The Weston A. Price Diet

Weston A. Price was a dentist in the 1930s and 40s who was very interested nutrition and health. He studied indigenous cultures around the world before globalization to see whether there was a connection between nutrition and health. He tried to discover what the culture had in common to keep the people healthy. While there were cultures that ranged from mostly plant foods to exclusively animal foods, he did not find an exclusively plant eating (vegan) group. All cultures had learned that the more balanced diets, of some animal and some plant food, were the healthiest. Visit the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation to learn about the work and discoveries of Dr. Price.

Sally Fallon popularized Weston A. Price’s work with her wonderful book, Nourishing Traditions – and founded the Weston A. Price Foundation. This diet uses Price’s findings as a foundation for healthy eating. As Price lived in the time where food additives and processed foods were just coming into the food supply and before most indigenous cultures were influenced by “modern commerce,” he was able see the effects of modern diet versus the traditional cultures’ diets. It was an important observation that is not available today. We are very fortunate he observed and recorded this information. This was also a time when farming and animal husbandry animals used natural, sustainable techniques – not used in today’s commercial farming. The Weston A. Price foundation and many small family farms are promoting a return to this way of farming and living that supports the health of the animals, the people who eat them, the land, and our future. In addition to producing food of the highest nutritional quality, the Nourishing Traditions/Weston A. Price diet includes a focus on nutrient dense foods with an understanding that saturated fat, cholesterol, and fat-soluble vitamin containing foods are good for health.  These diet principles include:

  • Animal foods and fats such as eggs, butter and dairy, beef and other animal protein, that are all pasture-raised or grass-fed
  • Traditional oils and saturated fats such as coconut oil
  • Raw, unprocessed dairy products
  • Soaking and sprouting grains, beans and seeds for increased digestibility and nutrient availability
  • Stocks, broths, and nutrient-dense foods
  • Lacto-fermented foods (not a finding of Price but a cultural consistency)
  • Avoiding “foods of modern commerce” such as processed foods with additives, soy foods (unless traditionally fermented), and refined sugar

This diet is high in omega-3, saturated fat (animal fat and coconut oil), and cholesterol – substances that are important to a healthy brain. Often children (and adults) do well with a diet of 40% or more fat. Recommendations like this are unheard of in mainstream nutrition, but are validated by scientific study and are healthy nutrition principles.

The health benefits of many of these foods can be found in Nourishing Hope for Autism, in the Holistic Nutrition section, Part 3, Step #7, Evolving the Diet: Nutrition Boosters.