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The Body Healer

Diets of Traditional Cultures 

When looking at the diets of various traditional cultures, we immediately discover two things:

Number 1

There is a distinct lack of any of the chronic and autoimmune diseases rampant in the westernized world today.
Number 2 There are some cultures who often lived in perfect health to 100 yrs. old or more, with none of the degenerative diseases we have now come to associate with old age.

"Traditional cultures ate large amounts of saturated fats from both plant and animal sources, yet were free of the heart disease & other chronic health conditions of today."

Weston A. Price Foundation

To understand health and disease, we can learn a tremendous amount by studying the diets of traditional cultures.  Their eating habits, their environment, and their social structure is very different from those of the average American and provides important clues as to why the diseases of today simply did not exist in these cultures.  Not only that, but many of the chronic diseases we suffer from in the western world do not exist today in other parts of the world.  
 
Doctors will say to their patients that the root causes of disease, especially autoimmune conditions, are unknown.  But this is not true.  By looking at the diet and lifestyle factors where disease is virtually nonexistent as compared to where it is rampant, we have a powerful starting point by looking at the key differences. 

There are also many independently published dietary intervention studies that clearly show certain dietary principles from these cultures can not only prevent, but also reverse degenerative disease, eliminate the need for medication, and restore the body to health.

Then vs. Now - What Happened

Yes, that was a lot of information to absorb!  So here is a handy summary of the important elements that formed the healthy diets of many long-lived cultures around the world and throughout the ages, as compared to today's westernized diet:  

Characteristics of healthy, traditional diets... 

In looking at the major differences between traditional diets and today's westernized diet, the biggest difference is the industrialization of our food chain, food that is now filled with chemicals and toxic ingredients that form the bulk of the American diet.  For more information, read up on The Dirty Dozen.  Some of the chemicals used in popular refined foods within the US are banned in other areas of the world such as Europe, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand because of the recognized health concerns.

When Americanized Food Arrives - Chronic Disease Begins

The health consequences of America food industrialization have had global repercussions, directly impacting the health and wellness of other nations worldwide.  People around the world are excited about American products and the American lifestyle, oblivious to the decline in the health and well-being of the American public.  Whether it is fast food, movies, or fashion, the influence of America on the world is powerful.  Societies are abandoning their traditional diets in favor of becoming fast-food and processed food junkies.  As quickly as our chemicalized food spread around the world, so does our cancer, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and growing list of autoimmune disorders.  The traditional cultures who previously enjoyed good health and freedom from these diseases are now suffering our fate.

Dr. T. Colin Campbell, American Biochemist and author of critically acclaimed The China Study, noted direct correlations between the introduction of American fast food overtaking the eating habits of traditional cultures, and the rise in chronic and autoimmune health conditions, especially cancer.

  • Since it became a state, the number of native Hawaiians suffering diet-related medical conditions has risen dramatically.  Once they became more dependent on mainland food, losing access to their traditional foods because of hotels, spas, and golf courses, their health began to decline.  With approximately 80% of their diet imported from the mainland US, spam is now a top preferred food.
  • In Japan, a country previously synonymous with health and longevity due to a diet rich in organic whole grains, sea vegetables, fish, miso, and vegetables reflected in lovely, clear skin and slim bodies, their health issues now mirror those of the Americans.  Obese and overweight individuals include many Japanese youngsters.
  • The stark contrast in health is not more apparent than in Africa which, previously associated with hunger and food scarcity, has now seen a drastic rise in diabetes and obesity, with over 1/3 of Africans now considered overweight.  
  • On a recent trip to Male, Maldives, a local resident who showed us around the island educated us on the culture of his people.  He sadly recounted earlier days before "American foods" entered the islands when chronic health issues such as cancer and heart disease simply did not exist.  Now, he expressed fear at the growing rates of cancer and heart disease.  He was also quick to point out the many significantly overweight people who surrounded us in the marketplace.

 

 

 

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