How are Diet and Disease Related?
Modern medical professionals are starting to understand just how closely linked diet and disease really are, and it’s about time they caught on to this basic truth. More and more doctors are recommending healthier diets to their patients, even as they continue to treat them with conventional medicines and surgeries.
What if we could do away with those conventional medicines and surgeries that are fraught with side effects? What if, by simply making smart choices about your and your family’s diet, you could completely avoid modern diseases? Believe it or not, a healthy, wholesome, natural diet can actually achieve these things. Following is the evidence that shows this is true.
Dr. Weston Andrew Price and Dental Research
Dr. Weston Andrew Price is a dentist who lost his son Donald to the side effects of an infected root canal. This tragedy inspired him to find out why people in modernized areas suffer from so many dental cavities. While on his journey, Dr. Price visited various indigenous groups around the world. During his travels, he made an impressive discovery: most indigenous groups had almost no examples of tooth decay among them.
In many of the indigenous groups he visited, Dr. Price found examples of intermingling cultures. The older generations continued to follow the traditional ways of the community, which in particular involved eating the traditional native foods of the area. Younger generations more often existed on modernized foods, and these generations represented the only instances of dental deformity and decay Dr. Price encountered.
The book Healing Our Children documents Dr. Price’s journey. In this book, Dr. Price’s research goes to show that “[people] who don’t follow our modern and ‘civilized’ ways of living to not have our modern diseases. On the other hand, when groups of indigenous people changed their diets they developed modern diseases, regardless of their genetic heritage (14).” Of particular note among Dr. Price’s research was a find he made among the Eskimo people. He found that when people in this group eschewed their native diet, they often developed modern diseases such as tooth decay, arthritis and even cancer. When the Eskimos went back to their native diets, however, they were often able to completely cure these diseases with no medical intervention.
Although Dr. Price’s initial intent was simply to study dental cavities in different indigenous groups, his actual discoveries were much more broad. He discovered that modern conditions like arthritis, cancer and the general frailty that comes with advanced age were absent among indigenous communities that clung to their native diets.
What’s Similar in These Diets?
The diet we eat obviously has a profound effect on the way our bodies function, far beyond just making us obese as our modern culture would have us believe. But what type of food is the best medicine?
Dr. Price’s research included an extremely wide variety of native cultures. Some of them were seafaring cultures whose native diets would include plenty of fish. Others, such as the Scots of the Outer Hebrides, included plenty of oats in their diets, while some cultures were landlocked and would have eaten mostly meats and vegetables they could grow or gather.
There is a common link between all of these societies, however, and that is what their diets did not include. None of these traditional indigenous diets included modernized, processed foods such as processed sugar, bleached flour, canned goods, or foods full of preservatives and artificial ingredients. As soon as these foods were introduced to these indigenous cultures, the health of the people began to suffer.
The below photo is an example to show you just how quickly diet-related physical changes can take place. The photo depicts a pair of Scottish brothers with very different diets. The brother on the right consumes a traditional diet in line with what his culture has always eaten: fish, oat products, and some dairy products. The brother on the left eats a modern processed diet of white bread, sweetened coffee, chocolate, and jam.
The brothers in this photo are just a few years apart, but the brother on the left is obviously in much poorer physical condition. The foods they have eaten throughout their lives have made a huge impact on their overall health – you can see that much in their teeth.
The Bottom Line
One of the main lessons to be learned from Dr. Price’s research is that our modern diet can make a huge difference in our health, even over a relatively short period of time. Getting back to a healthier, more wholesome, indigenous type of diet can be of huge benefit to not only native populations but to our modern first-world cultures as well. If you’re ready to start improving your health and the health of your children, check out