Friday, September 25, 2009
The obesity epidemic of the past century has mirrored the rise in consumption of processed, devitalized foods. Dr. Weston A. Price's nonindustrialized people, however, did not have weight problems on their traditional diets.
The place to start for losing weight is in switching to a nourishing traditional diet such as those of the populations Price studied. See our Characteristics of Traditional Diets, Dietary Guidelines, Dietary Dangers for a basic starting point. Nourishing Traditions provides a comprehensive nutrition guide and basic cookbook for traditional foods. Lori Lipinski's series on "Making the Transition" also has excellent step-by-step tips for ridding your pantry of processed food and using healthy alternatives.
We do not recommend lowfat diets, high protein diets that restrict fat, vegetarian diets,* or vegan diets. The body needs an abundant supply of the fat-soluble vitamins and fat-soluble activators found only in animal fats. Many of the vitamins and minerals found in vegetables cannot be absorbed without fat, and protein cannot be assimilated without fat. In fact, the body will rob its own precious stores of fat-soluble vitamins in order to digest protein if adequate fat is not eaten with it, which can lead to rapid depletion of these nutrients so necessary for so many biological functions. Price's natives never ate lean meat without the fat.
*Vegetarian diets that include liberal use of eggs and raw dairy products can be healthy for some people. However, childen, people who want to conceive or are pregnant or lactating, and others with compromised health or digestive systems may do poorly on a vegetarian diet.
Reducing simple carbohydrates and increasing saturated fats is the basis for many of the recommendations in the books below. The fatty acids in coconut oil and butter in particular are helpful for weight loss.
For an inspiring account of a formerly obese man who shed his excess weight and returned to radiant health, read A Life Unburdened: Getting Over Weight and Getting On With My Life by Richard Morris.
Some people who switch to a nourishing traditional diet still have difficulty losing weight. This could be do to any number of underlying health issues such as toxic overload from poisons like amalgam (mercury) dental fillings, insulin resistance, and other issues. See our Ask the Doctor About Difficulty Losing Weight column for a perspective on this from Dr. Thomas Cowan. His website The Fourfold Path to Healing (along with his book of the same name) offers help for weight loss. See in particular his Sample Menus for Weight Loss.
These books may also offer advice that will help with your particular needs.
The Diet Cure by Julia Ross
Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, PhD
The Fourfold Path to Healing by Thomas Cowan, MD
A Life Unburdened by Richard Morris
Life Without Bread by Wolfgang Lutz and Christian Allan
The Maker's Diet by Jordan Rubin
The No-Grain Diet by Joseph Mercola
The Schwarzbein Principle by Diana Schwarzbein
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