Repair Your Metabolism For a Better Life.

What is Deep Nutrition?

Physician and biochemist Cate Shanahan, M.D. examined diets around the world known to produce the healthiest people—diets like the Mediterranean, Okinawa, and “Blue Zone”—and identified the four common nutritional habits, developed over millennia, that unfailingly produce strong, healthy, intelligent children, and active, vital elders, generation after generation. These Four Pillars–fresh food, fermented and sprouted foods, meat cooked on the bone, and organ meats—form the basis of what Dr. Cate calls “The Human Diet.”

Rooted in her experience as an elite athlete who used traditional foods to cure her own debilitating injuries, and combining her research with the latest discoveries in the field of epigenetics, Dr. Cate shows how all calories are not created equal; food is information that directs our cellular growth. Our family history does not determine our destiny: what you eat and how you live can alter your DNA in ways that affect your health and the health of your future children.

This new edition has been revised and updated with a prescriptive plan for how anyone can begin eating The Human Diet to:

*Lose weight, curb cravings and the need to snack

*Sharpen cognition and memory

*Improve mood

*Eliminate allergies and disease

*Build stronger bones and joints

*Get younger, smoother skin

*Boost fertility

*Have healthier children

Deep Nutrition cuts through today’s culture of conflicting nutritional ideologies, showing how the habits of our ancestors can help us lead longer, healthier, more vital lives.

Praise for Deep Nutrition:

“If you want to understand how optimal health starts with food, start with Dr. Cate. Her book Deep Nutrition leaves you with an appreciation of the profound relationship between our genes and the planet, inspiring us to be good shepherds of both.”
~~Dallas Hartwig, author of The Whole 30

“Dr. Cate gives you the big picture and the nitty gritty bedrock science of why this way of eating works.”
~~Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint
“Deep Nutrition explains in a very detailed and easy-to-understand way how our diets affect us on a cellular level. Dr. Cate Shanahan shows the connection between diet and gene health, and details how poor diet choices can affect future generations!”

~~Wellness Mama

“Dr. Cate Shanahan beautifully presents the scientific evidence why traditional foods enjoyed by our ancestors thousands of years ago can keep us lean and disease-free today.  Deep Nutrition is an eye-opening, engaging book that is sure to change your life and the life of your family.”
~~Vani Hari, author of the New York Times bestseller, The Food Babe Way

“[Deep Nutrition is] a different philosophy. I’ve seen great results from it—it’s worked well for me.”
~~Kobe Bryant, NBA player with the L.A. Lakers

“Deep Nutrition really helped me with endurance. I started to feel better as a player. I was able to run more, I was able to be more active …and I just decided to keep going with it to this day.”

~~Dwight Howard, NBA player with the Houston Rockets

Why Read Deep Nutrition?

Deep Nutrition is unique because it is the only book that gets you back to the diet we abandoned very recently. Within the past 50 years or so, we were convinced to abandon the diet that had been working for us for thousands of generations. Deep Nutrition is the opposite of a fad diet; it’s simply returning us to what kept us healthy before the epidemics of overweight and diabetes began.

Anyone who says that we still need more research to get to the root cause of any one of these diseases that is increasing, like overweight, diabetes or even cancer and Alzheimers, is simply not well informed. Everyone who seriously studies nutrition and its connection to health comes to the same conclusion: The modern diet is killing us and we’d do better to get back to the diet we all used to follow before so many of us started getting sick.

The most important concept in the book is this: The idea that Sat Fat is bad was based on fraudulent science–and I give you the evidence that convinced me this was the case. What it did, was open the door to selling more processed food. That’s why we’re sick. So you don’t have to go back 20,000 years and eat like a caveman, nor do you have to give up all animal products for fear of their saturated fat content. All you need to do is go back to the same diet everyone used to follow before we all started getting sick, what we call the Four Pillars of The Human Diet.

What’s New in the New Edition ?

With 2x content and 3x the references, the new Deep Nutrition has a lot to offer. But what was the driving factor behind doing all this work?

The Author’s Note at the beginning of the new edition lists four key reasons for writing the new edition, including answering more than fifty of the most common questions readers have asked over the years, fulfilling requests for a PLAN, and updating the evidence for returning to traditional foods with the latest research. But those just scratch the surface. Every chapter in the new edition is so chock full of new information, I didn’t have space to include all the reasons you’d want to read it in the Authors Note, so I’m including more here:

