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Nutrition and Physical Degeneration: A Comparison of Primitive and Modern Diets and Their Effects
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Nutrition and Physical Degeneration: A Comparison of Primitive and Modern Diets and Their Effects

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  1,600 Ratings  ·  101 Reviews
An epic study demonstrating the importance of whole food nutrition, and the degeneration and destruction that comes from a diet of processed foods.

For nearly 10 years, Weston Price and his wife traveled around the world in search of the secret to health. Instead of looking at people afflicted with disease symptoms, this highly-respected dentist and dental researcher chose
Paperback, 524 pages
Published May 29th 1999 by Keats Publishing (first published 1939)
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Oct 15, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ideas, cooking, health
This book changed my life but each case study in the book said the same thing (and was tedious to read) thus four stars, but worth skipping to the end and here's what I learned...

The average human needs 2000-2500 calories per day. Sugar is a concentrated form of energy (carbohydrates) and can quickly fill up the body's caloric needs without providing any body-building minerals. Body-building minerals include calcium, phosphorus, iron and magnesium. These minerals may be present in food yet unus
Roslyn Ross
Aug 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Required reading, especially for people thinking about having kids. So shocking to see such strong evidence that all orthodontic needs are NOT genetic but actually evidences of nutritional deficiencies IN UTERO. Fascinating how much effort he has to go to prove what is really common sense and yet people still don't know this stuff. Why didn't I learn about this until now? I am so angry about what a useless waste of time public education is. Why don't we learn anything useful at all?!!!! ARGH!!!! ...more
May 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nutrition
This is the best book I've ever read. The amount of research, depth of knowledge, and pictures that capture more than words can describe makes a very though provoking read. Forget everything you have head about nutrition from so called experts over the last 60 years. This is the only book you need.
David Carver
Apr 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
This book is quite simply the best and most succinct argument for a natural, non-synthetic diet. Chapter after chapter of detailed surveys, statistics, and citation establishes that diet directly influences not only the superficial problems of tooth decay, but much more serious issues of prenatal development, degenerative disease, and mental acuity. One would expect a work on dental health in primitive cultures to be dry going, but Weston Price has an eye for the beauty in Nature, especially the ...more
Oct 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Most people only hear about Price from the "raw milk" crowd. That topic is only a tiny part of his work, and he talks about healthy diets that include no dairy whatsoever.

This is probably one of the most significant works on nutrition and health I have read. Price claims NO PERFECT DIET, but seeks to articulate ideal common principles of the diets he examined.

The principles of health, extracted from fine specimens of "primitive" peoples, include:

1. excluding all white flour; only including fres
Jesse Barnes
Aug 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very cool book. A cross between adventure dentistry, cultural anthropology and nutritional science. Some of the material he discovered is common knowledge now: the importance of vitamins, the role of sugar and refined flour in tooth decay. But the really interesting stuff was his data on physical development in people who had gone from traditional (aka "primitive") diets to modern diets and then back again. Children born under the primitive diets were healthier, stronger, and had resistance to c ...more
Brad Belschner
Nov 28, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: health
Interesting stuff, but not as relevant to the modern reader as it might seem. There's a world of difference between being raised on whole foods in a pre-industrial environment with plenty of exercise VS. being raised on processed foods and switching to whole foods. The latter can actually be harmful, depending on the circumstances. Overall, this book is an interesting source of information, but somewhat poor source of dietary guidance. I recommend the research of Matt Stone instead (or in additi ...more
Dec 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Weston A. Price is a master scientist. He traveled the world with his wife, Indiana Jones style, but instead of ancient relics, he searched for ancient foods. He found the key to ending chronic disease!... but no one listens because if we were to practice what he found, food lobbyists and manufacturers, ad companies, commercial farmers, and most importantly Monsanto & Big Pharm would be out of business.
Richard Reese
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My mother, who was born in 1916, had a “sweet tooth.” When I was born, she had dentures, no teeth. White flour and sugar were common ingredients in many meals I consumed between childhood and into my 40s. She got diabetes, and I did too. My first dentist said I had teeth like a horse. They are crowded and crooked. All four of my wisdom teeth were surgically removed, because they were growing sideways, toward the molar next door. I brushed my teeth, but still got cavities.

Back in the sixteenth ce
Feb 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book changed my perspective on food and dental care. Cavities can be healed (easier while young than old), teeth can be remineralized, and what we eat has a direct effect on our health (I already knew that part of course, but never read it this way before).

This book is a fascinating story of a dentist in early last century who traveled to pockets of people still eating their age-old ancestral diet. He found that their traditional diet, widely different in content depending on the area, equ
Feb 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: digital-books
A sometimes racist, often subjective, occasionally factual, outdated, repetitive scientific read. This is what you get, I guess, reading 1st person biological science from the 1930s. Nevertheless, this book is fantastic in 3 ways: [1] It shows us what science used to think was correct; [2] excellent descriptions of "primitive" diets (the delight of most readers of this book); [3] Can also be read as an anecdote-filled nutritional travelogue.

Found myself skimming entire sections. Overall, an over
Iona  Stewart
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get through this voluminous, dense book, which is a classic within the field of dentistry.

I’m not particularly interested in dentistry but have been having dental issues and thus found my way to this book.

Weston Price travelled around the world investigating the teeth of so-called primitive peoples. His focus was to find societies untouched by Western society who thus still existed totally on a diet of indigenous foods.

The prologue states that Price proved conclus
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First of all, yes. This book was written in the 1930's and it is full of politically incorrect terms describing native populations (primitives, savages) as well as handicapped individuals (idiot, retarded, moron, etc.).

