That’s right, everybody could use a little bit of TLC ? Thomas Latimore Cleave (also known as T.L. Cleave or even ?Peter? Cleave).
T.L. Cleave is basically some British guy who had some good ideas. The first is Cleave’s Law of Adaptation. Cleave felt that the human body had adapted to certain things, and that when technology outpaced our ability to adapt, disease developed. Although this may sound a little confusing, it’s actually quite simple ? modern practices and stuff is killing us, not stuff that we’ve been doing and consuming for millennia.
It’s appropriately in line with Weston A. Price’s ?mother nature obeyed,? perhaps the greatest concept that anyone can grasp as it pertains to human health.
Cleave was unique in that he had the audacity to come out and say that refined carbohydrates ? specifically the refining process itself, was the primary contributor to most diseases that were once rare, but now prevalent ? from tooth decay and varicose veins to constipation, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
Like many researchers during the ?hola comida moderna! era, Cleave noted that once new, modern, processed foods arrived on the scene, disease showed up shortly thereafter. Like all researchers, he had his theories as to what exactly caused the catastrophic consequences ? his was primarily lack of fiber and vitamins and refined carbohydrates? ability to cause a ?perversion of the appetite. Partially accurate I’m sure, but needs some further explaining, but as Cleave noted, you don’t have to know every minute detail and mechanism to note the causal relationship between modern foods and disease. Amen Papa Peter. He states:
??medical minds throughout the world these days are so preoccupied with detail that they have lost the art of repeatedly standing back in order to gain perspective and think more simply, in terms of fundamentals. Conclusions reached in this way, and which would be strongly indicated by common sense, are discounted because they cannot be proved to the last particular, and ultimately become lost from view.
Yes, leave it to Cleaver, refined foods? role in the causation of most forms of illness is ‘strongly indicated by common sense. Of the refined foods, Cleave felt that refined sugar was the greatest threat, followed by white flour, then other refined grains, and vegetable fats ? which he emphatically mocked.
What sparked my interest in Cleave was his remark, as he testified before George McGovern’s 1973 Senate Select committee on nutrition and human health, as noted by Gary Tabues in his 2007 health odyssey, Good Calories, Bad Calories:
I don’t hold the cholesterol view for a moment?For a modern disease to be related to an old-fashioned food is one of the most ludicrous things I have ever heard in my life?If anybody tells me that eating fat was the cause of coronary disease, I should look at them in amazement. But when it comes to the dreadful sweet things that are served up? that is a very different proposition.
Cleave’s basic conclusion?
Eat as many carbohydrates or as few as you like, but make sure that they are in their natural, whole state. Eat as much or as little fat as you like, but make sure it comes from natural, traditional saturated fats ? not newfangled vegetable oils and margarines. Eat a lot of meat, or a little. Whatever suits you.
This is overly simplistic, and certainly doesn’t troubleshoot all of the health problems one might encounter as a consequence of generations of refined-food consumption, pollutants, and borderline malnutrition ? but it’s one hell of a good start.
He certainly didn’t buy the Paleo stance ? where devotees believe carbohydrates to be inherently sinister when consumed in great quantities. He couldn’t back that with his own observation of the Zulu tribe, who consumed 90% of their dietary calories in the form of carbohydrates without, for practical purposes, any health problems. Just like McCarrison, Price, Burkitt, Prior, Hrdlicka, Stefansson, and others witnessed first hand ? only people consuming refined foods, always refined carbohydrates and often vegetable oils as well along with them, showed significant signs of degeneration and disease compared to what can be considered normal and natural.
In conclusion, here are some of Cleave’s finest quotes as taken from two of his best works, The Saccharine Disease (1974) and Diabetes, Coronary Thrombosis, and the Saccharine Disease (1969). By the way, the ‘saccharine disease,? as explained by Cleave, is a constellation of health problems stemming from the same root cause ? from appendicitis and constipation to tooth decay and heart disease (can you say metabolic syndrome plus?)?
Cleave, T. L., The Saccharine Disease. Keats Publishing: New Canaan, CT, 1974.
p.25 ?’thyrotoxicosis appears to be a very possible saccharine manifestation.
p. 61, describing native stools?
