Saturday, January 10, 2009

Parce que le beurre, c'est bien meilleur!

Ça y est, je me lance... J'ai envie de vous parler de quelque chose de très important pour moi : l'alimentation saine. Ça fait plus de dix ans que je m'y intéresse et j'ai drôlement envie de partager mes découvertes avec vous. Je crois fermement que la vraie bonne alimentation est celle décrite par Weston A. Price (Nutrition and physical degeneration), un dentiste du début du siècle et bien expliquée par Sally Fallon dans son livre Nourishing Traditions.

J'ai envie de commencer tout de go avec ce petit article qui explique ce qu'est l'alimentation traditionnelle. Ce n'est que le premier d'une longue série de messages sur le sujet. Je vous promets aussi une foule de recettes!

More than sixty years ago, a Cleveland dentist named Weston A. Price was disturbed by what he found when he looked into the mouths of his patients. Rarely did an examination of an adult client reveal anything but rampant decay, often accompanied by serious problems elsewhere in the body such as arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, intestinal complaints and chronic fatigue. (They called it neurasthenia in Price's day.) But it was the dentition of younger patients that gave him most cause for concern. He observed that crowded, crooked teeth were becoming more and more common, along with what Price called "facial deformities"--overbites, narrowed faces, underdevelopment of the nose, lack of well-defined cheekbones and pinched nostrils. Such children invariably suffered from one or more complaints that sound all too familiar to mothers of the 1990s: frequent infections, allergies, anemia, asthma, poor vision, lack of coordination, fatigue and behavioral problems.

Price's bewilderment gave way to a unique idea. He would travel to various isolated parts of the earth where the inhabitants had no contact with "civilization" to study their health and physical development. His investigations took him to isolated Swiss villages and a windswept island off the coast of Scotland. He studied traditional Eskimos, Indian tribes in Canada and the Florida Everglades, Southsea islanders, Aborigines in Australia, Maoris in New Zealand, Peruvian and Amazonian Indians and tribesmen in Africa. These investigations occurred at a time when there still existed remote pockets of humanity untouched by modern inventions.

The diets of the healthy "primitives" Price studied were all very different: In the Swiss village where Price began his investigations, the inhabitants lived on rich dairy products--unpasteurized milk, butter, cream and cheese--dense rye bread, meat occasionally, bone broth soups and the few vegetables they could cultivate during the short summer months. The children never brushed their teeth--in fact their teeth were covered in green slime--but Price found that only about one percent of the teeth had any decay at all. The children went barefoot in frigid streams during weather that forced Dr. Price and his wife to wear heavy wool coats; nevertheless childhood illnesses were virtually nonexistent and there had never been a single case of TB in the village. (more on the website about every group he studied).

The foods that allow people of every race and every climate to be healthy are whole natural foods--meat with its fat, organ meats, whole milk products, fish, insects, whole grains, tubers, vegetables and fruit--not newfangled concoctions made with white sugar, refined flour and rancid and chemically altered vegetable oils.

It was when Price analyzed the fat soluble vitamins that he got a real surprise. The diets of healthy native groups contained at least ten times more vitamin A and vitamin D than the American diet of his day! These vitamins are found only in animal fats--butter, lard, egg yolks, fish oils and foods with fat-rich cellular membranes like liver and other organ meats, fish eggs and shell fish. Price referred to the fat soluble vitamins as "catalysts" or "activators" upon which the assimilation of all the other nutrients depended--protein, minerals and vitamins. In other words, without the dietary factors found in animal fats, all the other nutrients largely go to waste.

Cod liver oil is an excellent source of vitamin D. Cod liver oil also contains special fats called EPA and DHA The body uses EPA to make substances that help prevent blood clots, and that regulate a myriad of biochemical processes. Recent research shows that DHA is essential to the development of the brain and nervous system. Adequate DHA in the mother's diet is necessary for the proper development of the retina in the infant she carries. DHA in mother's milk helps prevent learning disabilities. Cod liver oil and foods like liver and egg yolk supply this essential nutrient to the developing fetus, to nursing infants and to growing children.

Butter contains both vitamin A and D, as well as other beneficial substances. Conjugated linoleic acid in butterfat is a powerful protection against cancer. Certain fats called glycospingolipids aid digestion. Butter is rich in trace minerals, and naturally yellow Spring and Fall butter contains the X factor.

Saturated fats from animal sources--portrayed as the enemy--form an important part of the cell membrane; they protect the immune system and enhance the utilization of essential fatty acids. They are needed for the proper development of the brain and nervous system. Certain types of saturated fats provide quick energy and protect against pathogenic microorganisms in the intestinal tract; other types provide energy to the heart.

Cholesterol is essential to the development of the brain and nervous system of the infant, so much so that mother's milk is not only extremely rich in the substance, but also contains special enzymes that aid in the absorption of cholesterol from the intestinal tract. Cholesterol is the body's repair substance; when the arteries are damaged because of weakness or irritation, cholesterol steps in to patch things up and prevent aneurysms. Cholesterol is a powerful antioxidant, protecting the body from cancer; it is the precursor to the bile salts, needed for fat digestion; from it the adrenal hormones are formed, those that help us deal with stress and those that regulate sexual function.

Ce message m'a été inspiré par celui de Kyrie au sujet des idées de déjeuners et de collations. Je vous promets que je vous partagerai nos déjeuners, collations et dîners/soupers préférés bientôt. Je voulais d'abord vous parler un peu plus de l'alimentation traditionnelle.

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