It also features theories that are now baseless.

Mr. Price assumed that the theory of the land bridge to north america following the ice age was infallible so all the native population were from common ancestry and therefore their regionally physical differences were entirely base
Sean Michael
Mar 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: most-influential
This is one of the most important books on nutrition ever written. Dr. Price presents in this work documentation of the detrimental effects on health, bone structure and fertility that are seen when modern foods (sugar, white rice, white flour, canned foods, jams, lean muscle meat, vegetable oils), replace traditional foods (liberal use of sea foods, organ meats, eggs of many species of animal and fish, full-fat dairy from cow, goat and camel raised on fast growing grasses on mineral-rich soil, ...more
Deanna Miller
Jun 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the most important books ever written and should be required reading in all schools. It also should be required reading for anyone planning to have children. Although not a fast-paced or exciting read, it contains wisdom that is crucial to the health and survival of the human race.

Through the foods we eat, we have a lot more control over our health than most of us realize. Dr. Weston A. Price, a dentist and the first research director of the National Dental Association (later ren
Łukasz Pomi
Jan 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A must read ..BUT

Way to many pages if You ask me.

You could sum up this book in few points really. So to spare You the trouble of hearing words like: "dental", "cavity", "teeth" and "dental arches" a MILLION times.

Here is my quick sum up:

1. The author and his team of researchers traveled around the world and studied the teeth and overall health (but focused on teeth as the main factor) of different primitive tribes (or at least what would SOME call primitive) - some of them included Aborigines,
Michael Hentrich
Recently, I heard someone say that, "The more you learn, the more you realize you don't know." That was how I felt after reading this book. It opened up a whole new world of learning for me about health.

Dr. Price traveled around the world in the 1930's to find primitive societies who were as isolated as possible. He wanted to find people who weren't touched by the modern world and find out how healthy they were. His observations and clinical studies are documented in this book, and if you choos
Nov 25, 2013 added it
I will just link an article by Dr. L. Wilson reviewing the findings of Weston A. Price.

"We all a tremendous debt of gratitude to Dr. Price, which I share. I believe he would appreciate the updating of his work based on the drastic changes in our bodies and our food that have occurred in the past 100 years since he lived.",%...

Also, this:

Do not overdo on fats, even the best quality
Feb 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
So very interesting. Dr. Price (actually a DENTIST...not an MD) wrote this in 1939 after studying the effects of various diets on isolated, primitive peoples. He describes is great detail (with insightful pictures) how our diet effects our health. Although not all arguments were entirely substantiated, the overall picture shows the potential harm our Western diet can inflict. I am the exact type of person who SHOULD be a health-nut...unfortunately, I read as many cookbooks as other books and lov ...more
Jan 19, 2014 rated it did not like it
I had read many recommendations which suggested this book as a great nutritional reference.
While I do not doubt the value of the information here presented, the book itself is awfully tedious. After a while it becomes very repetitive, it just goes on and on and on with examples of exactly the same problems and situations.
It indeed reflects some interesting facts but at a certain point the text does not add anything at all - just looking at the different example pictures would suffice to most rea
Jul 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a really great book, it reads like a textbook so is hard to get through all of it and I had to skim through parts of it. Basically in the 1930's Weston Price and his wife scoured the earth for the most remote and primitive populations. Ones that weren't tainted by a modern diet. The people were healthy in every way, bones and teeth were well formed and there was little disease. As modern diet encroached on their traditional diets their health and vigor decreased with each generation. All ...more
Oct 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Have you ever wondered why we experience tooth decay? How about why we are so vulnerable to diseases? This book, written in the 1930s, is an amazing study about nutrition. It is hard not to believe every word in this book -- Dr. Price visits isolated communities throughout the world and learns why they are free from all the degenerative diseases that were prevalent in the 1930s and even more so today.

Just read it.
Mar 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A must read for everyone!
May 09, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a really long book, very'll take a while to get through.
Feb 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: health
To sum up his findings, eating modern, processed foods will make you a deformed, cavity-filled reject.

This book could have been replaced with one decent spreadsheet. Maybe a chart or two, also, for additional clarity. The first 75% of the book was extremely repetitive. He would travel to a place, look at some teeth, analyze the diets, and determine the percentage of cavities. Over and over again. Always with the same finding (eating modern foods will rot your teeth, and eating a natural diet wil
Nessy Dimitrova
I read this book thanks to Blinkist.

The key message in this book:

Because imported, processed food is often stripped of nutrients, we should avoid eating it as much as possible. Instead, we should eat food that is whole, natural, unprocessed and sourced from the local environment. This will help you get the most vitamins and minerals with which to maintain a healthy body and strong teeth.

Actionable advice:

Make healthier choices at the supermarket.

The next time you’re in the supermarket, buy whole
Kirill Bredikhin
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books on nutrition that I've read in a while. While the book itself is quite old and some of the research is outdated, main ideas are very interesting and thought-provoking. It caused me to reevaluate how I look upon my daily diet, not just in terms of "fullness", calories and protein/fat/carb balance ("quantity"), but in terms of minerals and vitamins ("quality") which common modern foods are frequently lacking.
Uröš Mikolič
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Probably one of the most important books that noone knows about. MUST read if you are a type of person that just simply gives a f*** about things.
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent text on diets that build strong bodies, a must read for parents and parents to be as well as farmers, foodies and anyone else interested in good foods that heal
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The most influential book in regards to my health journey to date.
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Prominent dentist known primarily for his theories on the relationship between nutrition, dental health, and physical health.
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