Characteristics of Traditional Diets

The following list of characteristics of traditional diets are answers Dr. Weston A. Price found to the following when he travel the globe in the 1930′s seeking populations that did not suffer from dental carries and dental deformities.  Upon finding these cultures he sought to research what were the people eating.  He wanted to know what the diets of healthy people contained as he was certain that this held the key to healthy living.   His investigations lasted ten years and were described in his book Nutrition and Physical DegenerationNutrition and Physical Degeneration is available online for all to read and digest here.

Modern vs. Traditional facial structure

The diets of healthy, non industrialized peoples contain

  1. No refined or denatured foods or ingredients, such as refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup; white flour; canned foods; pasteurized, homogenized, skim or low-fat milk; refined or hydrogenated vegetable oils; protein powders; artificial vitamins; or toxic additives and colorings.
  2. All traditional cultures consume some sort of animal food, such as fish and shellfish; land and water fowl; land and sea mammals; eggs; milk and milk products; reptiles; and insects. The whole animal is consumed­–muscle meat, organs, bones and fat, with the organ meats and fats preferred.
  3. Nutrient Dense foods with at least four times the minerals and water-soluble vitamins, and TEN times the fat-soluble vitamins found in animal fats (vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin K2–Price’s “Activator X”) as the average American diet.
  4. All traditional cultures cooked some of their food but all consumed a portion of their animal foods raw.
  5. Primitive and traditional diets have a high content of food enzymes and beneficial bacteria from lacto-fermented vegetables, fruits, beverages, dairy products, meats and condiments.
  6. Seeds, grains and nuts are soaked, sprouted, fermented or naturally leavened to neutralize naturally occurring anti-nutrients such as enzyme inhibitors, tannins and phytic acid.
  7. Total fat content of traditional diets varies from 30 percent to 80 percent of calories but only about 4 percent of calories come from polyunsaturated oils naturally occurring in grains, legumes, nuts, fish, animal fats and vegetables. The balance of fat calories is in the form of saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids.
  8. Traditional diets contain nearly equal amounts of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids.
  9. All traditional diets contain some salt.
  10. All traditional cultures make use of animal bones, usually in the form of gelatin-rich bone broths.
  11. Traditional cultures make provisions for the health of future generations by providing special nutrient-rich animal foods for parents-to-be, pregnant women and growing children; by proper spacing of children; and by teaching the principles of right diet to the young.

The PowerPoint’s of Sally Fallon’s presentations on the Characteristics of Traditional diets are available on the organizations website  if you wish to review or share with others.  These presentations are loaded with information and they do take some time to go through.  It has been wonderful to share these in a group setting where we can discuss the 11 Principles of a Healthy Diet.  We would be happy to use the other presentations available for future chapter meetings.  Please let us know your interests.