Originally Posted by ursusarctos
Oh this is interesting
: I am also interested as these theories seem so conflicting. Though like a PP noted, they both focus on whole fresh foods, very little sugar, and lots of veggies.(...) Cultures around the world have traditionally used all kinds of animal fats - seasonally, accompanied by lots of veggies (unless they were i.e. inuits),
As it turns out, several of the healthy cultures that Price studied ate hardly any vegetables at all. This didn't just apply to those who lived in the Arctic, but to anyone who lived in places where it was hard to grow green stuff, e.g. due to rocky ground or poor soil. For instance, the Swiss mountain valley people ate mostly rye and dairy, with meat once a week, and very little in the way of vegetables. They let the cows eat the vegetation on their behalf.
The Hebrideans of northern Scotland also ate minimal amounts of vegetables. They clearly got ample vitamins and minerals from their diet of seafood and oatmeal.
Vegetables can be part of a healthy diet, but they have their share of problems, just as with other foods (fruits, grains, dairy, etc.). In general, they're not a very efficient source of nutrients; they're mostly water and cellulose. Many people have trouble with large amounts of fiber, and with natural plant toxins such as salicylates. The mineral content of vegetables also varies widely depending on the quality of the soil, even among those that are organically grown. And some, such as carrots, have been bred to have far more sugar than they used to.
It really seems as if there's no one food, or even general class of foods, that's common to all
healthy diets. Our bodies all have fairly similar requirements for nutrients, and each culture has found different ways of getting them from the foods that are locally available. There are many nutrients that we're aware of, and probably many more that haven't been identified yet. This is why the typical WAPF approach of "here are the rules for choosing nutrient-dense foods, now pick whatever foods you like" seems rather unwise to me.
IMO, it makes the most sense to choose one traditional way of eating (either from a specific country, or a more general category such as coastal Asian, European agrarian, hunter-gatherer, etc.), learn as much about it as you can, and then prepare most of your meals along those lines, while applying Price's guidelines for maximizing nutrient density. It doesn't necessarily have to be the diet of your own ancestors; Stefansson
did well on the meat-based diet he learned from the Inuit, and, conversely, so did Native American children who were put on a "white man's diet" that was based on raw milk and whole grains. Still, there's a lot to be said for cultural connectedness.
Along those lines, I agree with the author of Full Moon Feast
that it's a real shame that so many of our bodies have been thrown out of equilibrium by modern agriculture and food processing, to the point that we can no longer eat properly prepared grains as our ancestors did for thousands of years. While I used to buy into the theories about Paleolithic vs. Neolithic diets, grains and dairy being inappropriate from an "evolutionary perspective," etc., the examples given by Price seem to run against that line of thinking. Even the Celtic Hebrideans -- whose ancestors couldn't have been farming that long in the great scheme of things -- seem to have done very well on oats, as part of an unrefined and nutrient-dense diet.