body deals with it very efficiently.July 6, 2013 at 3:07 pm #7373Matt StoneKeymaster
I would recommend not trying to send every thing through a Weston A. Price approval process. The problem is that there are too many factors, all of them unknowable, affecting our health at any given time and on any given day. Hard and fast rules about something being healthy or unhealthy is hugely problematic. What if you were raised on macaroni and cheese and other soft, compact, dense foods – and your digestive tract formed to meet the requirements to handle this food – so as not to waste energy. Then, a couple decades later you decide to eat an uber health food diet consisting of tons of soaked legumes, nuts, fibrous greens, raw fruit… You are not at all adapted to that diet and when you eat such a diet it destroys you. It could be that the people Price found were really well-adapted to their specific diet over millennia. You just don’t know. We’ll never know. And even eating lots of whole foods may not achieve the desired effect due to nutrient depletion. I could go on and on with various exceptions that have helped me come to terms with what I have experienced to be true (but at first didn’t make sense). But hopefully this will put a little dent that Price armor you have surrounding your cranium.July 6, 2013 at 3:39 pm #7389GinaKavorkaParticipant
Just to add my 2 cents-
I think that our modern lifestyle (aka stress) requires different and more energy intake.July 6, 2013 at 5:25 pm #7403mighty mParticipant
Scarlettsmum writes: “Weston Price and his study of isolated people and loss of health of those who departed from traditional diets. Again, I’m assuming those healthy ones that ate their traditional diets didn’t eat thousands of calories …”
I agree with what Matt says, but also suggest that older diets DID, in fact, include “thousands of calories.” The basic activities of everyday life pre-electricity, pre-automobile, etc., were much more energy-/calorie-intensive, and were not optional. Even cooking itself — on an open hearth, or even a wood-burning range — burned tons of calories and required the women to have pretty good strength and calorie-devouring muscle mass. Simply keeping warm during winter without central heat would’ve burned up calories by the bucketload.
My favorite recent source on this is a fantastic paper about the British working class during the 1850s (industrial revolution had begun, but not modern processed foods), who enjoyed surprisingly impressive health, if you factor out the childhood diseases. Estimated daily calorie burn of 3,000 to 4,500 calories /day (men) and 2,750 to 3,500 (women) — 1.5 to 2 times what people eat today!! The authors describe today’s calorie consumption as “historically low.”
Healthy does not equal low calorie. If anything, it’s the opposite. Because so many people lead sedentary lives, conventional wisdom says they can just eat to match a low energy expenditure and stay trim & healthy. I’m not so sure. I think there might be a much higher minimum of intake and expenditure, both, to keep the organism running well.July 6, 2013 at 9:13 pm #7420
As westerners our systems have started to adapt to higher levels of sugar and other crap. We can handle it fairly well in moderation. Of course what is moderate to us will make traditional people very ill. I read a story once about a touring musician once who was on a tour alongside some tribal African musicians. He remarked how the African musicians cooked all of there own food because the stuff the rest of the bands were eating would make them very sick. So yes Weston Price’s. research is interesting in an a academic sense but there is no way to totally reverse the tide of the modern world we live in. In other words, your smart you know what’s up, don’t let your kids drink soda at every meal, keep the pufa’s down to a minimum, and have balanced meals( protein, starch, fat, vegetable etc.). If your kids seem healthy and happy don’t freak out if they drink a pop at a birthday party or have some chips. Don’t put then on some crazy restrictive diet etc. It pains me when I see otherwise normal kids not getting to enjoy life because they have strict vegan parents hovering over them. They very well may get cavities, because of the modern diet but that’s what brushing,flossing, and dentists are for. Sure I’d love to run around not brushing my teeth and not having cavities but I’ll never be able to go back to living in a mud hut and fishing with a spear. And I have tried the absolutely no sugar thing trying to fight the possibly imaginary disease of candida and let me tell you it’s tough it sucks, I was miserable and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy let alone a child.July 6, 2013 at 9:29 pm #7428
Mighty m, That’s and interesting study and makes a lot of sense. The majority of common people throughout history have always had to rise with the dawn and put in long days of somewhat consistent high caloric energy expenditure. These days we tend to have very sedentary lifestyles with long periods of low energy expenditure under the constant underlying stress of moderne life followed by spurts of sometimes excessive high energy like running or heavy exercise to make up for the sedentary part. The stress That puts on the body plus easy availability of any kind of food you want equals poor health. Working swing shifts, heavy debt loads, twenty four hour cable news,etc. etc. gotta love it ;) . There were some people during the industrial revolution that lived some pretty god awful lives though. If I lived back then I would definitely rather be on a farm or be in the ruling class. Us common folk do have it pretty good these days.July 6, 2013 at 9:39 pm #7434
I also believe that if your metabolism is slow. Sugar is not good close to large meals because it impares digestion. Raw vegetables should be largely avoided for a while ( I steam mine ‘ till they are very soft).and I also suggest some liquid nourishment like ensure, smoothies, and really anything with lots of nourishment value and calories in liquid form. I have been suffering from poor digestion for years and I thought somehow that eating lots of salads and veggies would help, wrong.July 6, 2013 at 9:42 pm #7435Matt StoneKeymaster
Great comments everyone. Smart cookies up in this place.July 6, 2013 at 10:11 pm #7437redm72Participant
What is also not mentioned are the lifestyle factors inherent in Price’s “primitive” peoples. Physical activity is a biggie yes, but stress, family and community dynamics, feelings of belonging and being valued – these things cannot be measured and yet I believe they may be just as, if not more so, important than the types of foods eaten.
