Nutrition and Physical Degeneration | Weston A. Price

Summary of: Nutrition and Physical Degeneration: A Comparison of Primitive and Modern Diets and Their Effects
By: Weston A. Price

Introduction

Embark on a journey to explore the health secrets hidden within the diets of the world’s indigenous people in ‘Nutrition and Physical Degeneration: A Comparison of Primitive and Modern Diets and Their Effects’ by Weston A. Price. This book summary presents a comprehensive analysis on the impact of locally sourced, vitamin-rich foods in maintaining good health and warding off diseases. Discover how the Eskimos remain largely free from gum-tissue diseases and tooth decay, and learn about the alarming effects of processed foods on our overall well-being. By understanding the nutritional wisdom of indigenous populations, the author invites us to reconsider the ingredients that should become staples in our daily lives in order to stay healthy in the long run.

Secrets to Good Health

The key to long-term health is not the latest diets or intense exercise routines, but the nutritious diets of the world’s indigenous people. Their locally-sourced foods are high in vitamins and minerals, which give them a variety of health benefits such as healthy teeth, strong organs, and resilience to diseases. The Eskimo population of the Arctic is an excellent example. Their diet is based on caribou, certain types of whale meat, seaweed, and berries. Eskimos have healthy teeth well into old age and do not suffer from gum-tissue diseases or tooth decay, thanks to the minerals in their food that generate saliva. They are also free from malignant diseases, and any kidney, stomach, appendices or gallbladder problems are rare. The highly nutritious diet of indigenous societies is the result of centuries of development. Ancient skeletons found in different parts of the world show that nearly all exhibited excellent teeth and very few experienced tooth decay.

The Downside of Processed Foods

Processed foods may be convenient and tasty but are less healthy than traditional food. They lack essential fat-soluble vitamins like A and D which can lead to tooth decay and other health risks. The story of a boy raised on processed foods highlights the dangers of convenience foods. Overhauling his diet to include fresh whole wheat, whole milk, and high vitamin butter helped improve his health drastically. The message is clear โ€“ we cannot absorb as many minerals from inorganic, processed foods as we can from natural foods.

Get Enough Nutrients

In a world where processed food has taken over, it’s easy to forget the importance of getting enough nutrients in our diet. The problem is that much of the processed food we consume provides us with just calories and lacks essential vitamins and minerals. For instance, white flour loses most of its original nutrients during production, including vitamin E, which is crucial to the body’s functioning. Even “whole wheat” bread has lost many of its nutrients during production. Even if there are minerals in the food we consume, our body can’t use most of it since it depends on the presence of certain vitamins to absorb them. Unfortunately, these vitamins are scarce in processed food, like packaged cereals. To consume sufficient minerals, we need to eat natural produce like seafood, which is high in minerals and vitamins. It’s essential that we get enough vitamins and minerals in our diet since most of us absorb only a fraction of what we consume. In stressful periods โ€“ like growth, sickness, or pregnancy โ€“ we need to fortify ourselves adequately, and that means doubling or even quadrupling our intake.

The Power of Eating Locally

How Indigenous Diets are Nutritionally Superior to Processed Diets

Many of the foods we consume today come from distant places and are packaged for long shelf life, making them less nutritious. In contrast, Indigenous diets are based on locally sourced food, providing high levels of minerals. For instance, the North American Indigenous people rely mainly on animal meat, rich in calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, copper, iodine, and fat-soluble vitamins, while Eskimos consume Caribou, ground nuts, and vitamin C-rich whale organs. Even refined white sugar, used as a preservative, is low in nutrients. Eating nutrient-rich foods is vital for good health. Thus, though it may not always be possible to consume the same diet as Indigenous people, understanding the importance of locally sourced, nutritionally adequate food is crucial.

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