Repair Your Metabolism For a Better Life.
Food Rules: A Doctor's Guide to Healthy Eating

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Good health doesn’t have to be so complicated.

The best diet for serious athletes is also the best diet for weight loss, heart health, cancer prevention, and just about everything else. In the spirit of those chefs, journalists, and food writers who have brought a spotlight to the importance of eating well, knowing source, and respecting traditions, Dr. Shanahan adds to this growing food revolution the voice of an experienced physician and scientist.

Full of straightforward and memorable advice, Dr. Shanahan’s Food Rules offers key details that even the most health-conscious patients are often missing–the details that may save your health.


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  • Pat Dolloff

    How do artificial sweeteners figure into your program? Splenda especially…I’m completely onboard with low carbs – lost 20 pounds in 4 months by eliminating fruit and all white flour carbs and eatting more protein.

  • Hi Cate, or Luke, I have been trying to get onto your ‘buy in bulk’ area, but there seems to be an error. Can you let me know how I can get your books in bulk as I can shift loads of them at my presentations and lectures on food and health here in England. Please email me back asap. Oh, and by the way THANK YOU for your brilliant work.

  • Eric Suggs

    I Love your books, and just got my hands on “Food rules” a few days ago. I am recommending your books to all my friends, and am probably going to pair with some to trade off for meals. I have a few questions regarding limited access to health and whole foods. I live in a very small college town, and the best healthfood store I have is safeway. I have a few questions regarding that:
    1. I know you think pasteurization isn’t good, so is it better to have ultra pasteurized milk from free range cows, or the normal milk that is just normally pasteurized?
    2. You mentioned to be careful of a dishonest free range label that isn’t really free range, how can I research my products that I find at safeway?
    3. You mentioned MSG as something to avoid, but then also said that there are other chemicals that are similar in effect but not the same on the label. You also mentioned a few examples, but I still feel a little lost when looking at the label. Would you be willing to add a section to your not recommended list of just things that I would find on labels? That way no matter what type of product I look at I know what to look for?
    4. I really like hummus, and I noticed that the brand I usually buy has unapproved oils in it. I was thinking about making my own, and after going through Food Rules I am unsure. You don’t mention anything about canned beans in your book, and I am also unsure if unsprouted garbanzo beans is good either, what should I do?
    5. My dad happened to have a about 10lbs of wheat berries that I was able to take with me to college, and I’m going to try and sprout them to make sprouted grain bread. If I usually eat sprouted wheat bread, is that enough or should I search for other grains to try to vary it more?

    I also am wondering about wine and beer consumption, I have always been taught that drinking alcoholic drinks kills brain cells. I also know of some of the benefits of drinking healthy red wines and healthy beers. Isn’t drinking too much and getting drunk unhealthy? If so, then it would be something you want some but not too much. When are you drinking too much?

  • codie

    how is chicken effected from cooking on a grill, frying-pan, steamed, boiled, or roasted? Is grilling a chicken that much worse because of the speed in which the chicken is cooked?

    • Deep Nutrition teaches the principles of cooking meat so that you retain the moisture and nutrients. It’s all about the final product and how moist it is so that many methods can be used as long as the end product is a juicy bird.

  • Michele

    Dear Dr. Cate,
    Are you in the process of writing a new book? If yes, do you know approximately when it will be published? I thought I read something about a new book on the T.R.I.M website, but maybe what I saw was referring to Food Rules. Could you clarify?
    Thank you so much,

    • Luke and I are working on a cookbook and diet program that will be out in 2013.

  • anneabell

    I am all for paleo It makes sense to me but have trouble eating food due to my IBD Pan intermittant colitis can you advise what I should eat and as some foods like vegies and fruit can sometimes go straight through me which I love but have trouble sometimes to eat also sometimes meat / protein etc., can be to heavy for me but I cannot eat meat alone any suggestion on how to deal with this to eat healthy diet.

    • This would be the kind of thing a consultation would help you with!

  • Kelli

    What is the difference between your two books?

  • Dr. Cate – like everyone above, just wanted to say thanks to you and Luke for writing Deep Nutrition. Not only did I find the “Four Pillars” fascinating, but the epigenetic stuff is pretty mind blowing.

    I’m currently pregnant with my first child at 35 and the first food I made after reading was a batch of delicious garlic beef stock. Yum!

    I’m not a fan of fad diets & have been steadily educating myself about nutrition over the past 10 years. Your book really hit the spot (so to speak) :

  • Jim Kling

    Thanks so much for the advice. I’ll definitely keep those things in mind, and not to worry, I’m not one for foo-foo drinks anyway, LOL!

  • Jim:
    I’d say if you take it without sweet food, avoid the foo foo alcohol drinks have some protein-y food and magnesium in your system, that’s the best way to make the supplement as safe as possible. However alcohol enables glutamine to cross the BBB more readily than it should, so I’d rather you first try a natural glutamine-rich food, and that will again be your protein-y foods, and your fermented foods. Good luck!

  • Jim Kling

    Not exactly. I’ve had your run of the mill hangovers with headaches, but what I’m referring to is a sense of agitation that accompanies some hangovers: if reclining, the urge is to get up and move, and vice versa; the feet will be restless, almost as though I’d had way too much coffee. Apparently, alcohol depresses the natural production of glutamine, and when the alcohol leaves the system, the body over-compensates by over-producing glutamine, which over-excites the body. If you’ve never experienced it, it’s just nasty. So what I read was a preventative was to take some L-glutamine powder just before drinking to offset the rebound effect. I’m just concerned about taking this supplement if it’s something that could be damaging of itself.

