As a follow-up to my letter you published (Summer, 2003) about the alternative health HMO, American Speciality Health Networks’ decision to cancel my contract with them on the grounds that I was advising my clients on diets which did not comply with the amount of carbohydrate advised by the American Dietetic Association and the American Heart Association, I feel it is only fair to ASHN to let your readers know what happened as a consequence of my letter to them and my informing them that I was letting all of my clients know of their action to cancel my contract and informing national alternative nutritional organizations to which I belong, including the Weston A. Price Foundation.
I received no reply to my letter. In the meantime, they continued to send me routine updated paper work. After a month or so I contacted them to see what their response was, as I told them that a national publication was waiting to print the story. Their verbal response was that they had decided to hold off indefinitely on a decision on my contract and that they were trying to come up with a recommendation of exactly how much fat:carb ratio to recommend!! During that conversation, I realized the cause of their dilemma was that they had to hold dietitians to some standard. They used the standards of practice for naturopaths, acupuncturists, chiropractors, etc. But the problem with dietitians is that they are hanging on to the food pyramid against all rational argument. I guess they have decided to lie low and see what happens. Whether I will actually ever receive any money from them, given my rogue status, is probably debatable.
I continue to receive routine correspondence from them so apparently they have left the door open without committing themselves.
Julia Glenn, RD/LD
No Beneficial Role
I want you to know how much I’m enjoying my first issue of the WAPF newsletter. I was happy to see, in one of the letters you published, that I’m not the only RD in the organization.
I thought you might be interested in something I read the other day. I am a member of the American Dietetic Association and was doing some catchup reading when the following paragraph caught my eye (from an article on the new Dietary Reference Intakes in the Fall ’02 “Dietetics in Practice,” a quarterly ADA publication):
“According to the report [from the Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board], saturated fat and cholesterol provide no know [sic] beneficial role in preventing chronic diseases and so are not required at any level in the diet. Since completely eliminating saturated fat and cholesterol from the typical American diet would make it difficult to meet other nutritional guidelines, the panel recommended keeping intake as low as possible while maintaining a nutritionally adequate diet.”
Hmmmm. . . I’d like them to take a look at the lipid profile of human milk and tell me again that saturated fat and cholesterol are not required at any level! Or do they believe our nutritional requirements change that dramatically when we wean?
Thanks again for all you do. I can’t tell you how glad I am that I found the WAPF!
Thank you so much for your advice to switch my children’s milk to raw milk! I corresponded with you three months ago and at the time this seemed like such a leap of faith to give them something that had not been “sanitized.” My kids seem healthier to me. My little Adam now has chubbier cheeks. We miraculously recover from all of our colds in 1-2 days. And these colds are less frequent and much less severe. My husband used to wonder what was wrong with us because we were always sick.
I also feel reassured that with having children in the future I will be able to supplement them with something that really will nourish them. With both of my kids I have struggled with a low milk supply. I battled until the last drop, which for some strange reason was until the age of 11 months for both children. Both needed to be supplemented from 8 months on. I NEVER felt good about giving them Nutramigen or soy formulas. In contrast, every single time I leave the Cox’s family farm with my four gallons of raw milk I feel peaceful.
We have also started taking cod liver oil. My ancestry is Norwegian, Irish and Scottish–all from the coastline. My Irish mother is just amazed. She remembers herself and all her school mates taking cod liver oil and a glass of orange juice every day. She also recalls frequently going next door to the neighbor’s house to fetch a bucket of fresh milk. “Progress” has brought us Twinkies and goldfish crackers. There certainly is wisdom in learning from the past.
Again, thank you so much from an RN who stands corrected. . . not everything must be sterilized!
Cedar Hills, Utah
I just read an article about how giving growth hormone to short kids is a new market for the pharmaceutical companies. After seeing the growth spurt my daughter had after we switched to whole milk, I’m convinced that it’s the lowfat diet that is stunting many kids’ growth. There have been some tiny children in my daughter’s classes, and we know many of them are drinking skim milk.
