Book Review – Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon

IMG_1421In Sally’s own words – it is a Cookbook that Challenges the Politically Correct Nutrition and Diet Dictocrats. It was published in 2001.

Sally Fallon in her book Nourishing Traditions, discusses the idea that the Standard American Diet is a fundamental change from how our ancestors nourished themselves.  Essentially, convenience has consequences. Those consequences are chronic illnesses that affect nearly half of all Americans and cause 3 out of 4 deaths in the U.S (and this was in 2001).  Unfortunately, those diseases that used to be reserved for the elderly are now affecting children. Even with the trillions of dollars currently being spent on health care, we are becoming less and less healthy.

Sally points out that the nutritional guidelines we have been given by government and medical associations have not provided us with the tools to reduce chronic illness. Her call-to-action is to look toward our ancestral diets of whole foods including; non-refined grains, fruits and vegetables grown without pesticides and chemicals; unpasteurized dairy from grass fed cows; and meat and eggs from animals that are not kept in cages and fed a low quality diet.

A few facts in the book resonated with me. First, Cholesterol is needed in the body to repair damage in the arteries. High serum cholesterol levels usually indicate that the body is trying to protect itself from high levels of altered, free-radical containing fats. High cholesterol is not the source of the problem but really just highlighting that there is a problem. Usable vitamin B12 is only found in animal products – your body can store a small amount for up to 5 years; however, as you get older the ability to assimilate B12 declines. Gluten intolerance has been linked with a family history of alcoholism, arthritis, and mental disorders. Gluten intolerance has also been linked with vitamin B6 deficiency.

Sally does a great job of giving a synopsis of the macronutrients and micronutrients, while balancing scientific and common sense explanations. Her use of the teachings of Dr. Weston Price reinforces the points she outlines in each of the chapters. She does a great job of illustrating the detrimental affects of how we use industrial processing. For instance, her discussion of milk pasteurization was the first place I really gained a good understanding of the tons of nutrients that are removed in pasteurized milk.  Pasteurized milk might as well be water, but I think water still might be healthier. I also like her special diets chapter where she provides a good discussion that debunks some of the “diets” that have been publicized. One other thing I think is ingenious; in the margins of the recipe section she puts list of ingredients together and asks the reader to “Name this Product”.

Here’s an example I got straight off the internet:

MODIFIED CORNSTARCH, COCOA PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, MALTODEXTRIN, TETRASODIUM PYROPHOSPHATE AND DISODIUM PHOSPHATE (FOR THICKENING), CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, SALT, SOY LECITHIN, CALCIUM SULFATE, XANTHAN GUM, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES (PREVENT FOAMING), ASPARTAME* AND ACESULFAME POTASSIUM (SWEETENERS), RED 40, YELLOW 5, BLUE 2, ARTIFICIAL COLOR, BHA (PRESERVATIVE). CONTAINS: SOY. *PHENYLKETONURICS: CONTAINS PHENYLALANINE.

Instant Jello Sugar-free, Fat-free, Chocolate Fudge Pudding – Yuck…

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