Weston Price – The Uberdentist

I have delved into many nutritional theories over the years. While I never promote a single theory, as I totally buy into the “bio-individuality” concept, where one man’s food is another man’s poison, I still have become a keen fan of Weston Price thoughts, findings, and theories and thus wanted to share them with you:

Weston A. Price, DDS was a Cleveland dentist, who has been called the “Charles Darwin” of Nutrition. Searching for the causes of dental decay and physical degeneration he observed daily in his dental practice, he turned from test tubes and microscopes to study “people with fine teeth” – the isolated “primitives”.

Traveling worldwide, Dr. Price found that beautiful, straight teeth, freedom from decay, stalwart bodies, resistance to disease, and fine characters were typical of primitives on their traditional diets.

Dr. Price’s classic volume, “Nutritional and Physical Degeneration”, published in 1939, is available from the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation at www.ppnf.org and describes the fieldwork he did in the 1920s and 1930s among various world cultures, with the original goal of recording and studying the dental health and development of pre-industrial populations including tribal Africans and Pacific islanders, Inuit, North and South American natives, and Australian aborigines. His book contains numerous photographs of the people he studied, and includes comparison photographs of the teeth and facial structure of people who lived on their traditional diet and people who had adopted or grown up on industrialized food. In certain instances it was possible for Dr Price to examine and photograph traditional with industrialized eaters from the same family. These photographs illustrate in an unforgettable way the physical degeneration and problems that occur when human groups abandon nourishing traditional diets in favor of modern convenience foods: such as arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, intestinal problems, and chronic fatigue.

His worldwide findings clearly showed that dental caries and deformed dental arches, resulting in crowded, crooked teeth and unattractive appearance, were merely a sign of physical degeneration, resulting from what he had suspected – nutritional deficiencies or as he called them “impoverished foods of civilization” – sugar, white flour, pasteurized milk, and convenience foods filled with extenders and additives.

Price also noticed that his younger patients were suffering from dental problems such as crooked teeth, overbites and pinched nostrils. These children also suffered from problems of infections, allergies, asthma, poor vision and behavioral problems.

As Price made these discoveries, he also came up with an idea. He set out on a global trek to examine other primitive societies and their health conditions and teeth. He found that those in other cultures had diets that were at least four times higher in minerals and vitamin C and B complex than the diets of Americans. Many of the healthy groups of people that Price studied ate special foods like cod liver oil, fish, eggs, organ meats, cream and butter and raw unpasteurized whole milk from grass-fed cows.

Price then formulated his findings into the Weston Price Diet. This diet goes against 20th and 21st century popular diet recommendations, which emphasize a low-fat diet. Instead, the Weston Price Diet, and through the funding efforts of the Weston A. Price Foundation, advocate for an eating style that is nutrient-dense, natural and unprocessed.

The Weston Price Diet espouses that the modern diet is the reason for chronic disease as well as the surge in overweight and obesity trends. The program encourages a diet that is generally low-carbohydrate with the basis of calories coming from natural and animal-based food sources.The following foods are allowed on the Weston Price Diet:

  • Butter, cream and whole raw milk
  • Organ meats, such as liver
  • Pasture-fed meats, dairy and eggs
  • Wild fish, shellfish and fish roe
  • Organic vegetables and fruits
  • Traditional lacto-fermented foods
  • Healthy lacto-fermented soft drinks
  • Homemade bone broths
  • Properly prepared whole grains and traditional sourdough breads
  • Unrefined salt

Foods to avoid are:

  • Modern soy foods
  • Pasteurized, homogenized dairy
  • Margarine and trans fats
  • Processed vegetable oils
  • Dry breakfast cereals
  • Artificial sweeteners and additives
  • Fast foods and sodas
  • Refined sweeteners and fruit juices
  • White flour products
  • Factory-raised meats and farm-raised fish

The diet also encourages eating locally when possible as well as choosing foods that are raised without pesticides, antibiotics, hormones and fertilizers.

Some of the tenets the Weston Price Diet maintains are:

  • Animal fats do not cause heart disease, cancer and obesity but actually protect us against these conditions.
  • Modern soy foods contribute to thyroid problems, digestive disorders and endocrine disruption.
  • Low-fat diets can lead to many health problems, including emotional instability.
  • Vegetarians do not live longer; vegan diets do not protect against cancer and heart disease.

Diet’s pros:

  • Promotes getting nutrients naturally from animals and foods that are unprocessed
  • Dental health can be linked to overall health
  • Diet recommendations are clear and straightforward
  • Recommends eliminating processed and refined foods
  • Eliminates white flour, refined sweeteners and vegetable oil
  • High fat content will enhance satiety
  • Backed by some scientific studies

Diet’s cons:

  • Considered a controversial diet because of its promotion of raw milk and high fat, albeit natural foods
  • Requires a tremendous amount of diligence since diet prohibits eating processed foods as well as many grains
  • Not vegan- or vegetarian-friendly

The Weston Price Diet may be considered a controversial program but its basic message deserves a listen to, namely that fat is not to be feared as long as a whole-foods and nature-based diet is steadily consumed.

While vegetarians and vegans won’t find much comfort in this lifestyle eating plan, its promotion of a general low-carbohydrate, nutrient-dense, unprocessed diet as way to maintain health and stave off disease has shown some promise in scientific research studies.

The Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF), co-founded in 1999 by Sally Fallon (Morell) and nutritionist Mary G. Enig (PhD), is a U.S. 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to “restoring nutrient-dense foods to the American diet through education, research and activism. Its goals include disseminating the research and dietary advice of dentist and nutritional researcher Weston A. Price, who studied the foods and health of isolated non-industrialized peoples around the world, and supporting the scientific validation of traditional diets.

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