The emergence of whole food nutrition

Various researchers have developed whole food nutrition over the past 110 years. Athletes can benefit twice from this: If you eat wholesome food, you can achieve full physical and mental performance.

The terms whole food nutrition and whole food are used today by many authors who have different views and even compete with each other. This is unavoidable and not so bad as long as they relate to the fundamental findings of the pioneers Bircher-Benner and Kollath presented below. It becomes dangerous and confusing for the consumer, however, when the industry misuses the term fully-fledged to advertise its products, because industrially processed can never be fully-fledged.

In my advice on wholesome nutrition and the development of the “vital runner diet”, I orientate myself strongly towards the recommendations of the two organizations GGB (Society for Health Advice) and UGB (Association for Independent Health Advice). Both associations have rendered outstanding services over the past 30 years in educating and imparting knowledge about the connections between health and nutrition and train health advisors.

Food as a “means of life” :

The father of whole food nutrition was the Swiss doctor Maximilian Otto Bircher-Benner (1867-1939), known to many as the inventor of Bircher muesli. He already recommended raw vegetable food and considered heated vegetable food to be less valuable.


Professor Werner Kollath (1892-1970) published the "order of our food" in 1942 and divided it into six value levels, which were progressively less valuable. He described the first three as food and valued them as "means of life" and thus vital. In contrast to food, he described the other three stages as food that people can easily do without.

Dr Max Otto Bruker (1909 to 2001) referred to Bircher-Benner and Kollath, made their findings known and developed the “wholefoods rich in vital substances” from them. Bruker founded the GGB eV in 1977. 

The dentist Dr. Johann Georg Schnitzer, who calls his nutritional theory Schnitzer intensive food or Schnitzer normal food. He is known to some as the namesake of the Schnitzer grain mills and has brought whole food nutrition into public interest with a year-long field test that has become known as the "Mönchsweiler Campaign".

In 1981, Prof. Claus Leitzmann, together with Thomas Männle and Karl von Koerber, published the book "Wholefood Nutrition". Leitzmann is a nutritionist, teaches at the University of Gießen and was a co-founder of the UGB.

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