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Nourishing Traditions: A Path to Optimal Health and Well-being


In today’s fast-paced world, where processed foods dominate our diets, it has become essential to revisit the wisdom of our ancestors and reconnect with traditional methods of nourishment. “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon Morell is a remarkable book that offers a treasure trove of knowledge on the importance of traditional, nutrient-dense foods and their profound impact on our overall health. In this article, we will explore the key points of this enlightening book and discuss why everyone should consider reading it to improve their well-being.

Embracing Traditional Foods:

“Nourishing Traditions” emphasizes the significance of traditional food preparation methods, such as fermentation, soaking, and sprouting. These techniques unlock the nutritional potential of foods, enhance digestion, and increase nutrient absorption. The book explores the benefits of consuming foods like bone broth, fermented vegetables, and cultured dairy products, which are rich in probiotics, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals.


The Importance of Fats:

Contrary to popular belief, fats are essential for our health. “Nourishing Traditions” sheds light on the importance of consuming healthy fats like butter, lard, coconut oil, and animal fats. These fats provide crucial nutrients, aid in hormone production, support brain function, and promote satiety. The book challenges the myth of low-fat diets and highlights the dangers of highly processed vegetable oils.


Understanding Grains and Legumes:

While grains and legumes can be nutritious, they also contain antinutrients such as phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors that can hinder proper digestion. “Nourishing Traditions” delves into the traditional methods of preparing grains and legumes, like soaking and fermenting, to neutralize these antinutrients, enhance nutrient availability, and improve digestion.


The Benefits of Fermented Foods:

Fermented foods are a cornerstone of traditional diets across cultures, and “Nourishing Traditions” emphasizes their importance. Fermentation not only increases the shelf life of foods but also enhances their nutritional value. The book explores the benefits of fermented vegetables, dairy products like kefir and yogurt, and fermented beverages like kombucha. These foods are rich in beneficial bacteria, enzymes, and vitamins, supporting gut health and boosting the immune system.


A Return to Animal Foods:

“Nourishing Traditions” advocates for the inclusion of animal foods in our diets, highlighting their nutrient density and unique health benefits. The book emphasizes the importance of consuming organ meats, bone broth, pastured eggs, and grass-fed meats, which are rich in essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.


“Nourishing Traditions” is a remarkable resource that brings to light the profound impact of traditional food preparation methods on our overall health. By embracing the principles outlined in this book, we can optimise our nutrition, enhance digestion, support gut health, and improve our overall well-being.

It is crucial for everyone to read “Nourishing Traditions” to gain a deeper understanding of how our food choices impact our health. By incorporating traditional, nutrient-dense foods into our diets, we can reclaim our vitality, strengthen our immune system, and experience the countless benefits of nourishing our bodies with wisdom from the past.


Are Low Carb Diets better for losing body fat?

A common belief is that a reduction in the consumption of carbohydrates will directly result in a reduction in body fat. Generally, the rationale behind this, is that less carbohydrates in their diet will result in less insulin, the ‘fat storing hormone’, being released and thereby storing less body fat.


In the context of fat loss/gain, caloric intake is important and carbohydrate intake is not.

Although studies have shown that those who consume more sugar gain more weight (Ruanpeng et. al. 2017), these studies do not compare groups consuming high carbohydrate diets and low-moderate carbohydrate diets with equal caloric intakes.


When calorie intake is controlled, i.e. both groups consume the same number of calories, differences in weight loss are not significant. (Te Morenga, 2013)


Understanding Energy Balance:

This is because weight loss is determined by energy balance. When we consume more calories than we expend then this puts us in a calorie surplus, meaning there is an excess of calories i.e. energy. When this occurs, this surplus of energy is stored as increased weight. Other factors determine how this weight is added. For example, if protein intake is high and someone is regularly resistance training, then more of the added weight is likely to be gained as an increase in muscle tissue. However, if someone is not resistance training, protein intake is low and sleep duration and quality is poor, then the vast majority of this added weight will be an increase in fat mass.


Satiety Matters:

People often over consume on calories due to their diet involving many foods that are not satiating. This can be why people have successful results when reducing carbohydrates out of their diet, because their over consumption of calories may be due to their previous diet having many low nutrient, low satiating sources of carbohydrates, such as sweets. Where some people then go wrong, is blaming all carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes and fruit, which have been shown to be much more satiating.


Overall, selecting meals to consume on your diet when fat loss is your goal, the only significant factors should be calories, protein (amount needed will be determined by your age), satiety (how full it leaves you feeling), nutrient density (the amount of beneficial nutrients in a food) and most importantly, how much you enjoy the meal. This is because adherence to a plan is going to be crucial. If you don’t believe you can eat like this for the rest of your life then it’s simply too strict.



  • Ruanpeng, D., Thongprayoon, C., Cheungpasitporn, W., & Harindhanavudhi, T. (2017). Sugar and artificially sweetened beverages linked to obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis. QJM: An International Journal of Medicine110(8), 513-520.
  • Te Morenga, L., Mallard, S., & Mann, J. (2013). Dietary sugars and body weight: systematic review and meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials and cohort studies. Bmj346.