  • Jim
    If I understand correctly you are saying that the only thing that helps your hangover headache is glutamate, but the glutamate wears off (in a few hours?) and that causes a rebound headache?
    If so, I’d advise cutting down the dose of glutamate and eating some protein-y food with it, like an egg or even a glass of milk. You may find that fermented kimchee or sauerkraut takes care of the hangover headache without the glutamate rebound. If you like those things, they’re worth a try!

  • Jim Kling

    Quick question for you, Dr. Cate! I know that you suggest avoiding glutamates, but I purchased some L-glutamine for the purpose of off-setting weekend indulgences. In the best of all worlds, no one ever has too much wine and never suffers side effects of over-indulgence. But this being the real world of sometimes weak wills, I have found something far worse than the normal hangover: glutamine rebound. To offset this, if I know there will be “a bit too much” involved, I will take a dose of L-glutamine with water, and this usually mediates what my father-in-law calls “the flithin’ (flipping) horrors.” Since this metabolizes into GLU + NH3 am I caught between Scylla and Charybdis, the side effects and possible nerve damage from glutamate? I haven’t experienced any stroke-like symptoms, just the glutamine rebound (extreme agitation, general discomfort).

    Thanks in advance, and just got my copy of Deep Nutrition, hope to dig into it soon!

  • Lisa

    Annie, thank you. I had some comprehensive lab work done by a nutritionalist and he said I have leaky gut syndrome and the bacteria has to be dealt with first. I was put on HCL and Candibactin and now have a brand new problem – constipation. I’m off all special supplements now trying to get the normal bm’s back, so your suggestion to look into GAPS is timely!

  • Annie

    Thanks for the recommend of Natasha Campbell’s book. I haven’t read it but have heard good things about it, and generally jive with most of what she says.

    Also, you’re 100% right: Soy cheese? Not a traditional *four pillar* food.

    Here’s where I come from on the use of soy unfermented soy.

    Since almost all plants contain phytonutrients, not just soy, a healthy gut with healthy flora and functional enzymes should be capable of dealing with some exposure. Also, many plants have estrogenic and other steroidogenic compounds. Furthermore, all plant families have some highly toxic members.

    So I don’t like to offer a blanket condemnation.

    Besides, unfermented soy has been historically eaten boiled, like peanuts, for centuries if not longer. It’s very popular in Hawaii where it’s called ‘edamame.’

  • Annie Dru

    I just finished Deep Nutrition, and wish to extend my gratitude and congratulations. It is a brilliant book, and I sincerely hope that it will reach millions!

    With all due respect to Dr. Cate, I have to disagree that un-fermented soy “isn’t especially bad for you”. My understanding is that soy beans are toxic and nothing short of a long, slow fermentation will de-toxify them.

    Apparently, they contain anti-nutrients like phytic acid that interfere with mineral absorption, have a goitrogenic effect, and are also xeno-estrogenic and act to reduce libido and inhibit fertility. In fact, historically the Chinese fed them to their monks and consumed them during times of famine.

    In addition to being highly processed itself, soy ‘cheese’ is usually made with the dread industrial oils, so it wouldn’t come close to a ‘four pillar’ food.

    I would suggest that Lisa try the GAPS diet developed by Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride to heal her gut so that she can digest the dairy proteins that cause problems for her. A healthy gut will digest any ‘real’ food, but pathogens like candida that are not held in check by beneficial gut flora in addition to a leaky gut lining create an imbalance that results in food intolerance.

    Best wishes,


  • Lisa

    Dr. Cate, thank you.

  • Lisa

    Oat milk..?? What will they come up with next.

    I’m not a big fan of fake foods (ie soy cheese, milk from anything but a mammal). But the point we make about soy is not that its’ especially bad for you, it’s just not especially healthy unless it’s traditionally fermented. No healthier than, say lima beans. And because of that you shouldn’t make it a staple of your diet. But if you do get an occasional hankering for something cheesey and you don’t think soy cheese is gross, go for it!

    What I’d do if I were you is to find a cuisine that doesn’t rely on dairy, for example Thai (or almost anything Asian), and work with recipes from a good cookbook. …Or any of the paleo cookbooks, for instance Sarah Fragoso’s Everyday Paleo, because they mostly avoid dairy as well.

    If you ever get rid of the inflammation and can eat dairy again (see my video here:
    please write back to let me know so others can benefit from your success.

  • Lisa

    Dear Dr. Cate:

    I just finished reading Deep Nutrition and was very impressed and loved the book.

    I am allergic to casein and can’t eat dairy of cow or goat. I can have eggs.
    Milk is out of the question.

    I have been using Rice Dream and Soy Milk. After reading Deep Nutrition, I realize that I must find another alternative to Milk.

    What about Organic Oat Milk? Almond Milk tastes terrible to me, and Ive tried all of the brands. The bummer is that I am also allergic to the protein in coconut. I can use coconut oil, but not coconut milk. I only have a few allergies but they are a challenge.

    I can’t follow alot of your recipes because of the dairy allergy. I am wondering if there is anything that can replace it. From what Ive read from your book all soy and rice cheese and milk subsitutes are out.

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

    Thank you.