?These are passed twice a day and are extended like a ribbon of toothpaste some 15in. long, and of the diameter of the middle finger.
p.62 ??if there is no unnatural stasis present, the consistency will always be soft and the diameter not appreciably greater than that of the middle finger.
p.70 ?To summarize, those who eat unrefined carbohydrates are candidates for salvation over periodontal disease; those who eat refined carbohydrates never are.
p. 90 ?’table sugar?is always the most serious in the production of disease.
p. 104 ??no one who has any reverence for the human body will ever choose to substitute these new processed oils for animal fats of ancient lineage.
p. 116 ?If we are adapted to anything in this world, we are certainly adapted to stress.
p. 117 ?’the countering of excess consumption, arising from the eating of refined carbohydrates by the taking of unwanted exercise is considered a perfect example of two wrongs not making a right, even though the extra exercise is well known to reduce the consequences of such overconsumption.
p. 189 ?The saccharine disease includes dental decay and pyorrhea; gastric and duodenal ulcer and other forms of indigestion; obesity, diabetes, and coronary disease; constipation, with its complications of varicose veins and hemorrhoids; and primary Escherichia coli infections, like appendicitis, cholecystitis (with or without gall-stones), and primary infections of the urinary tract. The same applies to certain skin condition. Not one of these diseases is for practical purposes ever seen in races who do not consume refined carbohydrates.
Cleave, T.L. and G.D. Campbell. Diabetes, Coronary Thrombosis, and the Saccharine Disease. John Wright & Sons LTD.: Bristol, UK, 1969.
p. v ??medical minds throughout the world these days are so preoccupied with detail that they have lost the art of repeatedly standing back in order to gain perspective and think more simply, in terms of fundamentals. Conclusions reached in this way, and which would be strongly indicated by common sense, are discounted because they cannot be proved to the last particular, and ultimately become lost from view.
p. 10 ?’there is no doubt, from an evolutionary point of view, that, in any disease in man due to alterations in his food from the natural state, the refined carbohydrates, both on account of the magnitude and the recentness of the alterations, are always the foods most likely to be at fault; and not the fats.
p. 15 ??carbohydrates should not be taken as a single group but as two very different groups; one being natural, unconcentrated carbohydrates, such as unrefined grains, potatoes, and fruits, and the other being unnatural, concentrated carbohydrates, notably refined flour and sugar.
p. 19 ??what matters in the production of caries is not the quantity of carbohydrates consumed, but the form in which they are consumed ? to be more accurate, whether they have been refined or not. A whole cartload of carbohydrates in the form of raw apples or sugar-beet, for example, would do the teeth nothing but good, whereas a few cases of refined, sweet biscuits, leaving a sticky residue around the teeth, could initiate the fermentative processes responsible for decay and therefore do the teeth great harm.
pp. 60-61 ?A glance at any wild creature in its natural environment shows that no matter how plentiful its food supply, it never eats too much of it. Even a poulterer’s shop reveals that no wild rabbit ever ate too much grass, no wood-pigeon ever ate too much wheat, and no herring ever ate too much plankton. No wild creature, in fact, is ever overweight. The forces of evolution have ensured that in nature organisms react to an abundant food supply never by developing a disease, such as obesity, but by raising the rate at which they propagate themselves.
p. 65 ?In that table it was shown that although 90 per cent of the calorific intake in the rural Zulu is provided by carbohydrates (which are generally regarded as the fattening foods), as against only 81 per cent of the intake in the urban Zulu, the crucial point is that, in the case of the rural Zulu, of the 90 per cent figure 89 is derived from unrefined carbohydrates, whereas, in the case of the urban Zulu, of the 81 per cent figure 71 is derived from refined carbohydrates. An explanation, therefore, based on the argument advanced in this work, fits the facts as a glove to its hand.
p. 71 ??refined rice when moistened does not become sticky like refined flour, and therefore those races living on milled rice and very little else are singularly free from caries.
p. 145 ?The consumption of refined carbohydrates bears directly upon this sequence, for such consumption can lead to a marked rise in the acidity of the urine.
p. 153 ?The chief problem in the present diet, however, concerns how to avoid eating ordinary sugar, and all the sweet things containing it.