  1. When I wrote the 2009 edition I was living on Hawaii. Hawaii is the healthiest state in the US, and, I didn’t realize until I moved back to the mainland, that the generational decline in health I had noticed in Hawaii was even more dramatic back on the mainland, particularly health problems that result from impaired immune system function. So this edition addresses food intolerances, notably dairy and gluten, along with other issues I encountered far more often after relocating.
  2. Speaking of gluten, when I wrote the 2009 edition, almost nobody had heard of it. Today, one in five Americans say they are gluten-free. Considering that gluten constitutes about 1 %  of the average person’s diet, and vegetable oils constitute 25-35%, I’d say that it’s past overdue that we pay more attention to these industrially processed fats and their potential connection to disease. With that in mind, I’ve expanded the original Good Fats and Bad chapter to help expose the link between vegetable oils and cardiovascular disease, and included an enormous, entirely new chapter, Brain Killer, describing how vegetable oils promote oxidative stress that leads to impaired cognitive function at every age. The idea is to make it clear that if you had only one dietary change you could afford to make, this should be it.
  3. When I wrote the 2009 edition, the current low carb craze was just barely beginning. Now, many millions of people are abandoning the high-carb breakfasts, snacks and other junk and going back to eggs, cheese and other real, natural fats. This has created a very special problem, because in some cases, in spite of weight loss and reduction of medication dependence (for diabetics in particular), people’s total cholesterol will go up and their doctors advise them to start statins, often wrongly. So this edition includes information for both readers and their doctors on why this happens, how to tell if something is wrong, and why not to just assume a statin will help.
  4. When I wrote the 2009 edition, the rise in autism and other childhood developmental disorders was just barely being noticed. Now, it’s very clear that autism is increasing and, the question now is what’s behind the epidemic. This edition reveals the science that connects the consumption of vegetable oils and excessive carbohydrates to the epidemics of autism and other childhood problems, in order to better empower parents with tools to protect their family’s health.
  5. One of the most novel and controversial ideas in the original Deep Nutrition is the idea that birth order affects our looks by impacting skeletal development, and that subsequent siblings may be at a disadvantage, health wise. This edition expands that concept, originally called second sibling syndrome, to highlight how, in the context of a modern diet, there are also disadvantages to being born first. The goals of including this new information are two fold. First, to help prospective parents understand the absolute power they have to control the outcome of their children’s futures. And second, to help you recognize two patterns of skeletal asymmetry that predispose us to developing certain injuries so that you can recognize them before you hurt yourself.

Now Available Bookstores Everywhere !

More Praise for Deep Nutrition:

Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional food

Expanded and Updated! With 2x the information and 3x the references!

I just finished reading Deep Nutrition, Twice. Dr. Shanahan provides a fascinating presentation of nutrition, genetics, anthropology, history, medicine, metabolism, and cooking. It is a book that I can refer to my patients as a resource, and to colleagues as a reference.

~~Dr. Lowell Gerber, Medical Director of the Freeport Cardiology clinic in Freeport, Maine

“Immediately I was struck by the clarity and simplicity of the writing. I didn’t realize that fat cells could wander around the body and turn into different cell types. Fascinating. I’m going to jump on my stair-stepper and pound away!”

~~Jo Robinson, Author ofThe Omega Diet, and Eat Wild.Com

“Dr. Cate…shows us a practical scientific approach to food, health and wellness. I love her book and tell all of my clients it is a must-read. Dr. Cate has influenced my approach to food, nutrition and wellness not only for my family, but my clients as well.”

~~Sharon Brown, Nutritionist, Founder Bonafide Provisions

I talk to a lot of doctors. This is the best advice so far. It’s very doable; saving hundreds of dollars on supplements.

~~Adriane Berg, Host Growing Bolder Radio 

“Even readers who are very familiar with the works of Weston Price will still discover new and fascinating information within these pages. I enjoyed Deep Nutrition so much that I honestly did not want to finish it.”

~~Marjorie Tietjen, Price Pottenger Nutrition Foundation

“Dr. Shanahan is the Michael Pollan of medicine, telling us what to eat and why to eat it.”

~~JoAnn Deck, Vice President of Ten Speed Press

I have just finished reading Deep Nutrition and have already recommended it to one of my daughters with the intent to insist that all my 5 adult children read this book as well.   Everyone was required to read Fast Food Nation and Omnivore’s Dilemma.

~~Dr. Ron Sigler, Medical Director of the Highline Medical Group in Seattle, Washington

Now in a revised and updated edition, Deep Nutrition examines the traditional foods of our ancestors alongside the latest epigenetic research to show how The Four Pillars of the Human Diet can help anyone live a longer, healthier, more vital life. New content includes how to evaluate your body symmetry and understand your risk of injury, a chapter focusing on brain health, and a plan that enables you to implement all this great advice!



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  • Dona
    If you read chapter 9 then I bet you can probably guess my answer: Sugar is sugar.

  • Dona Wright

    What are your thoughts on using Agave as a sweetener in coffee or baking? Loved your book!

  • Jeanie Witcraft

    I just stayed up all night reading “Deep Nutrition”. I am so excited by this information I can hardly stand it!!

    I’m a clinical social worker who has worked with not only many scourges of modern life, but also poverty. I would LOVE to spread this holistic health message in private and/or online practice.

    Ma’am, do you have scientific resources on how nutrition impacts behavioral/mental health?

    I’m looking at offering quotes of your work through my (still percolating site) and explaining them for people who may not have the money to purchase your book and also reframing it from a mental health perspective.

    Long live the “hippie” health providers!

  • Kathy
    Good question! Take a look again at the photo on page 62 with the caption Price Meets Marquardt.

  • Kathy

    Hi Dr. Cate — I have just finished your truly wonderful book. Thank you so much for adding to my understanding of why my mother’s face was so beautiful (I think she grew up with all her teeth!) and why I didn’t inherit that kind of beauty. What I would like to know, if you can please tell me, is whether or how the Marquardt mask would fit over the faces found by Weston Price. It seems to me the jaw on the mask would be too narrow to fit over a full set of teeth. Please correct me if I’m wrong! — Kathy

  • Sherri

    Hi Dr Cate! I want to share Deep Nutrition with some loved ones who mainly listen to their books. Please publish an audio version!!!

