Sunday, September 14, 2008

WAP Diet

No, it's not another fad diet for losing weight!

It's really a philosophy for healthy eating that's been around for thousands of years and was put into perspective about 70 years ago by the work of Weston A. Price (WAP). The idea is to eat foods that kept our ancestors healthy and to avoid highly processed and refined foods that are low in nutrients and high in harmful additives. Actually, many people do lose weight using this approach to eating, but the main goal is getting good nutrition for optimal health. Normalizing weight is a fringe benefit :)

Not all of the foods that our ancestors ate were equally healthy. Some foods confer greater health than others. That's what Weston Price studied in the 1920's and 1930's when he traveled around the world to document the native foods that people ate and their health. His conclusion was that the healthiest native diets included animal seafoods, organ meats, and/or dairy in their diet. These are the foods that have provided optimal nutrition for thousands of years. He found that when people abandoned the healthy diet of their ancestors for a more modern diet of refined flour and sugar and highly processed foods, their health suffered greatly.

Today we see a massive shift to highly processed foods in much of the world and a corresponding rise in poor health. Rates of obesity are increasing rapidly as people follow sadly misguided conventional dietary and health advice and are confused and misled by advertising for manufactured fake foods. When they get sick, they are given expensive drugs that often cause more health problems than they solve. It's time to get back to the foods that kept people healthy for thousands of years and shun the modern manufactured fake foods.

The Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) has been teaching the about the WAP approach to eating for about 10 years now and is a good source for health and diet information. My experience is that each of us has to discover which ancestral foods are best for us by trial and error. Not all traditional foods are best for everyone. Try them out and find the ones that work best for your health. Here's a WAPF video that discusses Price's teachings:



Some people have food sensitivities to even some traditional foods that others are able to tolerate. Read here for more information about food sensitivities. That's why it's important to find the traditional foods that work best for your own health.

5 comments:

Anna said...

Bryan,

Have you been following Stephan's posts (Whole Health Source blog) on fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, & K)? Those are the very same vitamins found in abundant amounts in the foods identified by WAP's research. Ironically, these are the very same foods we are advised to limit or eliminate from our diets by the diet "authorities". Hmmph!

Bryan - oz4caster said...

Anna,

I'm not familiar with the Whole Health Source blog, I'll have to look it up. In the video with this post, you'll hear Sally Fallon mention the importance of vitamins A, D, and K that are low or missing in diets promoted by conventional health advice.

Chris Masterjohn has written a couple of excellent articles on the subject of these vitamins for the WAPF journal "Wise Traditions":

From Seafood to Sunshine - A New Understanding of Vitamin D Safety

and

On the Trail of the Elusive X-Factor

These articles go into great detail about the science supporting the need for abundant A, D, and K2 in diet.

As far as vitamin E, I think it's over-rated and may only be important in diets that are high in polyunsaturated fats (which are not good diets anyway). Most natural foods that are high in vitamin E are also high in polyunsaturated fat.

Jenny said...

The WAPF has changed my life so dramatically. Prior to picking up a copy of Nourishing Traditions at a swap, I had been a veg*n and the book revolutionized the way I thought about food. Following that, I decided to do my own research and was astonished by the truths when it comes to the wholesomeness of animal foods. Now that we've been practicing traditional foods for about two years, our health has improved dramatically. We rarely, rarely get sick and when we do it lasts a day rather than a week. I could go on and on.

Bryan - oz4caster said...

Jenny,

I've noticed improved health as well and I hear the same from most everyone who tries this approach to eating in earnest. I have to look in the mirror to remind myself that I'm 56 and not 36 :)

muhammad said...

i just know about this topic, i think WAPF is great and need to try