The diet question is central in Natural Hygiene.
The internal splits in the 1900's were caused mainly by "the great diet debacle" in Natural Hygiene. Hygienists in general agree that the optimal diet for humans equals the diet that ancient primitive peoples thrived on. The big disagreement comes with defining this ancient diet in detail.
Why is human diet so central in NH? Because the science of removing disease and achieving optimal health is based on going back to an optimal way of eating and living. Start eating and living optimally, and you will automatically, in a steady pace, recover from disease and reach a high state of health, without drugs. And of all the factors of health, diet is the most important.
No INHS-defined diet
We do not define the best diet centrally in INHS. Instead we have several influential theories, promoted by different NH doctors. Today e.g. the paleolithic low-carb diet, the instincto-omnivorous diet, and the lacto-ovo vegetarian diet, see below.
But, we have several members including doctors that prefer Dr. Shelton's vegan (100% plant-based) diet concept from 1928, slightly modified, or even the high-fruit (fruitarian) version of this diet. Individuals using any diet are welcome in INHS.
But INHS does not recommend any vegan or fruitarian diet theories to the public. Why? Because there are too many question marks. Too many hygienists and others have died or become severely damaged using these diets for a long time. A short time is fine. But these diets are inadequate and must be supplemented (e.g. with B12 and omega-3). Dr. Shelton himself was a lacto-vegetarian (used clabbered milk), as was Dr. Esser (used goat milk), even though they preferred and promoted a diet without animal foods. The vegan and fruitarian diets can truly be called idealistic diets, not realistic diets.
Click here for an INHS position statement about diet.
And click here for more about the case against veganism.
A transition diet is a good but not absolutely optimal diet - it can be any step towards the optimal, e.g. your current diet with added green salads and with less grains.
There are many good diets that mimick primitive peoples' diets from about 100 years ago, that can be called transitional. E.g. some diets that use raw & cooked foods, spices, grains and other foods which are not theoretically optimal, but still at one time resulted in almost-perfect primitive health and strength.
Always remember that improved diet alone may not be enough for excellent health, but that we need improved lifestyle as well - more sun, sleep, exercise, peace of mind, joy, etc. Sometimes it can be very positive to just change the order of eating, not the actual diet. Sometimes cutting down on the amount of food is rewarding. So there are many roads to take.
The key to a good transition diet - avoid deficiency & minimize toxicity
Keep it really simple. Just removing the most toxic items from your diet (preserved foods with additives), minimize other toxins (including white sugar & flour), and increase vital nutrients by eating more raw foods (salads, veggies, oysters, etc.) will go a long way.
Minimize sweet and sugary foods, and starches (to avoid sugar spikes in the blood), and utilize food combining (eat the most liquid foods first, don't mix foods indiscriminately in the stomach) - to save vital energy.
The best red meat is organic and grass-fed, or wild game. The best fish is wild, e.g. deep-sea, small, or from clean waters. As raw as possible, rare, or slow & low-heat-cooked is best. The best dairy is organic, unpasteurized & unhomogenized, from goat preferably. The best veggies and fruits are organic, from mineral-rich soils, especially green vegetables are valuable.
Vegan diets are deficient, but it may take years before any deficiency symptoms are noticeable. For adults. Children can be damaged much more quickly.
In the beginning, a raw vegan diet can be very cleansing, especially if you came off a SAD (Standard American Diet). If you are a raw vegan and love it, then you can e.g. continue until you begin to feel some of the deficiency symptoms listed here. Or just add a tiny amount of eggs & dairy (raw and organic is best). Added fish gives a good health boost. A raw vegan diet with a few added animal products is an adequate (but not optimal) diet. How much? Eat a minimum of 2% of your diet as animal foods, preferably every day for maximum effect.
Vegans who have not replenished their stores of animal fats and proteins have often slowly gotten into trouble, sometimes first showing as bad moods and depression, sometimes as dry scalp & hair, sometimes loose teeth & receding gum-line. Serious lack of B12 has caused brain damage, pain and paralysis, so be careful.
(Supplements are a must if you are a true vegan, e.g. vitamin B12, D and omega-3. But of course, NH is not in favor of supplements - they can never mimick the real thing. A truly adequate diet is better.)
This is a rough sketch and comparison of the dominant versions of the ultimate diet in INHS (2004).
Note: They are all adequate, but there are differing opinions about which one is the truly optimal.
Why no supplements? First, dark green salads, especially if blended, and with added kelp, gives the best selection of minerals. In the right proportions. Supplements are typically lop-sided.
Also, investigations have revealed that we cannot trust the labeling of supplements. The lack of oversight and testing is a big problem.
See e.g. http://www.pbs.org/video/2365646371
FRONTLINE - Supplements and Safety - 2017
Video duration: 54min - An investigation into the hidden dangers of vitamins and supplements, a multibillion-dollar industry with limited FDA oversight. Marketing and regulation of supplements, and cases of contamination and serious health problems.
READ MORE about the problems with veganism
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