How to Cure Tooth Decay with Rami Nagel

by Ann Marie Michaels on January 27, 2010

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Author Rami Nagel

Yesterday I did my first ever podcast show with Rami Nagel, author of
Cure Tooth Decay
and Healing Our Children. Rami and I spent an hour discussing nutrition and healthy teeth, and how to prevent and even cure tooth decay.

Click the button below to listen. You can also download the interview by clicking the iTunes button. This will subscribe you to my weekly podcast, so you can listen on the go on your iPod or iPhone (or just listen on your computer).

Listen to Cheeseslave on Blog Talk Radio

You can also follow this link to listen.

After the radio show was over, I called Rami to thank him and we spent about 20-30 more minutes talking. Rami is such a powerhouse of wisdom about traditional food. On that phone call, he gave me a ton more information about how to cure tooth decay, which I will share with you here. This info is not in the podcast.

Before I get into what I learned from Rami on our post-podcast phone call, I want to share a couple of things. Someone asked me on Twitter to share the source for the New Zealand cod liver oil study Rami quoted on the podcast show. He said that there was a study in New Zealand where they took two groups of girls and gave them the exact same diet, only one group they gave cod liver oil. The group getting the cod liver oil had a 40% reduction in cavities. That comes from Dr. Weston Price’s book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. You can read about it here in chapter 16 of the online book. This is the excerpt:

The diet of both their control group and tested group was the same except for one item, i.e., “one heaped teaspoonful twice daily of malt and cod liver oil.” In a group of sixty-six native girls the thirty-three with the best teeth were used as a control group. The remaining thirty-three were given the additional fat-soluble vitamins. In six months’ time, resistance of this group was raised by 41.75 percent as compared with the control group.

The Single Most Important Thing To Prevent Tooth Decay

I asked Rami what he thinks is the most important thing to do to prevent tooth decay. He said we must limit anti-nutrients. Anti-nutrients such as phytic acid or oxalic acid are found in raw seeds, beans, nuts, grains and vegetables.

Soaking and sprouting nuts, seeds, legumes and grains will reduce phytic acid but not very much — only somewhere between 10-30%. So even if you are carefully germinating (sprouting) and soaking and using sourdough and other methods to ferment your grains and soaking your beans, they still do contain the anti-nutrients which block mineral absorption and chelate them from the body. It is therefore important to eat nutrient-dense foods but also to limit foods that contain anti-nutrients, even if they are properly prepared.

Rami stressed that it is extremely important to reduce anti-nutients in the diet. Even anti-nutrients in vegetables. Vegetables need to be cooked or properly fermented.

He said that just 25 mg of phytic acid will block 50% of your iron intake. Phytic acid also blocks zinc, copper and other minerals.

Rami said, the more grains, nuts and seeds you eat, the more careful you have to be. He also said that you need the enzyme, phytase, in order to take out phytate. Nuts, beans and seeds have little or no phytase. Oats, as well, have no phytase. This is why it is recommended to add a little freshly ground whole wheat flour to oats when soaking overnight. You must have phytase in order to break down phytates.

Foods With the Most Phytates: Nuts and Seeds

In the interview, Rami told me that peanuts are as bad as soybeans when it comes to phytic acid content. He said that nuts are extremely high in phytic acid. He said that he thinks peanut butter that has not been soaked and sprouted is a “garbage food”.

Rami told me that seeds are the absolute worst. Even worse than soy or peanuts. Sesame seeds have double or triple the phytic acid that soy has.

Raw nuts are very bad and full of toxic anti-nutrients. Rami said that even cooked nuts will cause seizures in dogs. He told me the story of a woman who called him. Her one-year-old was was having seizures. It turned out the woman was eating raw almond butter and breastfeeding her baby — that was what was causing the baby to have seizures.

Sesame seed oil doesn’t have phytic acid. However, Rami said that most brands of seed oil are not healthy because of the way they are pressed and processed with high pressure..

Oats: Not Safe to Eat

Due to the fact that our modern oats are not germinated and because they are heat treated, he said he does not believe that oats are safe to eat. He said he believes oats are the equivalent of pasteurized milk. He said that traditionally the people in Scotland Dr. Weston Price studied who ate a lot of oats (50% of their diet) actually germinated the oats first, then they soaked and soured them for a long time — for a number of days. The oats they ate were sour.

He said this doesn’t mean you can’t eat soaked oatmeal on occasion, but if you or your children suffer from dental decay (or for the elderly suffering from bone loss), even soaked oatmeal should be strictly avoided.

Rye Sourdough Bread

He told me that the people Dr. Weston Price studied in the Swiss Alps Recipe from Swiss/French Alps also ate 50% of their diet as grains. These people in Switzerland ate rye bread. They went to elaborate lengths lessen the anti-nutrients. They first germinated the rye, then they sifted it to remove about 20-25% of the bran. Then they would ferment it using sourdough. Rami said rye is the most easily fermentable grain.

He also told me that wheat and rye are high-phosphorous foods and for this reason it is important to eat them with calcium-rich foods. This is why the Swiss always ate their rye bread with dairy. He stressed that in particular, fermented dairy is especially good — like cheese or yogurt. I suppose that would also include cultured butter and cultured cream, or crème fraiche.

He said if people really want to eat bread, they should eat a rye bread soaked/fermented with sourdough for a minimum of 16 hours.

Other Traditionally Prepared Grains, Nuts, Legumes & Seeds

Rami said that people eating traditional diets around the world go to great lengths to properly germinate, sprout, soak, and ferment their nuts, grains, legumes and seeds. He said people in China eat a soured rice, and they make noodles that are soured and very easy to digest.

He also told me about people in India eating dosas. Dosas are soured pancakes made from de-husked black lentils and rice which are ground and then soured or fermented. People in India also eat idlis, which is a savory cake. The idlis are similar to dosas, made by steaming a batter consisting of de-husked black lentils and rice which are fermented.

Beans are a staple food in Nigeria. The Nigerians go through “extreme measures,” like cooking for 24 hours, to make beans edible. Beans are very high in phytic acid.

Coconut Flour?

He told me that coconut flour has around 250 mg of phytic acid per 100 grams. (I looked online and could not find a reference for this. Everything I found online said that there is no phytic acid in coconut flour. I will follow up with Rami to see if he has a source.) He said traditional cultures shred the coconut and smash it to make coconut milk and cream, and they cook it or sour it. He said they eliminate most of the phytic acid this way.

Rami said that he hasn’t found any examples of traditional cultures using coconut flour, so he does not recommend coconut flour.

Anti-Nutrients in Chocolate, Coffee & Tea

I’ve always wondered why Sally Fallon Morell advises against chocolate. Rami told me that chocolate is very high in phytic acid. Chocolate is made from the cocoa bean — it’s a bean seed! (We call it a bean but it is a seed.) Again, seeds are the worst. Raw chocolate is very high in oxalic acid and leaches calcium from the body.

Coffee, too, is a bean seed. It is also rich in oxalic acid, as is tea.

So I guess all these people eating raw cocoa nibs aren’t actually doing themselves any favors. And I guess those of us who have a sweet tooth (we know who we are) need to watch our chocolate consumption.

And for those of us who love our coffee and tea (again, we know who we are), have another reason to avoid it.

Vitamin C

Rami said that vitamin C blocks the effects of phytic acid. He said that there are only in trace amounts of vitamin C in liver. Vitamin C is one of the only vitamins not in liver.

He said that in many traditional cultures they go to great lengths to eat foods that are rich in vitamin C. In Australia they eat a certain kind of plum which is very high in vitamin C. Native Americans ate rose hips. In India and Latin America, they eat tamarind which is very high in vitamin C. Sauerkraut is also an excellent source of vitamin C.

Buy the Book

You can order Rami’s book on Amazon: Cure Tooth Decay: Heal and Prevent Cavities with Nutrition, 2nd Edition

[easyazon-block align=”none” asin=”1434810607″ locale=”us”]

Want to Learn More?

Rami is currently writing an article about phytic acid and anti-nutrients which will be in the upcoming Wise Traditions journal. If you are not a member of the Weston A. Price Foundation, you will want to join for this reason alone. In my mind, the Wise Traditions quarterly journal is the most cutting edge information on nutrition. Click here to become a member. The quarterly journal is included in your membership, along with the annual shopping guide.

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

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{ 183 comments… read them below or add one }

suzan January 27, 2010 at 10:49 AM

Just to clarify: Coffee and Chocolate are seeds, not beans.

cheeseslave January 27, 2010 at 11:11 AM

Right, we call them beans. You are correct, they are seeds. I’ll make a correction in the post.

And based on that, even more reason to avoid them if we want healthy teeth and bones. Seeds, according to Rami, are the WORST when it comes to anti-nutrients.

I read that roasting chocolate and coffee does help reduce the anti-nutrients. You really don’t want to eat raw chocolate though. People eat it I guess for the antioxidants but there are also anti-nutrients which we need to avoid.

Kelly the Kitchen Kop January 27, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Wow, I learned a ton from this post, I’m going to listen to the podcast now.

But can you hear my heavy sighs? This post shows me how far we still have to go…
.-= Kelly the Kitchen Kop´s last blog ..Real Food Wednesday 1/27/10 =-.

cheeseslave January 27, 2010 at 11:20 AM

LOL Kelly! Yes, I was thinking of both you and me when I was writing about coffee and chocolate.

emily- mpls real food lover January 27, 2010 at 11:32 AM

oh no! i JUST bought raw cacoa because i thought it was supposedly healthier… nightmare! i am so addicted to both chocolate and coffee. well, thanks for this podcast, its fun to hear your voice!
.-= emily- mpls real food lover´s last blog ..Fast, Cheap and Low Carb Breakfast =-.

Melissa @CelluliteInvestigation January 27, 2010 at 11:38 AM

Whoa, I echo Kelly’s sigh. But why is tea bad for you? It’s not a seed or grain so I am missing the connection. I’ve never heard of oxalic acid before. Is it mostly in black tea? C’mon, Ann Marie. Throw us a bone!
.-= Melissa @CelluliteInvestigation´s last blog ..Announcing "Love Your Lymph" Month: Interview with Dr. Thomas Cowan on Lymphatic Health =-.

cheeseslave January 27, 2010 at 11:45 AM

Oxalic acid or oxalate is found mostly in foods from plants. Calcium combines with oxalate in the intestines. This reduces calcium’s ability to be absorbed.

Although there are many foods that contain large amounts of oxalate, eight foods have been shown to be most at fault for raising urine oxalate levels. They are rhubarb, spinach, strawberries, chocolate, wheat bran, nuts, beets, and tea.


Now we are not saying that you should never eat spinach or chocolate or nuts or beets. But these foods need to be carefully and properly prepared. An all raw diet of raw cocoa nibs and soy milk and raw spinach salads with raw beets and nuts and green tea is a very bad idea — very destructive to our bones and teeth.

cheeseslave January 27, 2010 at 11:53 AM

Emily –

I am addicted to coffee, too. Chocolate I can live without most of the time (although I used to be a total fiend) but I do crave it when I get my period. My periods are much better (almost no cramping or other PMS symptoms) since I’ve been eating traditional foods so I wonder if this is somehow related. In other words, since my hormones are more balanced now, maybe this is why I crave chocolate less. I also used to crave bread and starches a lot more than I do now so that’s probably related as well.

Coffee and chocolate are potent drugs that produce changes in our brain chemistry. If you haven’t read Julia Ross’s books get, pick up a copy of The Diet Cure or The Mood Cure. She has specific nutrients and amino acids she recommends for breaking our addiction to these foods. I am experimenting with some of the amino acids she recommends and they are powerful!

Soli January 27, 2010 at 11:59 AM

Oh sigh. I’m still a big consumer of sourdough bread and oatmeal. And I do love my coffee, chocolate I am getting better about consuming. (now I only get it organic, fair tree, and without soy lechtin.) Guess I need to really find some new breakfast and lunch options.
.-= Soli´s last blog ..How I got here =-.

cheeseslave January 27, 2010 at 12:09 PM

Soli –

It’s not that you should not eat sourdough and oatmeal. Just maybe not as often as you do. And if you don’t have any tooth decay, you might be fine.

We eat eggs most mornings. Only occasionally we will have oatmeal or granola.

I do love sourdough and I eat it a lot. But usually with liverwurst, liver pate or cheese and/or butter. The other thing Rami said was if you are eating a lot of grains, make sure you eat an equal amount of liver or cheese to match it.

Funny I was just thinking about the Scottish people in Dr. Price’s book. 50% of their diet was oats but they also ate TONS of seafood, especially shellfish, and lots of liver. One of their favorite meals was “baked cod’s head stuffed with chopped cod’s liver and oatmeal”. And of course haggis!

Marianne January 27, 2010 at 12:52 PM

Oh large sighing over here, what with our oatmeal porridge every morning, sourdoughs, nut butters, and we just bought some raw cacao powder. And I thought all these efforts were going to benefit my family!

Time to step it up (and convince my young children that eggs for breakfast is a good thing). At least we’re having liver for dinner tonight!
.-= Marianne´s last blog ..Menu Plan Monday! =-.

Soli January 27, 2010 at 12:55 PM

Oh, I actually feel a bit better then. My teeth are great, and like I mentioned on twitter a few weeks back, I do swear some are straightening. While I do sandwiches during the week for work lunch, they are always raw braunschweigher with a liberal amount of butter and cheese (and a lacto-fermented picke on the side). Morning oatmeal is soaked in water and whey for about 10 hours on average. Plus, my bread is whole wheat at least and always 24 hour ferment.
.-= Soli´s last blog ..How I got here =-.

Christine Kennedy January 27, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Great podcast Ann Marie, and another good post. I just learned more info. that I didn’t already know as well!

I did not know that seeds were the worst for phytic acid. We are so duped in believing that nuts and seeds are good for us! Phooey! Jasmine was eating a handful of “crispy” nuts almost everyday, and 1/4 of her back molar chipped off! I don’t think I will even buy peanut butter again.

Last night I freshly ground some wheat, sifted out the bran, and have been soaking it in the dehydrator (should be around 45 celcius) for muffins and bread. These treats will be “occassional”.

It’s funny how so many people believe that the raw chocolate is so much better for you. It is so much more money too! I’m glad I’m not addicted to coffee! I do like the taste, but pouring a tall glass of raw milk is much easier than making coffee!

As far as oats go, I have located several compaines who claim their oats have not been heat treated and are sproutable. I will be buying from them soon. What I will do is sprout, dry, roll, and then sour soak in the dehydrator with some rye or whole wheat flour for a few days for an “occassional” treat. I made a kamut porridge for breakfast last weekend in this same manner. I called it oatmeal and the kids never knew it wasn’t.

I will be looking forward to his upcoming article in WT.

I want to mention a couple other things that Rami told me that I don’t think has been mentioned yet. He said the the fermented SKATE liver oil is a “secret weapon” (in his opinion) against tooth decay. He told me to alternate between the skate and the cod. He also suggested pascalite clay. It is full of minerals. He suggested ingesting a small amount daily, brushing the teeth daily with it, and putting the clay directly on the cavities. He also suggested spirulina/blue-green algae for the minerals. So, I just started all of these things on Jasmine and hopefully they help. We are also now using a water pick to take food out of the holes rather than a metal pick. He also suggested giving her liver EVERYDAY! I am not good about this. He also suggested bone marrow. He said stuff some berries inside and let her eat it raw. I’m not sure she will!

As far as dessert outside the home (friends/grandparents house), he suggested bringing whipped cream and berries. He also said stevia is probably ok, the green is better, the white ok, but the drops in glycerin are NOT good.

You are right, there is simply too much info. for a one hour show. This could easily be discussed for a couple of hours or more!

Betsy January 27, 2010 at 2:04 PM

Oh, crap. Seems I can’t eat anything any more. Had to give up gluten, so I gave up carbs along with it. My treats have been a few cookies or a muffin made with almond or coconut flour, or candies made with coconut oil and raw cacao powder, or some crispy nuts & seeds.

Well, I learned to make ground beef jerky the other day! Guess I can still munch on something, lol.

Great post, AM. Can’t wait to hear the podcast.

Tara January 27, 2010 at 2:25 PM

Oh no! This coconut and phytate thing makes me worry. I love to cook with coconut flour! I do hope you find some literature for us. I would love to know if I am doing harm or good. I have been waiting for this post as I have very weak teeth and have seen an improvement with a natural diet! (Woohoo!).

