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Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

  • ISBN13: 9780967089737
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This well-researched, thought-provoking guide to traditional foods contains a startling message: Animal fats and cholesterol are not villains but vital factors in the diet, necessary for normal growth, proper function of the brain and nervous system, protection from disease and optimum energy levels. Sally Fallon dispels the myths of the current low-fat fad in this practical, entertaining guide to a can-do diet that is both nutritious and delicious. Nourishing Traditions will tell you: Why you

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  1. 1,349 of 1,392 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Great read even if you don’t cook, March 18, 2002
    By A Customer
    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats (Paperback)

    I was seeing references to this book in other books that I found helpful: The Metabolic Typing Diet and Life Without Bread. But I delayed more than a year before buying Nourishing Traditions. I figured if I knew what to eat, I didn’t need a cookbook too.

    I was wrong. This is a textbook as much as a cookbook. I liken it to Joy of Cooking. You can learn a lot from it about food and nutrition even if you never use its recipes. I have used recipes from both, though, and can attest to their deliciousness. But I must admit, for me the best thing about reading Nourishing Traditions is learning about nutrition, not learning new recipes.

    The authors criticize the “Diet Dictocrats” who propound the “politically correct” low-fat, low-cholesterol diet. I find the epithet of “politically correct” rather grating and would hope they drop it in later editions.

    The book’s thesis is a Rousseauian one: industrial food production yields a product unsuited to our body’s nature. To find out what is suited to our nature, we ought to rely on research of what preindustrial societies consumed. Thus, as another reviewer pointed out, they view themselves as continuators of the program initiated by the dentist Weston Price (author of Nutrition and Physical Degeneration).

    I had spent years eating in accordance with the low-fat dietary dogma and my health suffered because of it. I give the authors credit for recognizing a wide spectrum of ideal diets depending on one’s genetic makeup. What is more problematic is how one draws the line between natural and unnatural. Is the line to be drawn between industrial and nonindustrial societies, or is it more basic than that? The book NeanderThin, for example sees humanity making a wrong turn with the advent of civilization. Civilization brings cultivation of grain and the domestication of dairy animals. Nourishing Traditions embraces dairy and grain as long as they are prepared in ways consistent with nonindustrial societies.

    Despite these controversies, Nourishing Traditions is a treasure trove of valuable information. Just one small tidbit: there is a concern that beef in the USA has an unfavorable fat profile–there is an unsatisfactory omega 6/omega 3 fatty acid ratio. I just learned from Nourishing Traditions that this problem is not present with lamb in the USA because lamb is virtually all pasture-raised. Since I live in a small apartment and have no place to hang a side of pasture-fed beef, this was very helpful information.

    OK, OK, one more tidbit. Everyone by now should know that people who eat nuts live longer. I love the taste of nuts but they always were hard for me to digest. Nourishing Traditions explains why and told me how to eat nuts without the digestive upset. These people know their stuff.

    I’ve seen five stars on a lot of books, that were, frankly, pretty lightweight. This book is a keeper. It’s not someone’s brilliant marketing concept turned into a book. It’s clearly the product of much, much, hard work. It’s not the final word. But it’s a comprehensive presentation of a coherent worldview on healthy nutrition.

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  2. 1,857 of 1,963 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Responding to some objections UPDATED, July 13, 2008
    By 
    D. Steinlage
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats (Paperback)

    While the front matter in the book is pretty earth-shaking in terms of toppling most dietary shibboleths erected in recent years, the sidebar information as you go through the book is just as eye-opening. But let me deal with some objections I noted when reading Amazon reviews of this book. There are over 200 reviews, which says something about this book: it may not be on airport book racks, but people are reading it.

    The NT way of eating is downright dangerous.

    This is in the eye of the beholder. Most studies showing a decrease in heart disease deaths due to cholesterol-lowering drugs or diets show an increase in death rates from all causes. Which one are you going to take your chances with? Several well-done studies audited by independent researchers show no correlation between deaths related to heart disease or artheriosclerosis and the consumption of butter, eggs, and red meat. A few studies show that butter and saturated fats appear to have a protective effect.

    What happens is that the government, the American Heart Association, the American Dietetic Association, and others (the Diet Dictocrats), cherry pick the studies they will publicize and which aspects of these studies the public will learn about–which the MSM then dutifully report to John Q. Public. Studies whose results seem to defy the diet-heart hypothesis are silenced, starved of funds, and ultimately shuttered. Hence you have people like my father-in-law who says he’s not supposed to eat organ meats because they are high in cholesterol. There is absolutely no relationship between the amount of cholesterol in a food and the likelihood of it contributing to artheriosclerosis. The one exception is a form of oxidized cholesterol (present in powdered milk and powdered eggs, and in liquid lowfat milk), which did produce artheriosclerosis in rats. These are the foods we are supposed to eat to lower our cholesterol, and they actually contribute to heart disease!

