That was a main point made Tuesday at the Bradfield Community Center by a doctor who advocates a return to a diet low in refined sugars and carbohydrates and rich in animal fats, cream, butter, fish, olive oil and other nutrient-dense, traditional foods.
“I'll bring a bushel of soybeans and a bushel of corn over to your house, and we'll see if we can make vegetable oil out of them. You can't do it,” said Dr. Wayne A. Feister, a general practice physician from Rawson. “The point is, if you're biblical, if you believe the Earth's been here 6,000 years, for 5,900 years, man has lived on this type of fat.”
The modern, fast-food diet is slowly killing us, said Feister, a clinical assistant professor with the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. Processed carbohydrates, preservatives, additives and vegetable oils proliferate as the nation's rates for diabetes, heart disease, cancer and obesity continue to increase, he said.
Feister is an advocate of the Weston A. Price Foundation and has helped establish eight local chapters. He said he has lectured on the topic about 500 times during the past 12 years.
Weston A. Price was a Cleveland dentist in the 1930s and '40s who conducted research in the diets of native cultures around the world. The founder and head of what's now the American Dental Association's research institute, Price espoused a theory that nutrient-dense diets, including animal fats, are crucial to human health and development.
Feister shared photos taken by Price of two generations of indigenous people around the world: those raised on their traditional diets; and their offspring, raised on refined carbohydrates and vegetable oils. The younger generation's faces tended to be narrower, with eyes closer together and teeth crowded together.
“Without adequate nutrition, the middle third of their face doesn't grow,” Feister said. This causes crowded teeth, and sinus problems, he said.
Price concluded animal products, including fat, natural cheeses, eggs, raw milk and butter, provided enzymes and minerals essential for growth. At least some of these animal products are served raw. Modern processed foods either kill or strip away these essential nutrients and give others, like cholesterol, a bad name, Feister said.
Animal products are rich in Vitamins A, B12 and D as well as very long-chain, super unsaturated fatty acids. An animal-based diet also makes the body more able to absorb and use calcium, Vitamin B6, magnesium, iron, zinc and copper, Feister said. And natural salt — not the stuff in the blue canister — is the most abundant source of minerals.
“It is possible to starve for minerals that are abundant in the foods eaten, because they cannot be utilized without the adequate quantity of the fat-soluble activators” that come from a diet rich in meat and animal products, Feister said, quoting Price's 1939 book, “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.”