Also, are chia seeds high in phytates? I kow they are a seed buuuut are there any definitive values?
.-= Tara´s last blog ..Beef recipe: Kashk Bademjan =-.

Wardeh @ GNOWFGLINS January 27, 2010 at 2:43 PM

I just ordered his book yesterday – I hope that reading it will make me feel better. Because right now, I’m sighing, too…

There seems to be some balance here – “The other thing Rami said was if you are eating a lot of grains, make sure you eat an equal amount of liver or cheese to match it.” which will make most of this doable as long as we’re careful.

That was an interesting point about nuts not containing phytase and getting that from fresh ground whole wheat. I can use that tip right now.

This sentence: “Raw nuts are very bad and full of toxic anti-nutrients. Rami said that even cooked nuts will cause seizures in dogs.”

Where do germinated nuts fit into this? Better than both raw or cooked, but still bad? Better than both of those, but okay?
.-= Wardeh @ GNOWFGLINS´s last blog ..Video: Butter Keeper =-.

alexsandra January 27, 2010 at 3:41 PM

sighing???….more like crying….I have read so much on the net and tried so much to overcome chronic health problems. Everything takes me just so far….but never to complete health. I have been eating all the things he says not to eat….my latest attempts were at a raw diet. I have to say the green smoothies made me feel good but the raw almond butter….I ate lots of that…no wonder the gout flared up and my teeth were feeling bad. Hadn’t had a cavity for years….and then I got one. Arggghh.I had tried the cheese and butter thing but the gallstones kicked up….If it’s not one thing its another: IBS, arthritis, rosacea, hives, asthma…..
I have to rethink everything I’ve been doing.

Lanise January 27, 2010 at 4:32 PM

Congratulations on your first podcast. I look forward to more.

I’m very discouraged by this information. I feel like I have worked so hard in the past 9 months to radically change our diet from a very typical SAD (I was a coupon queen and you know the kind of food coupons are used for generally) to what I thought was a much more nourishing one, by following NT and WAPF. I know were still aren’t perfect, but I felt like we had made giant strides. Now, after reading this I feel like we haven’t really made very big strides. I have 5 kids under the age of 9, 2 of whom are extremly pickey. I just don’t understand what I’m supposed to feed them on a regular basis that were are able to afford. We pay $10.00 a gallon for raw milk, there is no local source for raw cheese or butter, we have to pay anywhere from $4-6/pound for grassfed beef/pastured chicken. Thank goodness our hens are laying now because I was paying $5.00 a dozen for pastured eggs. So, I felt like I was doing the best I could by supplementing those items with beans, nuts, oatmeal, veggies, and fruit. Now according to this information a lot of what I’m feeding them is just not good. Sometimes I just feel like saying forget it and going back to the way we were eating. It really feels like there’s very few things one can eat that is truly nourishing.

Kaylin January 27, 2010 at 5:35 PM

Oh, no. I, too, am very discouraged. What’s left? My kids and I are all on GAPS, which has been helping our digestion, but you know how heavily that relies on nut flour and coconut flour! My 2-year-old has brown spots on her teeth, and my 8-year-old’s adult teeth, which had been looking pretty good, (I check them all the time as my “report card” for how healthy he is) are now looking a little crowded. I hope it’s not too late for him. I feed them raw milk, fermented CLO, pastured eggs every morning for breakfast….. All these good things. I just started soaking nuts to make them more digestible and reduce the phytic acid and now I find out that’s not good enough either. Bummer. We’ve all been snacking on “crispy nuts” a significant part of the day. I don’t know what else to do! I’ve been reading about supplementing calcium with something very digestible like Dr. Christopher’s herbal calcium, or maybe Standard Process Calcium Lactate. Do you think these would help? I also have ConcenTrace mineral drops from the Utah Salt Lake to remineralize our R.O water. Is this considered a good source? (I make bone broths too…I know that’s also a good source of minerals). Also, how much CLO should they be taking? They take the capsules. I usually give them each one or two a day. There aren’t any dosage instructions on the bottle. Please help me, Ann Marie! Thanks for all you do. Don’t know what I’d do without you. You seem like a friend even though we’ve never met :-).

Kaylin January 27, 2010 at 5:47 PM

One more question… The body produces enzymes, right? According to Gut and Psychology Syndrome, if the stomach has enough acid it will trigger the production of enzymes when the food travels to the small intestine. So is the body able to produce Phytase if the digestion is working properly or is this an enzyme that must be eaten? I’m trying to put this all together. Can part of the problem with digesting nuts, seeds, grains, etc. be a lack of stomach acid, and therefore a lack of enzyme production?

Susan January 27, 2010 at 8:09 PM

I’m Not Listening! I’m Not Listening!!!!!

Bethany January 27, 2010 at 9:39 PM

Wow, this is a long list of discouraged women!

My question is about boiled peanuts. I grew up loving them in Mississippi; I wonder if this preparation reduces the phytic acid considerably. Anyone know?
.-= Bethany´s last blog ..Vox Importer =-.

Ellen@BodyEarth January 27, 2010 at 9:53 PM

Your podcast was fascinating, Ann Marie! I’d read “Cure Tooth Decay,” but still learned a lot from your interview.
I am psyched to eat more dosas, idlis and ghee — yummy.
I’ll be checking our local artisan bakery for sourdough rye bread ASAP.
But coffee….
.-= Ellen@BodyEarth´s last blog ..Coconuts are Good for You! =-.

Megan January 27, 2010 at 10:50 PM

I second Kaylin’s question about enzyme production. I’m pregnant, and literally all I eat every day are crispy nuts. But what a pain they are to make – so if I’m not soaking them with ww flour or something with phytase, have my efforts been in vain? Or is it possible that my body is producing the phytase. My teeth are MUCH more sensitive – but I don’t know if it’s because of the nuts or the pregnancy. =)

THANK YOU, AM! I appreciate all your hard work!
.-= Megan´s last blog ..Sourdough Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins =-.

Anna January 27, 2010 at 11:02 PM

i have two questions about the podcast that i didn’t really understand. First,,,about white rice…is white rice ok? is white rice better than brown rice?

also, does Rami suggest using the unsalted kerry gold butter instead of the salted one?


cheeseslave January 27, 2010 at 11:27 PM

Hi, before I respond to each comment individually I just want to ask you all, please let’s all collectively take a deep breath and calm down.

Rami’s advice is hardcore and it does seem strict BUT remember, he is talking to people who have tooth decay and want to reverse it. He is talking about best practices.

And remember what he said at the beginning of the podcast. I am pretty sure that he said he and his partner Michelle DID NOT know all this and they didn’t do everything right with their oldest child — and they were still able to reverse the decay. Similarly, Dr. Price reversed dental decay in the children in the orphanage — with just ONE meal a day (which included butter oil and cod liver oil).

Also please take note of the part of the podcast (near the end) when I asked Rami (paraphrase) “What are your top 5 or top 10 foods that help to prevent and reverse cavities?” and he said, “Just one food — liver.” Then he quoted a study in which two groups of children were given the exact same diet. One group was also given cod liver oil twice a day.

They reduced cavities by 40%! This is huge. That alone should be incredibly ENCOURAGING, not discouraging.

This is not about being perfect. It’s about doing what you need to do to get results. You don’t have to do everything right, but you do have to do some things right and avoid some things that are very wrong.

Michelle January 28, 2010 at 12:21 AM

Big sigh, like everyone else! My head can just SPIN at times! I don’t even know what to eat anymore. I thought we were doing so great, I see we are sooooooooooooo far from great, according to him. I have his book and appreciate it, but I just can’t imagine that it is supposed to be this difficult to do and figure out.

Sigh, again. I’ve recently found green smoothies and love the benefits, but then there are the downsides, goitergenic greens, non fermented greens, arrghh!

No raw food . . .yes, raw food. Soak to break down phytic acid, now, soaking isn’t enough. I can’t win here! Can’t a girl catch a break?!

Looking for answers, like all the other mamas,


jen b January 28, 2010 at 1:15 AM

I really appreciate this post and the podcast as I am one of the many worried mums out there battling dental problems with my children.
I had just been at the dentist this morning with my son and was most discouraged,thinking his teeth would be improving,but alas not.
At least now I can see why!His favourite food is bread I make from freshly ground wheat(Soaked and soured) with organic but unsoaked peanut butter.
I have been making a lot of baked items with coconut flour,raw cacao,soaked wheat and oats as he is 15 and growing like crazy(already 6ft4) and eating us out of house and home.
All 9 of my children,from age 16 to 1 year have great tooth structure as we have always eaten a lot of butter and cream,mostly raw.Two of the children have weak enamel,the one who loves the peanut butter and one who didn’t care for the taste of butter and cream.He has now changed on that one as I have shown him why he needs butter.
Ann Marie,reading your blog has totally transformed our family’s dietary practices.I found your site while searching about healing teeth and it continues to be so topical.All the best!

Lisa January 28, 2010 at 1:31 AM

After adding all these things to the list of what I can’t eat, there is just nothing left.

Liver and pastured eggs, is that it for the rest of our lives? Ugh.

Janelle Hoxie January 28, 2010 at 1:44 AM

I have known about phytic acid for a while now and am taking steps to start soaking, sprouting, and fermenting and it is definitely a long road ahead of me to get organized enough to put all these things into practice as most of them take a lot of preparation and time. I am so grateful for people like you, Ann Marie, for helping people eat healthier!

I have told people about phytic acid and they just look at me like “huh?” Most people have no idea that they aren’t getting much nutrition out of the food they are eating, and don’t really seem to want to change it! But I am happy that their are people that do!

Has anyone heard of Dom’s Toothsaving paste? You can find out how to make it here:, he also is taking orders but I still haven’t gotten mine because he lives in Australia, maybe after I do and see whether or not it works I will let you know. It supposedly reverses tooth decay, I am excited to find out!

FoodsHeal123 January 28, 2010 at 2:47 PM

This is a great reminder to take CLO:)

Question: Does cod liver oil (like the one from Green Pastures) ever go bad?
.-= FoodsHeal123´s last blog ..Juicing for Health =-.

Hadis January 28, 2010 at 3:34 PM

Thanks a lot for your podcast, it was so great. , and eay to understand( although my native language is not English).
Really thanks , and I wish you will be full of energy and best wished.
About ” flouride” , unfotunately it has anather harm and that is for thyroid gland.(as it is said here

cheeseslave January 28, 2010 at 3:55 PM

Hi, everyone, I just got some updates via email from Rami.

First of all, Rami confirms that coconut flour is full of phytic acid. This is shocking to me, because everything I read online, including from coconut expert Bruce Fife, said that coconut oil has NO phytic acid.

Rami writes:

Raw fresh coconut 270mg of phytate per 100 grams (3.5 ounces)
Coconut meal (I believe this is flour) 1.17% of phytate.

I do not know if coconut meat contains phytase, coconut flour surely doesn’t because heat is probably used to extract it.

Check this wiki:

You want phytic acid to be somewhere close to zero. Say, less than 0.2%. But I don’t know the exact safe level of phtyate.

Attached is a 1946 document. The figures of the document are completely wrong due to old fashioned technology, but they show the relative figures. Coconut meal contains about 50% of phytate as nut flours, and about equal phytate to wheat. Coconut flour therefore is about equal to whole wheat flour in phytate content.

If you eat high phytate diet, the body lowers its calcium metabolism and then requires less calcium/phosphorus but that results in bone loss.

Translation, bran, high fiber diet = osteoporosis and tooth decay.

I had a figure on cacao beans, but cannot find it, it is something near the amount of nuts.

I have another figure that says 357 mg per 100 grams for coconut. Bruce Fife is wrong.

Whole coconut has about half the phytates of hazelnuts and soaked peanuts.

It would be better to use rye or wheat instead. Fresh ground (from sprouted whole grains would work), acidic substance to enhance soaking (tablespoon or two of whey, yogurt etc. like Sally suggests), warm temperature (80+ degrees), at least 6 hours, not in milk or yogurt. For rye remove 25% of bran, and wheat 60-100%. You might ask Christine how she is removing the bran. We are experimenting at home with it.

Isn’t it amazing? People eat coconut flour think it is healthy? Needs to be fermented.

Marianne January 28, 2010 at 3:58 PM

Thanks for all your research Ann Marie!

Quick question, do you sprout your wheat berries, and then soak them as well?

.-= Marianne´s last blog ..Menu Plan Monday! =-.

cheeseslave January 28, 2010 at 3:58 PM

More from Rami — he made some corrections to what I wrote in my post:

“So even if you are carefully germinating (sprouting) and soaking and using sourdough and other methods to ferment your grains and soaking your beans, they still do contain the anti-nutrients which block mineral absorption and chelate them from the body. It is therefore important to eat nutrient-dense foods but also to limit foods that contain anti-nutrients, even if they are properly prepared.”

Sourdough will remove anti-nutrients provided you remove some or all of the bran of the grain, and soak with fresh ground grains at a warmer temperature say 80 degrees F. or warmer. Soaking and/or germinating a helpful but not the entire process. Also other cultures, use souring process to make rice cakes or rice noodles for example. Soured corn for the corn eating cultures.

“He said that just 25 mg of phytic acid will block 50% of your iron intake. Phytic acid also blocks zinc, copper and other minerals.”

25 mg in one whole wheat roll reduces 62% I think.

Also don’t soak grains in milk, milk stops phytic acid degredation. Small amount of whey or buttermilk to add acidity is okay.

“Rami said that people eating traditional diets around the world go to great lengths to properly germinate, sprout, soak, and ferment their nuts, grains, legumes and seeds.”

Data on nuts & seeds is unclear at this time. Other than that they have equal to or more phytates than grains. And shouldn’t be consumed if someone has digestive problems, or any bone loss or tooth decay.

“And for those of us who love our coffee and tea (again, we know who we are), have another reason to avoid it.”

I would add the cocoa butter is probably the way to go. White chocolate…

cheeseslave January 28, 2010 at 4:02 PM

@Christine Kennedy – How are you removing the bran from your freshly ground flour?

Christine Kennedy January 28, 2010 at 4:24 PM

I had to grind my flour at a slightly coarser texture, and then use a fine seive. I will be buying one online that has even smaller holes to remove the most bran possible. Some kitchen supply stores may also carry them.

What a bummer about coconut flour. I just bought a brand new bag! Does anyone know if the coconut is a nut or a seed? It would make sense then to have all that phytate contained in them.

I would like to know about chia/salba, hemp, and flax seeds. I wonder if those are also high in phytates like sesame seeds?

I think it is important to rememer for those people who have decay that these are all important details. If my daughter didn’t have active decay, I wouldn’t be going through such great lengths. My son hasn’t had any cavities in over 5 years, so I am more leniant on him.

So, just to be clear, do we need to sprout, dry, freshly grind, AND soak/sourdough for around 16-24 hours at 40 deg? Or is it ok to just freshly grind and soak (not sprout)? I guess the best phytate reduction would come from sprouting first, freshly grinding, and soaking.

Christine Kennedy January 28, 2010 at 4:30 PM

I asked Rami if he could provide examples of what his children eat on a daily basis, or menu ideas for children who have active decay. He said he is working with someone on that. It does tend to get monotanous!

We use all forms of raw dairy, eggs, a little fruit, small amount of stevia, veggies (cooked or femented), meat, organs, fish and seafood. What else is there?

cheeseslave January 28, 2010 at 4:37 PM

More from Rami…

I asked him if coconut milk and shredded coconut have phytic acid. He responded:

Probably coconut milk has it, but not sure.

Dessicated coconut would have the same amount of phytic acid as the meat.

Raw Chocolate bean is very high in phytic acid.

I also asked him to elaborate on white chocolate and cocoa butter. He said:

White chocolate (with good sugar) or cocoa butter probably does not have phytic acid. At least if it did, it would be much lower.

I know roasting chocolate and coffee reduces the phytic acid. So for those of you who have bought raw chocolate, you can roast it.

I will post more indivual responses soon.

cheeseslave January 28, 2010 at 4:42 PM

@Christine Kennedy

Do you think you could post a pic of the sieve you are going to buy? I am going to learn to sprout & grind my own flour this year and I want to know how to sift it. I would also like to sift the flour I currently buy from To Your Health Sprouted Flour.

