Traditional diets for athletes

These Articles on Traditional Diets for Athletes will Have You Switching Your Diet

Traditional Diets for Athletes Contained Full-fat Dairy and Wild Fish

The Watusi is a very interesting tribe living on the east of Lake Kivu, one of the headwaters of the West Nile in Ruanda which is a Belgian Protectorate. They are tall and athletic. They have magnificent physiques. Many stand over six feet without shoes. Several of the tribes neighboring Ethiopia are agriculturists and grow corn, beans, millet, sweet potatoes, bananas, kafir corn and other grains as their chief articles of food. Physically they are not as well built as either the tribes using dairy products liberally or those using fish from the freshwater lakes and streams. They have been dominated because they possess less courage and resourcefulness. The government of Kenya has for several years sponsored an athletic contest among the various tribes, the test being one of strength for which they use a tug-of-war. One particular tribe has carried off the trophy repeatedly. This tribe resides on the east coast of Lake Victoria and lives very largely on fish. The members are powerful athletes and wonderful swimmers. Weston Price, DDS Nutrition and Physical Degeneration

Does high-carb, low-fat diets explain the prevalence of injury and burnout in modern athletes?

Conventional wisdom touts high carbohydrate diets for athletes—pasta, potatoes, breads, fruit juices and carbohydrate-rich “energy” bars. But a new study out of State University of New York raises serious questions about the appropriateness of high-carb, low fat diets for those who engage in strenuous physical exercise. Subjects ate diets of 15%, 30% and 45% fat respectively. Those on the high fat diets had greater endurance—up to an 11% increase. No adverse changes in blood chemistry were observed in the subjects on the high fat diet, and they did not gain weight. The authors of the study conclude: “The results suggest that a low fat diet may be detrimental to performance and that a higher fat diet may result in more energy substrate availability with a lower lactate to pyruvate ratio.” In another recent study, this time in South Africa, trained cyclists on a diet of just seven percent carbohydrate were compared to those who“carb loaded” on a diet of 74% carbohydrates. The low-carb cyclists could pedal almost twice as long as their high-carb opponents. The primary nutrient in animal fats is vitamin A, needed for a host of biological processes including the assimilation of protein and minerals. Strenuous physical exercise depletes vitamin A. Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation Health Journal

Large Bowls of Cream in Traditional Diets for Athletes

Each isolated Swiss valley or village has its own special feast days of which athletic contests are the principal events. The feasting in the past has been largely on dairy products. The athletes were provided with large bowls of cream as constituting one of the most popular and healthful beverages, and special cheese was always available. . . their cream products took the place of our modern ice cream. . . it is reported that practically all skulls that are exhumed in the Rhone valley and, indeed, practically throughout all of Switzerland, where graves have existed for more than a hundred years, are found with relatively perfect teeth; whereas the teeth of people recently buried have been riddled with caries or lost through this disease. Weston Price, DDS Nutrition and Physical Degeneration

High Fat Diet of Russian skiers mirrors Traditional Diets for Athletes

The Russians are an interesting case for those of us interested in dietary issues. They appear to eat a high fat diet in general (35-40% fat, 40% CHO), compared to the typical carbohydrate fanatical (70% CHO, 15% fat) endurance athlete. How do they win in spite of such “poor eating habits?” Perhaps higher fat in the routine training diet is just not such a bad idea for the elite endurance athlete. According to several different research studies, it increases testosterone levels, improves immune function, promotes metabolic adaptations that increase muscle oxidative capacity, and helps athletes with high training volumes maintain energy balance. Furthermore, in regularly exercising people a 42% fat diet actually resulted in higher HDL levels (the good cholesterol) and unchanged total cholesterol, compared to a 16% fat diet. More research is necessary, but several studies and a lot of anecdote already suggest that the super high carbohydrate diet is just not what the endurance machine needs. Conventional wisdom dies hard. By Stephen Seiler

There was Plenty of Natural Cholesterol in Traditional Diets for Athletes

A tragic illustration of what a strict vegetarian, no-cholesterol diet may do to you is the case of famous basket ball star, Bill Walton. Walton was a fanatic about what he considered to be good nutrition. No animal food—dairy or otherwise—passed his lips. He developed severe osteoporosis and consequent foot and ankle fractures from the constant jumping on hard wood floors required of his sport. A brilliant career was finished. Walton, learning from his mistake, became a spokesman for the meat industry. William Campbell Douglass, MD

Greg Ellis regains his strength with cod liver oil!

Weight trainer Greg Ellis in Philadelphia learned the hard way that a largely-vegetarian, carb-loaded diet is detrimental in the long term to athletes. He lost 40 lbs, mostly muscle mass, on such a diet. He regained his strength by returning to traditional whole foods including butter, eggs, cream, and cod liver oil. He now advises his trainees, including members of the Eagles football team, to steer clear of carb-rich concoctions and stick to foods high in fat-soluble nutrients. Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation Health Journal

High School Lunches and Sports Records and Injuries

A few decades ago, the late Gena Larson, nutritionist at Helix High School in La Mesa, California, shifted school lunches from junk foods to whole grain breads and rolls, raw certified whole milk and to fresh fruits and vegetables. School marks shot up dramatically, and sports records that had stood for years were broken by athletes. Additionally, sports injuries declined sharply with far fewer broken bones than ever before. James F. Scheer Health Freedom News

Soy Energy Bars NOT Good for your Heart and not in Traditional Diets for Athletes!

A study performed by University of Colorado scientists published in the January, 2006, issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation indicates that soy foods could seriously harm patients afflicted with cardiomyopathy, a heart condition that affects 1 in 500 Americans and is the leading cause of death in young athletes. It’s time to warn athletes and fitness buffs about the dangers of soy energy bars and protein shakes.

Traditional Diets for Athletes included Bone Broths

Few remember the American athlete Gertrude Ederle, cheered with confetti by an estimated two million New Yorkers in 1926. Two years earlier, at the age of 19, she had swum across the English Channel. Because conditions were rough, she did not swim in the 21-mile straight line she had anticipated, but a 35-mile course from Cap Gris-Nez, France to Kingsdown, near Deal, on the English coast. Nevertheless, she set a record—14 hours and 31 minutes, breaking the previous record of 16 hours 23 minutes set in 1923 by Sebastian Tirabocchi, an Italian. What fare gave her the strength to made the arduous crossing? Cold chicken and beef broth, supplied by her companion boat. Back in the early part of the 20th century, athletes recognized the strengthening powers of broth and knew that they needed to eat meat, not candy bars. (Today they’re called “energy bars.”) Earlier, Ederle had won a gold medal at the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris as leadoff swimmer of the US 4-X 100-meter freestyle relay team, as well as two bronzes in the 100- and 400-meter freestyle events. In 1933, however, Ederle fractured her spine in a fall and spent the next four-and-a half years in a cast. Perhaps she had forgotten about the broth by this time. Still, Ederle is alive today, at age 94, in a nursing home in Wyckoff, NJ (Chemical & Engineering News, 5/14/01).

Ancient Olympians Followed “Atkins” Diet, Scholar Says

Athletes Looking To Meat From Grass-fed Cows As Performance Enhancer