Because it was the official advice, I switched my daughter from whole milk to 2% milk when she turned two years old. That is what she drank until she was five. As I remember, once she turned three, she stopped outgrowing her clothes so quickly. But once we went back to whole milk, she resumed her steady growth. She continues to have lots of energy. And her temperament continues to be amazingly even for one her age. In fact, the only times she acts in a way that seems unmanageable are times when she has not eaten good, healthy food for several hours.
Recently car troubles forced my daughter and me to walk the whole 4-5 miles home. She didn’t complain a bit until we were about one block from home. Then she ran the last half block home! Before we switched to whole milk, my daughter would never have endured the whole walk home. She would have wanted to get picked up before we had gone five or six blocks.
Our increased intake of animal fat has been more than supportive of our health. I have no trouble believing the stories about Innuit who live all winter on animal fat and then increase their activity in the spring without undue strain or discomfort.
I really appreciate your courage in getting out the message about traditional foods and the benefit of eating animal fat. Thank you!
Half the Story
I was vegan for several years after learning of the substantial body of evidence demonstrating that dairy products caused all kinds of health problems for huge numbers of people.
However, as usual, I was only being told half of the story. The main reason why this evidence exists is that today in most of the world you can only consume pasteurized dairy products. Heating milk to pasteurize it kills most of the goodness of milk and creates many unnatural by-products. That’s before it even gets homogenized.
Humans have consumed dairy for thousands of years, and until the 20th century, we never suffered from heart disease or obesity. Finally the distinction between raw and pasteurized dairy makes some sense of this contrast with today’s results of dairy consumption.
So why was milk originally pasteurized? Probably due to such diseases as TB which were very common around the start of the 20th century. Heating milk to high temperatures killed most of those bugs, so it made great sense. . . for a while. However, nowadays we have much better hygiene and raw dairy provides no risks to health as long as it’s kept in clean containers. The problem nowadays is that the dairy pasteurizers are huge companies who make good money from heat treating milk. The last thing they want is to give up this profit.
This explains why raw milk is illegal in much of the world today. The big dairy companies can pay farmers lower prices for their produce, as they have far more power than any individual farmer. Legalizing raw dairy worldwide would allow farmers to sell their products locally for a fair price.
This would give them a reasonable living instead of a hard struggle. It would also allow small local farms to be sustainable instead of having to sell out to the big multinationals. It would also greatly improve the health of people. Decentralization would also help the surrounding areas by allowing mixed farming to thrive again.
I came across the Weston Price Foundation while trying to improve my health. I had suffered from bad digestion, nose bleeds, insomnia, pain in the area of my gallbladder, and premature atrial contractions. One of the many things I did to help myself was to implement the Weston Price diet in our home. I cleaned out the house of most processed food and started cooking the nourishing traditional way. Within 6 months of following the diet I felt way better but to my husband’s and my surprise our children’s health made big noticeable changes. This is where the story really starts.
Our son, who is nine years old, had anxiety, a hard time going to sleep, bed wetting, teeth grinding at night, frequent skin rashes on his body and around his mouth, and he started hearing voices in his head. We have a family history of mental disorders. Our six-year-old daughter had warts on her feet and dark circles under her eyes most of the time. The children had a bit of a hard time giving up their cold cereal, candy, and they were a bit reluctant to take cod liver oil and lacto-fermented vegetables but slowly they have gotten used to our new diet, and lo, and behold their problems have slowly disappeared!
Most of our medical doctors and dentists would not think that our children’s problems were related to diet but I now believe many mental and physical problems are related to our standard American diet. We were a family that ate pretty healthy according to American standards. I can’t help but wonder how many other people, especially children, could be helped by diets like the Weston Price one.
This experience has inspired me to think about how I could help others. Do you know of an education program that would teach me about being a nutritionist who would implement the Weston Price diet? This is the best thing that has happened to our family and I thank you for all the hard work you have done. Keep it up.
We often get this question. There is no particular nutrition program we recommend. However we do suggest that you get a real degree in biology, biochemistry or nutrition from an accredited university. You will have to sit through a lot of industry propaganda, but get as much science as you can and the letters behind your name.