Soli @ I Believe in Butter January 28, 2010 at 4:44 PM

Argh, that would probably apply to coconut milk kefir too. Grrrr. My local shops have stopped carrying flavored whole milk kefir and I refuse to buy the lowfat kind, and I’m not yet ready to try making milk kefir on my own.
.-= Soli @ I Believe in Butter´s last blog ..How I got here =-.

cheeseslave January 28, 2010 at 4:58 PM

Another thing I wanted to add — just a general comment.

The people who lived in the Swiss village Dr. Price visited ate 50% of their diet as bread. Of course this was the sprouted, freshly ground and long-fermented rye bread. They also ate tons of raw milk cheese, butter & cream. They ate meat ONLY once a week — but I believe it was typically calves liver. They ate very little in the way of fruits and vegetables.

The nutrition of the people of the Loetschental Valley, particularly that of the growing boys and girls, consists largely of a slice of whole rye bread and a piece of the summer-made cheese (about as large as the slice of bread), which are eaten with fresh milk of goats or cows. Meat is eaten about once a week. In the light of our newer knowledge of activating substances, including vitamins, and the relative values of food for supplying minerals for body building, it is clear why they have healthy bodies and sound teeth. The average total fat-soluble activator and mineral intake of calcium and phosphorus of these children would far exceed that of the daily intake of the average American child.

I think this is encouraging because they ate a very limited diet but still took in a very high amount of vitamins and minerals.

I think it can be tougher today because many of us are operating from a place of needing to rebuild. We are coming from a place of being nutritionally deficient. Especially those of us who are younger, born in the 1970s or ’80s.

I feel that I was very lucky to have been born in the 1960s because we ate butter and lobster and lots of eggs (my mom said they were a good cheap source of protein so she fed them to us often) and tuna and ground beef, and I used to eat liverwurst frequently. We used to drink our milk whole, too. Even the McDonald’s french fries were cooked in beef tallow until 1983.

So for those of us who were born later, it was harder because they were drinking skim milk and maybe even soy milk and soy milk formula, and everything was cooked in soybean oil or canola oil instead of butter and tallow.

I heard someone ask Sally Fallon Morell,”How careful do we have to be about what we eat?” Her answer: “It depends on how sick you are.”

For those of us who coming from a place of being more nutritionally depleted, we have to work harder.

Naomi January 28, 2010 at 5:44 PM

After my bad experience with raw cacao (sore kidneys, headache, dark urine, twitching eyelid, etc.), I googled it and came across a Renegade Health video on cacao ( and read through some 160+ comments of many others with bad experiences. After that, I threw my entire bag in the garbage and won’t ever touch the stuff ever again!

Naomi January 28, 2010 at 5:45 PM
Naomi January 28, 2010 at 5:55 PM

Regarding stevia, not so sure it’s great anymore considering this:
Stevia is not permitted for sale as food or as a food ingredient in the EU because it did not pass EU safety assessments. Data considered by a scientific committee found that stevia plant extract has the potential to produce adverse effects in the male reproductive system that could affect fertility, and also that a metabolite produced by microflora in the human gut is genotoxic (damages DNA).

Here in the United States, the Center for Science in the Public Interest raised concerns about potential cancer-causing properties in stevia and urged more tests before approval. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved stevia as a sweetener in December 2008 after PepsiCo and Coca-Cola reportedly wanted to use it as a sweetener for zero-calorie products. PCC sells it as an alternative choice for people who must restrict sugar. (Source:

Jessica January 28, 2010 at 6:03 PM

We were just about to start SCD/GAPS diet for my husband’s Crohn’s disease…yikes :( Anyway, I have yet to listen to the podcast due to work/child obligations but am very excited to. I know this is all about diet and nutrition but can someone please tell me what we are supposed to be using to brush our teeth? Did he mention this at all? We used a “natural” toothpaste but I found it still contains sodium lauryl sulfate and of course flouride, both of which are supposed to be toxic.

Sorry if this is a beginners question!

Christine Kennedy January 28, 2010 at 7:05 PM

I am not really sure what size would be good to buy. I don’t want to buy one and waste my money, as there are no kitchen supply stores in my area. Maybe I will contact Peggy, or maybe Ann Marie you could and ask her what size mesh sieve she uses for her sprouted, sifted flour.

But, I found this:

John January 28, 2010 at 8:53 PM

I’m astonished at how far off base people get from simply preparing whole foods. I find soaking the 7 hours to be perfectly fine and to get this carried away doesn’t make any common sense. Yes, people did all kinds of variations of food preparation but do you want to spend all your time living at the extreme? Health is much more than being enslaved. Even in the Bible they ground flour and made bread without weeks of soaking especially when on the move. If grains and seeds were that bad who could live?

Paula Runyan January 28, 2010 at 9:44 PM

Coconut flour.
I would like to see the actual data on that.
Does Rami have it?
.-= Paula Runyan´s last blog ..Teff =-.

Karin Johannesson January 28, 2010 at 10:11 PM

Very interesting podcast and post, thankyou.

The part about the peanut butter makes sense, but I’m also saddened in that I eat it all the time for breakfast, and find that it keeps me full for a very long time.

I’m not sure if this was mentioned, but although oxalic acid contained in spinach can prevent your body from absorbing iron and calcium, you can improve iron absorption if you eat if with Vitamin C, ie. lemon juice. This is the way my mother always prepared spinach, with lemon juice and tons of butter.

Rami January 28, 2010 at 10:47 PM

Response to Christine & Paula,

I sent Ann Marie a copy of coconut flour data, from published studies.

“I would like to know about chia/salba, hemp, and flax seeds. I wonder if those are also high in phytates like sesame seeds?”

YES, lots and lots of phytates in all seeds, & nuts.

“I think it is important to rememer for those people who have decay that these are all important details.”

Lots of people have digestive problems, children who won’t eat well ect. I think this is a major part of it.

“So, just to be clear, do we need to sprout, dry, freshly grind, AND soak/sourdough for around 16-24 hours at 40 deg?”


“Or is it ok to just freshly grind and soak (not sprout)? I guess the best phytate reduction would come from sprouting first, freshly grinding, and soaking.”

That is pretty good, but do you want to be a guinea pig for untested food practices? It depends how much you eat of it. Let’s say that is 80% good bread???? I think you are doing great and making positive changes. But what if eating really well could make everyone feel good and happy? Would that be worth the extra work? With my family we pay alot of extra money to get the best food, but everyone feels better and is more nourished.

Soaking just takes planning, it isn’t that much more work.

Here is some Quinoa info just to more fun.

Quinoa Phytate Reductions (Source: Food Phytates)
Cooked 25 minutes @ 100 degrees Celsius 15-20% reduction
Soaked 12-14hours @ 20 degrees Celsius + cooked 60-77% reduction
Fermented with whey 16-18hrs @ 30 degrees C and cooked 82-88% reduction
Soaked, germinated 30 hours, lacto-fermented (with whey added I think) 16-18 hours then cooked 97-98% reduction

From Ann Marie’s post – “I think this is encouraging because they ate a very limited diet but still took in a very high amount of vitamins and minerals.”

I haven’t confirmed but one reference stated that there is potentially 6x more minerals in wheat from excellent soil vs. wheat from poor soil. Edward Mellanby believed rye contained vitamin D? I don’t understand the chemistry to understand why he would conclude that.


Christine Kennedy January 28, 2010 at 11:28 PM

I also forgot to mention that Rami suggested I try to put a drop of iodine (ie. Lugol’s) on the tooth that is hurting. I have done this a couple of times now. Someone else mentioned to me that if you put the fermented clo directly on a tooth that is in pain it will also help.

Kaylin January 28, 2010 at 11:44 PM

Yes, I second Paula on the coconut data. I would really hate to give up our curry made with coconut milk. We’re dealing with some pretty bad looking teeth so I’m prepared to do what it takes, but would rather not eliminate more than necessary, especially considering I’m dealing with thyroid issues and coconut products are supposed to be great for the thyroid. It’s so hard to eliminate so many things when we’re dealing with digestion, teeth, thyroid…. When the No No lists overlap with other Okay lists, there’s not much left!

Adrienne January 29, 2010 at 12:09 AM

What percent of the cow’s diet should be grass? Rami mentioned raw butter as best and that New Zealand butter as a compromise. When should I choose that New Zealand butter instead of raw butter? (Ever?) Does anyone know what is my best option in Orange County? Is there a source of 100% grass fed butter for the K2? TIA!


R.A. January 29, 2010 at 12:19 AM

I’m finishing up the recording now but was wondering if anyone had any recommendations about dietary sources for calcium. My family is a mix of omnivores and vegetarians/vegans, so a mixture of items would be appreciated. I’ve glanced around online but am unsure what is and is not safe as I’m not well-versed in all of the anti-nutrients.

Thank you.

cheeseslave January 29, 2010 at 1:50 PM

Here are links to the studies and data that Rami sent me, particularly regarding the level of phytic acid in coconut meal:

jason January 29, 2010 at 1:51 PM

Milk is for baby cows, not humans. It’s funny that we can hear one person and all of a sudden condemn ourselves and see our lack The postulates he makes are unrealistic to practice in the modern world, foster an obsession with food, and promote self denigration. Moderation in all things, including food is the key, not complex preparations and addictive self monitoring. My slice of the food pie…

Anna January 29, 2010 at 3:12 PM

One thing no one has mentioned is potatoes and sweet potates. They are inexpensive, so good to use as a fill-in at meals, and easier to prepare properly than grains.

Kaylin January 29, 2010 at 3:38 PM

I appreciate what John and Jason have said (and Ann Marie, recommending a deep breath to calm down). It’s helped to mull the whole thing over for a couple of days.

I agree that we have to be realistic in everyday life. Maybe for a time we need to be more vigilent for the purpose of reversing tooth decay but that doesn’t mean the changes need to be lifelong. I successfully reversed tooth decay in my son when I first started changing our diets simply by feeding him eggs every morning instead of boxed cereal and making our own bread for peanut butter (yes, I still fed him the dreaded peanut butter) sandwiches instead of buying bread. I wasn’t very far along in changing our diets yet, so the eggs were store-bought, non-organic, the flour I used was non-organic, and I fermented the loaves for 24 hours but they were not sourdough. That was a couple of years ago. I appreciate knowing about nuts because we have been overdoing the nuts on the GAPS diet and are dealing with tooth decay again, but once the teeth heal I will be easing up as much as possible. Everything in moderation. If we look at the big picture we would mostly eat foods that would normally be widely available for everyday consumption. I don’t think that nuts would be a major part of a traditional diet because they wouldn’t be convenient or available in large amounts. Modern technology has changed that. We can now buy as many as we can afford. They probably should be used more as a topping rather than a staple and making baked goods with them as GAPS recommends isn’t a very traditional practice. I can’t wait until our digestion heals and I can start baking with grains again.

I also question the relevance of the study cited above about rickets since puppies were used as the study group. I don’t believe that puppies were designed to live on grain. They are dogs. They need meat. I would expect them to develop health problems from an unbalance diet focusing on grains, properly or improperly prepared. We, however, are human. Our bodies were designed to enjoy all different kinds of food in moderation and with great variety, so I don’t think we can make an exact parallel with puppies. The study proves that the grain diet wasn’t good for puppies; it doesn’t mean we can’t eat them (as long as we prepare them properly and use sensible moderation).

cheeseslave January 29, 2010 at 4:34 PM

@John This is for people who have dental decay. These are extremes but this protocol is for people who have rotten teeth and a mouth full of cavities. We’re talking about a one-year-old baby with brown rotten baby teeth.

cheeseslave January 29, 2010 at 4:44 PM


“Milk is for baby cows, not humans.”

I’m so tired of hearing that phrase. What does it even mean? It’s flawed logic.

Follow this slippery slope:

Eggs are for baby chicks that will grow into chickens. So we shouldn’t eat eggs either.

Sprouts are for seeds to grow into plants. So we shouldn’t eat sprouts or plants either.

Meat is part of an animal, and if we eat it, that animal can’t live. So we shouldn’t eat meat either.

Fruit and nuts have seeds, so it needs to drop to the ground or be eaten by animals which will then be dispersed in the ground via their manure. So we shouldn’t eat fruit or nuts either.

So we shouldn’t drink milk or eat eggs or meat or even sprouts or plants or fruit or nuts.

Perhaps we should all become Breatharians. Oh, right, but humans need food to live. Should we stop eating and die out so that plants and animals can live?

People have been drinking milk and making cheese and butter for thousands of years. It’s a healthy, nutrient dense food and cows and goats produce plenty — way more than their babies need. When we keep cows and goats, they fertilize the land and produce healthy top soil. We need healthy top soil in order to continue civilization. If we don’t have healthy top soil, we will perish. Every civilization throughout history that has perished has always had a lack of good top soil. We need animal manure for good soil. This system works and it has worked for thousands of years.

In lieu of milk and dairy, people must eat other things to get the calcium and other nutrients. The traditional Japanese drink fish broth with every meal in lieu of dairy.

There is no population of humans who has ever thrived without animal products. Period. We need animal products.

cheeseslave January 29, 2010 at 4:52 PM

@ Kaylin

“Maybe for a time we need to be more vigilent for the purpose of reversing tooth decay but that doesn’t mean the changes need to be lifelong.”

I agree with this statement. I was just reading about Dr. Nicholas Gonzales who is curing cancer — in Suzanne Somers’ new book, “Knockout”. One lady who had pancreatic cancer was able to reverse it and she’s lived for like 20 years. She only did the protocol for about 5 years and she’s managed to be healthy all this time.

Also, if you didn’t see this post, go read it:

I met a lady on the plane who grew up in Guadalajara, Mexico. She and her 8 brothers and sisters had no cavities or braces. Her 6 kids were brought up on a diet here in the United States on a migrant farm worker’s salary. They did not eat organic, nor did they avoid beans, rice, etc. They ate lots of white flour. They also ate lots of organ meats like tripe and liver and kidneys, and they all took cod liver oil.

The point is, they started off better with fewer nutritional deficiencies. It takes time to rebuild our health. If we are very nutritionally deficient, we have to work harder to rebuild. If we are better off nutritionally, we can get away with a looser diet.

cheeseslave January 29, 2010 at 4:55 PM

@ Anna – Potatoes and sweet potatoes also have toxins and must be cooked. You cannot eat them raw. But again, this whole thing is about how to properly prepare specific foods, namely nuts, seeds, grains and legumes, as well as vegetables. Many vegetables do need to be cooked or fermented, including potatoes, as well as cabbage, beets, spinach, kale, etc.

Christine Kennedy January 29, 2010 at 5:05 PM

Also potatoes are high in natural sugar, so if you are battling active tooth decay, it is not good to eat large quantities of them. In any case, make sure they are served with plenty of cream and butter!

Ann Marie, very well said explanation regarding cows milk/babies. There are many examples of orphaned animals suckling off of another mammal to recieve milk to grow. Fact of the matter is, milk (and all animal products) is one of the most nutrient dense foods there are. We, as humans, need the largest amount of nutrition as we have the highest intellegence of all mammals.

Jessica January 29, 2010 at 5:34 PM

Big sigh…of relief! I have to admit I was getting all worked up there for a minute.

I do have a question about the soaking/sprouting. Is Rami saying that we should soak and sprout the grains, then ferment them again before cooking?

Or do you just sprout them and cook them for a long time at a low temperature?

One thing I wanted to mention too, is that after reading about your conversation with the Mexican lady on the airplane, she fed her children plenty of liver and cod liver oil, and despite the fact that she did use some sugar, probably white rice and milk from the grocery store, her children still had almost no cavities nor needed braces. Maybe their ‘gene pool’ was less polluted since she was healthy to start with and came from a different country.

I for one am quite upset that since I was born in 1982, I didn’t have much of a chance and my mom didn’t know anything about health. I grew up on soy formula, storebought milk was introduced when I was 6 months, white bread and sugar, lots and lots of sweet tea (Texan here), white flour, sugary cereals, margarine and crisco etc. The one thing though was my mom did cook our suppers from scratch, we grew gardens, we didn’t keep cokes (sodas) or juice in the house much, rarely ate out, desserts were for the weekend, and I played outside all of the time. I was a heavier child, but not obese. It was likely due to genetics and the fact that high fructose corn syrup was finding its way into everything. (which directly converts to stored fat)

I only had cavities maybe twice in my life and I didn’t need braces, neither did my sister. My husband was born in 1971, grew up on the same basic diet and he didn’t need braces either. In fact, he did get a cavity after we married, but since I started cooking the traditional way, it’s gone.