  • Matieu
    Thanks for the kind words, we always love to hear from people who enjoy our books!
    Just like you said, you are rebuilding genetic wealth and that will help your genes function better immediately, and when the time comes to have children you will be passing on genes that have been significantly rehabilitated. Keep up the good work!

  • mathieu

    Dr. Cate,

    Just finished reading Deep Nutrition and really liked it! I have read many other sources on this subject, but I really liked the way you connect all the points and incorporate the beauty/health issues. My mother ate the typical margarine and macaroni diet prior to and while carrying me, and I have had poor vision since childhood along with a predisposition for allergies and sinus problems. However, since I was the first-born, I did take all I could while in the womb. Although I must deal with my parents’ (and possibly grandparents’) poor dietary choices for the rest of my life, I do like the fact that there ARE things I can do to improve health and wellness and possibly pass these reacquired benefits onto the next generation.

  • Iris:
    I try to help my patients always be able to answer the “Which is a better choice question” on their own by asking questions aboutsource and tradition.
    To show you what I mean, let’s go through the exercise with your question on sprouted wheat versus sourdough rye, taking into account that you are living in Germany.
    So let’s start with the first question: Source. Since rye is the more traditional grain of Germany as you point out, its likely that rye grains are more adapted to the climate and do better than wheat and therefore rye is more likely to be organic and able to draw nutrients from the soil. So the source question favors rye.
    Next, tradition. Sprouted wheat and sourdough are both well established traditional foods so we’re pretty much on equal footing there.
    Overall, looks like sourdough rye comes out the winner over sprouted wheat for your location. I hope that helps!
    (And The T.R.I.M. Solution will have lots of recipes.)

  • Iris

    Dr. Cate, I have just read your book over the Christmas holidays – it is a nice addition to the Perfect Health Diet, as it covers different aspects. I find it convincing that your diet includes a greater variety of starch (other than the “safe” ones) and as I usually keep my carb intake between 100-150 g/day I am a bit sick of rice and potatoes. I also think it isn´t dangerous to have one or two servings of properly prepared grains if you don´t get the majority of your calories from it. I would like to ask one question: As I live in Germany, sourdough bread and sprouted grain bread is widely available. However, sourdough bread is usually made with rye “only” whereas sprouted bread always contains (some) wheat. What do you think is the better choice? Avoiding wheat or preferring sprouted bread over sourdough? Do you plan writing a cookbook :-)?

  • Thanks for writing your book “Deep Nutrition”, I really enjoyed it. I thought it was well written and easy to understand. The medical language was toned down so regular readers could follow along fairly easy. I also enjoyed you using the celebrities as examples and all the other diagrams. Thanks Dr Cate. Adam

  • Ann M

    Thanks for the reply Dr. Cate

    I just finished reading your Food Rules, and actually Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food. They really work well together, two views with a similar mindset but a different focus. They book support one another and show different ways into the same ideas.

    Somewhere on this site I heard mention of a cookbook your husband is working on?! While reading both of your books the actual creating of some of these foods was what I felt was missing. Not that the information needed to be contained within those books but that a companion tome would pull these concepts together.

    I would love to know how to go about fermenting non-germinating cereals and making traditionally fermented tofu along with a few fantastic both broth recipes. We currently make our own tofu at home here so doing it one better would not be difficult. My hope for the cookbook would be one that does not feel it has to dumb it down. Explain labor-some processes and maybe give some short cuts as alternatives. We all need to learn that good food takes time and the investment will be one that makes you appreciate the goodness all the more.

    I look forward to whatever your working on!

    Ann M

    • Ann

      Funny you would pick tofu. The various fermentation processes of soy alone could fill an entire cookbook! To feed your curiosity until we can get a cookbook together, you could start with online searches for new cuisines. I’d recommend Filipino since in the US we have such a large English speaking population with skills in making authentic dishes. Here’s a very healthy and challenging dish from one of my fave websites:

  • I just bought “Deep Nutrition” and am fascinated by the jdea of genetic wealth and the dilution of this. I grew up in the 50s and my diet was half Irish traditional and half post war processed. Our milk was pasteurised, but delivered each morning non homogenized with the cream on top. This was good. The cocoa puffs my mom bought to put it on were not. She grew up eating steel cut oatmeal for breakfast so we had that half the time.

    We always had bone broth and I still make it nearly every day: a chunk of muttom, bone in, simmered in scotch broth. I make all kinds of soups with bone broth.

    We ate liver and kidney often, and I still like both, especially liver pate and steak and kidney pie. We also ate a lot of fresh-caught fish and shellfish gathered from the sands at low tide – absolutely free. My father caught trout, salmon and snared rabbit. We ate a lot of rhubarb, peas, carrots, parsley and root veggies from the garden, and we bathed in epsom salts for the magnesium. But we also ate lots of food fried in beef dripping and lard, and starchy, milky puddings.

    I have giant glass jars of whole grains, especially barley, steel cut and whole oats and wheat groats on my shelves, and lots of jars of legumes. I have millet, bulghur and buckwheat.

