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Weston Price, Take Your Pseudo-Science Elsewhere

Posted Aug 13 2008 6:13am 5 Comments

Dr. Fuhrman addresses another wave of Weston Price silliness. A follow up to Weston A. Price Foundation, Stupid Traditions .

Informed people know that they should disregard any comment about a person who lived a long life, who ate bacon, smoked cigarettes, drank whiskey, snorted cocaine, etc. There is a bell-shaped curve of life-spans of people who eat a poor diet or have poor health habits. Some of these people with risky habits live longer and some shorter, genetics and other factors play a role. A plant-based, high-nutrient diet, or nutritional excellence as I call it, attempts to take the people who might fall in the bottom half of that bell curve and give them a high quality long life too. We have to look at long-lived populations and people who are already diseased and see what it takes to induce reversal to discuss real dietary excellence. And, these Weston Price enthusiasts that are attracted here, whenever their poor science is discussed, bring up more bad science (like irrelevant rat studies fed saturated fats or processed oils and vitamins) add nothing of interest to support those looking to protect themselves with nutritional excellence.

I’ve discussed this topic on DiseaseProof numerous times, but I want people to be clear about nutritional excellence and what constitutes a disease-protective diet. Sometimes commenters, adding their opinion make things less clear. Please do not comment if you have not thoroughly read through the Diet Myths category.

Gerry is not a scientist, physician, or nutritionist. He is here to foster discussion and promote awareness of nutritional excellence, sometimes I don’t like his non-scientific comments, but DiseaseProof is for entertainment too and if a person did go back and read all of my earlier comments on Disease Proof . He wouldn’t have to constantly reiterate my same points.

Unlike Gerry, who is just my blogger and writer, I have diligently spent my entire adult life studying almost every scientific study ever written on human nutrition and carefully going over the data. My 6 books have over 3,000 medical references. I document almost every statement I make, and when you do that, it takes much longer to write. Besides the thousands of readers of my books and this blog, I have also tested my dietary guideline with over 10,000 patients and achieved dramatic disease reversals of diseases such as lupus, psoriasis, headaches, fibromyalgia and heart disease. The true test of nutritional excellence marries the preponderance of evidence from scientific studies, and distilling it down into a lifestyle and dietary advice that works. I am not posting more references here now. That won’t change the views of these people, who already ignore them.

People often view their nutritional viewpoints like a religion. They have a viewpoint and they attempt to defend it to the death, sometimes their own death. Nevertheless, the Weston Price Foundation promotes out-dated and bad science. If you review the data they attempt to promote their views with it is insulting to any real person interested in the science surrounding an issue. They take scientific-sounding positions about soy, meat, daily, butter, children’s feeding practice and much more and they distort the science, present a one-sided view and confuse the decision making. They and their followers promote a range of irresponsible and potentially dangerous ideas, including:

  • Butter and butter oil are “super foods” that contain the “X factor” discovered by Weston Price .
  • Glandular organ extracts from animals promote the health and healing of the corresponding human organs.
  • Poached brains of animals should be added to other ground meats for better nutrition.
  • Raw cow’s milk and meat broth should be fed to newborns who don’t breast-feed, rather than infant formula.
  • Regular ingestion of clay (Azomite Mineral Powder) has detoxifying effects because the clay particles remove pathogens from the body.
  • There are benefits to feeding sea salt to infants and babies.
  • Fruits and vegetables should be limited in children’s diets.

People should not be going to the Weston Price Foundation looking for nutritional guidance. They are not true scientists and neither are their defenders who spew negative and insulting comments here on DiseaseProof . A true scientist tests a theory without a pre-determined agenda and collects, not just the facts favorable to their position, but all the facts. Let’s just outline the argument to reset this discussion, so people can see what the issues are here:

