Deep Nutrition: Going Back To Traditional Foods
Deep nutrition is all about understanding how a change in diet can heal our body. In this day and age, we have so many diets claiming to be the best one. Hence, it can be overwhelming. However, it doesn’t have to be complicated. My guest, Dr. Cate Shanahan will expound in this episode about how deep nutrition produces lasting results.
Finding The Root Cause
It took quite a while for Dr. Cate Shanahan to find her calling—specializing in deep nutrition. Initially acquiring her degree in Biochemistry and Genetics, she felt a strong urge to get into the underlying causes of disease and come up with a genetically engineered solution to the mounting problem of nutrition.
“Doctors do not learn a lot about nutrition. Since I was an athlete, I developed a knee problem that eventually resulted in having to get surgery. I had no choice but to opt to look into deep nutrition to speed up the healing process,” said Dr. Cate Shanahan.
During her recovery period, Dr. Cate Shanahan’s husband bought her the book, ‘Spontaneous Healing,’ by Dr. Andrew Weil. In the book, Dr. Andrew Weil explains in detail how the body heals itself, whether it be serious diseases, trauma or chronic pain.
The book also shows the correlation between the body and mind when it comes to healing. Consequently, vitamins, herbs, supplements and nutritious foods all contribute to our recovery but having a healthy mindset significantly speeds up the process. And it’s true! I have guested several experts in past episodes of my podcast who have attested to the power of the mind when it comes to healing.
Dr. Andrew Weil likewise threw in a plethora of tips on how to achieve optimal health. However, Dr. Cate Shanahan says Dr. Andrew Weil’s book had a topic that changed her world—the concept of essential fatty acids.
The book ultimately made Dr. Cate Shanahan realize that a lot of the things we know about nutrition is wrong.
Weston Price’s Theories
Another person who made an impact on Dr. Cate Shanahan is Dr. Weston Price. Dr. Weston Price is a well-known dentist in the 1930s who formulated theories linking nutrition with dental health as well as physical health.
Dr. Cate Shanahan isn’t the only guest of mine who agreed with Dr. Weston Price’s research. A few episodes back, I had Dr. Steven Lin on the show who shared that in the Nutrition and Physical Degeneration book Dr. Weston Price published, flour, sugar and processed vegetable fats causes nutritional deficiencies. The book likewise explored the theories that Western methods of preparing and storing foods can lead to different diseases.
Benefits Of Traditional Foods
Ever hear the phrase, ‘Home-cooking is better and healthier?’ Well, it is. Eating meals cooked the traditional way at home is deep nutrition. Dr. Cate Shanahan explains that ultimately, the human diet should consist of four elements: fermented foods, meat cooked on the bone, sprouted foods and organ meats.
Dr. Cate Shanahan says she initially formulated her theories when she started talking to people about traditional foods or deep nutrition. It is all about understanding how a change in diet can heal our body.
According to Dr. Cate Shanahan, people in their 50s and 60s who had parents cooking traditional foods, mostly have their genetic wealth intact. Hence, that genetic wealth is eventually passed on to their children.
“However, that healthy genetic expression gets tarnished as you deviate from the traditions. That was where I felt like I saw something pretty profound,” said Dr. Cate Shanahan.
Dr. Cate Shanahan furthermore says that while she was practicing in Hawaii, she was able to compare 50 and 60-year-olds to younger people. Because older people made better meal choices, they were significantly healthier compared to younger people who suffered from a variety of illnesses like ADHD, food allergies and repetitive motion injuries.
And through her patients, Dr. Cate Shanahan was able to prove that embracing a deep nutrition diet could improve health within a month. She was also proud to share that not one single patient following her diet program has had a heart attack, stroke or blood clot. Most of her patients likewise reported an improvement in weight and cholesterol levels.
Eliminating Vegetable Oils
Dr. Cate Shanahan says sugar is bad for us. However, she also says to look at it another way—sugar has been part of our diet for so many decades. And ultimately, our body has ways of dealing with sugar.
However, it’s not the same with vegetable oils. According to Dr. Cate Shanahan, this is because we have no methods for dealing with compounds that are in vegetable oils. And these are toxic compounds as well.
“Some of the toxic compounds are listed in the carcinogen list. They are cytotoxic and genotoxic. They promote free radicals and inflammation,” said Dr. Cate Shanahan. “Vegetable oils are the most inflammatory things that we eat. We probably consume between 25 to 35% of our calories from these vegetable oils. These things are as toxic as mercury. “
Examples of Vegetable Oils
- Canola Oil
- Corn Oil
- Soybean Oil
- Peanut Oil
- Sunflower Oil
- Safflower Oil
- Cottonseed Oil
- Grapeseed Oil
Signs Of Toxins
Dr. Cate Shanahan says that it is tricky to detect toxicity in your diet since it can be symptoms of a lot of illnesses. However, she says the most common signs of toxins in the diet include heartburn, acne, ADD, depression, bipolar and food allergies.
“Eating any food cooked with vegetable oil is like eating toxic stuff. Once you change your diet, you’ll start noticing fewer signs of inflammation, and you’ll sleep better,” Dr. Cate Shanahan said. “If you also reduce carbs, you will likewise feel better and more energetic within a week.”
Dysfunctional Immune System
Dr. Cate Shanahan clarifies that it’s not that food is inherently bad, but rather people with a dysfunctional immune system are developing more allergies because they are exposed to processed forms of dairy proteins. That is why more and more people develop dairy allergies.
“A lot of time, kids would eventually outgrow their allergies. However, living in a pro-inflammatory environment and increased consumption of vegetable oils and processed foods, make it harder for kids to get rid of their allergies.”
Dr. Cate Shanahan also explains that it is the proteins that we develop allergies to. Consequently, in our messed up food system, these innocent ingredients are being mistaken by an immune system that is not functioning. Hence, we instead should look into the root cause of the immune system malfunctioning, instead of questioning why dairy is bad for us.
Deep Nutrition Book
Dr. Cate Shanahan’s Deep Nutrition book is a must-read for everyone who wants to understand how traditional foods improve overall health. The book also details how saturated fat triggers dietary changes affecting our gene expression and replication.
In the book, Dr. Cate Shanahan likewise shows how modern diet affected our health through the years, the science behind the altered expression of our DNA, our predisposition to disease, and even our physical appearance. She also lays out what traditional diets share in common and some easy-to-follow recipes that can boost your health.
“Eating should be a pleasure. It is a pleasure if you understand how beneficial the good ingredients are,” said Dr. Cate Shanahan. “The reward is going to be measured by your taste buds. Because it is inherently so much better to bite a steak from a grass-fed cow that you cook properly.”
Dr. Cate Shanahan M.D is a board-certified family physician. She trained in biochemistry and genetics at Cornell University before attending Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
For ten years, Dr. Cate Shanahan practiced medicine in Hawaii, where she studied ethnobotany and the culinary habits of her healthiest patients. She is the author of two best-selling books and currently serves as the Director of the Los Angeles Lakers PRO Nutrition Program and practices in Newtown, CT.