My 4 children’s teeth are looking great, except my second daughter’s new front tooth appears to be sideways. The oldest seems to have very large teeth to fit in her narrower face, the third one hasn’t lost any baby teeth yet, and the baby doesn’t have any teeth yet. Fermented fish oil is on its way :)
.-= Jessica´s last blog .. =-.

cheeseslave January 29, 2010 at 6:24 PM

@ Jessica

Rami says ideally (remember, IDEALLY) you want to first germinate or sprout the whole grain, then dry it at a low temperature (unlike the way they heat-treat oatmeal), then grind it and yes, THEN ferment it (like using sourdough).

We use sprouted flour lots of times without fermenting it. Is it ideal? No. If my daughter had tooth decay, however, we would not be doing that. We would only eat sourdough and that would be limited as well.

Regarding the post about the Mexican lady, Paula:

Yes, she did feed her kids white flour, the food was not organic, and probably much of it was not even from grass-fed animals, and she also gave them sugar every day in her rice pudding (but it was a very small amount of sugar). They didn’t get juice or soda or other sweet snacks, nor did they get cookies or cakes or pastries.

“Maybe their ‘gene pool’ was less polluted since she was healthy to start with and came from a different country.”

I don’t think it has anything to genes but you are on the right track… our bodies do store nutrients and we do pass them on to our children in utero and while breastfeeding. So the fact that she ate such a healthy diet did impact her children. Their diet could be a little less healthy and they were still super-healthy. But their diet was still very healthy.

This is why I was saying that I think people born in the 50s and 60s tend to have a bit of an advantage over those born later, in the 70s and 80s. Pottenger saw with his studies of the cats, and Dr. Price saw when he studied the native cultures, that each generation removed from the traditional diet got progressively sicker. So those of us who are further removed from a traditional diet must work even harder to eat better.

I think instead of feeling discouraged and sad that we don’t have optimal conditions or didn’t have the optimal upbringing, at least we can all be grateful that we know about these things now. I could sit around and feel bad that I’ve had 2 root canals and tons of cavities and still have damaged cartilidge in my knees thanks to the rheumatoid arthritis I was diagnosed with at age 26, or I can feel grateful that I found out how to eat my way back to wellness.

I’m grateful every single day that I found out about Dr. Weston Price and the WAPF when my daughter was still a baby. And I’m grateful that I can provide nutritious meals for our family so we can all live long, healthy lives.

Kaylin January 30, 2010 at 1:39 AM

I agree with your last statement, Ann Marie. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism at age 19 and have dealt with it for the last 11 years. I have gone through all the feelings of depression and anxiety that I have been plagued with a lousy thyroid for all these years. But recently I realized that if I hadn’t had this health challenge I wouldn’t be so interested in health and nutrition in general and I wouldn’t know nearly all of the things that I know. My children are MUCH healthier than all of my friends’ children. My friends don’t have a thyroid condition, or any serious chronic health conditions, so they aren’t so interested in learning about nutrition. The common notion is that popular belief that it doesn’t matter what you eat when you’re pregnant because the baby will get the vitamins somehow. The baby will be fine, it’s the mother who will be depleted, and you can always just take a multivitamin to fix that. All their kids have crooked teeth, full of cavities, the kids have allergies and are sick all the time, and on and on. For that reason, having a lousy thyroid has been completely worth it because my children are healthier as a result and they’re definitely worth the sacrifice!

Anita January 30, 2010 at 3:57 AM

We really need to be so careful with what our kids born in the 90’s eat from now on. I find filling them up on good fats like butter, whole milk & cream, with good eggs, etc, keeps them full enough to avoid a lot of the baddies.
For a good teeth cleanser, I use ✦good sea salt, ✦bicarb soda, ✦a splash of hydrogen peroxide, mixed in a small jar, stick your toothbrush in & clean teeth gently.
It’s VERY cleansing, so just use occasionally! ❤

Michelle January 30, 2010 at 4:04 AM

Yikes!! Worse than soy??? As a previous poster said, this can be more challenging for those who have limited diets due to allergies or other health problems. For example, I cannot eat many of the alternative foods suggested–dairy, eggs, or gluten– so nuts, alternative grains and seeds do form a major part of my diet. Anyhow, I will keep this info in mind. Interesting though– Since switching to NT eating, my health has greatly improved in many respects…but still having tooth issues. I’ve had a lifetime of bad teeth (yes I was born in the late 70s!), and have not had any more cavities since rebuilding health, but I have been very prone to oral staining. Especially from iron supplementation. This is fairly common, and as it overlapped with pregnancy the midwife suggesetd that hormones can adjust the oral pH enough to make this occur. Last time I was at the dentist, the lady in the chair next to me was complaining that she and many of her GAPS internet discussion group members were all feeling great but getting staining on their teeth! I have a biological dentist so I imagine she will have a perspective on this info.

Soli January 30, 2010 at 9:37 AM

Ann Marie, would you mind if I took your comment to Jason and posted it to my blog? It’s exactly the kind of thing I say, but I love your phrasing.

Raine Saunders January 30, 2010 at 11:39 AM

I have a question that I hope is not something that has already been covered here…if so, I apologize! I tried to read through all the comments to make certain this wasn’t already discussed. I was laying in bed this morning trying to sort everything out in my head because of all the new information I learned this week from the podcast.

So, I just want to make sure I have everything straight – from what Ramiel has been discussing and from his research, the following is true:

Grains, nuts, seeds, beans, rice, oats chocolate, coffee, tea, and even vegetables from what I have heard all contain some level of phytates or phytic acid. In order to obtain any nutrients or lower the levels of nutrients being lost in the body, they must be properly prepared by soaking, sprouting, and fermenting. Nuts and seeds, and apparently raw cacao are the worst and should be avoided at all cost.

If I follow this logic correctly, am I to believe then, that the only foods we don’t have to soak, sprout, ferment, and go to great lengths to prepare are meats and fruits?

I know that throughout history, many people have eaten a lot of these foods he has said are high in phytic acid content – as many of them are, in addition to meats and fruits, considered traditional foods (they are not processed nor modern) albeit, “properly prepared” – but if they still contain anti-nutrients and leach nutrients from the body even when they are prepared the right way, then why would people have still continued to eat them? If I’m not understanding this chain of logic correctly, I’d like to, because I’m really confused!

I have also read about people not eating a lot of meat in times of famine during various points in history, and having to subsist on plants, grains, and other foods that are on the list containing fairly large amounts of phytic acid.

Does this mean, then, that during those times people all over the world were basically going into starvation mode since they weren’t getting much in the way of nutrient-dense foods but had to live mostly on foods high in phytic acid content? I realize that throughout history, starvation was just a fact of life sometimes and that it happened repeatedly. I’m just trying to put all of this together, because from what I’m hearing and reading, it sounds like 85 percent of the foods available to us to eat contain phytic acid and should either be properly prepared (and still leach nutrients) or avoided. I’m not trying to be extreme, I just want to make sure I am understanding what I am hearing. Thanks Ann Marie! :)
.-= Raine Saunders´s last blog ..Michael Pollan on Oprah – Getting The Message Out About Real Food =-.

Anne Elliott January 30, 2010 at 1:42 PM

Okay, I have a host of health problems, and a husband and seven children to cook for. It really CAN be overwhelming, especially since the times I’m not feeling well are the times I *should* be the most vigilant. That’s tough to do.

But remember, on the WAP website, Dr. Ron Schmid says,

At the same time, I believe it pays to be aware of how different each of us is when it comes to nutrition and healing. The principles Dr. Price discovered apply to each and every one of us, yet it appears that many of us have idiosyncrasies that profoundly affect our ability to heal and obtain optimal health. The reward of a willingness to experiment and make changes can be profound; the confidence that one’s body will function smoothly and effortlessly into advanced age may provide a unique satisfaction. And when and if it doesn’t–well, then back to the drawing board; life is change, and every symptom has a lesson.

For me, it was such a blessing to hear this podcast! We’ve been eating the NT way for many years now, but yet we still struggle with serious health problems! We’ve really started to wonder why. I think maybe it’s because I’ve focused very heavily on the raw milk and fermented dairy, plus cod liver oil — but I’ve really slacked off on reducing the phytic acid. We’ve been eating oatmeal (soaked) almost every morning. Yikes! So maybe this explains some of our problems.

It can feel like we women of the 70s have to be practically perfect in every way, if we want to have good health. It’s probably true! And we won’t be perfect, so we’re still going to struggle. But when our bodies are so depleted, perfection is about the only thing that will help. So we keep trying.

But with great help from Cheeseslave and WAP, and by encouraging each other, we can keep going, right? Let’s not give up!

Hannah January 30, 2010 at 4:37 PM

Wow- interesting stuff. I’m in the same boat as everyone else here-thought that the overnight soaking of grains/nuts was enough to neutralize all the phytic acid. I found the info that Rami posted about quinoa to be very helpful, I am definitely willing to take the extra steps to ensure my food is healthful, as he says it just takes planning, not necessarily more work. I have a couple questions though, to be clear – Is the info Rami provided about quinoa preparation also what I should follow for beans/rice/oats etc?(as far as the length of time for sprouting and fermenting) Is there a resource available to give us the proper instructions for various grains and how to prepare them the best way? If nuts are sprouted, can they then be fermented? I was thinking of the possibility of sprouting nuts, making a nut butter and then adding whey and fermenting. Does anybody do this? Would this theoretically take care of the remaining anti-nutrients? Any help is much appreciated! I am also overwhelmed by this info, but if there is a right way to be preparing these grains that would be wonderful. Thanks a lot

Michelle January 30, 2010 at 8:38 PM

So, does this info contradict what is written in Nourishing Traditions and what WAPF teaches? I am sure that their literature says that if you soak these things you ‘neutralize’ the phytates. I have whole-heartedly subscribed to NT and WAPF principles and now it seems they are inaccurate? Is this true?

I believe Sally Fallon said in NT that flax seeds are actually low in phytates.

I understand we are talking about extreme cases of tooth decay, but how can we nourishers of our children not be concerned with these things even if we don’t have rampant tooth decay? I mean, isn’t safe to assume that if we continue to eat the grains, nuts, seeds, ect. the way NT recommends we might end up with bad tooth decay?

Just trying to figure it all out too.
.-= Michelle´s last blog ..Hold His Hand =-.

Gui January 30, 2010 at 10:46 PM


Rami said: “They first germinated the rye, then they sifted it to remove about 20-25% of the bran. Then they would ferment it using sourdough.”.

I don’t remember reading this in the book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. Do you know where is this info from?

Btw, love your blog, read it every day.

cheeseslave January 31, 2010 at 12:49 AM

R.A. – Best sources of calcium are dairy products and bone broths.

According to the Weston A. Price Foundation:

The best sources of usable calcium are dairy products and bone broth. In cultures where dairy products are not used, bone broth is essential. Calcium in meats, vegetables and grains is difficult to absorb. Both iron and zinc can inhibit calcium absorption as can excess phosphorus and magnesium. Phytic acid in the bran of grains that have not been soaked, fermented, sprouted or naturally leavened will bind with calcium and other minerals in the intestinal tract, making these minerals less available. Sufficient vitamin D is needed for calcium absorption as is a proper potassium/calcium ratio in the blood. Sugar consumption and stress both pull calcium from the bones.

Bone broths (chicken fish or beef) must be long-simmered and you must use some vinegar or wine to help pull the calcium from the bones. The bigger the bones, the longer you need to simmer the broth. Bonito broth (Japanese) takes the least time (a couple of hours I think). Fish broth takes a little longer. Lobster broth around the same I think. Chicken stock takes 12-24 hours. I simmer mine up to 24-36 hours. Beef broth takes 24-48 hours. I usually do about 36-48 hours for my beef broth.

cheeseslave January 31, 2010 at 1:01 AM

@ Karin

Yes peanut butter is bad, unless it is soaked. And even if it is soaked, I believe it should be eaten in strict moderation.

I am going to put a recipe up on my blog soon for soaked peanut butter. If you want to cure tooth decay, I would not use it at all. And even if your teeth are fine, I would never eat peanut butter every day. My teeth are really great — no cavities and I have proof of remineralization — and I never eat peanut butter. If I had soaked peanut butter, I may eat it occasionally. But it’s not something I crave.

Better choices for breakfast might be… eggs (so many ways to cook them), bacon, sausage, yogurt, sourdough bread w/ cheese, sourdough waffles or pancakes with butter, rice porridge with butter and cream, sourdough French toast. My family also loves sprouted bagels with lox (smoked salmon) and cream cheese.

For something that “fills you up” try to include more good fats. When I feed my husband lots of butter, cream and coconut oil in the morning, as well as eggs/bacon, he can go till lunch or even after lunch without getting hungry. And he’s the classic low-blood sugar type.

For lunch, I think liverwurst, egg salad, chicken salad, or tunafish salad are better than peanut butter.

And yes it is true, vitamin C does help when you are eating oxalic acid. Cooking helps to decrease it as well. The point is not to never eat oxalic acid. You just have to eat a balanced diet and you have to prepare foods properly. I think that is the point of all of this.

cheeseslave January 31, 2010 at 1:10 AM

@ Kaylin

WOW so true! I stopped going to my mother’s group because I felt like an outsider, being the only mom (or one of the only ones — there were one or two others) who was into this stuff. I could not sit silent and watch while a mother fed her infant soy formula without saying something. And not everyone appreciates being told that what they are feeding their baby is bad.

This is so true:

“The common notion is that popular belief that it doesn’t matter what you eat when you’re pregnant because the baby will get the vitamins somehow.”

I had people tell me that when I was pregnant. I’m so glad that I know what I know now so when I get pregnant again, I can eat right. So glad the word is getting out there to mothers.

And yes, I am so grateful that I have had the health challenges I have. So my children will not have to.

cheeseslave January 31, 2010 at 1:15 AM

@ Anita

“I find filling them up on good fats like butter, whole milk & cream, with good eggs, etc, keeps them full enough to avoid a lot of the baddies.”

I completely agree!

My daughter gets 2-3 pastured eggs cooked in 1-2 TBS of butter almost every morning. Some of those mornings she also gets bacon or sausage. Plus she gets plenty of raw milk and I make sure she gets liver or shellfish at least once a week, sometimes 2-3 times. (She will eat liverwurst, so I put it on crackers for her, and she’ll eat raw oysters and fried clams.) I also try to make sure she gets plenty of bone broth.

Even though lots of times all she will eat for dinner is a quesadilla made with a white flour tortilla, I know that she’s getting that good breakfast in almost every single day plus the shellfish, the liver, the grass-fed cheese, lots of grass-fed butter and cream, lots of bone broth and lots of raw milk. She’s going to be way healthier than most kids. And I”m continuing to expose her to new foods to widen her palette (and her palate).

cheeseslave January 31, 2010 at 1:16 AM

@ Soli

Go for it!

cheeseslave January 31, 2010 at 1:36 AM

@ Raine

“If I follow this logic correctly, am I to believe then, that the only foods we don’t have to soak, sprout, ferment, and go to great lengths to prepare are meats and fruits?”

I would add dairy products to that list. Milk the goat or cow and drink. Many of the people I have interviewed from foreign villages (who all have perfect teeth) said they grew up drinking milk “still warm from the cow”. Fish, too, does not need to be processed. It can be eaten raw. Eggs, too, can be eaten raw or lightly cooked.

“if they still contain anti-nutrients and leach nutrients from the body even when they are prepared the right way, then why would people have still continued to eat them?”

Again, I don’t think we should stop eating all foods that contain phytates and oxalates and other anti-nutrients. I DO think we need to learn to prepare them correctly. I think the paleo/primal people have the argument of, “If I have to go to great lengths to prepare my food, it should not be eaten.” This is not necessarily logical. It seems to me to be a leap in logic.

Sure, you can go out and bow-hunt and kill a deer and eat it raw, but there is STILL some processing involved. You can’t just inhale the animal whole. You have to somehow cut it up, separate the bones and hair and hooves, and eat the parts that are edible and process the other parts. For example, saving the bones to make bone broth. I suppose you COULD just gnaw on the bones. But I’d rather make gravy or a nice reduction sauce from bone broth. :-)

“I have also read about people not eating a lot of meat in times of famine during various points in history, and having to subsist on plants, grains, and other foods that are on the list containing fairly large amounts of phytic acid.

