If the "Standard American Diet" (fittingly abbreviated as SAD) is so great, why is obesity so widespread ? Why do so many kids need braces (jaw not forming correctly), or glasses ? Why is osteoporosis an issue ?
Ideally, good nutrition should start with the parents before they conceive their child. It is probably too late for that now, but we can try to do damage control. Young bodies are resilient, and can often catch up missed growth if they finally get what they need.
A more detailed breakdown of the Lötschental diet can be found in the book Cure Tooth Decay by Ramiel Nagel.
For pre-conception nutrition and the topic of epigenetics, please see The Better Baby Book or Deep Nutrition by Dr. Cate Shanahan.
Jaws: The Story of a Hidden Epidemic by Sandra Kahn and Paul R. Ehrlich. This book describes how nose breathing, proper oral posture, breast feeding and intensive chewing are important for proper development of the jaw. They think that it was the chewing, and not the micronutrients that made the difference in the cases that Dr. Price reported.
Origins of dental crowding and malocclusions: an anthropological perspective (PDF)
I think it is a combination of factors. For example, the traditional people in Lötschental / Switzerland ate sourdough rye bread that was stored for months. This is seriously hard bread (think oversize hockey puck). Combine vigorous chewing with plenty of minerals from dairy and mineral-rich mountain water, vitamin D and K2 from dairy and sunshine, and their jaws and teeth should grow just nicely.
You can read on the study by Dr. Davis in the article Self-selected nutrition by infants.
Keep in mind that bodyfat percentages need to be taken with a rather large bag of salt. Bodyfat scales are good for entertainment only. Even the gold standard "DXA scan" is not completely reliable. A finger pinch is enough for me to determine that I still carry enough fluff, even if the Tanita scale at the gym says I'm 10%.
My recommendation to track the weight each morning is based on the fact that there can be LARGE daily fluctuations based on your bowel contents, hydration, glycogen loading, salt etc. Adjustments should be made based on the weekly average, not individual weight samples subject to these large fluctuations (that would be a good route to eating disorders).
Kids grow better with some meat
One egg per day makes young children grow better
Dairy seems to be ok
Milk helps kids grow
Chocolate milk for recovery after training - seems to do the job quite well. I am not crazy about the high sugar content, and I also prefer my milk in a less processed form.
Processed meat - nitrates and other additives are widely considered a cancer risk (often bunched together with unprocessed meat, giving red meat a bad reputation).
Pork - many religions prohibit its consumption. Back then, the risk of trichinosis was a public health issue. Today, pork is raised in ways that are a far cry from the way these clever animals were meant to live. Free-range pork is hard to find today, even if it was a major food source for the long-lived people on Okinawa before WW2. Your choice.
While soy has a good amino acid balance, it is also a source of isoflavones and
phytoestrogens that could mess with hormones. It could be ok or even beneficial
for females, but I am concerned for males.
Soy could advance pubarche (first appearance of pubic hair)
For girls, it could delay puberty
Influence on sperm count ?
No, it's quite alright (if you take in a generous 5 to 10 g of soy protein per day - which won't get you very far)
Protein bars, ready-to-drink protein drinks: Just read the friendly labels, in particular what protein they actually use.
Protein with breakfast is a good idea
Protein before sleep is good, too
Types of protein supplements: basic nutritional knowledge.
My list of good carbs is based on foods with a lower glycemic index, and a reasonable carb "density". In other words, if the body gets a reasonable portion of carbs spread out over some time, they are fine. Oatmeal contains a lot of phytic acid, but is a good opportunity to get some serious munching in.
My avoid list ? The perils of sugar should be well known. Grains such as wheat are controversial - some say they are ok, others are worried about e.g. Gluten and Wheat Agglutinin. I don't need them. Carbs combined with fat - people who can only eat one piece are also known as liars. Also see this article on the health impact of ultra-processed foods if any doubts remain.
Younger kids can metabolize more fat during exercise than Big'uns
Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids:
Omega 3 and athletics
Evolutionary aspects of diet: the omega-6/omega-3 ratio and the brain
Importance of the omega 3 / omega 6 ratio
Good fats: Fish as a source of omega-3 fats should not be controversial. Saturated fat from meat, eggs or dairy may be less popular. But as part of a healthy diet, it should not be a problem. Olive oil is part of the mediterranean diet, generally considered healthy. Avocado and coconut should be ok within reason. I would not recommend overconsuming nuts or seeds given the omega 3 / omega 6 balance.
Fats that I avoid: Hydrogenated fats / trans fats should be well recognized as
++ungood by now. Vegetable / seed oils are not on the public hit list yet, but maybe
they should be. Fried / processed foods are usually made with these fats, so they
end up on my bad list by extension.
Omega-6 vegetable oils as a driver of coronary heart disease: the oxidized linoleic acid hypothesis
more references about seed oils
About phytic acid, please read the extensive article
Living with Phytic Acid by Ramiel Nagel. His soaking method
for brown rice is more practical than some of the other methods proposed. Brown rice
requires more chewing, good thing in my opinion.
Ascorbic acid can counteract the effect of phytates older article on this.
Lentils and beans: The need for soaking should be well known.
Mineral contents: See bottle labels or supplier websites.
Fingernails and nutritional status: I don't have a solid base for this statement. But - Nutrition and nail disease - "Virtually every nutritional deficiency can affect the growth of the nail in some manner."
Vitamin D: Depending on whom you ask, it will be either the most important micronutrient,
or not a concern (until they get their blood levels tested and find that they are
severely deficient). I don't get out in the sun much, so I consider myself
"underexposed" and supplement 4000 IU per day. If you run a blood test, you can use
Grassrootshealth.net vitamin D calculator to calculate an
appropriate intake depending on your target level.
Rhonda Patrick on Diet-Gene Interactions, Epigenetics, the Vitamin D-Serotonin Link and DNA Damage (long and a bit technical, but gives some ideas on what can go wrong when you are Vitamin D deficient, or don't get enough EPA / DHA essential fatty acids)
US dietary reference intake vitamins minerals DRI
What animals will do to get at salt. I once had a close encounter with a cow in a narrow place. Safe passage, a few licks of my sweaty arm later...
My question: Do you feel lucky ?
Vegetarians and vegans would do well to consider supplementing Creatine Monohydrate.
Found in small quantities in meat, Creatine Monohydrate is a precursor substance
for Phosphocreatine used in high intensity exercise.
The influence of creatine supplementation on the cognitive functioning of vegetarians and omnivores
Creatine Supplementation in Children and Adolescents (as usual, more research is needed, but it should be safe)
Carrageenan: Evidence is somewhat thin on the ground. I err on the side of precaution.
Real food doesn't need thickeners.
Advance on safety evaluation of carrageenan
Thankfully, some authors have picked apart vegan health claims in great detail, so I won't have to. The movie "The Game Changers" is about vegan athletes. Arnold Schwarzenegger was most likely not vegan when he built his prize-winning physique.
Debunking the Game Changers - detailed article by Chris Kresser
Healthline fact checking "The Game Changers"
Watch for iron intake !
Vegan Diet in Young Children - how to make it work.
It takes Guts - cookbook by Ashleigh VanHouten
Nourishing Traditions - cookbook by Sally Fallon.