Repair Your Metabolism For a Better Life.

What do all the healthiest diets have in common?

Share

French Paradox, Mediterranean Diet, Okinawa Diet…Oh my!

How do you chose?

You don’t have to choose, you can enjoy them all.

All authentic cuisines the world over include foods that belong to these four categories:

  • Meat on the Bone
  • Organ meats
  • Fermented and sprouted foods
  • Fresh, uncooked ingredients

While most of my patients are aware of the importance of fresh foods, few people realize that we also need to include foods from the other three pillars. Here’s what you need to know about each:

Meat on the Bone

Cooking meat bone does two great things.

1) It enables the bone nutrients to infuse into the meat, imparting wonderful flavors.

2) Heat, water, and acid break down the collagen. When making bone stock (by boiling bones in water with an acid source, for instance tomato sauce) you fill the water with molecules called glycosaminoglycans. These molecules act as joint growth factors, keeping the collagen in your joints healthy and facilitating the repair of damaged joints.

I recommend you eat meat on the bone twice a week

Organ Meats

Recognize this? It’s liver pate. Few people are familiar with liver, kidney, bone marrow, and the other huge variety of offal meats that our ancestors universally enjoyed.  I often hear people say only poor people eat this stuff and they do so because they can’t afford the “better” cuts of meat. I don’t believe that’s the whole story. It takes a good deal more culinary know-how to know how to prepare this stuff. Few people bother to learn the tricks. Why bother? Liver and other organ meats contain omega-3 and other essential nutrients most people are sorely deficient in!

I recommend you eat organ meat once a week

Fermented and Sprouted: Truly Live!

What are fermented foods? Yoghurt is probably the most well known food that still contains live bacterial cultures which you eat. These little critters toil and toil to turn simple nutrients, like sugar and cellulose, into amino acids and vitamins. They also are probiotic, meaning they are “good life forms” that keep on living inside you. While there, they fight off pathogenic bacteria and help prevent a wide range of infections. A few other commercially available foods still contain live cultures.

Sprouted grains and legumes are the counterpart branch of this truly living, most dynamic pillar of traditional cuisine. Thousands of years ago, the only way to transform hard kernels of wheat into dough for making bread was by partially germinating the seeds. Of course, the processed occurred naturally when seeds would absorb water during storage and begin to come to life. Today, thankfully, a few manufacturers take the extra steps to make bread the old fashioned way and to provide us with a variety of sprouted nuts, seeds, and more. As with bacterial fermentation, sprouting transforms a simple nutrient – starch – into more complex ones, including fiber, amino acids, and vitamins.

I recommend you eat sprouted and fermented foods five times a week

Fresh: The Benefits of Raw Food

One word: Antioxidants.

More than any other pillar, fresh food delivers a powerfull wallop of inflammation-fighting antioxidant chemicals.

So many people taking supplement powders that claim to reduc inflammation would get more bang for their buck if they just ate fresh food! Why? Because cooking and processing – and that includes the process of encapsulation into pill form – destroy antioxidants. Antioxidants are only useful before they react with oxygen. Afterwards, they are “burned.” While stomach acid can sometimes rehabilitate antioxidants that are only partially destroyed by cooking etc., you still need to consume fresh food once a day to get the antioxidants you need. (For those of you thinking you’d like to try Eskimo diets, you can get antioxidants from raw meat!)

I recommend you eat fresh food daily

There are many more benefits of Four Pillar Foods!

Once you start eating them, you’ll experience all kinds of health benefits, from reducing asthma and arthritis, to avoiding deadly cancers and heart attacks. And all of these have beneficial effects on nerve tissue – meaning they can reduce pain and improve memory!

(Deep Nutrition has over 300 references to support the statements made on this page.)

Share

About Author

Dr. Cate

With over two decades of clinical experience and expertise in genetic and biochemical research, Dr. Cate can help you to reverse metabolic disease and reshape your body.

  • Pingback: MandieM.com » I Change Lives and Play Dress Up! » Fit Foodie Friday: How to Get Your Kids (or yourself) to Eat Liver!()

  • Pingback: Why We Eat Bone-In Meat - Purple Monkey Mayhem()

  • Janknitz

    Dr. John McDougall was recently “interviewed” (I say that tongue in cheek, because he really didn’t permit himself to be interviewed) on the Jimmy Moore show. Like you, Dr. McDougall worked in Hawaii, he was on the Big Island.