    Sally Fallon et al. have a thing against vegetarians.
    This criticism was the most prevalent among the reviews. The reviewers were very emotional in their comments…but that should not be construed as reflecting an emotionalism (can I say that?) in the book. The book is unemotional. However, vegetarianism is the most deeply established alternate diet we have–many people are invested in it body, heart, and soul. I won’t debate here whether vegetarianism is a good diet or not, but I will say that there are several points in the book where it’s pointed out that pure vegetarian (vegan) diets are likely to contribute to a deficiency in fat-soluble vitamins (which come from animal products, primarily), some B vitamins and, if the grains/beans/legumes are unsoaked and unfermented, to the loss of minerals. Children in particular are profoundly affected by the lack of animal fat in the diet, and this is very sad to see.

    On the other hand, a form of “vegetarianism” is followed in some cultures (more out of necessity than choice) which includes animal products in the form of eggs, raw and cultured dairy products, seafood, shrimp and fish eggs, and insects. These high-vitamin foods are sought-after commodities in these cultures, since they contain the all-important fat-soluble activators necessary for strength, long life, and healthy reproduction. The book notes that these more vegetarian cultures tend to suffer more from dental caries (as noted by Dr. Price) than others, but there are no diatribes.

    The book is not well referenced.
    I do not get this one at all. There are 63 footnoted pages of text explaining traditional foods, the role of certain substances in the diet (with an emphasis on fats), and the shortcomings of modern food processing and what can be done about it. There are 188 references listed in a separate section; most of these are research periodicals.

    Sally Fallon is down on working moms.
    “No one in modern America deserves more sympathy than the working parent on a limited budget….While it is not necessary to spend long hours in the kitchen in order to eat properly, it is necessary to spend some time in the kitchen. Simple, wholesome menus require careful planning rather than long hours of preparation…nutritious meals can be prepared very quickly when one lays the groundwork ahead of time. If your present schedule allows no time at all for food preparation, you would be wise to re-examine your priorities.” There are two pages of simple hints and advice that anybody could follow.

    Sally Fallon is down on moms who don’t breastfeed.
    “If, in spite of these measures, your milk supply is inadequate, don’t feel guilty. Lack of adequate milk supply sometimes does occur, especially as baby grows and his appetite increases. You have done the best you could and your baby can still grow up healthy, strong and smart on a homemade, whole-food baby formula.”

    Soaked baked goods…

    Read more

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  3. 274 of 285 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Building on Dr. Price’s Work, August 6, 2007
    By 

    This review is from: Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats (Paperback)

    The ‘most helpful’ review for this book here at Amazon questions the reliance by this book on Dr. Weston Price’s work, simply because he was a dentist. Fair enough, but the smart thing would be to see what he said for yourself. Instead of relying on Sally Fallon’s word for why Dr. Price’s work was so important, I went and read his book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, myself. I actually checked out one printed in the 1940′s from a university library, to avoid any reprint changes he may or may not have approved.

    His work is fascinating. He first sought to understand why isolated people on traditional, unprocessed diets had such remarkable teeth, dental arches, and resistance to disease, particulary tuberculosis. Instead of focusing on the traditional methods used in medicine that seek to cure medical problems after the fact, he was out to find out a way to prevent the problems in the first place. What a novel idea. What he discovered was that traditional diets of isolated peoples maintained the teeth and health of these people in a dramatic fashion. He also found that within a generation of being exposed to processed food diets, these people began to experience the same health problems we have now. Why rely on his work, which dates some 70 years old? Because this same research can’t be done today, there just aren’t enough people that are still untouched by civilizaton and processed diets.

    Back to this book. I believe much of what Sally Fallon has to say is right on the money. She was wise to heavily rely on what Dr. Price found and then has provided much additional information and some good recipies to go along with it. I agree with some of the other reviews here that state that implementing much of what she suggests into your diet will be a challenge. Our society and the giant food manufacturers have made it so, because that’s how they earn a profit. Any way you slice it, eating healthy is a lot more work for you individually because you have to rely on yourself to prepare fresh unprocessed foods. But it’s worth doing, and if you take bits and pieces and start to implement them gradually you and your family (and your future offspring) will be much better off because of it.

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