    I grow my own vegetables and store them for the winter, and preserve my own sauces, jams, jellies, most of the ingredients foraged from my land: wild grapes, crabapples, rosehips, elder berries and flowers, and make dandelion flower syrup, root coffee, and use the wild greens from my meadow in salads. I have an abundance of nettle, ferns for fiddleheads, alfalfa for tea – I could go on and on…

    I do this, because my mom put wonder bread with margarine in my lunch every day, sometimes with Heinz sandwich spread, sometimes with cheese whiz, sometimes with jam.

    You have to know, like I did, that there was something very wrong in eating this stuff. I never felt well afterward, and was never satisfied.

    My daughter gives her family whole foods as I do, incorporating traditional Italian foods, as her husband is Italian. My son’s wife gives the children eggo waffles, boxed pancake mix denched in high fructose corn syrup, and sweetened cereal for breakfast. And Kool-Aid. Remember that crap? and Tang for orange juice?

    My daughter’s son is never sick. My son’s child is always ill and is frail, thin-boned and frail.

    My children were never at the doctor, maybe once or twice while growing up. Neither is my daughter’s child.

    It’s heartbreaking that I have no influence on my son’s children’s nutrition, but their mom grew up on Kraft dinner and hot dogs and refused to take pre-natal vitamins, even when I bought them for her.

    The doc is right. We really are what we eat, and we would not have the epidemic of ADHD in our children, many of whom have to be drugged to remain in school, if they ate properly.

    As for me, I am fifty seven, don’t need glasses even to read, look ten years younger, have all my nice straight teeth (no orthodontia) and most of my marbles. 🙂 Nutrition made the difference, and I am advocate for it. Buy the book!

  • Ann
    Don’t blame yourself, please. I’m sure you were doing the best you knew to do and could manage at the time. Genes can always change for the better…as long as we’re still alive.
    Here’s a nice youtube video on sprouting. Once you’ve got the germinated (1/4-1/2 inch roots) bring them to a quick boil for a few seconds then remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 5 mins. Then drain and add whatever tastes good to you. They won’t absorb fluids like oatmeal so it’ll be more of a stewey kind of thing. But taste is good if you add good things (cinammon, raisins, walnuts, butter, cream, milk, salt–my fave).

  • Ann M

    Just finished reading your book Dr. Cate and found it interesting, depressing and then ultimately hopeful. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 13 and have 2 daughters, now grown. Both have PCOS and I’m afraid my diet may have been a contributing factor to the many health problems they now face. My grandfather was a butcher and died when I was 11 of coronary heart disease from clogged arteries. It’s a hard truth to discover that what you ultimately thought of for years as doing the right thing, may not have been the best choice…

    Anyway in the back of your book you mention a breakfast porridge and germinating wheat berries and quinoa or fermenting non-germinating cereals. Is there some info on how to correctly do either of these processes? I would love to try them both.

    Thanks for all the research your doing. I hope my children will benefit from it all!

  • Our books are available in print and on kindle. We don’t have audio cd yet, but kindle reader can read out loud to you!
    UPDATE: As of Jan 3 2017, the NEW edition of Deep Nutrition is available on audio cd (from Amazone) and

  • Mathieu

    Dr. Cate,

    Are your books available on CD?

  • Nik
    Good for you. Fibre is one of those nutritionism pseudonutrients that I don’t worry about because if you eat the amount of vegetables I recommend, you’ll get tons of fiber. Other sources of fibre are nuts and seeds. Some people run into trouble when they stop eating their tree-bark cereals and have nothing but eggs and meat and cheese. You gotta eat your greens.

    This reminds me of a fun fact for you to share with Tommy et al: Eskimos got their green stuff second hand…from the part-digested lichen and what not in the guts of the caribou. (That may be in the book now that I think of it)

  • Hi Dr. Cate,
    After losing patience my employee Tommy gifted me your book for my birthday. I’ve recently finished the book and am following your advice. I’ve lost 10 pounds and my blood pressure is going down. My wife is concerned that I’m not getting enough fibre. So my question is, how much fibre should I be getting?

  • Rhonda Holt

    Dr Cate, I have a few worries here.. I have hemorrhagic IC bladder disease and My bladder is down to a golf ball capacity.. I am on medications but take alot of supplements/herbs that sure help as well.. The last year I have had abdominal swelling and bloating and always been into health nutrition and working out.. This has taken me down so hard I fear I ben hit with intestinal yeast;( Yick! This is bad stuff and I been doing the organic coconut, gsl, oregano drops, lime/lemon in filtered water.. My rash went away but I still have the abdominal swelling that has stretched out my skin and being 45 I am hoping I can get that back down and if you have any ideas that may help that and to regain the nice flat abs I once had..IC diet trys to take out things we need in our diet fruits and veges high in acid or potassium because it causes alot of pain in the bladder like pouring alcohol on a open wound..(Ouch) I take prelief calcium that helps take the acid out of foods, but I know some of those acids are needed.. So I fight it out.. I am depressed from the belly bloating and swelling and was hoping you had some insight on how to get this to stop swelling and to get it back where it was, I heard of Threelac being a great help to albicans but was not sure if you had some ideas and pointers on intestinal yeast too ..I know your quite busy and do hope you get a chance to respond and so look forward to hearing back from you.. Thank you Rhonda