    He claims he formed his conclusions about a vegan, non-fat diet based on observations of his patients in Hawaii. First generation Pacific Islander immigrants were invariably healthier, he concluded, because their diets were primarily starch-based. He doesn’t acknowledge that they ate much meat in their native lands and he believes that the introduction of meat and fat once the subsequent generations adapted to the local diet in Hawaii was the cause of all ills. By way of example, he mentioned immigrants from the Philippines in particular.

    I worked in a medical field on the Big Island too, and I think he is making stuff up. Meat–pork in all its forms in particular–was a huge portion of Pacific Islander diets in FIRST generations as I saw it. They brought these food traditions with them, it’s not something adopted once they reached Hawaii. They also ate plenty of seafood and fish. Starch was consumed (mostly rice and some tubers like potato and taro), but it was NOT what I would consider a starch-based diet–particularly not a low fat diet he espouses. I think his claims are false.

    What say you?

    • In my view, anyone who does not permit themselves to be questioned or challenged in a meaningful way during an interview is hiding something.

      While I worked in Hawaii, those who ate starch regularly developed diabetes like everyone else who eats too much carb. When they cut their carbs, their blood sugars improved. And most of the people with roots on the islands going back for generations hunted the wild boar brought to the island for the purposes of hunting by previous immigrants, fished, raised chickens, etc. etc, exactly as you noted.

  • Lisa

    Hi Dr. Cate,
    After switching from a vegan diet a year ago to a higher fat diet with eggs, meat, and whole dairy, my lipid panel is a bit shocking: total cholesterol 353 (a couple years ago it was 202), triglycerides 43, HDL 150 (a couple years ago: 180), LDL 194 (a couple years ago: about 100). Of course they want to start me on a statin immediately and consult with an internal medicine specialist. To me the HDL/total ratio looks pretty good, but the LDL is high. I eat very little in the way of grains or sugars. Any suggestions would be highly appreciated!

  • Kristen

    Hi Dr. Cate: I’ve recently changed my diet quite a bit working with a Dr. to taper off anti-depressants. I was eating vegan for close to a year and after testing realized I had a lot of deficiencies (cholesterol, Vit D, B12, iron,) and my blood sugar was slightly elevated and homecysteine very high. Anyway, I’m trying to follow Deep Nutrition to an extent (can’t bring myself to eat organ meats yet). I wanted to ask your feelings on two foods- legumes and nuts. I have a hard time eating meat and seafood multiple times a day.

  • Pingback: Anthia’s Top Ten Wholefood Resource Guide()

  • Kitty

    Dr.Cate, I have purchased and read both your books, thanks so much for writing them! I have switched to healthy fats and sprouted grain bread, am making sauerkraut (so easy!), also bone broths, have cut out processed foods and cut back on carbs. One question that I have, is it OK to cook with ground flaxseed? I make a muffin with ground flaxseed and coconut flour but am not sure if the oil in the ground seed would be damaged by baking. Thanks for your help.

    Kitty

    • Whole flours, when freshly ground, still contain antioxidants that do protect the oils from oxidative damage during baking. The key is keeping it moist.

  • Anik

    Hi Dr. Cate,

    Firstly, thank you for your wonderful book! We live in a Sufi community here in Jordan with scores of expat families and Deep has become a *required* reading in the neighborhood, and most families seemed to have begun the shift to your suggested 4 pillars diet.

    My question: I was raised in a hindu background, and most of my family -and ancestors- were vegetarian. Lots of milk and ghee, but no meat on the bone, or organ meat. Probably not even eggs. This is the state of much of India and other places were the main religions there promote vegetarianism. So how does the 4 Pillars take into account that people there undoubtedly also lived to ripe old ages (perhaps not *as* old as other super-cultures, but…) without any animal products of the 4 Pillars. How does one explain what they had to do to eat properly? I’m not a vegetarian, and I am fully committed to your 4 pillars, but I am just wondering how to communicate them to my vegetarian family members.

    Thank you,

    Anik

    • Vegetarian is a very flexible term. If you ask around you may discover that some eat fish, some eat dairy, some eat eggs, some even include chicken. Some do these things some of the time, others all of the time. Including chicken and fish enables all 4 pillars.

      If someone is ethically opposed to consuming something, however, I respect that.

