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Coronavirus Racist

Is the Coronavirus Racist?

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Are you scientifically minded?


Here’s a test: Let’s say that wherever you live it rains every Wednesday afternoon, and only on Wednesday afternoons, for five years straight. Are you curious about why that might be? If so, that’s great. Scientists are naturally inquisitive. Do you understand the idea that correlation (rain and Wednesday afternoons in this case) does not equal causation? Of course, you do. But given the fact that it’s been five years of this pattern, wouldn’t you feel compelled to at least investigate whether or not there is indeed a causal relationship between Wednesday afternoons and rain or between some underlying causative mechanism that might somehow be causing both Wednesday and rain simultaneously or that, as mathematically improbable as it may be, this extraordinary pattern may indeed be merely coincidental?

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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! 

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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

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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!

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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!

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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!

Lauren Smith

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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.

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Completed Dr Cate's online course
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Ken D Berry

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.  

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Brian Lenkzes

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!

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Mark Sisson

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.

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Joesph Mercola

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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.

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Dave Aspery

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.

Dave Asprey
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.  

Lauren Smith

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. 

Leontyne Tompkins

> 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.     

Penni Wicks



If you caught the gist of what I just said. Congratulations! Here’s your honorary Ph.D. in critical thinking.


Just as with the Wednesday rain, some patterns are so unlikely to be mere coincidence that they compel investigation. According to a recent Brookings institute article citing the CDC, African Americans (and other minorities) are at twice the risk of death as a result of COVID infection than white folks—just as they are at twice the risk for diabetes and a number of other metabolic diseases. Metabolic disease is the most common cause of disability and death, so we’re talking millions of lives lost, year in year out. This pattern, in my view, warrants serious investigation in the hopes of shedding light onto an underlying cause that we can all do something about immediately, regardless of race, age, etc.


Conventional Wisdom Creates a Dependency Spiral


My research has revealed that there appears to be a general consensus among leading institutions that the best current explanation for this stark disparity in COVID-related deaths can be traced to things like income, education, type of job and, in the words of the Brookings Institute, “less access to health care or greater prevalence of co-morbidities such as hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and lung disease – which in turn reflect broader racial inequalities.”


The Brookings Institute cites the reality that “Blacks, relative to Whites, are more likely to live in neighborhoods with a lack of healthy food options, green spaces, recreational facilities, lighting, and safety. These subpar neighborhoods are rooted in the historical legacy of redlining. Additionally, Blacks are more likely to live in densely populated areas, further heightening their potential contact with other people.”


If you look into the language used when leading institutions explain away the vast disparity of the incidence of type 2 diabetes between African American’s and whites, you’ll hear similar language: “Disparities in income, education, health literacy, and access to health care may result in otherwise preventable (or treatable) cases of diabetes. And for some, cultural factors….”


The Authorities Also Suggest Minorities have Defective DNA


The muddled conversations dancing around the rampant epidemic of type 2 diabetes also tends to include phrases like “genetic factors.” This “Sorry, folks. It’s your genes’ fault” approach, whether based in good science or no, may, I fear, rob a little hope from African Americans and other minorities struggling to embrace a proactive mindset because it suggests that a) the problem is ultimately with you and b) that problem is intractable, at least in the short term, as in, “Change your genes. Win the lottery. Starve yourself and lose weight. Live in a great neighborhood filled with parks and opportunity where the sun shines all the time. Otherwise, deal with twice the number of deaths.”


Think about it: Disparities in income. Disparities in economic opportunity. In living conditions. In safety. A genetic predisposition to obesity and diabetes. What do all these things have in common? Answer: They’re all things for which there is no simple and immediate remedy, as much as we all wish there were.


Focusing on these factors to the exclusion of actionable dietary change amounts to a lockdown on the status quo. 


What if there were something people of all incomes and population groups could do to bolster their metabolic health and reduce their risk for COVID and diabetes and heart disease and the rest? There is! There’s something we can do, all of us, starting tomorrow, that evidence strongly suggests could have at least some impact on our vulnerability to having a deadly, hyperinflammatory response to an infection with the COVID virus—getting soy oil and other vegetable oils out of your diet.