  • Scott Jenkins

    I am reading your site while at work. I work as a Medical technologist in a hospital lab. I don’t believe in half the tests were doing. Most docs dont even order the right tests. Everyone is still in love with the lipid hypothesis and standard american diet. We are really good at acute care trauma, but not so good at lifestyle and chronic diseases caused by poor food choices. Co workers will see me eat alot of fat, and cream, and say I am going to clog up my heart and die, while they are swigging down their 3rd 64 oz. mug of sugary soda.
    I would like to see more primary docs order vit. d levels, insulin, and cortisol, but still rather rare.
    For myself, I follow your recommendations and others in the paleo community, along with P90X, and tabata sprints a couple of times a week. Work out in a fasting state, take nitros before working out, and creatine after, then half hour later a Mercola whey shake made with raw milk. Then eat dinner later in the day. Take supplements, following Vince Giuliano’s antii aging firewall ( on the web),very interesting site. Its a journey, that I just keep working at, because I am not liking some of the lifestyle wrecks that I am seeing in the hospital.

    • Scott:

      I recently had the pleasure of meeting two young women working in the cardiology department at a hospital not far from me. Like you, they’re independent thinkers. They’ve been re-reading Deep Nutrition at work (on breaks) and leaving it lying in plain sight in the break room to stir up conversation. If you find a companion in arms, you might have some fun doing the same!

  • Scott, I’m reading this while Luke is cooking and I’m starving….sounds so good.

  • Scott Jenkins

    Love your book and have the other one – food rules on order. Make soup all the time now. Beef, chicken, or Ham hock. I remember my grandmother doing this, she never let food go to waste, she was raised on a farm in Missouri during the depression. Ham hock is my favorite. Just buy 5-6 hamhock at the store, really cheap. Boil for a day with a little vinegar in a big pot. Add some white northern beans that have soaked for a few hours. Then toward the end add the trifecta of onions, celery, and carrots. Add what every spices along the way and cook until all tender but not over done on the vegetables. Then I portion out into containers and freeze. Then at least once a day pull one of the containers out of the fridge and heat up in a pan. You will know you did it right if the soup comes out of the container in one big gelatenous blob. Delicious!

  • Sugar is sugar! Sorry, I know it’s hard when in season. If you need a dessert, fruit is a good choice. Just keep in mind you don’t get anything from fruit that veggies wouldn’t give you more of with less sugar.

  • Tina

    Hi again, I’m still reading the book, but wondering if I should cut out eating fruit while pregnant. I love in season fruit (right now peaches and watermelon, and a few months ago it was strawberries). Should I put a limit on how much fruit I have? I am reading the chapter on sugar in the book now, and unsure if this means limiting fruit as well.

  • Tina

    Thanks Dr. Cate for your quick response! I’ll be sure to take a look at your article on rehabilitating distressed genes. Funny that you wrote a post about french fries and fried food in general. 2 things I definitely could not (and still cannot) tolerate during any of my pregnancies are fried foods and sugar/very sweet foods. They make me so nauseous and sick! I guess my instincts are protecting me. By the way, as for my question about building a good milk supply for when the baby comes, can you point me in any particular direction on where to research any additional supplements I need to take or anything in particular i need to do? I know in Greece (I’m 1st generation greek-american), they make a woman a stew made from organ meats after she gives birth to “cleanse” her and to build milk supply. I’ll have to check into this with relatives still there.
    Thanks again,

    • Tina,
      I know people use all sorts of plant-based supplements in the belief that doing so will increase milk production, but I have not seen many successes among my own patients, and I worry about whatever toxins may be in the plants and how little systematic research we have into they’ll affect the baby.

      If you do get a recipe from your relatives, and it tastes good, please send it to us!

  • Tina
    If you’re already doing all Four Pillars, as well as taking supplements (and those are great choices, plus at your latitude (and higher) supplemental d3, at least 2000 IU, is very important, then please keep reading… Chapters eight and nine discuss the most important dietary toxins, and avoiding them is essential for your developing baby’s health. Funny you should write today, actually, I’m just about to post a piece about cigarettes versus French fries during smoking here: Also, this weekend I’ll be discussing how you can effectively rehabilitate distressed genes by eating well during pregnancy and continuing to feed your baby right, click here for more info: As for raw milk, I suggest ‘begininers’ start by looking for cheese made from raw milk, because you get so many of the same benefits and minimal risk of bacterial contamination.

  • Tina

    Hi Dr. Cate,
    I love Deep Nutrition – I’m about half way through it right now. I do have to say it’s a bit scary for me to read, as I’m 27 weeks pregnant with my 3rd child. This baby was not planned, and I found out I was pregnant when my 2nd was only a year old. I was so so sick this pregnancy during my first trimester, and I am afraid I did not take enough supplements or eat enough healthy animal foods during this time. The only things I could tolerate during the first 14 weeks were bagels and cream cheese and greek salads with a lot of feta cheese and pine nuts (my “cravings”). My question to you is – is there anything in addition to the 4 pillars that I can do for the next 13 weeks to make sure I’m providing the best environment for my babby to grow? Also, how can I prepare enough to make enough breastmilk? I’ve had issues with low supply with my prior 2 children. I just ordered some DHA supplements, and I know I need to take some additional calcium/magnesium. As for foods, I’m able to tolerate anything right now, although a little nervous to drink raw milk still and not even sure where to purchase it in NJ, where I live. I look forward to your response!