      ALL of us can benefit from fermenting and sprouting our foods, paying attention to source, and cooking in ways that maximize the flavor and nutrition of our ingredients. So if someone is a vegetarian and asking for advise, I’d start there.

  • Dr. Cate: I saw you today and this is what I was saying I saw on your site , a loaf of bread and something else, under the 4 Pillars of World Cuisine to eat 5x a week. There is a loaf of bread and a jar of pickles under sprouted and fermented. This shows, we see what we want to see, in my mind it said my sprouted bread I keep in the freezer is OK to eat 5x a week. : )
    Counting Carbs, JoAnn

  • Pingback: Weight Loss and Health Lessons from Downton Abbey | Grass Fed Girl()

  • Pablo

    Hi Dr Cate,

    I enjoyed reading your book immensely. I’ve read at least 30 books on the subject of diet, not for weight loss but for nutrition. I had a number of weird health issues that after 15 years, $30,000 and at least 25 different doctors turned out to be MS.

    Anyway, you sold me. Yours is the first book I’ve read to give the reasons why different foods are good or bad for you. And you already have a test group to show experimental results. I’m changing my eating habits to align with your diet philosophy.

    Now… I live in Tokyo. Food here is quite different. Just TRY to tell someone from Asia that Rice or Noodles are bad for you! On the upside, locally grown fresh vegetables are common. Organ meats are a delicacy and have their own restaurants. And if you want fish, fish heads, fish egg sacks, any of a wide variety of seaweeds, they’re all at the local supermarket. Fresh wild caught is clearly marked.

    I have a problem though with Oils. In Japan they will often label things with the heading “Oil” which could be anything. And Peanut oil costs more per ounce than perfume.

    Is there any place with a more exhaustive list of Oils split into good and bad categories? For instance, sesame oil Good or Bad? I can’t buy large amount of peanut oil for cooking, but Sesame oil I could, I simply cannot locate a source to find out if I should avoid it of not.

    Turnips. Should I avoid Turnips and Radish? The Diakon radish is so ingrained into Japanese cooking it will be hard to avoid.

    Thanks for reading, sorry for the long post.

    Paul

  • Pingback: The 7 Best Answers to the Question of "What is Paleo?" | Eat. Sleep. Move. | A Paleo Approach to Better Living | Lose Weight, Look Great, Feel Awesome & Perform like a Superstar()

  • Hi Dr. Cate,

    I have just found your blog but I will be returning many times to catch up on your archived posts. I have been learning more about nutrition and the benefits of whole foods and unprocessed foods. As a result my family and I are eating far more raw vegetables and lean proteins. I have never been able to get past the “yuck” factor of eating internal organs even with their many benefits. Yoghurt is another w/the yuck factor so I am finding ways to hide it in foods to add texture.

  • Tina

    Dr. Cate,

    I’ve read Deep Nutrition and am currently reading Food Rules. I have been making my own bone broths because of your advice on the benefits of collagen. What is your opinion of collagen supplements? I am sure they are not as good as the real thing but what about in addition to a healthy diet?

    • You are spot on about supplements not as good as the real thing. Some people do find them helpful for morning joint stiffness but only bone broths have appeared to generate skin and hair improvements, and some (under age 40) have reported increased height!

  • Judy Pfaff

    Extraordinary concepts. Nutrition is often at the core of our maladies. Thanks to a writer like you helping keep commerce honest in the food industry & nutrition @ the table. I have been eating raw beef since childhood and my physicist/engineer son does as well. Use turkey and chicken bones for soup. The finest vegetable soup is made with ox tail. Now that it has become a known ingredient its price has climbed to steak level. Adding a can of tomato paste ups the flavor/nutrition.

    • You, and your mother it sounds like, are women ahead of your time.
      Can you please share a few of your favorite or fastest recipes for the raw beef and oxtail soup? (send to the admin at dr cate address)

  • Pingback: Chilly Nights Cozy Suppers – The Art of Braising | Mary's Nest()

  • marg

    Dr. Shanahan, wonder if you would comment on the latest output from Harvard school of public health. Yeay for them calling out the low fat myth but they are still putting plant/vegetable oils in the benefit category and saturated fats in the harm category. I was so dissapointed. How is it that the research still hasn’t refuted the old school thinking?

    http://www.ciaprochef.com/wohf2011/pdf/CIA-HARVARD-AFocusonFat.pdf

    • This event is being put on by the CIA, right up the road from my new medical office. Funny thing, in the restaurant business, even relatively high end restaraunts will use Canola or Grapeseed because most people still buy the line that it’s good for them. Luke and I have been interviewing people in the culinary industry for our food and health column in the Napa Register entitled “The Stock Report.” We now understand that the driving factor is simply cost. At one tenth the price of Olive or butter, and with so few people enlightened as to their true toxic nature, few in the industry are interested in spending the extra money. Best we can do is vote with our pocketbooks.

