In Deep Nutrition, molecular biologist turned M.D., Dr. Cate Shanahan, shines a spotlight on the harmful effects of the Standard American Diet – SAD – which has drastically moved away from traditional diets of the past. This dense read overflows with detailed information and insight regarding the relationship between the health and aesthetics of our bodies and the foods we consume. Cate and Luke consistently spiral back to our ancestors’ collective wisdom about time-honored foods when they discuss their Four Pillars. An in-depth explanation about these Four Pillars (eating meat on bones, organ meats, fermented/sprouted foods, and fresh/uncooked ingredients) will arm the reader with a firm understanding of how to optimize ones health through an ancestral diet.
Although this book has ignited a motivation within me to be mindful of eating a diet that aligns more closely with that of our ancestors, I can’t relate to all aspects of Dr. Cate’s philosophy. For instance, I question her strong views revolving around her “second sibling syndrome” theory. She purports that “older children tend to have a different [more attractive] look than their younger siblings” and details her personal understanding of why this phenomena exists. I think her commentary on this is stretching it. Despite the fact that she is also a bit too rigid for my liking in other beliefs as well, I would still recommend this book to anyone who seeks to understand why it is important to eat the foods that our bodies are evolutionarily meant to consume. Here are just a few nuggets of wisdom that I extracted from her book:
*The science of epigenetics illustrates how our genes are not set in stone and seem to alter their expression as a result of chemical information in the foods we eat.
*Many of today’s foods are not as nutrient-dense as they were in the past.
*One should greatly reduce the intake of refined vegetable oils and sugars.
*One should try to consume pasture-raised meats whenever possible.
*Traditionally cultured soy products have benefits, but should be consumed in moderation. Commercial soy products should be consumed on a minimal basis.
*Bone broths are easy to make and a very healthy addition to one’s diet.
*Our health today has a direct and concrete impact on the genetic and epigenetic expression of our children’s genes and generations beyond.
*Free radicals from polyunsaturated vegetable oils (excluding olive and coconut oil) and elevated levels of blood sugar precipitate atherosclerotic plaques.
*The animal fat/cholesterol theory stared by Keys in the 50’s has backfired with tragic consequences to our national health.
*Elevated blood sugar levels greatly interferes with our biochemical balance.