Eating for optimal health: The Weston A. Price Way
By Kileen Swenson Lac, MAOM
Understanding the connection between how you eat is one of the most important aspects connected to how you feel and function. Becoming aware of which foods can bring you to your optimal state is the first step vs. discerning what foods may not be serving you. In specific terms, using food to help reduce overall inflammation, absorb and ingest proper nutrients (including fat soluble vitamins A, D and K) and assist gut lining health for effective absorption of nutrients and neurotransmitter production. On a personal note, in over a decade of clinical practice, I’ve witnessed profound shifts in people sometimes from just eliminating one or two items that had become staples in their diet. These foods were unknowingly the root cause of chronic pain, immune and/or hormonal issues. In my opinion the Weston A. Price diet is an excellent place to start. A way of eating well known for providing the average human with most of the molecular elements necessary for better bones, skin, nails, teeth and overall well being.
Weston A. Price (1870-1948) was a Canadian dentist whose main theories originated from the relationship between nutrition, dental and physical health. Most notably, price wanted to know how diet impacted physiological growth and overall development. He observed populations around the globe, comparing traditional diets to processed westernized diets like those including white flour and sugar and were typically highly processed. Within the traditional populations he found that animal foods were favored above plants, especially organ meats and animal fats. It was these people who were found to have the healthiest teeth, bone structure and general physical health 1 Today, the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF, www.westonaprice.org) is dedicated to restoring nutrient dense foods to the American diet through education, research and activism 2
Price’s dietary guidelines have been used to influence some of today’s most effective diets namely, the Whole 30, Paleo, GAPS, the carnivore diet and more. This way of eating is especially recommended for growing children, women trying to conceive, weight loss, chronic illness and people who want to reduce overall inflammation. Although one way of eating does not fit all, the Weston A. Price core values and guidelines are a great start for achieving optimal health and well being.
Why is this important?
Eating highly nutrient dense whole foods and fats not only gives our cells the full spectrum of nutrients, anti-oxidants (cholesterol for eg.) and hormones (vitamin A,D and K for eg. ) it needs but also decreases overall inflammation. Specifically eating inherently vitamin saturated foods and high quality fats for fuel, like organ meats, bone broth and grass fed butter or raw dairy products is a full spectrum solution to most deficiencies 3 but also helps heal our gut microbiome as well 4.
If you are suffering from any symptoms of inflammation, the Weston A. Price diet or a similar anti-inflammatory diet may be for you. Common symptoms of global inflammation can present as: Allergies, asthma, auto-immune conditions like hashimotos 5, sinus congestion, brain fog, insomnia, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, frequent infections and cold and flus, PMS, irregular menses, low libido and fibromyalgia.
Listed below are the recommended ways of eating:
- Eat whole, unprocessed foods.
- Eat beef, lamb, game, organ meats, poultry and eggs from pasture-fed animals,
- Eat wild fish (not farm-raised), fish eggs and shellfish from unpolluted waters.
- Eat full-fat milk products from pasture-fed cows, preferably raw and/or fermented, such as raw milk, whole yogurt, kefir, cultured butter, full-fat raw cheeses and fresh and sour cream.
- Use animal fats, such as lard, tallow, egg yolks, cream Ghee and butter liberally.
- Use only traditional vegetable oils—extra virgin olive oil, expeller-expressed sesame oil, small amounts of expeller-expressed flax oil, and the tropical oils—coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil.
- Take cod liver oil regularly to provide at least 10,000 IU vitamin A and 1,000 IU vitamin D per day.
- Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, preferably organic. Use vegetables in salads and soups, or lightly steamed with butter.
- Use whole grains, legumes and nuts that have been prepared by soaking, sprouting or sour leavening to neutralize phytic acid, enzyme inhibitors and other anti-nutrients.
- Include enzyme-rich lacto-fermented vegetables, fruits, beverages and condiments in your diet on a regular basis.
- Prepare homemade stocks from the bones of pastured chicken, beef and lamb fed non-GMO feed, and wild fish, and use liberally in soups, stews, gravies and sauces.
- Use filtered water for cooking and drinking.
- Use unrefined salt and a variety of herbs and spices for food interest and appetite stimulation.
- Make your own salad dressing using raw vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and a small amount of expeller-expressed flax oil.
- Use traditional sweeteners in moderation, such as raw honey, maple syrup, maple sugar, date sugar, dehydrated cane sugar juice (sold as Rapadura) and stevia powder.
- Use only unpasteurized wine or beer in strict moderation with meals.
- Cook only in stainless steel, cast iron, glass or good quality enamel.
- Use only natural, food-based supplements.
- Get plenty of sleep, exercise and natural light.
- Think positive thoughts and practice forgiveness
Recommended local sources of pasture raised meats and dairy:
Helios Farms, www.heliosfarms.com, 541-908-0561, raw cow milk, eggs, pasture raised meats
Longs Meat Market www.longsmeatmarket.com, 541-344-3172, pasture raised meats
If you don’t want to eat organs but want them in your diet consider freeze-dried organ capsules from:
Ancestral Supplements www.ancestralsupplements.com
Heart and Soil supplements www.heartandsoil.co
Standard Process Supplements include whole foods and organ meat blends. See a Well Balanced practitioner for more details based on your specific needs.
 Price, Weston A., DDS Nutrition and physical Degeneration, 1945, Price Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, Inc., La Mesa, California.
 Fallon, Sally; AMary Enig; Bill Sanda (January 16, 2004.) “Comments to the 2005 U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee” (PDF).
 U.S Department of Agriculture Agriculture Research Service, www.fdc.nal.usda.gov 2020
 Addis, Paul, Food and Nutrition news, March/April 1990 62:2:7-10
 Krysiak, Robert, The Effect of Gluten-Free Diet on Thyroid Autoimmunity in Drug-naïve women with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: A Pilot Study, 2019 Jul.
 WAPF, Dietary Guidelines, www.westonprice.org, Copyright 2021 Weston A. Price