  • Nancy

    I’ve been low carb for 9 years and paleo for the last few, but I’m still learning lots from Deep Nutrition and I’m only half-way through the book! I’d like to know how Luke is coming along on his Four Pillars of World Cuisine cookbook? I really need help with more offal and fermented veggie recipes.

    • HI Nancy
      We’re relocating to Napa Valley in the fall and will be tapping in to expertise of world famous local chefs to provide reliable and delicious dishes made with exactly those special categories of traditional foods. Stay tuned!

  • alexandra gatsis

    Dr Cate,

    I’m pretty certain you’d be interested in Esther Gokhales book, 8 Steps to a Pain Free Back. In fact, I’m recommending your book to her. She’s done for posture what you’ve done for nutrition: given a historical, anthropological perspective on the decline of posture and techniques for restoring it to its optimal state.

    All the best,

  • alexandra gatsis

    Thank you so much for your VERY encouraging insights!!! I’ll keep you posted on his progress on the Four Pillars Plan.

    I wish you and Luke great joy, expansion, abundance in spreading your message!!!!!

  • alexandra gatsis

    Hi Dr. Cate,

    Of course, I wish I had read your book before I got pregnant with my first. I developed pre-clampsia and my son was born IUGR. I know he’s at risk for a host of interesting imbalances. We’re strictly adhering to the four pillars plan – and started doing so at the age of one. It’s challenging emotionally to feel that he may not reach his optimal potential because of my ignorance, but I’m hoping by following a nutrient dense food plan he’ll be able to activate otherwise dormant potential. I was wondering if there are any words of encouragement you could share.

    Thanks so so much for your efforts to help us experience the health and abundance we’re designed for.


    • Hi Alex
      Congratulations on getting things sorted out so early in your child’s life. Plenty of people NEVER do! –And that’s a real important thing to recognize. It means that, so as long as you can keep it up, he’ll be way ahead of the curve by the time he’s a teen.

      And here’s a little from inside-the-researcher’s perspective that may also help you feel better. Pre-eclampsia is a medically diagnosable and easily recognized condition, and that means when a child of a pregnancy complicated by pre-eclampsia later develops some kind of medical condition, it’s easy to look back to the pre-eclampsia and say, “See there’s your cause.” However that is correlation. It is not causation.

      Pre-eclampsia is also correlated with a higher rate of poverty and a wide variety of other factors that put children at social and economic disadvantage and certainly could explain some of the things you’ve read about. And because the medical system’s description of a nourishing diet for children is so wrong, they simply cannot diagnose malnutrition in infancy or early childhood, which means they are definitely overlooking any nutrition related causes.

      Best of luck to you and your family!

  • David Baughman

    Catey, when you get a chance, I would also like a response to Susan Fite’s questions. Her situation is similiar to mine except I am a diabetic now under control, but at one time wildly out of control. My control is due to diet which is whole foods, organic when I can get it, and very limited carbs and no processed carbs. I would also like to know if I can go too far on limiting the carbs.

    I’ve recently stopped taking my longtime Lantus once a day insulin. I did this because, by diet and exercise alone, I can now maintain a glucose level under 120 and often below. My A1c is in the range of low to high 6’s. Four years ago, my A1c was over 13.

    • David and Susan:

      Since this is such an interesting topic, I’ve posted a detailed answer here.

  • Susan Fite

    THANK YOU for writing Deep Nutrition; a must-read for anybody interested in health and longevity! (I am giving copies to friends and family!) My question to you is this: For a post-menopausal woman with mild insulin resistance (and following a low-glycemic, traditional diet), is there a point where carbohydrate intake becomes too low, thus increasing cortisol and ultimately leading to adrenal fatigue and a worsening of metabolic derangement? I have read so many conflicting perspectives regarding the benefits of a lower carbohydrate (less than 30 grams). There seems to be two arguments: One is to keep carbs low and allow pancreatic “rest,” (and risking possible adrenal problems), OR bump up carbs a bit more (100 mg/day) in order to keep cortisol lower – even if this means a higher glucose/insulin level. Curious what your thoughts are on this. Maybe there is no simple answer!

  • Sugar is sugar. Whether it comes from grains or carrots or the stored glycogen in chicken breast, and counts towards your total daily carb intake, which I keep under 100gm for myself. That’s also the number I give to patients interested in optimal health. However, for those wanting/needing weight loss, total carbs should be much lower.

    Why do I eat grains at all? For the same reason I eat fruits and dark chocolate: They taste good. Ya gotta live. 🙂

  • matt

    Thanks for this clarification. So does that mean that in your mind that grains from deeply nutritious soil are better for us than grain produced on thin and petrochemicalled soil is more suited to us?

    Sure. Post fermentation if you must ingest it…

    But the question that grains are basically sugar – which we should avoid (see Gary Taubes on the cover of The New York Times Magazine last week) and that since grains have been an increasing part of the human diet we have gotten smaller and sicker seems to be unanswered.