Lorraine R. Carlstrom
Hood River, OR
I just want to give you my heartfelt thanks for providing recipes for homemade baby formula. My grandson was doing quite poorly on Infamil at two months, shortly after his mom stopped producing milk. (She has Grave’s disease and her thyroid function is the probable culprit.) When I discovered the recipes, we started him on the milk formula immediately. What a difference! He responded instantly–no more constipation, rashes, etc., and an immediate gain in weight, fat layer in his skin and happy disposition. At four months, and with a great appetite, he is alert, strong, playful and growing out of his clothes. I am sure glad we found you at this critical period in life.
San Diego, California
Trans and Heartburn
Over the past 6 months, I’ve been doing an experiment on myself. I wanted to tell you about this experiment and ask you a question. I am a wildland firefighter for the Forest Service. I keep myself in excellent health both with diet and exercise. However, my job causes me to travel quite a bit and disrupts my eating habits. I’ve been noticing over the past two years that whenever I am away from home I get heartburn. I really had a hard time figuring out what was wrong, but I now have an hypothesis.
My hypothesis is that hydrogenated and rancid fats, like those used in restaurants, cause heartburn. I came to this conclusion after eliminating everything that could supposedly cause heartburn from my diet; i.e., high acid food like tomato sauces, pork BBQ and all those other yummy things. After the elimination I still got heartburn while traveling, in fact it got worse! I figured the high acid foods were not to blame, because I can eat those things when at home with no problem. After reading your information about fats, I decided to eliminate all hydrogenated vegetable oils from my diet. I noticed that the heartburn went away.
My experiment has been to observe the effects of hydrogenated fats on my system. After six months I’ve noticed that if I eat anything with hydrogenated fat in it I will get some form of heartburn whether I’m traveling or not. This problem just unveiled itself because my diet changes so drastically while traveling. I’m learning to cope with this and have all sorts of solutions for food-sensitive travelers. My last trip was very successful with only one bout of mild heartburn due to eating some corn chips. Everyone I work with thinks I am nuts. I won’t touch anything with hydrogenated fat in it. Is there any scientific validity to this? I need some scientific backing. Everyone says I should get Nexium, but I’ve cured myself without drugs by paying attention to what I eat. Please help.
Aiken, South Carolina
Cod Liver Oil
In a recent column, Joe and Terry Graedon of The People’s Pharmacy, warn against regular use of cod liver oil. They say: “Regular use of cod liver oil has been associated with weakening of the bones. That is because of the high dose of vitamin A it contains. Purified fish oil avoids this problem.” Surely this cannot be true.
Editors Response: Although there have been several well-publicized studies which showed a relationship between high levels of serum vitamin A and bone loss, none of these studies actually looked at cod liver oil consumption (although commentators have used these studies to warn people about cod liver oil). A 2002 study at the University of Wisconsin found that men taking 25,000 IU cod liver oil for 6 weeks had no alteration of bone loss indicators; and the 3rd National Health and Nutrition Survey, 1988-94, found that serum levels of vitamin A were not associated with reduced bone density. The recent studies that have garnered so much publicity may have reflected adverse effects from synthetic vitamin A contained in multi-vitamin pills and often added to margarine, milk and other foods. Use of cod liver oil is associated with strong bones and is a must for pregnant women. See the beautiful babies here. See more on Cod Liver Oil here.
A Traditional Diet
I well remember my childhood as a very happy one. My grandparents were French, but in time they moved to London. When my sister and I went to stay with them, it was heaven. We had lots of bread and drippings.
In those days, beef and pork needed to have plenty of fat on them. On a shelf on the way upstairs were glass jars full of cod liver oil, which I loved. Every morning, my grandmother used to break an egg into a glass and fill it with milk, stir it and drink it. My grandfather would fill a bucket with chats (small potatoes) and cook them on an open fire. We children helped ourselves when they were cooked.