  1. The American diet promotes a premature death. Cancer, heart disease, stroke and dementia are the result of nutritional stupidity. Nutritional science has advanced to the point where we can be protected from these common killers. Most adult Americans already have the early (or late) stages of atherosclerosis and the early stages of cancer already, present in their body. It is not sufficient to give them moderately effective advice, derived from short-lived native populations. They need advice that can be counted on to reverse the disease that is present (from the American diet) and prevent a premature death. That is what nutritional excellence is all about and what it is what it is capable of. We can also use science to live longer and healthier than ever before in human history. High micronutrient and high phytochemical eating is life-saving.
  2. My nutritional protocols predictable reverse heart disease and atherosclerosis. The dietary guidelines when applied by patients with advanced blockages in their coronary arteries result in the blockages being removed. This is documented not just by symptoms resolving and stress tests, but by coronary CT scans and MR angiograms. Furthermore, my nutritional protocols have enabled hundreds of patients to make dramatic recoveries from autoimmune diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, allergies, asthma, headaches, digestive disturbance and more. The results are supported not just by my experience but by the scientific studies that support the protocols and other doctors who have published similar results and benefits in their patients. High micronutrient eating also removes food-cravings and is the most effective weight-loss strategy.
  3. Vitamins and minerals are only a fraction of the micronutrients, needed by humans, as a primate we have requirements for a huge array of protective phytochemicals to achieve cellular normalcy, maximize longevity, and protect against disease. The American diet is now about 60% junk food; 30% animal products; 8% fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds; and 2% whole grains. To get micronutrients to a high, truly protective levels a much higher percentage of natural plants foods are needed. That means more vegetables, beans, berries and seeds, not more meat, butter and milk. Animal products contain almost no anti-oxidants and no phytochemicals.
  4. However both sides agree that this high percentage of junk food (white flour, sweeteners and oils) are not health promoting; except for misguided people promote olive oil as a health food and coconut oil as a health food too. This is a disgrace! All oil is processed food with 120 calories per tablespoon and little micronutrient content. There has never been a study that showed adding more coconut oil or olive oil to a diet resulted in significant health benefits. You could show benefit replacing more dangerous oils, but that is still has nothing to do with nutritional excellence and promoting disease reversal. There are hundreds of studies that remove butter and other saturated fats from the diet and instead use olive oil there is some benefit, but the science is overwhelming and not debatable—that when you use whole raw, high fat plant foods, such as raw seeds and nuts (not the extracted oils) you dramatically reduce sudden cardiac death, heart disease, and all cause mortality. That’s why I do not advocate a “low-fat diet.” Rather I advocate a diet where oils and animal products are reduced as a percent of dietary intake in favor of raw seeds and raw nuts, such as sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, walnuts, pistachio nuts and flax. I recommend replacing most of the oil in one’s diet with raw seeds and nuts. I share great tasting salad dressings, dips and smoothies using these foods in place of oil. By the way, the average American eats over 2,000 calories from oil a week, resulting in lots of extra body fat, but no significant micronutrients or anticancer lignans to show for it.
  5. I teach that the 30-35% of intake from Animal products in the American diet is already too high. The Atkins’ followers and the Weston Price crowd think this number is not high enough and recommend a diet with unlimited amounts of animal products encouraging people to think animal products are health foods that should be consumed without limitations. Any way you slice it; that is bad science. The Okinowans eat less than 10 percent of calories from animal products, mostly fish and loads of vegetables. However, we still could improve on what they do!

Atkins and Weston Price devotees are just wrong; promoting bad science is a serious matter, it encourages disease and hurts people. If someone wants to post any well-done human study that shows disease reversal or improved longevity statistics from increasing the percent of animal product intake from 30% and reducing natural plant food like vegetables in favor of meat, please do so. But, this is just too silly to even contemplate. Our diet is deficient in vegetables, not meat. Neither do I present a vegan of vegetarian diet as the best diet or the only option. However, I am very clear that animal products should be reduced to a lower percentage of total dietary intake, and I set the goal around 10% of calories and I modify that up or down based on individual needs and disease risks. The idea that some body types will survive longer or be thinner or healthier on a meat-based, diet richer in animal fats, is also false and has no scientific support.

In summary, Weston Price , Atkins , low-carb or other such supporters if you want to post modern, human studies for me to comment on do so. But otherwise take your nonsense elsewhere, where people are easily fooled by your pseudo-science.

Comments (5)
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I do not understand how otherwise intelligent people still think W.A. Price is the way to eat.  One woman (who is obese and growing larger by day) says she needs to eat lots of meat to "survive".   Along with drinking coconut oil, and eating a lot of butter.  I don't say anything to her about my diet.  She knows  I am 55, vegan (for 25 years now).  I'm never sick, have an active life style, am 5'4" and weigh 115. She says:  you're naturally thin.  What a cop out.