  • Matt:
    Glad you enjoyed the books, and I want you to please go back now and re-read what we say about oats on page 67! (Deep Nutrition)

    We are not talking there about all oats being nutrient dense, but only referring to the oats from highly fortified soil. The same would apply to all starchy seeds, including wheat, corn, etc.

    Here’s an excerpt that has been inspired by you and others who raise similarly important questions, from the newly updated version of Food Rules, that attempts to answer the larger issue of how to know what’s really best for us:

    “Every day at least one patient or reader asks about a particular food group they are concerned might be bad for them, usually milk, grains, soy, or meat. I answer most such questions by going back to source and tradition. If any food comes from the same kind of source as people who traditionally relied on it, and was prepared in the same way, it’s likely going to be good for you. If either source or preparation has changed, then you are not going to get the same benefits.”

    This is why we talk about food as INFORMATION in Deep Nutrition. We encourage you to consider where the information inputs might be (soil quality, feed quality, animal stresses, etc.), and how the information produced might then be either enriched or garbled in the transportation from field to table.

    As for oats, for the most part, Luke and I don’t eat them regularly because we’re pretty sure they aren’t from such highly fortified soil as the Scottish people Price visited for whom oats traditionally comprised a staple of their diet. But when we occasionally want a warm, rich, stick-to-your-ribs meal, we prepare them first by soaking them overnight and starting a little lacto-fermentation.

  • matt

    I have just finished your book and really enjoyed it and learned a tremendous amount from it evan as a seasoned reader around Weston Price and Paleo subject matter for a number of years now. The epigenetic material in particular is great.

    I was wondering what your take is on grains. You mention in the book how oats (for instance) are nutrient rich but from the paleo perspective grain are not particularly nutrient dense and have anti-nutrients in them and need treatment to make the nutrients in them more bio-available. Why not just cut them out entirely?

    In chapter 9 you talk about cutting out sugar…aren’t grains just sugar anyway? On page 204 you compare the action of toasting bread to what happens inside our bodies due to sugar intake and glycation.

    Have you read

  • This is a very important question because so many people do take protein supplements. The problem with powdered protein is that during the process of dehydration, many amino acids become damaged, especially the essential amino acids that are high in nitrogen, such as lysine, or sulfur, such as methionine. This occurs because nitrogen groups, present on every amino acid, are highly reactive and can cross link with other amino acids, fatty acids, and numerous other types of molecules to form new and potentially harmful compounds that the kidney and liver must remove.

    Essentially, this is an extension of the argument that fresh milk is healthier than processed because dehydrating is a form of processing–and when we’re starting with a liquid, dehydrating is a fairly extreme form of processing.

    For more information, you might be interested in Chemical changes in food during processing By Thomas Richardson, John W. Finley, Institute of Food Technologists

  • Ken G

    Hello Dr. Cate,
    I’m a food developer / manufacturer in Albuquerque NM.
    Thank you for the excellent book Deep Nutrition. It’s tenets support
    my own conclusions to the question “What make food healthy?”. I’d
    like to ask about the “cut from your diet” list, page 293,
    specifically powdered protein and powdered milk. What are the
    motivations to include them on the list?
    Thank you again for an wonderful resource.

  • Hi Laureen

    Good question. The product claims to be raw, and since hydrolyzing often involves boiling, it may indeed be naturally brewed. The web site leaves things a bit mysterious, doesn’t it? “Coconut Aminos are produced by aging the raw coconut sap with high quality sea salt.” Sounds like fermentation but they’d be better off just saying so, in my opinion. If you get any more information, please come back and share!

  • Hello Dr. Cate –

    I, too, want to thank you for your book. I listened to you on UW and, wow! So much of your book makes sense and resonates with all that I’ve been learning about nutrition.

    I have a question regarding free amino acids and products. I just gave away my bottle of Braggs (I was already iffy about it, it has been sitting for quite a few yrs untouched in the cabinet). There is a new product by Coconut Secret called Coconut Aminos which they claim is more nutritious and natural than Bragg’s, but I’m thinking there must be the same MSG component that comes from the processing.

    Any insight would be great! Thanks!

  • The explanation of how bad diet damages lipoproteins and causes arterial disease is by far and away the most informative, logical and plausible explanation I have found. I have been on a quest to understand the mechanism(s) leading to the formation of atherosclerotic plaques for the past six months, have downloaded and studied over 90 medical journal articles and bought five medical texts including Molecular Mechanisms of Atherosclerosis edited by Joseph Loscalzo. Figures 6 and 8 in Chapter 8, assuming they are accurate (correct), are priceless. I plan to buy 10 copies of this book to give to relatives, friends and colleagues. I have not processed chapter 9 yet; but it is next and I will read it tonight (I looked at it last night). I have also purchased about ten books on nutrition since it was clear to me that lipoproteins, being transporter molecules for lipids (energy storage), implicated the liver, the intestine and absorption. Well done! JWH

  • Carolyn Baker

    I agree with the post regarding the pizza recipe. What a disappointment. I also heard the interviews with Sean and was interested to read the book, but now I’m going to wait for more information. And another question: if overcooking or overheating animal products has negative consequences, why isn’t there more emphasis on eating them raw – not just the milk, but the flesh and the fat of the animals? Thanks for any input.