Does this mean, then, that during those times people all over the world were basically going into starvation mode since they weren’t getting much in the way of nutrient-dense foods but had to live mostly on foods high in phytic acid content? ”

I read a book that said that during those times when people were poor and living on mostly grains and vegetables, they actually shrunk several inches. They studied the fossils and skeletons and the people eating less meat and animal products were always less hardy.

I personally believe that ALL foods need to be properly prepared. Whether it’s the grass-fed beef you are eating (the cows need to be properly raised and fed and slaughtered and the different cuts need to be prepared differently — filet mignon only needs a quick sear but some tougher cuts need to be simmered for many hours with wine or something else that’s acidic, and the bones need to be simmered to make broth) or the vegetables you are eating that need to be cooked or fermented, or the grains that need to be germinated and fermented.

This is why I think the paleo/primal thing is basically flawed. We are omnivores, not carnivores. We can eat all kinds of foods, and we can survive regardless of what is available to us. But we need to do it wisely. Which is why I think Sally calls the WAPF journal “Wise Traditions”.

cheeseslave January 31, 2010 at 1:45 AM

@ Anne

What a great comment! I agree, what Rami has to share is a blessing.

Yes, I think soaked oatmeal every day might be a bit too much. Especially with what Rami said about how modern oats are “heat treated” so they can’t be germinated.

I think eggs are one of nature’s most perfect foods. I’m also a huge fan of yogurt for breakfast. I don’t like the “American” yogurt as much as I LOVE and adore the Scandanavian countertop yogurts — Viili and Filmjolk. They are not as tart and are more creamy. I also love the traditional German (and Swiss) breakfast of sourdough rye bread, butter and cheese. Yum!

cheeseslave January 31, 2010 at 1:49 AM

By the way, on the subject of eggs, my Honduran housekeeper told me that in her village in Honduras, they eat eggs pretty much every morning. They have chickens in the back yard, so they have to use all those eggs. She said the babies and children always get eggs every morning, and sometimes they have eggs twice a day (breakfast plus lunch or dinner).

I can’t remember how many brothers and sisters she had — maybe 7 or 8. Only the youngest daughter had crooked teeth. All the others had straight teeth. Sally Fallon Morell said that this happens when mothers have many children or children too close together — the youngest will have nutritional deficiencies.

They do use a lot of corn traditionally in Honduras, for tortillas and tamales, but they soak it in the lime water for 1-2 weeks. They don’t eat oatmeal or other kinds of flour, and they rarely have sugar. They don’t have access to it in the small villages.

She also told me that the women in Honduras have babies until they are 50. They eat so well, they have no trouble with fertility.

cheeseslave January 31, 2010 at 1:58 AM

@ Hannah

“I’m in the same boat as everyone else here-thought that the overnight soaking of grains/nuts was enough to neutralize all the phytic acid.”

It does neutralize it, but only to a certain extent. Not completely.

“Is the info Rami provided about quinoa preparation also what I should follow for beans/rice/oats etc?(as far as the length of time for sprouting and fermenting) Is there a resource available to give us the proper instructions for various grains and how to prepare them the best way?”

I would follow “Nourishing Traditions”. Unless you are trying to cure tooth decay. In which case, you should follow Rami’s protocol.

“If nuts are sprouted, can they then be fermented? I was thinking of the possibility of sprouting nuts, making a nut butter and then adding whey and fermenting. Does anybody do this? Would this theoretically take care of the remaining anti-nutrients?”

I’ve never heard of this.

In my opinion, eating some nuts and some grains is OK as long as you are eating lots of other nutrient-dense foods. A balanced diet. I think a lot of people follow “Nourishing Traditions” on their own terms. They make lots of crispy nuts and pancakes but they avoid all the recipes that have organ meats. If you want to eat the crispy nuts, you gotta eat the organ meats.

cheeseslave January 31, 2010 at 2:02 AM

@ Michelle

“So, does this info contradict what is written in Nourishing Traditions and what WAPF teaches? I am sure that their literature says that if you soak these things you ‘neutralize’ the phytates. I have whole-heartedly subscribed to NT and WAPF principles and now it seems they are inaccurate? Is this true?”

No, it does not contradict. “Nourishing Traditions” is what people have followed for centuries. Rami is just trying to help people who have more severe deficiencies. He is following what Dr. Weston Price did in terms of ways to cure tooth decay.

“I believe Sally Fallon said in NT that flax seeds are actually low in phytates.”

Not sure about that.

“I understand we are talking about extreme cases of tooth decay, but how can we nourishers of our children not be concerned with these things even if we don’t have rampant tooth decay? I mean, isn’t safe to assume that if we continue to eat the grains, nuts, seeds, ect. the way NT recommends we might end up with bad tooth decay?”

Again, it really depends on where you are starting from. How deficient are you? How’s your gut/absorption? Were you nourished as a child? Were your parents? How often do you eat organ meats and shellfish? How often do you eat grains/nuts/seeds? These are all things each of us needs to consider.

cheeseslave January 31, 2010 at 2:04 AM

@ Gui

Not sure where Rami got that particular fact. I know he spent time studying at the Price-Pottenger library where they have all the original manuscripts. He also said that Sally just sent him a huge phytates document which is informing the article he is writing.

JEN B January 31, 2010 at 3:24 AM

A few years ago I read of a study which showed how mothers who eat sparsely during pregnancy produced not only smaller birthweight babies but also put their children at risk later in life of degenerative diseases.The study began during the second world war.It showed how the children born during that time are now experiencing major health problems,presumably because the mothers were starved or at least lacking in major nutrients.The point of that article was to show modern women not to limit nutritious food or diet so that they could be back to slenderness within an unrealistic timeframe.So while the undernourished mother may seem to have no pregnancy problems and even produce a child with no health issues, the child may pay the price later in life for the mother’s nutritional shortcomings.

Wardeh @ GNOWFGLINS January 31, 2010 at 12:15 PM

All the comments have been great – I’ve been following via an email subscription.

I’m confused about something. NT doesn’t mention phytic acid in nuts and seeds (like pumpkin seeds) at all. However it does say that grains and beans contain it. And since grains and beans are an example of seeds, I see the logic that would tie them to nuts and what we normally think of as seeds (like pumpkin seeds).

BUT, NT doesn’t say anything about soaking nuts and seeds (again like pumpkin seeds) in acidic water. Nor does Dr. Edward Howell (“Enzyme Nutrition”). So what is the proper way to soak nuts and seeds? If we intend to eat them and don’t have reason to avoid them entirely, I’d like to know if I should be adding acid to the soaking water. Or doing something else. Fermenting?

Or – does germination take care of phytic acid for the most part; adding acid is primarily a strategy for flours – seeds that have been ground up and can’t germinate? In the case of nuts and seeds (again like pumpkin seeds), NT says to add salt to the water to deactivate the enzyme inhibitors – while Edward Howell says just a soaking in water will do. Since there are slight variations in all the classifications and methods, I am unclear how to proceed.

Also, second question. Does anyone know of a place I can find a list of all digestive enzymes and what foods contain them? Like, lactase in raw dairy, phytase in wheat, etc…
.-= Wardeh @ GNOWFGLINS´s last blog ..Basic Chocolate Syrup =-.

cheeseslave January 31, 2010 at 12:18 PM

@ Jen B

That is interesting. I had an OBGYN for the first part of my pregnancy who I ended up leaving due to this issue. I gained a lot during my pregnancy — 50 lbs. And I gained it mostly in the first two trimesters. This woman doctor was always bugging me about my weight gain. I felt that my body was doing what it needed to do and I ate what I felt I needed to eat. If I craved more food, then my baby must have needed it.

I think that was probably true because I was eating a lot of junk (this was pre-WAPF), so I think my body was trying to get as many nutrients as possible however it could. (That doctor also insisted that I get the flu shot — which was the last straw for me.)

I also just heard a very interesting lecture by Dr. William Shaw who said that there is a correlation with kids who have autism who have low cholesterol, and mothers who have low cholesterol when the baby is in utero. Apparently they are giving children with autism and low cholesterol a cholesterol supplement — and it really helps them.

cheeseslave January 31, 2010 at 6:01 PM

@ Wardeh

“So what is the proper way to soak nuts and seeds? If we intend to eat them and don’t have reason to avoid them entirely, I’d like to know if I should be adding acid to the soaking water. Or doing something else. Fermenting?”

Great questions. I am not an expert on this. I can’t answer those specific questions.

I’m sure the advice Sally Fallon Morell gives in “Nourishing Traditions” is based on the traditional methods for soaking. Personally I follow what Sally says to do. I really trust her research.

That said, if I were sick with cancer, I’d probably go to someone like Dr. Nick Gonazales and I’d follow his advice. He has a track record of treating cancer patients successfully. Similarly, if I had tooth decay or my daughter did, I’d follow Rami’s advice (and Rami’s advice is based on Dr. Weston Price’s book, and his subsequent experience working to cure tooth decay in his own family).

Your question re: how to best soak seeds is a good one. Maybe Rami will answer?

Re: your second question… “Does anyone know of a place I can find a list of all digestive enzymes and what foods contain them? Like, lactase in raw dairy, phytase in wheat, etc…”

Also a great question. Someone needs to write a book on this topic!

jen b January 31, 2010 at 8:41 PM

Ann Marie,I find the whole subject of food in pregnancy fascinating.
I know a lot of women too who have lost teeth during pregnancy,so all the more reason to up the intake of healthy fats.I have always craved butter,cream and cheese while pregnant,so it feels good to know I was doing that right.When I had a baby last year I ordered butter with my meals(in hospital) and was outraged when margarine was returned in its place.I also saw in the UK Telegraph an article about a pregnant woman who ordered raw milk cheese from a supermarket deli counter and was refused because of the “health risks”,and was really made to feel like she was doing something illegal and dangerous to her baby.

cheeseslave January 31, 2010 at 9:12 PM

@ Jen B

Yes someone just told me that the guys selling raw oysters at our local farmer’s market refused to sell them to a pregnant woman. It’s sad that people are so misinformed.

Jessica February 1, 2010 at 12:28 PM

Wow- I just had a revelation.

When I was preggo with my first daughter, I had been on a diet that was 70% raw fruits and veggies, the rest was mostly grain based. I did use real fats and ate some meat/milk like 2-3 times a week. I was healthy and lost 40lbs.

But, now I wonder if my body was depleted because that was a hard pregnancy. Not only that, but she had IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction) and was diagnosed with Trisomy 9. She was 4lbs at birth (emergency c-section), stayed very small her first year of life (9lbs at 6 months) and has narrow jaw. I started eating better when pregnant, as in more animal products, but they were not healthy, because I had morning sickness and was just trying to survive!

I got pregnant only three months after her birth, but I was eating a LOT more meat, eggs, milk etc. just because that’s what I had adapted to. I had almost no morning sickness, no real pregnancy issues, carried that baby to term and was almost 7lbs. She has a very wide jaw/facial structure. When pregnant with the third, I had learned about eating lots of protein during pregnancy (the Brewer diet) and made sure to eat eggs and drink milk everyday even if my other diet choices weren’t the best. She has been THE healthiest one, very sturdy and beautiful skin and has a wider face.

Now, with the 4th one, she’s about 6 months old, and she looks more like the second one. I was not prepared to be pregnant, and it really knocked me down, so we were not cooking and eating like I was supposed to according to NT. But, I did my best, had no issues, baby was about 7lbs and has been healthy aside from some reflux issues. But she has been on the raw milk formula and eating egg yolks and doing GREAT!!!! Not only that, but she has developed FAR faster than any of the other girls. She was very alert as a newborn, had great eyesight, held her head up well within the first month and so on. She is progressing so fast- I KNOW it’s from the healthy fats.

All of that to say, that my diet obviously played a role in how these children were formed. After the second baby, my body was depleted. (hello, two in the same YEAR!!) I was in BAD health, and it took several years to get it back, once I finally got to Nourishing Traditions. I honestly and truly believe that had I known with the first one, many of her problems could have been either avoided or lessened. I just didn’t know.

However, since upping the fat intake the last few months, she has begun talking a lot more. (she is very delayed in speech) She is progressing really fast in other areas as well.

I know this isn’t totally related to the post, but I noticed the topic came up in the comments.
.-= Jessica´s last blog .. =-.

Jessica February 1, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Also, sorry to take so much space here, but I’ve been doing some research on my own.
My neighbor is from Belize. She is a missionary and moved here 10-12 years ago. I asked her what she ate as a child.

Fish, beans, rice, seasonal fruits and veggies.

What fat did you use?
Coconut oil. Oh, and lard. Fresh stuff that we processed ourselves.

Did you have cavities?

Did you need braces?

Were you overweight? (She is now)
Nope. Everyone was skinny. And no one had any stomach problems.

She said she never had a problem with weight until she moved here. Hmmm..

So I asked my dad (born in 1951) if he had cavities as a child. He said no.
Well, they cooked with crisco and used white sugar, but, they ate liver every week. They got fresh milk, didn’t eat much sweets or anything like that (cokes etc.) and things were minimally processed.

My mom, born in 1954, said they did have teeth problems, but her parents had bad teeth as well, and they ate a lot of sugar, white flour and shortening etc. But still, they were thin and rarely sick. They ate plenty of meat, including organ meats (her dad was a butcher) and lard too. Her mom’s preparation of any meat was to bread and deep fry it, so they never really knew what kind of meat that had, lol! (us Texas rednecks, ha)

Just thought it was interesting…I’ll be quiet now!
.-= Jessica´s last blog .. =-.

Kathryn February 1, 2010 at 1:00 PM

This doesn’t make sense to me. He said that 25mg of phytate would block 50% of iron intake. That would mean that most people are getting NO iron from their food. I personally don’t subscribe to the phytate theory anyway, but this information doesn’t even seem science based at all, let alone up to date. It frustrates me to see so many people read a claim like this and, without doing any research, say “Oh dear now I can’t eat oatmeal.”
Let’s take this stuff with a grain of sea salt, okay?
.-= Kathryn´s last blog ..Healing =-.

Megan February 1, 2010 at 1:08 PM

I’ve been wondering the same thing as Kathryn. I eat oatmeal every morning, and also sourdough bread that definitely hasn’t been treated the way Rami suggested. I live off nuts and seeds for snacks throughout the day. I’m also pregnant, have had my blood tested recently and am not anemic. (I don’t eat liver, eat a dozen eggs, and have red meat about 2x per week) According to the figures, it seems I shouldn’t be absorbing any iron at all. Even before I was pregnant (and not taking a prenatal supplement with iron in it), I wasn’t anemic, and I ate granola bars and lots of whole wheat products, peanut butter and seeds. So are some people just better able to fight off phytates or something? I don’t really get it….
.-= Megan´s last blog ..Cloth Diapers for Dummies: Part I =-.

Paula February 1, 2010 at 2:39 PM

So what about buckwheat?? It is a fruit, but some say to treat it like a grain because the body treats it like a grain. But it is supposed to be high in phytase. Would that be a good alternative to most grains? THANKS!
.-= Paula´s last blog ..Current Web Readings =-.

cheeseslave February 1, 2010 at 3:06 PM


I can understand where you are coming from. Maybe you’ve never been really sick or suffered from nutritional deficiencies.

If your one-year-old baby had her tooth come in brown and rotten, you might also be compelled to research food and diet and how to cure tooth decay. While infant tooth decay was rare when I was a kid, this is happening to more and more parents these days.

The people who are particularly at risk for high-phytake intake are vegetarians and especially vegans. They are eating a lot of soy, nuts and whole grains. In an attempt to eat healthier, they are actually doing more damage.

As far as “not subscribing to the phytate theory,” there are tons of studies online. Here’s one:;QR2004000076

Excerpt: “Cereal grains contain antinutritional factors that reduce the bioavailability of iron and zinc. Phytate has for a long time been known to lower the uptake of these and other minerals. In the cell, phytate is stored together with iron, zinc, and calcium as densely packed particles similar to protein storage bodies. It can be regarded as a phosphorus storage compound as, in fact, up to 80% of the grain phosphorus is bound in phytate, while the remaining is in nucleic acids and phospholipids and present as phosphate.”