The logic is straight forward. All credible (and some no-s0-credible) authorities agree that, just as with type 2 diabetes, diet and nutrition are playing a major role in the COVID epidemic. When COVID infects someone with an impaired metabolism, it enjoys a free run, from the initial viral load that enters the body to throwing the otherwise measured inflammatory response into a deadly full-out panic.


Junk food is a metabolism killer. We know this. And since Harvard and Tufts and the CDC and the ADA all refuse to define precisely what junk food is, I will: foods containing significant amounts of high- PUFA vegetable oils are junk food, end of story. Well, with a small postscript: sugars and refined flours make PUFA’s effect on your metabolism even worse. How they work hand-in-hand to destroy your health deserves another discussion—or a quick read of my latest book The FATBURN Fix.


One of the social determinants of health is access to PUFA-free foods


It is undisputed that African Americans, due to economic inequalities, have, as a consequence, less access to real food and more dependency on convenience food, whether from a fast food joint or a BOGO at the local grocery store.


Twice the type 2 diabetes. Twice the rates of kidney failure. Twice the rates of amputation. Twice the rates of vision impairments. Twice the deaths from these and other complications of metabolic disease. At least twice the deaths as a result of a hyper-inflammatory immune system response from COVID infection. Twice the dependency on cheap, seed-oil rich junk food and the two-fold daily insult to their metabolisms.


soy and corn oil consumption in Africa
These 6 African countries are the least likely to be under-reporting, according to Wikipedia. But I present this graphic comparison not to suggest any “slam dunk” conclusion based on these statistics alone but rather merely as an overture to a much-needed dialogue among scientists well-versed with the relevant organic chemistry and human physiology. The topic at hand would be, “Might there be a causal relationship between high-PUFA seed oil consumption and COVID deaths?”


As you probably know, I’ve been saying vegetable oils are our public health enemy #1. If I could post photos of the Hateful 8 in post offices across the country, I would. Not a big fan. Here are some things I do think are good for our health: Nutrient-dense foods.  Green beans growing in sunlight in your backyard from soil you fertilized with chicken poop from your neighbor down the street. Chefs who spend more on quality olive oil, from a known source, even though most of their customers won’t ever know how their health was being protected. The ethical treatment of animals. In stark contrast, my experience has shown me that others are quick to grab their saber and leap to their feet to defend vegetable oils.


There are folks who agree with me and folks who don’t.


One group jumps to the defense of highly polyunsaturated vegetable oils, seemingly supporting the idea that we’re not yet eating enough of this stuff! And they’re in respected company, after all, Tuft’s Friedman School of Nutrition and Policy, and nutrition experts from Harvard and Yale are unequivocal on the message to consume more PUFA. If they’re right, they could further contend that their message is of greatest benefit to lower-income families. After all, convenient processed foods and fast foods that are easy to find even in the worst food deserts—were talking Doritos, fast-food french fries, KFC, etc.—are loaded with this stuff. And they’re cheap! How great is that?


The second group seems more given to take on the homework of actually reading about this subject for themselves, rather than aligning with authority figures without question. Many of them have taken action by getting these oils out of their lives and have enjoyed extraordinary health benefits as a result (or at least what they deem to be a causal relationship rather than mere coincidence). I contend that the “authorities” who generate dietary recommendations have shamefully failed the American people, and economically disadvantaged families in particular.


Politically Correct Nutrition Deepens Health Disparities


To the defenders of high PUFA vegetable oils, I have but one request: State plainly and publically where you stand on our current, already historically high consumption of high–PUFA  vegetable oils. Do you think we have just the right amount of vegetable oil intake, not enough (as Tuft’s University says), or that we should consider limiting our exposure?


But please realize that your opinions, whether well researched or not, have consequences to everyone you influence. It is Wednesday afternoon right now. The rain is pouring from the sky, in the form of Coronavirus, and I have suggested a likely cause for the intensity of the virus’ threat to the health of Americans, and why that threat is even greater for disadvantaged Americans dependent on cheap, pro-inflammatory foods. Reducing our intake of these things as much as our individual economic situation will allow is a way each of us can build a shelter to get out of the storm. 


The rich, the institutionally empowered, the tall white men in lab coats with tales of rowing crew and fraternity pranks have been running the conversation about what we should and shouldn’t eat for more than half a century. We’ve heard their “don’t be so fat” message for decades. More exercise. More fruits and vegetables. More whole grains. It didn’t work out for the American people. And for poor folks, it’s been a disaster—a pandemic of misinformation.