    • This is in response to Carolyn Baker, back in March (My comment widget is in need of an upgrade, apparently. I replied ages ago and only just now noticed it didn’t ‘take’)
      We have removed the Pizza recipe. But for those of you who never saw it, the reason is not that we don’t eat pizza, the reason is the recipe itself was printed in the Garden Isle and we linked to it, and didn’t notice it had a major error. (It was for 3 crusts, but that part never got printed, so it looked like a major bolus of flour and dough). As for my emphasis on raw, I don’t think we had a chance to cover that particular topic during the interview, but in Chapter 7 of Deep Nutrition we do discuss the balance of cooking benefits and harms, when it comes to meats and veggies, in detail. And we expand the idea further with several rules in Food Rules devoted to the topic.

  • Confused

    Dr. Cate,

    I just listened to Part 1 of your interview with Sean Croxton on Underground Wellness and thought it was magnificent.

    However, after visiting your Web site for the first time, I was surprised (perplexed, really) to see the article: “Luke and Foodwriter Pam Woolway Make Sausage Pizza.”

    Drilling-down into the recipe, I found the following ingredients:

    – Pinch of sugar or a little honey
    – Pinch of salt
    – 1 tablespoon olive oil
    – 2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour, or bread flour plus some wheat flour
    – 1 cup water

    – Mozzarella cheese
    – Medeiros sausage
    – Cheddar cheese (if desired)
    – 2 cans diced tomatoes, drained well
    – 1/4 teaspoon each: Italian herbs like thyme, basil and oregano
    – 4 cloves garlic
    – Salt

    The first thing that struck me was the use of flour. Given your comments about carbohydrates on the Underground Wellness interview (which, by the way, I agreed with), this was a real surprise.

    Also, there was no suggestion of using “organic” ingredients.

    The nod to sugar or honey is ignored, as the amount used is inferred to be rather small.

    Your comments would be appreciated.

    • Dear Confused
      Thank you for pointing out the seeming inconsistency.This article was posted in the Kauai Newspaper. On Kauai (at the time) organic ingredients were only available at one store, and patients often held two jobs to be able to sustain the cost of living. So we were working with the reality that only a tiny minority would have the extra time and cash to go the organic route. Additionally, in some circles once the word organic is mentioned you’ve lost your audience’s interest.

      Our main point with this article was to get folks to recognize they can easily make their own pizza, thus avoiding the WORST offenders: namely vegetable oil and the excessive carb-to-topping ratio in most commercially available pizzas. Finally, the recipe as the newspaper printed it failed to state that it was adequate for THREE CRUSTS, not one. Those people who were interested in more information on a well-rounded healthy, traditional diet were advised to read our books. Our goal is to get people to move in the right direction, and that means different strokes for different folks.

      • Gabriela

        Thanks for this recipe. We qualify under the ‘pointing folks in the right direction’ category. I wanted a recipe that was as natural as possible. Thank u for considering everyone and their individualized situations. Very new to this information .

    • Lisa

      Hi Dr. Cate:

      I have been wondering about something my Bio professor keeps pointing out. He claims that our teeth were meant for herbivores due to the lack of lion-like teeth, our small intestine due to its length, is also not meant to digest meat because it is so long, unlike a lion’s which is much shorter.

      Any thoughts?

      Meat lover,

      • I am familiar with these sorts of arguments, and have to say that I find them uncompelling. Besides, there’s more to estimating a creature’s diet than looking at teeth–many species of birds eat meat and they have no teeth.

        • Lisa

          I knew you would have a great answer! Thanks Dr. Cate. 🙂

  • Claudia Ayers

    Dear Cate and Luke,

    My old college chum from UC Davis, Phyllis, who now lives in New Zealand told me about your book on August 1st (along with Primal Body–Primal Mind). You’d like Phyllis, she’s as smart and dedicated to the health of our planet as you are. Knowing that Phyllis knows what she is talking about, I knew I had to order your book. I did and have already finished reading it.

    WOW!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you. In just this last week, we have eaten liver using your recipe, made yogurt from raw milk, intensified our gardening plans, and much more. I’ve already been doing so many things right, but OMG, major tweaking of my diet is ahead. My girls are in their twenties…. they are so fortunate that this information will reach them before they have children.

    I’ll literally be telling every one I know about your book. I know enough about nutrition to appreciate how well you understand the whole picture. Thank you for all your research and your efforts to make this information available. I am well aware of what a major effort it is to produce a book like this. I deeply appreciate what you did to produce Deep Nutrition.

    cheers from Soquel in Santa Cruz County, California

  • Margaret

    I am looking for some 4 pillars recipe ideas. Page 294 of the book says to share ideas at this website. Has no one offered any?

    • Catey

      We’re inviting everyone to come forward! If you have a recipe, please share!

  • Cindy

    Searching for food “nutrition” info and found your website…what a delight, and great information that is well written. Thank you both for all your long hours, devotion and compassion in the field of health and nutrition…it is so desperately needed! ~the Big Island of Hawaii (Kailua-Kona)

  • Karen

    Just found your website! I find it very informative and look forward to reading more! Thanks!