In today’s paper, I have just read that chicken soup makes people live to a ripe old age. When I lived in Glasgow, Scotland, I was taken ill with kidney and bladder trouble and all I got while in the hospital was chicken soup, so maybe there is something to it! I am 82 years old and still going strong!
It Shows in the Teeth
I spoke last night during a slow period at work to a young woman whose parents immigrated from Cambodia some years ago. She has perfect teeth and facial structure, as do her parents–right out of Price’s photos. She was raised on a traditional diet.
However, her younger sister has eaten mostly American fast food and her teeth are crowded and crooked–how bad I don’t know because all her pictures show her with a hand in front of her face. My co-worker says that she sees many of the younger people among her Cambodian friends with bad teeth, but their parents have no such problems.
Looks like the same things that Price observed are being played out again here in our time.
Thanks again for all your good work.
I see that Stephen Byrnes has given a qualified Thumbs Up to the original Schwarzbein Principle. The problem I find is that she has tried to make the book acceptable to vegetarians. It also appears to have been written for women.
In Schwarzbein Principle II, the doctor adds a lowfat version of her program and she also cautions against consuming too much saturated fat!
I was taking a soy product that had soy protein isolate in it. After a few months, the doctor found my creatine had gone way up, indicating kidney problems. They were so concerned. I stopped taking the product and my kidneys became normal. My friend took the same product and had trouble with her thyroid.
I am sending a donation to help out. I am so thankful we have people like you to keep us informed.
Iowa Falls, Iowa
Soy and Seizures
I have had a seizure disorder my whole life with long periods off medication with no seizures. I was seizure-free from 1985 through 1994 on medication and from 1994 to 2000 off medication. My seizures only occur in my sleep. Historically, I had grand mal seizures. In 2000, I began having nighttime “episodes” which went undiagnosed until January, 2002 when I was told I has having simple partial seizures.
Additionally, at the time of diagnosis in 2002, through many blood tests, I also was found to have very high antibodies indicative of systemic lupus. However, I have no other symptoms of SLE. I have been on seizure medications since May due to elevated liver enzymes. I was taking Tegretol. Since being off the Tegretol, my liver enzymes have returned to normal. However, up until four weeks ago, I was having seizures again every night.
All of a sudden, they stopped. I realized that the only thing different in my life was that I had not eaten any soy products. I have made a conscious effort to cut out anything with soy ingredients and have been seizure-free for four weeks.
I am wondering whether now my lupus antibodies will also be normal. I will know that in September when I see my rheumatologist.
I thought back to when I began eating a lot of soy burgers and soy “chicken,” soy milk, cereal with soy fortification, soy protein shakes, etc., and realized it was around 2000.
My question: is there any research out there that connects soy with seizures. I know MSG is a neurotoxin/excitotoxin like aspartame which causes me to have seizures, and that MSG is a by-product of soy and also soy protein isolates contain MSG. But I am also curious about the soy/estrogen connection. Some women only have seizures during menstruation. I also have irregular periods which only corrected themselves while on Tegretol, which is known to metabolize estrogen.
I am trying to piece together my puzzle and was hoping maybe you had some resources I could contact or websites that could help me. Any information you can provide would be appreciated.
Editor’s Response: There is a growing body of evidence that soy intereferes with neurological function, as well as neurological development in the infant.
Return to the Land
I found this quote by Andrew Nelson Lytle recently and thought it would fit nicely into Wise Traditions:
“The escape from industrialism is not in socialism or in sovietism. The answer lies in a return to a society where agriculture is practiced by most of the people. It is in fact impossible for any culture to be sound and healthy without a proper regard for the soil, no matter how many urban dwellers think that their food comes from grocers and delicatessens, or their milk from tin cans.”
I really appreciate your work and the work of the Foundation. I know that it has revolutionized first my perspective and then my dietary choices over the last year and a half. The unholy alliance between junk food processors and the misguided activities of half-baked scientists is a difficult liaison to neutralize. Keep up the good work!
Editor’s Response: Also see the letter with bread recipe for use with bread machine, posted at the end of the article the writer was responding to from the Spring 2003 issue, Our Daily Bread.