Here’s another:;US9304959

Excerpt: “The effect of reducing the phytate in soy-protein isolates on nonheme-iron absorption was examined in 32 human subjects. Iron absorption was measured by using an extrinsic radioiron label in liquid-formula meals containing hydrolyzed corn starch, corn oil, and either egg white or one of a series of soy-protein isolates with different phytate contents. Iron absorption increased four- to fivefold when phytic acid was reduced from its native amount of 4.9-8.4 to 0.01 mg/g of isolate. Even relatively small quantities of residual phytate were strongly inhibitory and phytic acid had to be reduced to 0.3 mg/g of isolate (corresponding to 10 mg phytic acid/meal) before a meaningful increase in iron absorption was observed. However, even after removal of virtually all the phytic acid, iron absorption from the soy-protein meal was still only half that of the egg white control. It is concluded that phytic acid is a major inhibitory factor of iron absorption in soy-protein isolates but that other factors contribute to the poor bioavailability of iron from these products”

I do appreciate and agree with your statement that it does seem extreme to give up oatmeal. However, if your child had brown decaying teeth, you might be looking for an answer, too.

I believe we all need to contemplate how to properly prepare all foods if we are going to provide the best nutrition possible for our families. As a wife and mother, I feel that this one of my most important jobs and duties to my family. If I don’t do it, who will?

And if you saw Michael Pollan on Oprah last week, it’s pretty clear that if we don’t provide adequate nutrition to our families, they end up sick, diabetic, obese, requiring expensive surgery and orthodontics, etc. etc. I’ve watched my whole extended family become sicker and sicker eating industrial foods. I myself had debilitating arthritis and CFS by the time I was 26. I changed my diet and completely reversed all my symptoms. Food is powerful and health is easy to take for granted until you no longer have it.

cheeseslave February 1, 2010 at 3:21 PM

@ Megan

“I’ve been wondering the same thing as Kathryn. I eat oatmeal every morning, and also sourdough bread that definitely hasn’t been treated the way Rami suggested. I live off nuts and seeds for snacks throughout the day. I’m also pregnant, have had my blood tested recently and am not anemic. (I don’t eat liver, eat a dozen eggs, and have red meat about 2x per week) According to the figures, it seems I shouldn’t be absorbing any iron at all.”

The answer to this is that the body stores iron. This is why so many times you will hear vegetarians and vegans say they feel GREAT on a vegan diet and they are not anemic. It can take years for the vegan lifestyle to catch up with them with nutritional deficiencies showing up.

Also, the body makes do with what it has. This is why we see children with narrow faces and crooked teeth. The body will do the best it can with the nutrition it is getting. If I were you, I’d be doing everything I can while still pregnant to eat more vitamins and minerals so your baby will have a wide face, high cheekbones, gorgeous bone structure, and perfect teeth. You have the power RIGHT NOW to prevent your child from needing braces and eyeglasses, not to mention suffering from snoring, sleep apnea, deviated septums, difficult childbirth (narrow hips), Down’s syndrome, etc. etc.

More on iron:

The healthy body absorbs around 18 per cent of the available iron from a typical western diet (which includes animal foods) and about ten per cent from a vegetarian diet. However, you may be absorbing much less than that, even if your diet includes iron-rich foods. The most significant influence on iron absorption is the amount of iron already stored in the body. The body stores iron in various places including the liver. If your stores are high, your body absorbs less iron from the foods you eat. Conversely, low iron stores increase your ability to absorb iron.

Certain foods and drinks reduce your body’s ability to absorb iron, including:

Soy proteins can reduce absorption from plant sources.
Tannins from tea, coffee and wine reduce iron absorption by binding to the iron and carrying it out of the body.
The phytates and fibres in wholegrains such as bran can reduce the absorption of iron and other minerals.
Vitamin A helps to release stored iron, so not enough vitamin A in the diet could lead to iron deficiency.
Calcium and phosphorus reduce the absorption of plant-sourced iron.

cheeseslave February 1, 2010 at 3:25 PM

@ Jessica

I loved reading all your stories — thank you for sharing! I see the same thing over and over and over with every immigrant I meet. They always have perfect teeth and they always say they grew up on organ meats, liver, butter and lard and coconut oil, and cod liver oil! Oh and raw milk! They always say they drank milk “warm from the cow”

cheeseslave February 1, 2010 at 3:38 PM

@ Paula

Buckwheat, according to Sally Fallon Morell in Nourishing Traditions, is “not technically a grain but the seeds of an herb, a relative of rhubarb.” She says it is high in lysine and calcium, vitamin E, and all the B vitamins. She says it does need to be sprouted or soaked.

Kaylin February 1, 2010 at 4:35 PM

A question about cooking liver: does it really have to be soaked in lemon juice like NT says? I have a bunch of grass-fed liver that was given to me by a farmer who has tons in the freezer because no one wants it (what a BLESSING!) and what keeps me from fixing it more often is the hassle of soaking it in lemon juice. I don’t really keep lemons around all the time. I soaked it last time and it still tasted plenty liver-y, so I didn’t really see the point. My family didn’t mind it as long as it was smothered with plenty of carmelized onions, so if I can skip the soaking in lemon juice part it would make my life a whole lot easier! This time I’m going to carmelize 4 or 5 onions to go with my pound of liver so we don’t run out!

cheeseslave February 1, 2010 at 4:38 PM


I like to soak mine in milk. You might try vinegar too. I am experimenting with a soak in Balsamic vinegar.

I love carmelized onions and liver!

It’s nice to add bacon, too. That really kicks it up a notch.

How GREAT that your family will eat liver!

Soli @ I Believe in Butter February 1, 2010 at 5:30 PM

On the liver, I have yet to sample it soaked before cooking. Still adjusting to the bitterness but it’s getting more palatable every time I eat it. Plus, the good for me factor does it. When I have it at home, it’s covered in onions, bacon, and a tomato-wine sauce.
.-= Soli @ I Believe in Butter´s last blog ..How I got here =-.

Megan February 1, 2010 at 6:47 PM

Anne Marie,
Thanks so much for the info. I’ve read Nina Plank’s book Real Food for Mothers and Babies and NT and Price’s book too – so I’m sure there are things I’m doing (I guess I forgot to mention that I take fermented cod liver oil every day and eat liberal amounts of butter) that have kept my iron stores up. Anyway, I will not give up my oatmeal because right now it’s the only thing that keeps the food moving through my body. =) I greatly appreciate your time and comments to all of us. Now if only I could find a way to cook all that grass fed beef liver that is sitting in my freezer…
.-= Megan´s last blog ..Cloth Diapers for Dummies: Part I =-.

Jeanmarie February 1, 2010 at 7:41 PM

Wow, so informative. I stopped reading in the middle of this and ran to the kitchen to take a teaspoonful of fermented cod liver oil. I learned so much.

I am going to go and soak my remaining sesame seeds in whey for a day or two before using them in crackers. I hope he’s not right about coconut flour, as I like to cook with it. When I make gluten-free crackers I moisten the dough with whey and let it sit out at least overnight to get some fermentation going. I guess I was on the right track!
Thanks, Anne Marie. I am also downloading your podcast now!
.-= Jeanmarie´s last blog ..Coconut Ghee, the Perfect Cooking Fat =-.

Linda February 2, 2010 at 8:53 AM

I read this whole thing, and my burning question is this: If you eat a certain food containing phytates (for example, brown rice), do the phytates block the absorption of the minerals from all the food you consume at that meal (e.g., meat, vegetables), or do they only block the absorption of the minerals in the brown rice itself?

In a similar vein, if faced with a choice of “improperly prepared whole grain” vs. “processed grain” (e.g., if I have to choose between unsoaked brown rice and regular white rice at a restaurant), which one should I choose??

Erin February 2, 2010 at 7:33 PM

Linda, I appreciate your question. My husband and I have been wondering your same two questions! Thanks for asking and for putting it so well. :-)

Jeanmarie February 3, 2010 at 12:51 AM

This post seemed to hit a lot of nerves! It can definitely be overwhelming at times to figure out how to eat healthfully in a world full of compromised foods. Your comments have been very helpful, Ann Marie.

Wardeh asked whether there was a list of all enzymes. I just read on the WAPF site that something like 5,000 human enzymes have been discovered to date, though most are probably not related to digestion. If I find or compile such a list, I’ll pass it on.

A Paleo/Primal diet doesn’t mean being a carnivore; there are various interpretations of Paleolithic nutrition out there, but the best evidence is a combination of animal and plant foods, including nuts, vegetables and fruits but excluding grains. That’s a valid approach for those who can’t tolerate grains despite careful preparation or who have philosophical objections to agriculture.

The list of phytate-containing foods is indeed daunting. I don’t necessarily think it means we’re not “meant” to eat them, however. To me, it’s evidence that plants don’t want to be eaten anymore than animals do, and they have come up with all kinds of defenses against being eaten, from spines and needles to chemical toxins. Some plants lure us with their fruits to enable their reproduction, so they’re being eaten on their terms (only expendable parts). (Of course, we’ve foiled their designs by mostly grafting fruit trees, rather than letting them reproduce through seeds, which don’t produce new trees true to type.)

Thanks for the “take a deep breath” advice, Ann Marie. We just have to do the best we can. Making progress is what it’s about, not perfection. 100% cavity-free is a worthy goal, but even those of us who don’t manage that can still benefit from the effort to live that way. I read most of the comments, and I see a lot of people trying very hard to feed their children well. Be proud of what you’re accomplishing!
.-= Jeanmarie´s last blog ..Coconut Ghee, the Perfect Cooking Fat =-.

cheeseslave February 3, 2010 at 11:09 AM

Hi, everyone, I thought you might be interested in reading this response from Sally Fallon Morell (someone posted about this discussion on our chapter leader’s list and Sally responded):

Yes, if you are preparing properly and in the context of a good diet, you
don’t have to worry too much about the phytates. If you have good gut
flora, you make some phytase which can get rid of some. And apparently vitamin D is involved in getting rid of phytic acid in the gut. Sally

cheeseslave February 3, 2010 at 2:05 PM

I got another response from Rami re: fermenting coconut:

Hi Ann Marie,

Coconut flour can be fermented.


Julie February 3, 2010 at 2:15 PM

Thank you. I was glad to hear from Sally.

Wardeh @ GNOWFGLINS February 3, 2010 at 2:20 PM

Ann Marie – Thanks for your honest answers to my questions. :) And thank you for posting Sally’s answer. I was glad to hear that also. I am reading Rami’s book currently and hoping it will explain much of the context surrounding this conversation.

Jeanmarie – Thanks for mentioning the 5000 enzymes – I just read that the other day, too. I would be happy for you to pass on such a list, should you find or compile one.
.-= Wardeh @ GNOWFGLINS´s last blog ..Recipe Binders =-.

Michael February 3, 2010 at 2:48 PM

Wow! This post stirred a lot of emotion. :-)

I’m late to this thread but everyone should keep in mind that in Dr. Price’s own clinic he healed tooth decay while feeding the children fresh ground not fermented wheat, glasses of orange juice, and basically a high carb diet.

The issue is far more nuanced than being hardcore about some of the dietary issues that were raised.
.-= Michael´s last blog ..The Inner City Urban Farmer =-.

cheeseslave February 3, 2010 at 5:15 PM


I must correct you on that.

“…in Dr. Price’s own clinic he healed tooth decay while feeding the children fresh ground not fermented wheat, glasses of orange juice, and basically a high carb diet.”

That’s misleading. It’s true, Dr. Price did give the children rolls with freshly ground wheat (not soaked or soured) and yes, they got a small amount orange juice (only 4 oz or half a cup — that’s what he put the butter oil and cod liver oil in).

However, they did not eat a high-carb meal. He fed them stew made from beef and bone broth and bone marrow or fish chowder or stew from the organs of animals. He also gave them 2 glasses of fresh whole milk and they got lots of high-vitamin butter on their rolls.

Here’s the quote from the book:

The nutrition provided these children in this one meal included the following foods. About four ounces of tomato juice or orange juice and a teaspoonful of a mixture of equal parts of a very high vitamin natural cod liver oil and an especially high vitamin butter was given at the beginning of the meal. They then received a bowl containing approximately a pint of a very rich vegetable and meat stew, made largely from bone marrow and fine cuts of tender meat: the meat was usually broiled separately to retain its juice and then chopped very fine and added to the bone marrow meat soup which always contained finely chopped vegetables and plenty of very yellow carrots; for the next course they had cooked fruit, with very little sweetening, and rolls made from freshly ground whole wheat, which were spread with the high-vitamin butter. The wheat for the rolls was ground fresh every day in a motor driven coffee mill. Each child was also given two glasses of fresh whole milk. The menu was varied from day to day by substituting for the meat stew, fish chowder or organs of animals. From time to time, there was placed in a two quart jar a helping similar to that eaten by the children. This was brought to my laboratory for chemical analysis, which analysis showed that these meals provided approximately 1.48 grams of calcium and 1.28 grams of phosphorus in a single helping of each course. Since many of the children doubled up on the course, their intake of these minerals was much higher. I have shown in the preceding chapter that the accepted figures for the requirements of the body for calcium and phosphorus are 0.68 grams of calcium and 1.32 grams of phosphorus. It is obvious that this one meal a day plus the other two meals at home provided a real factor of safety. Clinically this program completely controlled the dental caries of each member of the group.

cheeseslave February 3, 2010 at 5:23 PM

By the way, I personally believe it’s fine to eat grains and eat carbs in moderation. And like Sally said, if you’re soaking and sprouting, you should be fine if you are healthy and have adequate gut flora.

I think that many of us do rely perhaps a bit too heavily on grains/nuts/seeds (even soaked/sprouted) and even though we THINK we’re eating a healthy Nourishing Traditions style diet, if we’re eating pancakes and oatmeal for breakfast every single morning and eating bread for lunch or crispy nuts, and salads for dinner, that ain’t gonna cut it.

How many of us serve liver weekly to our families? Or shellfish? How may of us have cooked some of the more funky recipes in NT? Brains and bone marrow and tongue and so forth. I would wager that most of us have not. Most WAPF people I know rarely cook liver or organ meats for their families — and don’t eat shellfish very often either.

Bone broth, the organs from animals, raw full-fat dairy products, bone marrow, seafood (especially shellfish and mollusks which include the organs of animals), these are the most nutrient dense foods that we must incorporate in our children’s diet on a regular basis. And this doesn’t mean once every few months. Our kids desperately need these foods in order to grow healthy and strong.

If we are not cooking with organ meats or fish eggs or mollusks or raw dairy from grass-fed animals, I think it will be difficult to ensure that our children avoid cavities and braces. We must strive to serve a balanced diet, which includes many things we are not so used to and includes things that are more expensive (like cod liver oil and butter oil).

Michael February 3, 2010 at 5:25 PM

Yes, what I probably should have said was Price fed them a moderately high carb diet, or a moderate carb diet. However my primary point was that he used fresh grains in his Cleveland clinic. He didn’t soak, sprout, or ferment them. And overall, the children did eat a diet that was not only high carb (as were some of Price’s tribes), but contained bad carb foods (as were none of Price’s tribes). I will be drawing all this out in an upcoming post.
.-= Michael´s last blog ..The Inner City Urban Farmer =-.

cheeseslave February 3, 2010 at 5:45 PM

@ Michael

Yes, it may be true that they were eating more carbs. But they were not eating *mainly* carbs, and I’m not even so sure about “high” carb. It’s hard to say because we don’t know the exact ratios of what they ate. But of course Dr. Price never advocated a “low carb” diet per se. He advocated a nutrient-dense diet full of fat soluble vitamins and minerals.

I think what really sets the diet apart is they were eating lots of bone broth every day, lots of raw milk every day, and lots of cod liver oil, butter oil, butter and bone marrow, and either meat, organ meat or seafood. All very nutrient dense foods, and many of these foods are hardly ever eaten at all anymore by most kids kids out there.

cheeseslave February 3, 2010 at 5:53 PM

I want to share with you this new post from Amanda Rose’s Rebuild From Depression blog:

She shares her information about corn and oats which do not contain phytase. Check out the graph that shows that corn and oats don’t reduce in phytic acid very much at all, even after 12 hours.

Amanda recommends soaking oats in a warm acidic solution with 90% oats and 10% phytaste-containing grain (such as freshly ground rye or wheat). I am going to purchase some wheat berries so I can do this the next time I made oatmeal (we don’t eat it very often). (Rami recommended doing this too)

Another thing I have tried is making Arroz con Leche for my family for breakfast. It’s made with brown rice and milk and your choice of butter and/or cream. It’s a nice porridge similar to oatmeal, delicious with just a small amount of honey or maple syrup. My family loves it!

Michael February 3, 2010 at 6:11 PM

By the way, I personally believe it’s fine to eat grains and eat carbs in moderation.