  • Marikonaturo

    Dear Dr. Cate,
    I’m a naturopath living in France though I’m Japanese and grew up in the U.S..  I absolutely agree with you about the importance of eating raw foods, fermented foods and meat on the bones (makes sense with regard to the GAG contained in bones).  However, with regard to the benefits of eating organ meat, I’m puzzled about the preparation of such foods. Should one eat organ meat raw?  Here in France, we are careful to have our patients eat sufficient omega 3 fats, but non oxidized and raw as they are transformed into transfats when heated.  Also, what about all the vitamins, minerals and enzymes that are lost through cooking organ meats?

    Thanks in advance for your clarification.

    Mariko Harada
    Practicienne en naturopathie

    • drcate

      Cooking is unlikely to cause mineral loss, unless you boil and then drain off the fluid. I do understand that uncooked proteins are more nourishing because the amino acids have not been oxidized, while the cellular enzymes in the foods are unlikely to contribute in any way to our digestive process as they are de-activated by the digestive acids and our own enzymes. I discuss this as well as the reasons I believe are behind the health benefits of raw foods in chapter 7 of Deep Nutrition.

  • Stephanie
    The French are not entirely immune to the invasion of the carbohydrate! Before industrialization, wheat was far more labor intensive compared to hunting in the once-abundant forest lands. Now that only a tiny bit of forest remains in France, as with much of the rest of the world—having given way to amber fields of grain—the choices people have have changed. I see the baggetification of French cuisine as an artifact of the industrial age.

  • Stephanie

    Dr. Cate,
    Thanks for your response. While I’ve been processing all of this new information I thought of one more question/issue I have with your perspective. You discuss the fact that traditional food cultures are healthier than ours and you describe their similar attributes – one of these cultures being the French. So, my question is, how do you then explain the abundance of French bread, baguettes, croissants, and the myriad of French pastries made with white flour (and sugar) consumed by the French? My mother-in-law is French, in her late 70?s, makes the best French pastries, and gets around like she’s in her 40?s! I’m wondering if she makes them for us and then doesn’t eat any herself!
    Thanks again,
    Stephanie

  • Oh Posh, that’s funny.
    the total number is meaningless, and any good lipid specialist can set your doctor straight on that. What matters most are the HDL and Triglyceride values, and the average cardiologist is going to focus on LDL even though it’s not really an independent variable. The higher your HDL, the better. And triglycerides under 100 are excellent. If your LDL is high, you may have some interference coming from reverse t3 as discussed here: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=4457 and still I wouldn’t change your diet but some people feel better with naturethroid supplementation.

  • Oops. I meant degenerative SPINE disease. Now I wonder what degenerative spice disease is and wonder if Victoria Beckham has it.

  • Hi Dr. Cate, I have eaten nutritionally deep for over a year now, grain and sugar-free for five glorious months. I devoured your book and have dog-eared many pages. I’ve never been healthier or happier in my life, and even gained a half-inch of my height back, after losing an inch to degenerative spice disease. The thing is, I have high cholesterol. 289 total. I want to go back in for a fasting lipid panel to get the other numbers. Last June is was 263. My triglycerides were 44 though. Anyway, my doctor, though open to conversation, thinks I need to be on drugs. I wish he would consider all the information I have discovered through you and other wonderful sources, but I’m not going to bet on it. If you have any wisdom or advice I would be so so grateful. Thank you!

  • Pingback: Top 10 Tips for a Well Stocked Pantry | Mary's Nest()

Dr. Cate’s Books

Special Book Offer from Dr. Cate

If you signed up before Jan 31, to access your free ebook Click Here

Got Pain? Free Summit, happening NOW!

** Book of the Month **

 

Health & Nutrition Articles

Latest Health & Nutrition Videos