The Weston A Price Foundation Shopping Guide helps families make better quality food choices. The guide has a list of categories of common foods. Each food is sub-categorized as: best, good and avoid.
Some of the healthiest foods are unavailable in stores. Raw milk from pastured cows is difficult to get in Canada. Your local farm may be the only source for humanely raised animal products, pastured poultry and eggs, and organic or biodynamic vegetables. Many people are joining Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) to support local farmers engaging in traditional methods of agriculture.
Below is a selection of foods listed in the guide. Some of the healthiest foods on this list may be impossible to find in stores. In some cases it will be necessary to make these foods in your kitchen. As demand for these foods increase, local producers and processors will fill the need.
As you go through the list, you will see that the WAPF does not like industry processed foods. They prefer pastured animals because the fat and protein will be healthier than a confinement animal. They consider traditional food preparation methods to be healthiest. These methods include: fermenting, soaking, sprouting and souring of difficult to digest foods. They also want grain products to be made with freshly ground grains to avoid production of rancid end products. Finally, trans fatty acids, modern vegetable oils and new fangled fats are to be totally avoided.
Best: Clean whole raw milk from certified healthy cows, preferably from pastured cows of heritage breeds that produce high-fat milk. This milk usually must be purchased at the farm or through a co-op. To find high quality, unprocessed milk in your area visit: www.realmilk.com or contact a local chapter of the WAPF.
Good: Full-fat, pasteurized milk, preferably non-homogenized and from pastured animals.
Avoid: Low-fat and skim milk; anything ultra-pasteurized; imitation “milk” made from soy, rice, almonds, and oats. (Nourishing Traditions cookbook has homemade recipes for soaked oat, rice and almond milks.)
Best: Fresh or cultured raw cream from pastured cows.
Good: Pasteurized cream; cultured or sour cream without additives.
Avoid: Ultra-pasteurized cream; sour cream with additives, canned whipped cream; imitation whipped cream made with vegetable oils.
Best: Raw cheese made from raw milk from pastured animals. Check to see the type of rennet used. The best is natural rennet from the stomach of an un-weaned calf. Vegetable rennet is okay but may produce a bitter cheese. Some vegetable based rennet is produced with GMO. Avoid vegetable rennet made with GMO.
Good: Whole milk cheese made from heated or pasteurized milk, preferably from pastured animals.
Avoid: Low-fat, imitation and processed cheeses; cheese spreads and other cheese-like substances such as rice and soy spreads.
Yoghurt and Kefir
Best: Plain, naturally cultured yoghurt and kefir made with non-homogenized whole milk from pastured animals.
Good: Plain, whole yoghurt and kefir without additives and with live culture. Avoid products with “milk ingredients” or “modified milk” which means powdered milk, whey or casein powder is added.
Avoid: Low-fat and sweetened yoghurt and kefir. Any yoghurt with “milk ingredients” or “modified milk” or additives.
Butter and Ghee
Best: Butter or ghee from pastured cows, preferably raw or cultured.
Good: Butter without color or additives, preferably cultured.
Avoid: Margarine and spreads; partially hydrogenated vegetable oil; shortenings, spreads combining butter with vegetable oil; whipped butter.
Best: Fresh ocean-going fish, especially herring and mackerel; in season shellfish (crab, lobster, oysters, clams, and mussels); fresh wild shrimp; fresh wild Pacific salmon; fresh or smoked roe or caviar; smoked or pickled herring, eel and mackerel. Go to www.seachoice.org for sustainable seafood choices.
Good: Trout from clean water; frozen wild salmon, wild shrimp and ocean-going fish; canned tuna without hydrolyzed proteins or additives; canned sardines or anchovies in olive oil; no additive canned wild Pacific salmon, oysters, crab, roe and caviar.
Avoid: Farmed salmon; catfish and trout; canned fish containing soy or vegetable oil, hydrolyzed protein or other additives.
Best: Fresh eggs, preferably fertile, from pastured poultry. The best eggs are from your local farmer.
Good: Organic or high omega 3 eggs.
Avoid: Most commercial eggs, but if this is all that is available, buy them but never eat raw.
Fats and Oils
Best: Lard from pastured pigs; tallow from pastured cows; suet from pastured sheep; goose and duck fat; extra virgin olive oil; coconut oil; palm oil; cold pressed flax oil.
Good: Cold pressed sesame oil, peanut oil and high oleic safflower oil; refined palm oil; unrefined coconut oil.
Avoid: Most commercial vegetable oil including cotton seed oil, soy oil, corn oil, canola oil, hemp oil, and grapeseed oil; all margarine, spreads and partially hydrogenated vegetable shortenings.
Best: Fresh or frozen pastured beef, lamb, pork, venison, game, chicken, goose, duck, and turkey, including fat and organ meats. The meat and organs are to be eaten with the fat to avoid deficiencies.
Good: Organic chicken; fresh or frozen beef, lamb, duck and goose.
Avoid: Most commercial chicken, turkey and pork raised in confinement industrial farms.
Best: Sausage, bacon, ham, and luncheon meats from pastured animals, processed with minimal additives and without monosodium glutamate (MSG).
Good: Sausage, bacon, and processed meats without MSG.
Avoid: Most commercial sausage, ham and other processed meats containing MSG and high levels of additives.