It doesn’t even need to be qualified. Some of Price’s groups ate a diet which was clearly high in carbs and fairly low in fat. Some modern healthy groups, like the Kitavans, do the exact same thing.

And like Sally said, if you’re soaking and sprouting, you should be fine if you are healthy and have adequate gut flora.

This is what I am going to address in an upcoming post. Price clearly didn’t see the need to do this with children who were obviously unhealthy. As Chris Masterjohn pointed out to me, Price didn’t seem to place any significance on the Swiss of the Loetschental Valley fermenting their bread for two weeks.

Now I happen to think the practice is important and not just some cultural idiosyncrasy, and there seems to be some studies that suggest fermented bread is most nutritious and easily digested after 10 days. Yet there is also the work of McCarrison that not only appears to vindicate fresh grains but fresh wheat at that! Anecdotally there is a whole school of people that seem to do fine either with very fresh or long fermented grains but who have serious problems otherwise. Unfortunately many WAPFers consumption of grains and are in the middle, i.e. “otherwise”.

And some things, like seeds/nuts AFAIK have never made up a large part of any healthy group’s diet.
.-= Michael´s last blog ..The Inner City Urban Farmer =-.

Michael February 3, 2010 at 6:16 PM

I have a chart I will posting. The largest macro-nutrient in their diet was carbs. But I don’t find find that problematic, since it wasn’t an unknown ratio among the groups that Price studied. The significant thing is not the carbs but that one meal of real food had such a profound effect.
.-= Michael´s last blog ..The Inner City Urban Farmer =-.

Kaylin February 3, 2010 at 8:28 PM

I was reading one of your earlier posts, just before you started GAPS, in which you said that Natasha Campbell-McBride suggested buckwheat as part of a diet that could help heal a leaky gut. Since we are on GAPS… AND dealing with tooth decay, we have cut nuts AND grains out and my kids are dying for occasional pancakes and things. So my question is, does properly prepared buckwheat have a low phytate content, and do you think it could be something to try even though it isn’t on the “legal” GAPS list? I’m confused as to why N.C.M. would have suggested it since it isn’t on the list.

Hannah February 3, 2010 at 8:47 PM

Thanks for all the help here, I have a couple other questions:
If buckwheat is technically a seed, not a grain and seeds are supposed to be the worst in terms of phytates, is buckwheat just an exception?(as Sally Fallon in NT states that buckwheat is fairly low in phytates)

and regarding this suggestion for bread making from Rami:
“Fresh ground (from sprouted whole grains would work), acidic substance to enhance soaking (tablespoon or two of whey, yogurt etc. like Sally suggests), warm temperature (80+ degrees), at least 6 hours, not in milk or yogurt. For rye remove 25% of bran, and wheat 60-100%”

Am I understanding correctly that he is recommending using mostly white flour when using wheat? Also when he says to soak not in milk or yogurt, is there any info. about this, I thought it was a traditional practice to soak flour in soured milk or yogurt before making pancakes and such.


Mallory February 4, 2010 at 2:39 AM

Whew, took me a couple days to read through the comments!

My big question, forgive me if it’s already been spelled out:
If you are going to eat items high in oxalic or phytic acid, what should you eat them with? Is it better to eat them with or without foods that contain a high amount of calcium/iron?
Eg: Fresh strawberries and whipped cream? Red wine with steak? or liver? Maybe that’s how I can get my husband to eat liver….:-)


Christine Kennedy February 4, 2010 at 1:24 PM

Mallory, if you eat meat as well as foods with vit. C (all at the same meal), it will help negate the effects of the phytic acid food in that meal. Not completely, but help.

Hannah, Rami is not recommending white flour. He recommends that you use freshly ground flour (not store bought which has NO health benefits, in fact, is depleting of health), and sift out some of the bran. I am still experimenting with this at home, trying to find a fine enough sieve. No matter how long you ferment it, the phytic acid will not leave the bran and is indigestable. This is a very traditional practice. The bran is also too fibrous.

You are not supposed to soak in all sour dairy, Rami says that this will not break down the phytates, it will actually stop the breakdown. He says to use mostly water with a ratio of about 1 tbsp. whey, buttermilk, yogurt to 1 cup of flour.

I also want to comment on the diet Dr. Price was feeding those children. It is important to remember that those children were not as nutritionally depleted as today’s children are, and their world was not as toxic and polluted as it is now. So, with only one nutrient dense meal per day, that was all they needed to correct their cavities. Most children with cavities today, have to be much more careful and most of their meals need to be nutrient dense, and the healing period longer. I am going to assume, that even though it didn’t say, that the freshly ground wheat was probably already sprouted (I think that is just how all wheat came back in that time) and though it doesn’t say, the wheat that was freshly ground everyday, *may* have been turned into sourdough and eaten the next day, so each day they *may* have been eating fresh sourdough. I think that sprouted grains were just the norm and sourdough bread making was also the norm, so it may not have been obvious to Price to print those details. Regardless, freshly ground whole wheat is very high in phytase, so much better than rancid store bought flour. Also, I am going to assume the small amount of orange juice was probably freshly squeezed. That vit. C would have also helped to negate any phytate left in the wheat rolls. Also important to note that their meal was not *just* orange juice and whole wheat rolls. That would have been a problem, and would not have healed their cavities. There would have been an equal amount or more of grass-fed butter, cod liver oil, butter oil, raw milk, bone broth, seafood, organs/marrow, meat stew, etc. If someone has cavities they MUST eat an equal amount or more of nutrient dense foods to balance out the phytate containing foods. Otherwise, mineral loss will occur, and cavities will occur.

Mary P. February 5, 2010 at 12:21 AM

There is a lot of talk about how detrimental phytates are, but did you know that they also have some health benefits? Yes, they are antioxidant, protective against cancer, they lower cholesterol and blood glucose levels, they may reduce depression and they are anti-inflammatory. There is no substance that is absolutely detrimental – it just depends on how much and how often we ingest them. So the soaking/sprouting may not remove or neutralize them completely but it may increase the digestability of the food and allow us to absorb the maximum amount of nutrients from the food itself while still leaving an acceptable level of phytates.

Oh, and by the way, it’s the beet greens that contain oxalic acid, not the beet root.

Jeanmarie February 5, 2010 at 1:41 AM

This is so true, Mary P.: “There is no substance that is absolutely detrimental – it just depends on how much and how often we ingest them.”

There are pluses and minuses with everything… we just gather information and make choices. Thanks for sharing your wisdom, Ann Marie and all!
.-= Jeanmarie´s last blog ..Coconut Ghee, the Perfect Cooking Fat =-.

Jeanmarie February 7, 2010 at 3:44 PM

Ann Marie, FYI here’s what a local chapter leader just e-mailed me after she asked Sally Fallon about this issue:


I’ve been in contact with Sally Fallon regarding the fact that soaking removes only 10-30% of the phytic acid.
She said that a fermented sourdough removed 100% of phytates.
Here is more:

“Yes, if you are preparing properly and in the context of a good diet, you
don’t have to worry too much about the phytates. If you have good gut
flora, you make some phytase which can get rid of some. And apparently vitamin D is involved in getting rid of phytic acid in the gut.” Sally

I will add on ‘and if you are not gluten intolerant’. Here is an article from

I would love to have your cracker recipe!
.-= Jeanmarie´s last blog ..Coconut Ghee, the Perfect Cooking Fat =-.

cheeseslave February 7, 2010 at 4:17 PM

@ Jeanmarie

You are right, Rami did say that sourdough reduces the phytic acid up to 100%. I think maybe he said this in the podcast? Not sure — could have also been on one of my phone calls with him.

Diana@Spain in Iowa February 7, 2010 at 7:56 PM

AnneMarie, you are a joy to listen to online! What a great voice you have! I’ve already listened to the dining guide podcast with Holly Hickman, and am excited to listen to this one. I’m just super bummed with all this new info! I’ve come so far in 2 years and it looks like I have a LONG way to go! Was so excited about my wheat berry sprouts. sigh…
.-= Diana@Spain in Iowa´s last blog ..Salsa Roja Para Enchiladas – Red Enchilada Sauce =-.

Kylie February 9, 2010 at 3:56 AM


I would love some advice. I came to WAP style eating as I have insulin resistance (almost diabetic but not yet). I then started cutting out all grains and starches after reading paleo blogs which advise humans aren’t meant to eat grains etc. So I was happily getting into recipes made from almond flour for an occasional peice of almond bread or cracker.

After reading this thread, I wonder if it would be better to eat a peice of sourdough rye bread occasionally, rather than almond flour bread?

Thank you!

cheeseslave February 9, 2010 at 9:44 AM

@ Kylie

I would think so. From what Rami & Sally Fallon Morell say, sourdough fermentation removes all the phytic acid.

Jeanmarie February 9, 2010 at 3:30 PM

Kylie, you can also soak almond flour for at least some recipes. I tried that this week with some almond/coconut flour crackers. I made a dough with fresh-churned buttermilk (left over from making butter for the first time last week!) and let it culture on the counter a couple of days, then rolled out and baked last night. Turned out quite tasty. The dough was smelling very sour so I think I got some good fermentation going.
.-= Jeanmarie´s last blog ..Coconut Ghee, the Perfect Cooking Fat =-.

Christine Kennedy February 12, 2010 at 5:42 PM

Now I’ve got a really interesting story to share. I just started back to work last week after being off for a year from maternity leave. I work with a woman who is originally from the Phillipenes (sp?). She is in her 40’s I think. So, I asked her about her childhood and what she grew up eating. There were 7 children in her family. They all had straight teeth and no cavities. They are white rice at every meal, even breakfast. They would use a giant mortar and pestel and pound the rice to remove a lot of the bran and feed the bran to the pigs. They did not soak or ferment their rice, they just cooked it up as is. They also used some pre-ground cornmeal, and it was never soaked either. But, they did eat pork, and goat, maybe some beef, some chicken, eggs, and lots of fish and seafood. They did not ever have bread, cake, cookies, muffins, cereal or hot porridge. Every morning for breakfast it was rice with meat or fish and eggs. They all grew most of their own veggies, and had backyard chickens. No chemicals, and the animals were outside on the grass. They also drank their milk straight from the goat or cow, not pastuerized. They also made bone broth and used the organs. They even made a dish with the intestines and added blood while cooking. She said they didn’t have money to buy processed foods and candy. They also said they didn’t have money to go to the city and visit a dentist, but they didn’t have to anyways. Once and a while they made desserts with rice and brown sugar from the coconut tree (palm sugar!) and cream. When I told her the reason why she didn’t have cavities or the need for braces, she was amazed! She didn’t realize there was a connection between nutrition and teeth! Another amazing story!

Kathleend February 13, 2010 at 8:06 PM

Thanks so much for the great info! I was wondering if fermented cacao nibs have phytic acid? In the same vein, I wonder if soaking cacao “beans” and/or cacao powder would help? (I have a whole family who loves raw cacao, can you tell?).

cheeseslave February 14, 2010 at 1:17 AM

@ Kathleend

I would think if you could ferment them that would be better. Yeah, raw cacao does contain phytic acid so it needs to be fermented or roasted (in which case it would not be raw)

cheeseslave February 14, 2010 at 1:36 AM

@ Christine

That is a GREAT story! And of course, it’s the same story I hear over and over and over again from every immigrant I meet. No cavities, never had braces, etc.

So sad though that now our industrial food is spreading to them. My daughter’s teacher at daycare is so worried about her father in Mexico, who has heart disease and diabetes. Of course they switched over from lard to corn oil years ago. And they eat lots of white flour tortillas — instead of their traditional corn. The cornmeal they do use is genetically modified. And she said he drinks a lot of Coke.


Mallory February 14, 2010 at 1:41 AM

A few years ago, a professor at my university gave a little talk about chocolate production. He teaches the only (at the time) chocolate making class at a 4 year university in the US, leads a student-run chocolate enterprise on campus and has his own chocolate business as well as a non profit to help cacao farmers in West Africa gain organic certification.

When someone asked him about raw cacao, he said it really wasn’t raw, it was naturally fermented–cacao growing villages smell like yogurt when the cacao pods are being fermented or cured (can’t remember the correct term). Plus you wouldn’t want to eat it truly raw anyway he said….all the pods are thrown into a shallow dirt pits and stirred by the children with sticks for a week or two. Most of the kids don’t have shoes and the snakes and such that are attracted to the warmth under the cacao pods are dangerous to them.

That’s what I remember from his talk, though I sure more detailed info can be found…sorry don’t have time to look it up now!

My question is what cacao product(s) were tested for phytic acid? Cacao seeds straight off the tree? Something from a store?

And can I buy a phytic acid-o-meter so I can test my foods at home? :-)

Michael February 14, 2010 at 12:22 PM

high quality coco beans are usually fermented for up to six days then roasted and go through grinding into chocolate liquor and conched (mixed and aerated at high temperatures for up to 3 days)

“Traditionally, conching has been an extended process of mixing the ingredients for long periods of time, often for days. It is now common for companies to use soy lecithin, an emulsifier, to help blend the ingredients, allowing them to drastically cut down on conching time and costs.”

if you must have chocolate look for organic dark chocolate that is fermented roasted, conched, does not contain soy lecithin, and is not alkalized-(reduces antioxidants can add lead). it is likely much lower in anti-nutrients but might still be high in oxalates? chocolate is a good source of magnesium.

Michelle February 18, 2010 at 1:37 AM

We are on a mostly gluten-free diet…soaked oats are the only thing that is OK. Can anyone recommend which gluten free flour is best to soak the oats with?

Raine Saunders February 20, 2010 at 4:38 PM

I wanted to bring up something I’ve been wondering about for the last few days about grains and another mouth-related issue. My son gets canker sores fairly regularly, and for awhile I was blaming sugar (although he eats much less of that than a lot of kids we know), as it seems to happen after he has eaten refined sugars or carbs. He will sometimes go for long periods of time without, but then he will get them again. I have been reading that celiac disease can often cause canker sores, and that a good number of people tested for celiac disease actually develop regular sores in their mouths. What does Ramiel say about canker sores, if anything? It would seem that if grains cause cavities, they might also be the culprit of other mouth problems.

I have been suspecting over the last few days that I may have celiac disease due to all these different symptoms I’ve had for many years – hypothyroid being one of them, fibrocystic breast condition, mal -absorption of nutrients, and others.

I haven’t been tested, and I don’t consume processed grains anymore…but I do eat wheat (sprouted or soaked) maybe once or twice a week, and probably occasionally have other things with gluten too because I haven’t been convinced that I had problem with gluten that is actually celiac-related, and thus don’t avoid gluten completely. It makes me wonder if my son has it too, since we’re related and parents often pass something like this on to their children – and he has one of the classic symptoms of celiac – and eats wheat fairly often, albeit sprouted or soaked (with the occasional processed variety when he is with his grandparents or friends, etc).

Here’s the link I found with recent studies done by a medical doctor that talk about this connection:
.-= Raine Saunders´s last blog ..Two Days Left to Enroll in GNOWFGLINS eCourse in Traditional Cooking! =-.

Jeanmarie February 20, 2010 at 5:48 PM

Thanks for sharing that, Raine. My goodness, I used to get lots of canker sores as a little kid. The sugar was no doubt part of it, and of course I ate plenty of wheat and other gluten grains, as well as margarine. yuck! I haven’t been tested for celiac but was told I was allergic to wheat after some allergy testing a few years ago, so I’ve been avoiding it.
.-= Jeanmarie´s last blog ..Equipment for Juicing: Pulverizing vs Extracting =-.

Mary P. February 20, 2010 at 7:17 PM

Canker sores can sometimes simply be a sign of B vitamin deficiency due to inadequate dietary intake and/or malabsorption of nutrient’s.

Christopher Tyler February 22, 2010 at 3:19 AM

“Phytic acid may be considered a phytonutrient, providing an antioxidant effect.[1][15] Phytic acid’s mineral binding properties may also prevent colon cancer by reducing oxidative stress in the lumen of the intestinal tract.[16] Researchers now believe that phytic acid, found in the fiber of legumes and grains, is the major ingredient responsible for preventing colon cancer and other cancers.[1][17]”

I found this on the Wiki entry for phytic acid. i don’t know how this fits in with the picture, but I figured I’d throw it in the mix.

