In this book, 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.
Table of Contents
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:
Deep Nutrition changed my life.
Fox News Primetime host
Saved my life
I would like to thank you for literally saving my life. Back in February, I had to be hospitalized while on vacation in Phoenix with an A1C of 11% and had to start taking 2 types of insulin and 2 other meds. I read the Fatburn Fix in April, and followed the program to a tee, and I’m down by 15 pounds, 6.8 A1C, and only one once weekly diabetes medicine. Prior to reading the book, it was almost impossible for me to lose weight as a diabetic.
I feel free
For the last month, I have really been reading all labels on everything. I have completely remove those 8 oils you talk about. I must tell you, I feel great! I have more energy and I am now 197 lbs (have always been around 205 to 210lbs). I eat potatoes with real butter, grass fed steak, pasta with the right toppings. I eat everything! I seem to crave less sugar. I love it!
I feel so much better
I had terrible aches and pains everywhere in my body, my hands, shoulders and knees. I feel so much better and the way I feel is motivating me every day! Thank you
Mike Deb Wootan Burcin
Better than ever
I am an anesthesiologist in Orlando and a huge fan of both of your books! I have been incorporating your principles for the last 10 months and feel that my health is better than ever.
Marnie Robinson, MD
My allergies disappeared
The biggest difference for me (and a surprising one) is that my allergies have almost completely disappeared! This is a big deal for me, because I’ve had allergies most of my life and they have often affected what I do which is a teaching music in [a public school district]. In general, I feel much better and have more consistent energy throughout the day.
Heart Palpitations have Stopped
I’ve lost 20+ pounds (also fasting 16-24 hours daily) and haven’t had palpitations except for one occasion — I had a mini bag of Fritos for the first time in July. And, I feel better now on a daily basis than I ever did all through college.
Deep Nutrition and Fatburn Fix reader
I’ve lost over 50 pounds
I’ve lost over 50 pounds. I’m 56 years old. Cutting processed food and unhealthy fats from my diet was one of the first things I did on my health recovery journey...I went cold turkey off the bad oils. Emptied my pantry into the trash and just started eating real food
Mitzi Wilkinson Champion
Knowledge I didn’t know I needed
Your Fatburn Fix book is amazing, my friend. Thank you! I’m an Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and I know my stuff. This is the extra layer of knowledge I didn’t know I needed. Well done!
Fatburn Fix reader
Lost a solid 20 lbs and my bloodwork is great
I have lost a solid 20 lbs and my bloodwork (after 3 months of eating your way) was even better! I was metabolically healthy (per your book) before I read your book, but barely. Lowering my weight, sealed the deal! I have been talking about you and your book to anyone who will listen...Thank you for all you’ve done and what you continue to do! You are changing lives for the better!
FatBurn Fix reader
Lost 20 lbs I could never shed
I love your Fatburn Fix! Has helped me so so much! I have had the dreaded weight all my life - 20 or so pounds I could never shed. I have lost that now. I only eat 2 meals a day lunch and dinner with a glass of milk or cappuccino around 4 to hold me over. No snacking and not bad oils. It has been the key to unlocking my fatburn. I work out in the am and believe I am burning fat for energy not from food!
I feel great
My waist is four inches smaller. I feel great and many of the minor aches and pains that I had (knees and lower back) are gone. Also, my muscle tone is amazing, even though I have not increased my workout routine.
Completed Dr Cate's online course
The go-to for strength and conditioning coaches
Whenever I advise my clients about eating to perform I go straight to what I have learned from Dr. Cate. Her book Deep Nutrition has become the go-to for strength and conditioning coaches across the country.
Major League Baseball Agent with WME Sports
Dismantles the lie
Dr. Cate dismantles the lie that seed oils are healthy, which may the biggest lie about nutrition and health because it’s so insidious.
Ken D Berry, MD
Author of Lies My Doctor Told Me
She knows the chemistry
Dr. Cate alerts us to the harms of seed oils and she’s convincing because she knows the chemistry better than anyone.
Dr. Drew Pinskey, MD
Globally recognized internal medicine and addiction medicine specialist, media personality, LoveLine Host, and New York Times bestselling author
No one is better at communicating nutritional truth
Dr. Cate has had the single greatest impact on how we talk to people about fueling for both performance or durability. While we all are a little unique, the foundational principles of human nutrition are immutable. If you are looking to create a more durable, resilient body, no one is better at communicating nutritional truth than Dr. Cate.
Dr. Kelly Starrett
Physiotherapist coach and New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author
Highly recommend The Fatburn Fix
Dr. Shanahan has had a significant impact on my practice of medicine. I am known as a Low Carb Doctor, but I never really appreciated the negative effects of processed seed oils on the health of my patients. I highly recommend The Fatburn Fix to my patients and have a loaner copy in my waiting room. It is amazing how quickly blood sugars and overall health improves with cutting seed oils. It is not just about the carbs!
Dr. Brian Lenkzes, MD
CEO of LowCarbMD San Diego, co-host of Low Carb MD Podcast and host of Life's Best Medicine Podcast
Respected in the sports world
Dr. Cate reordered my diet when I was with the L.A. Lakers, and the benefits, for me personally, were felt immediately and have served me to this day. I’ve come to take real food so seriously I started a small family farm. I know of no M.D./nutritionist more respected in the sports world than Dr. Cate Shanahan.
Brought seed oil issue front and center
Cate brought the seed oil issue front and center. Healthy fats matter. So much so that I created an entire product line to swap out bad fats with good.
Founding Father of the Primal/Paleo Movement
Optimal health starts with food
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.
Attribution author of The Whole 30
Helped me with endurance
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.
Silver bullet for me
Dr Cate’s teachings helped me lose 60 pounds like it was nothing. It was like a silver bullet for me.
Paul Grewal, MD
Dr Grewal Internal Medicine, MD, author of Genius Foods
Radically improve your health…
Dr. Shanahan has provided a solid reference that deserves a place in the library of anyone who is seriously interested in nutrition. Her perspective on the vital role that healthy fat has in our diet is novel and, if implemented, can radically improve your health.
Dr. Joseph Mercola
Author of Fat for Fuel and Founder of Mercola.com
Pull up a chair…
I have based my work on the idea that getting the right kinds of healthy fats into your body and avoiding the worst fats is essential to optimal health. I've interviewed dozens of the world's top experts about this, and I know of no one who speaks more eloquently on this topic than Dr Cate. If she’s talking fats, pull up a chair. Take notes.
Author of the Bulletproof Diet
The key to unlocking my fatburn
I love your Fatburn Fix! Has helped me so so much! I have had the dreaded weight all my life - 20 or so pounds I could never shed. I have lost that now. I only eat 2 meals a day lunch and dinner with a glass of milk or cappuccino around 4 to hold me over. No snacking and not bad oils. It has been the key to unlocking my fatburn.
Saved my life
I would like to thank you for literally saving my life. Back in February, I had to be hospitalized while on vacation in Phoenix with an A1C of 11% and had to start taking 2 types of insulin and 2 other meds. I read the Fatburn Fix in April, and followed the program to a tee, and I’m down by 15 pounds, 6.8 A1C, and only one once weekly diabetes medicine.
> Tears of joy
I'm crying tears of joy and appreciation for all you've done for me and my health! Without Deep Nutrition and Fatburn Fix, I would literally still be in the vicious cycle I'd been fighting all my life! In a nutshell - I am no longer a compulsive overeating addict suffering under the crushing 'thumb' of all food and alcohol.
- 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!”
“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.
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:
What’s New in the New Edition ?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 twofold. 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 develop certain injuries so that you can recognize them before you hurt yourself.
Also available at fine 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!