Astounding to see such misinformation. A few years ago I couldn't feel my limbs. My breasts were lumpy. My nerves were shot. I couldn't breathe.

The so-called "pseudo-science" protocol of Weston A. Price--(raw milk and raw coconut oil)--SAVED MY LIFE and returned my body to health. It doesn't take a double blind study for me to figure out what makes me feel healthy. Raw fats are natural and ancient. Why would anyone refer to them as a pseudo-science? It's just natural. Quit making life so complicated. I actually enjoy my food. I'm satiated. My body feels whole and no neurological problems. My breasts feel healthy again. Life should be so simple. It is food processing that is ruining our health, NOT fats. Wake up.  

The viewpoints of The Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) are based on actual dietary practices of many indigenous “primitive” societies throughout the world, the efficacy of which can be validated with modern nutritional science.  True, the WAPF folks seem to be quoting scientific literature other than what might validate your own beloved dietary theories.  But perhaps WAPF is more hip at spotting bogus studies than others are.

Science is a valuable tool, but scientists can be bought, they can be wrong, and they can be biased.  We should remember that scientists can whore themselves to big businesses seeking shreds of pseudo-scientific solace to make themselves and their products look good. Thus, one needs to know one’s way around the scientific literature.

The margarine, vegetable oil and soy-foods industries, for example, make billions off of consumers’ fear of saturated fat and cholesterol.  Guess which industries have worked hardest to make people afraid of saturated fat and cholesterol?  You guessed it.  How many “studies” showing the dangers of saturated fat and cholesterol do you think have been funded by the vegetable oil industry?

Now, if people didn’t think that butter, eggs and bacon were going to kill them, why then would they bother buying all that nutritionally worthless and possibly toxic commercial vegetable oils, margarines and modern soy-foods?  The answer is: they wouldn’t.  Who’d then have the most to lose?  You guessed it.

For a brief history of the villainization of animal fats in America, Google search “ The Oiling of America Weston A. Price ”

When reading a nutritional study, it’s advisable to get into the habit of finding out who's sponsoring it.  After all, one can find “scientific” support for virtually any position under the sun.  This is why relying *only* on scientific research and “proof” as a means of determining an optimal diet, or just about anything else, is as silly as it is dangerous.  To really get at the truth one also needs to include intuition and experience.

If you've ever read Dr. Weston A. Price's book “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration,” you'd see that considerably more effort and thought went into Price’s research than your reckless and clearly misinformed tirade would suggest.

WAPF is “pseudo-science”?  The same could more easily be said of you, dear sir.

are you kidding me people? any CERTIFIED nutritionist  will tell you that a diet with excessive amounts of animal and dairy products is bad for your health. i put the WAPF in the same category as macrobiotics and raw foodist. they both use flimsy science to back up there claims. great job on the article!

I came across this article from a google search for "scientific information weston a price".  I will be writing to Mr Google to tell him to fix the search engine as this is bunk.

 I read peer reviewed scientitic studies.

Most "nutritioists" have not completed a medical degree and are not conversant with bio chemistry.

 Look around.  There is something dreadfully wrong,  

The food pyramid is the result of lobbying, primarily of cereal intersts,  The USDA spoke of revising the food pyramid as least as early as 2000 and it remains unchanged due to the influence of  lobby groups.

 REad Gary Taubes and particularly the incident that lead him to his line of research.

 Just as you cannot put deisel in a petrol car or vice versa, just as your pc will not boil water,  a machine can only do what it is designed to do.  This most importantly includes the human body.  Evolution is slow. Paifully slow.  We were not designed to eat 50% carbs.  To be in peak operating performace we should eat what our bodies were desiged to eat.  Fact.

 As to the example of the obese woman above, eating meat, butter and oils wont put weight on.  I know.  But combining it with sugars and processed carbs is like a molotov cocktail.  Individually, the ingredients are safe but combine them .... Again read Taubes and Atkins and understand the effect of these on insulin.  All great evolutionary design, eat fruit (sugar = insulin spike = fat accumulation) in the peak summer months when fruit was only available to provide for a winter store of fat to ensure our survial.  Today we no longer eat seasonally and eat the wrong proportions of foods that are very "new", evelutionary speaking.

 But I have an enquiring mind and want to know more but your article is so wrong that it makes WA Price akin to an Eistein theory, relatively speaking.

 nuff said. 

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