Megan February 22, 2010 at 10:33 PM

So I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but I just can’t seem to find this information anywhere, thus here I am, posting another comment on the tooth decay post. =) For tonight’s dinner, I had a several pieces of freshly baked Italian (not sourdough, made with WW flour) bread, local pork pate, local raw blue cheese and yummy homemade sauerkraut, with a glass of water kefir. I’m pregnant and want to get the best nutrition I can, but I can’t stomach the pate without a piece of bread. My question is this: do the phytates in the bread bind to the minerals in the rest of my food, or just prevent me from absorbing any of the minerals that might be in the wheat? That goes for all my meals – if I have 2 eggs and a piece of toast, is the toast binding with things in the eggs, or just inhibiting nutrient absorption from whatever’s in the bread? Thanks! =)
.-= Megan´s last blog ..Brown rice nori rolls =-.

cheeseslave February 23, 2010 at 12:01 AM

Megan –

First off, I AGREE! I don’t like pate without bread.

The phytates in whole wheat not only block absorption of what is in the wheat, but also the minerals in the pate. I don’t know if it will block ALL of the minerals — because we do produce some phytase in our gut, so you will be able to prevent some of the malabsorption.

However, ideally, you want to eat sourdough or bread that is made from sprouted flour or sprouted grains.

I grew up eating lots of liverwurst sandwiches on white bread (not sourdough fermented — just modern commercial yeast). And my teeth were straight — no braces. However, I wonder if I had eaten an even more traditional diet (even more organ meats, whole grains that were properly soaked/fermented, raw dairy, more bone broth, etc.) if my teeth would be even better — like maybe I would not have had to have my wisdom teeth extracted.

I’m going to be posting very soon with my recipe for white flour sourdough — so at least you can learn to make that. It’s easier to start w/ white flour than whole wheat when learning to bake your own bread — then you can work up to whole grain sourdough.

And I’m planning on doing an online course for how to do sourdough baking (including whole grains). So stay tuned!

And congratulations on your pregnancy!

Kaylin February 23, 2010 at 10:13 PM

A couple of thoughts… hypothyroidism and fibocystic breasts are both signs of iodine deficiency. Check out Dr. Brownstein’s books. I’ve been hypothyroid for over 11 years and Lugol’s iodine has allowed me to cut back on my medication – from 2 1/2 gr/day to 1 gr/day and has greatly diminished my hypo symptoms that the medication NEVER helped with. I put the drops in my milk or coffee.

Also Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Campbell-McBride could really help you too. Canker sores and Celiac’s would both be signs of abnormal intestinal flora. B vitamin deficiency was also mentioned as a possible cause of canker sores, and this would also point to a digestive problem as B vitamins are PRODUCED in the intestine by healthy gut flora. If there is an overgrowth of abnormal bacteria then B vitamin production and absorption would be inhibited. You would likely find that all kinds of symptoms are cleared up if you take care of the gut flora issue and heal the digestive tract on GAPS.

erzebet April 1, 2010 at 10:37 AM

in the beginning of the post, it is written that phytic acid and oxalic acid bind to minerals, including calcium. later it says that vitamin C prevents phytic acid to bind with calcium. i think it is a misunderstanding. i don’t mean to imply that eating foods high in vitamin C is bad but vitamin C is metabolized to oxalic acid in the human body. that does not mean you should get scurvy in order to avoid cavities:)

good blog though!

Mike April 16, 2010 at 4:06 AM

Ya know… if we listened to every nutritional alarmist out there… she says don’t eat this, he says don’t eat that… there wouldn’t be a darn thing left to eat.

As a Paleolithic eater, I take the view that if it grows, and tastes good, and my ancestors ate it 1,000 years ago, it’s probably decent food.

As for liver… I love it. But I don’t think we’re meant to eat it every day. We get all the nutrition from an animal, by eating all of that animal… lean, fat, organs, bone marrow. So for every cow you eat, you should be eating one liver, one brain, etc. Makes a sort of prehistoric sense, anyway.

DavidC May 1, 2010 at 2:39 AM

I’m having trouble verifying some of his phytic acid claims and amounts. And while it’s not good for you, phytic acid is not the end-all be-all of nutrition.

I followed a carefully-constructed vegan diet for 2 years and then began transitioning into a paleo diet. All my medical “stats” were good and my teeth were fine. Clearly my health wasn’t wrecked by phytic acid. At least not immediately. Everyone’s different though.

I think it’s important to watch phytic acid, but I don’t think it’s necessary to obsess in the amounts that can be found in nuts and vegetables. We don’t yet know all the complex interactions that happen between different fats, proteins, anti-oxidants, etc. We’re just starting to learn about this stuff. The place to watch it is with things like grains where other problem chemicals show up.

That’s why I try to stick to the basics. Our omnivore bodies are very forgiving. Extremely forgiving, or so many people wouldn’t live as long as they do on fast food and junk. Getting your diet 90% right will give you fantastic health, unless you have a problem which may require more restriction.

Sammy K May 2, 2010 at 2:55 PM

great topic/post!

i have yet to see any of the conversation regarding oatmeal specifically in regards to “steel cut” oatmeal. is there a difference in the phytate content of steel cut vs. rolled oats? would the process for soaking be the same for steal cut oats? is steel cut oats also unsproated and prepared in high heat? sorry for all the questions, but i too have made a change in my food intake over the last 6 months (and gave up one of my favorite foods in the process – cereal) and now eat steel cut oatmeal every morning. Thanks!

Mallory May 2, 2010 at 11:41 PM

Ramiel’s article “Living with Phytic Acid” on WAPF’s website has more info on oats, etc:

Han August 17, 2010 at 12:59 AM

That’s a lot of food that I can’t eat. I have allergies to dairy and gluten (in oats, wheat, rye). These foods can of course cause dental problems. I also have limited access to pastured meats as they are only available at farmer’s markets 4 months a year. I wonder if I could still be cavity free by optimizing vitamin D, and including organic vegetable green juice, soaked grains, nuts, and seeds, raw eggs, vitamin K2 MK-4, free range chicken, and organic chicken liver.

I had been a flexitarian for at least 2 years having meat every 2 or 3 weeks.. 2 years ago, at a dental check up, I had a few cavities but they did not fill it. This year, I got x-rays from another dentist and she said I had no cavities. Wondered if the leafy greens healed them. How long should it take for black spots (arrested decay) on teeth to glaze?

Does getting stains on teeth easily mean you are likely to develop cavities? Weston A Price did mention that the natives had white teeth. Could avoiding teeth staining foods have played a role since they didn’t eat so much of the following foods? Leafy greens, nuts, seeds, tea, and colourful fruits can cause staining.

Brian August 17, 2010 at 12:52 PM

Please be careful about recommending gluten grains. Even oats have cross contamination and is therefore NOT gluten free. Some studies suggest 15% of Americans are celiac. That’s 45 million Americans! Exposure to gluten and foods you are allergic to can prevent the absorption of fats (leading to EFA deficiencies) and vitamins A, D, E, and K (the very nutrients that keeps your teeth and bones strong). Long term exposure increases the risk of thyroid problems, type 1 diabetes, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, IBD’s, tooth decay, and a lot more.

Please don’t make the same mistake I made. When you are a celiac for a long time, you get acclimatized to your symptoms and you are not aware of it. You can screen it by avoiding gluten (including using wheat based cat litter or going to a bakery if there are air borne flour particles) for a few weeks and reintroduce it and see any changes.

I think I would been those “lucky people who never had cavities” if I never consumed milk and gluten and if I ate a lot of leafy greens. I had almost the same number of fillings as my sister despite eating significantly less candies. I had a lot of nosebleeds possibly due to the malabsorption of vitamin K and omega 3. Now I’m getting the amalgams removed since I believe it could be causing my tics, bruxism, insomnia, social withdrawel, nervousness, and excitability.

DG August 22, 2010 at 9:24 PM

To Japanese like us, sesame seed (we call Goma) is traditional food and a best food for life. We use sesame seed oil as a best also. Goma is one of our foundation of daily diet. Our science clearly supports tremendous (explosive) benefits as nutrition. I myself eat 10-20 grams everyday. I have never been sick and extremely healthy. Never been to a M.D.’s office in my life since beginning 20s ( When I was child, I suffered serious asthma and healed by 3 weeks water-only fasting as eventual means). Zero flu/cold experience.

Some Japanese dentists explain that tooth decay is caused by acid secreted by germs in the mouth so that in order to prevent tooth decay we should gargle with the opposite(alkari) to neutralize it. They suggest use of baking soda.

I do it every night and morning.
Honey is most potent acid once it is in your body. Honey decays tooth extremely. Gargle with baking soda water after eating honey.

Janelle August 23, 2010 at 11:22 AM

to DG, whether or not it is caused by acid or bacteria is not the issue here. Weston A Price found people groups with no dental care who had very little if any decay in their mouths. Since switching my diet to include raw milk, butter, fermented grains, liver, and grass-fed meat my decay has been arrested and will most likely be reversed despite the fact that I rarely brush or rinse my mouth. So I am PROOF that bacteria cannot harm healthy teeth. And I am proof that eating acid foods, or acid creating foods do not cause decay.

Sarah Kirkell November 28, 2010 at 9:25 PM

I’m late to this post, but I love it. I have been giving great thought to my grains of late, which I admittedly eat fewer of now that we eat more traditional foods. I soak and ferment and make sourdough, but I was wondering if it was enough. The part of this I found most interesting was that vitamin C blocks phytic acid. I LOVE unsweetened rosehip tea, which is high in vitamin C. And, I’ve especially been drinking more of it since we went ultra-traditional with our diets and I’m more in tune with my body’s reactions to food. I wonder if the phytic acid blocking action is part of why I crave it so much! Thanks Cheeseslave for saving my bacon!

ummbader December 8, 2010 at 10:31 AM

are crooked teeth permanent or can they eventually uncrowd with a good diet? what about the Lurepack brand of butter? is it also grass fed?

mariah January 23, 2011 at 6:38 PM

What CAN we eat? I find this a little discouraging and hard to believe that almost everything, even in a natural state, is bad for me. I already am going to such great lengths to provide my family with whole foods and yet I am still feeding them anti-nutrients? Is there anything we can eat? It seems like everything is either grown wrong, processed wrong or cooked wrong.

A. Fell February 8, 2011 at 7:07 PM

I realize this was post was a long time ago, a year, but I just have to say this: We are so lucky that we are still able to speak with and ask questions of the people who literally wrote the book on proper nutrition. It is so helpful.


Andrea February 9, 2011 at 10:29 PM

Thank you for your responce.

Mallie February 25, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Who can live like this? Who has the time to sprout, germinate, soak, ferment grains for 16 hours? It seems as if nothing is safe, not even vegetables. I live in Canada and its illegal to sell raw milk so the only other options are nut or rice milks but then that’s high in phytic acid. We can’t drink coconut milk either because of phytic acid. So basically, almost everything has phytic acid. What do I drink now – just water? Yes, we do need to eat better and more nutrient dense foods, but there is also the thing about killing yourself to get these impossible foods and making yourself crazy. Besides, Rami Nagel is just one person out of thousands of others who say this is right, this is wrong – I’ll bet soon we’ll find someone who says raw milk is proven to be bad, don’t drink it, and then chaos will resume again.

Dentist Tampa FL March 19, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Thanks for sharing…I think we should brush our teeth properly….

Bill Brikiatis March 29, 2011 at 4:39 AM

I fear that cod liver oil contains too much mercury. Aren’t you concerned with this? I would prefer oil made from smaller fish like sardines.

Michael April 7, 2011 at 11:24 AM

No phytic acid in coconut milk.

thejonster April 15, 2011 at 2:43 PM
Alisue July 2, 2011 at 8:01 AM

Wow…thanks for sharing! Love to learn more and more!

Mindy July 3, 2011 at 2:59 PM

This is a great reminder to not overdo the nuts and seeds!

riceinmay July 4, 2011 at 10:58 PM

Wow~ I’m so frustrated. I just discovered a hole in my back molar. I’m 4 months pregnant- and the same thing happened with my 2nd pregnancy- only on the other side- and now I have a root canal there.

I switched to a real food/nt diet after my second child was born. Since then I’ve even healed a cavity. I felt like I was on the right track……but here I am back with another cavity.

I’m not quite sure where to go from here. Pregnancy seems to be really hard on my body (I had 8 ear infections in 6 months with my first, Multiple cases of mastitis and strep while pregnant with my second, and now my only root canal has abscessed horribly in a matter of about a day with my 3rd pregnancy). Outside of this I hadn’t been sick (other than an occasional cold) in 1.5 years.

I’m taking cod liver/butter oil, and we like liver here. So I’m gonna start taking a full syringe daily- and eat liver at least twice a week. Before getting pregnant I was almost grain free, although lately I’ve been adding it back in 5 times or so a week. Do you have any suggestions for me?

LeahS July 20, 2011 at 10:36 AM

WOW! I can’t believe you got to meet him!! And I had no idea oats were heat treated. Luckily we have a local farm growing them. I will have to get some from them.

Amanda L August 15, 2011 at 4:21 AM

Hey there… I’m a bit late on commenting for this post, and actually, I should probably send this to your Q&A but I am heading to the dentist tonight… do you have any advice/info regarding wisdom teeth? Is there any way to “fix” them naturally if you think they are coming in? Do you think it is necessary to have them removed? Or do you know anywhere I can find that stuff out? I’m going to get x-rays tonight because I was able to be sure I’m not pregnant for a brief period time and don’t know when/if that will happen again in the near future… but then I’m not sure what to do. I’m quite sure the dentist will probably tell me I need them out. They aren’t bothering me really, but I’ve been able to feel them moving around a bit lately. I don’t want them to mess with my other teeth. I also remember hearing that most people’s wisdom teeth sites become infected… so yeah, any advice at all?

Joseph L. O. November 29, 2011 at 12:58 PM

Thanks for your insightful teachings and expositions. I will like to get some useful tips more on tooth decay.

kryjo March 28, 2012 at 12:39 PM

i dont know what the heck to eat anymore— i know this is supposed to be informative…. but jeez—- there’s nothing left. im so confused.

Deanna May 30, 2012 at 9:40 AM

This is interesting but overwhelming. We can only do the best we can. A side note… my child loves oatmeal and eats probably more then he should however he is twelve and has no cavities. He brushes 3 times a day and must of inherited his dad’s good teeth. I agree with this dentist… I thinking brushing is very important and made it my job to teach him this at a young age. He will even brush after sugar intake… I think this is the main reason for his good teeth.

Ryan Donovan September 3, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Healthy living is just plain hard. But if you have discipline you will reap the rewards when you get old. As a young adult, you may not experience any kind of illness but if you do not watch your health you’ll see the results in coming years. The list is a great information to those that are phobic to dentists as they can maintain proper dental care without consulting a dentist. Rami is right about prevention, it always starts with yourself. There are several dentist websites that you can ask for help if you have dental problems. If you have healthy teeth then you’re lucky, just follow these guidelines and your smile with probably last for most of your lifetime.

Phillip October 2, 2012 at 5:19 PM

whoah this blog is fantastic i love reading your posts.

Keep up the great work! You already know, a lot of people are searching round
for this information, you can help them greatly.

Atheana Cage October 9, 2012 at 2:43 PM

A good list of facts to cure tooth decay. But some of the food listed are brain foods. What would you pick? A sharp mind or a good set of teeth? In my opinion, I would like to eat the brain foods and rely on a good dentist like the dentist in north hollywood ca. Sorry I’m a little bias cause I really love eating nuts.

katie May 7, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Ann Marie – thanks for the great breakfast suggestions. Would be really helpful to focus on what foods are recommended and how to prepare them as part of the normal family routine (e.g. examples of breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner ideas based on the info shared in this podcast and blog post). I think it would be really helpful to hear what Ramiel feeds himself and his family as well, so we can focus on saying “yes” to delicious and healthy foods, instead of feeling stressed and confused by the long list of foods that are not recommended.

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didi December 17, 2013 at 3:39 AM

Hy▪▪! Can you please tell me does ramiel angel suggest onlycooked meat or i can wlso eat fried meat ?? Please answer! Im from croatia so i dont understand book well! Thanks! June 14, 2014 at 5:00 PM

I do not know if it’s just me or if perhaps everyone else experiencing issues with your blog.
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Bridget September 9, 2014 at 11:12 AM

We are on gaps as well. Try these pumpkin pancakes. My kids love them!

Bridget September 9, 2014 at 11:18 AM

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