We try to emulate the diet because it’s usually the only variable we can control, but I think we’re missing a huge part of the picture. When you look at any culture with unusual longevity you will generally not find them living the fast-paced, individual-centred Western lifestyle.July 6, 2013 at 10:29 pm #7440
Redm72, very true, that is why I feel it is important to try to build that easier pace and better family dynamic into life. I haven’t done as well as I would like so far but hopefully I’m getting smarter as I get olderJuly 7, 2013 at 3:37 am #7496
Thank you everybody for your input on this topic. I have learnt quite a bit and Matt is right about it not always making sense, but I guess it is simpler than one would like to think.
I have realised that by eating strictly whole grain, I took the enjoyment out of eating. Try making apple pie with whole wheat flour, might as well not bother….Try making puff pastry with whole wheat, yuck…
So I’m buying some white flour today and start making, apple pies, cakes, etc. However, I don’t feel that whole wheat flour bothers my digestion, it is just that it is so dense I tend to eat less of food made with it and stop making yummy things. So I allow myself to eat white four in desserts and in foods that I used to avoid due to inferior results with WW flour. I will still use WW flour where it doesn’t influence the final outcome and taste.
The lengths I went to, to even make WW breadcrumbs, it is crazy. Make a sourdough bread, cut off crusts, break it up in a food processor, dry it in the oven overnight, then break it up in the food processor again to make it superfine, pack away in the freezer. Not anymore, I’m buying white breadcrumbs, sod it! :)
And I’m so pleased that I have discovered this info now whilst the kids are still small, 3 years and 16 months so that I don’t screw them up with my food obsessions, no more.July 7, 2013 at 3:49 am #7497redm72Participant
Good for you! Hey if you’re buying white breadcrumbs its hard to go past Panko for a real crispy crumb on your foods. :)July 7, 2013 at 11:06 am #7517JenniferParticipant
I came across this article when it first came out about long lived people of Ikaria and there is one paragraph from it that I have not forgotten since. I found it quite telling and that food may not play nearly as big a role on health as stress, sense of family/community support and life purpose. Here’s the paragraph
“Ask the very old on Ikaria how they managed to live past 90, and they’ll usually talk about the clean air and the wine. Or, as one 101-year-old woman put it to me with a shrug, ?We just forget to die. The reality is they have no idea how they got to be so old. And neither do we. To answer that question would require carefully tracking the lifestyles of a study group and a control group for an entire human lifetime (and then some). We do know from reliable data that people on Ikaria are outliving those on surrounding islands (a control group, of sorts). Samos, for instance, is just eight miles away. People there with the same genetic background eat yogurt, drink wine, breathe the same air, fish from the same sea as their neighbors on Ikaria. But people on Samos tend to live no longer than average Greeks. This is what makes the Ikarian formula so tantalizing.”
Here’s the link to the entire article. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/magazine/the-island-where-people-forget-to-die.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0July 7, 2013 at 12:24 pm #7521
Scarlettsmum, way to go! Trust me when your kids get older memories of moms apple pie are going to be a treasure to them.
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