Their claims have failed us—working class Americans most of all. It’s time for new voices.


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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.

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This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. So, to be a slow carb it needs to be intact, not pulverized into flour. But at least what you’re getting is going to be a more nutritious version of wheat it sounds like.

  2. Dr. Cate,
    I just purchased your book and am loving it. I do have a question about wheat. I know it is very difficult to find a good quality wheat but I have found it. It is called West Mountain Wheat. I have talked to the owner and he said another great thing about their wheat is that they grind it in a very slow process in a mill that has been around for over 100 years so it keeps all the good and is not heated. I have bought their flour and their wheat also and grind it myself.
    From your book you need to have slow digesting carbs. This would qualify as slow-digesting carbs? Is that correct?

  3. Hi Dr. Cate!
    I am an administrator for a healing center and head of their nutrition program. We do blood chemistry analysis and I am looking for guidance to make sure I am ordering the correct lipid profile test. I am currently shopping for labs and we are not necessarily going to be using Lab Corp. Thank you!

  4. Hi Dr. Cate. Thanks for bringing our attention to yet another inequity in our culture.

    I’ve got a question about industrial seed oils in body products like lotion. How does spreading canola oil all over our body when using one of these products affect us? Does this produce any of the same bad effects as ingesting the oil?

  5. Hello Dr.Cate,
    I have read both your books, Thank you so much for the great info. Your work is really appreciated. I am sorry to bother you, but if you can find the time to answer it would be much appreciated.

    My baby is staring kindergarten soon, and they are obligated to bring one fruit each every day. I want to further my issue with this to the kindergarten and even higher up in the system, on page 223-224 in your book Deep nutrition you mention the effect of sugar on kids and their “reward system/behaviour”. This has also become a real issue with family memebers who gives him bad snacks and think we are stupid for not letting him taste the “good things(food). Sadly, this is a common issue I assume.

    If I was as professional and well read as you, how should I further this info so both kindergarden and hopefully the system will change, do you have any tips in that regard?

    Thank you so much for your work, you are truly our “rockstar”.

    Kind regards

    Epcot fam.

  6. Hi Dr. Cate.
    In the last six weeks, I read both of your books. I completed Phase I in a month and now I have just started Phase II for the past 2 weeks. I am following your program very strictly but I am really fine with slowly progressing to feeling better and losing weight.

    I am really surprized at something. I am 52 and have been in perimenopause for 5 years. But I just had 2 periods in a regular 28 day cycle. That hasn’t happened in years. Also, I’ve lost 10 pounds in 6 weeks. I don’t really understand all the changes that are happening to me so “quickly.” I’m kind of spooked. I really don’t want to lose weigh in an unhealthy way.

    But on the other hand, I feel good. I have more energy. When my stomach growls and I say, oh, I’m hungry, let’s eat in a hour or so. My stomach stops growling, I eat an hour later and life is good. I don’t have the hypoglycemic jitters or hangry feelings. I drink water like crazy because my body craves it, not just because you say to do it.

    So many of your posts are about explaining the benefits of your expertise. I’m experiencing a lot of these changes and just want some reassurance that this is “normal.” Thank you ahead of time for your response.

  7. Lecithin, probably, right? Not quite and not used in the same amounts. Check the post on the topic here:
    Good almond milks should be sugar free and the fewest ingredients. But almonds are better !

  8. Hello Dr Cate, two quick question . Is sunflowers lectin as bad as sunflower oil? Also are there any almond milks you recommend?

  9. I would agree that it’s best to avoid FL. We have always installed RO systems in at least one sink to use for all our drinking water.

  10. Hi Dr. Cate. Since I read your book Deep Nutrition 3 years ago, I have dramatically changed the foods that I eat and I trust your insight over others on the Web, which is why I’m asking the following question. A Youtube video by Dr. Josh Axe “Top 10 Toxic Foods and Top 10 Healing Foods” puts tap water at #10 on the toxic list because, he claims, medical studies have shown that the fluoride in tap water kills off probiotics in the gut. I have looked but couldn’t find any discussion by you on this topic, so I hope that you can address this. Thank you.

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