Vegetables and Fruit
Best: Fresh organic or biodynamic vegetables and fruits, preferably local and in season. Unsprayed sea vegetables.
Good: Fresh vegetables and fruit in season. Wash well to remove as much pesticide residue as possible. Frozen organic vegetable and fruits; canned organic tomato products.
Avoid: Most canned vegetables and fruits. Genetically engineered vegetables and fruit.
Best: Unheated, organic lacto-fermented vegetables made with unrefined salt and live culture. Products made without vinegar.
Good: Non-organic lacto-fermented vegetables.
Avoid: All pasteurized pickled vegetables and sauerkraut.
Grains and Legumes
Best: Organic dried beans, lentils, brown rice, popcorn, whole grains, and whole grain breakfast cereals. All grains should be soaked in an acidic medium to minimize enzyme inhibitors.
Good: Commercial whole grain breakfast cereals that must be cooked (should be soaked overnight before cooking); dried beans and lentils; brown rice; plain canned legumes; whole grain and brown rice pasta.
Avoid: Extruded cold breakfast cereals; granola; white rice, white pasta and white flour products; canned baked beans and similar products; puffed grain products; factory made modern soy foods.
Bread and Crackers
Best: Sourdough, sprouted breads and crackers made from freshly ground organic whole grain flour, without additives such as gluten, soy flour or partially hydrogenated oils.
Good: Whole grain bread and crackers made without additives, soy flour or partially hydrogenated oils.
Avoid: Most commercial breads and crackers based on white flour and containing partially hydrogenated vegetables oils, soy flour and additives.
Nuts and Nut Products
Best: Fresh raw peanuts, pecans, cashews, almonds, macadamia nuts, and walnuts in sealed packages, preferably organic. Nuts must be soaked in salted water for 6-8 hours and dried in a dehydrator or oven at warm setting before eating.
Good: Dry roasted nuts; peanut butter made from roasted peanuts; other nut butters.
Avoid: Peanut butter or nut mixtures containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, flavorings or other additives.
Best: Raw vinegar; aged balsamic vinegars; raw naturally fermented soy sauce, tamari and miso; mustard made with natural ingredients and without additives.
Good: Pasteurized naturally fermented soy sauce, naturally sweetened ketchup; sauces with natural ingredients and without MSG; pasteurized vinegar.
Avoid: Most commercial sauces, ketchup and other condiments; liquid amino acids; bouillon cubes.
Salt and Spices
Best: unrefined salt (light grey, pink, beige in color); fresh herbs; non-irradiated dried herbs and spices.
Good: Non-iodized salt; dried herbs and spices.
Avoid: Iodized salt; MSG; salt and spice mixtures containing MSG; citric acid or hydrolyzed protein.
Soups and Stocks
Best: Homemade soups based on bone broth from the bones of chicken, turkey, duck, beef, lamb, fish or pork.
Good: Canned broth or stock without additives.
Avoid: Most canned and all dehydrated soups which are loaded with MSG; stock sold in aseptic boxes; bouillon cubes.
Best: Plain organic chips; popcorn cooked in lard, coconut oil, peanut oil or olive oil; plain pork rinds.
Good: Chips cooked in lard, avocado oil or peanut oil; pizza and frozen foods without additives or partially hydrogenated oil.
Avoid: All chips, popcorn, and snack foods cooked in partially hydrogenated vegetable oil; microwave popcorn; pizza containing added flavoring, MSG, nitrates, and partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.
Cookies and Bars
Best: Cookies made with natural sweeteners and butter, coconut oil or other traditional fats.
Good: Cookies made with butter, palm oil or coconut oil.
Avoid: Most commercial cookies and bars made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and high amounts of refined sweeteners like sugar and high fructose corn syrup; granola bars and energy bars, especially those containing soy protein.
Best: Homemade ice cream made with cream, egg yolks and natural sweeteners preferably raw from pastured cows.
Good: Commercial ice cream with simple flavors made with whole milk, cream, egg yolks and real vanilla.
Avoid: Most commercial brands of ice cream made without cream and containing extenders, soy products, anti-freeze compounds and additives.
Best: Organic natural sweeteners such as maple syrup, maple sugar, molasses, dehydrated cane juice sugar, raw honey and stevia powder.
Good: Non-organic maple syrup, molasses and unfiltered honey; organic jams.
Avoid: White sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, fructose, imitation syrups, heated and filtered honey, and concentrated fruit juices; all artificial sweeteners.
Best: Lacto-fermented beverages such as kvass and kombucha; filtered herbal coffee substitutes; organic unpasteurized beer and wine; filtered pure water; mineral water in glass bottles.
Good: Soft drinks made without high fructose corn syrup; organic juices and carbonated juices without added sweeteners; herb teas and organic teas in moderation.
Avoid: Commercial soft drinks made with high fructose corn syrup, diet drinks; canned, bottled and frozen fruit juices; fluoridated water; coffee, non-organic tea; water in plastic bottles.
Best: Foods that concentrate nutrients such as: cod liver oil, butter oil, nutritional yeast, wheat germ oil, acerola powder, desiccated liver, spirulina, kelp, natural probiotics formulations; medicinal herbs and herbal formulations.
Good: Food-source vitamins and minerals with the advice of a health care practitioner.
Avoid: Multivitamins; synthetic vitamins; protein powders; meal replacements; commercial nutritional drinks.