The company I work for, ABC Fine Wine and Spirits, takes employee health seriously. We also take personal liberties very seriously and have never required employees to get flu shots. I was asked to review the pros and cons of flu shots and present this information to the ABC Family.
Here’s the story about what led me to first to question and then to condemn the theory that cholesterol causes heart disease.
On August 5, 2002, I finished a cup of coffee sweetened with homemade caramel sauce and set off on a mission to retrieve a species of Hawaiian fern. The hike was strenuous, up a steep grade through mud and three-foot grass that wound itself around the wheel of the wheel-barrel. When my knee started hurting, I figured it would get better later, like it always did. I was wrong. The injury became a life-changing event that would make it impossible for me to walk and threaten my ability to work. After surgery failed and every day I failed to improve, I began to believe there was no hope of recovery.
Fortunately Luke, my husband, had another opinion. He thought there might be some use in learning more about nutrition.
Sure, I thought, everyone has an opinion. I, on the other hand, went to medical school. Hel-l-l-lo-o-o…I took a course on nu-tri-tion. I learned bi-o-chem-is-try. What could anyone possibly tell me? The next day, Luke brought home a book. Had I not been completely immobilized, I may never have bothered opening Andrew Weil’s book Spontaneous Healing and started reading.
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It helped. I feel great.
"It’s helped. I feel great."
NBA baskeball player
This has been life changing
"Let me tell you this has been life-changing. I have all of her books, in audible and ebooks! I have gotten rid of all the hateful 8 oils. I have trained my body to eat its own previously toxic body fat. Download that pod it's a game changer!"
Broadcaster / The Megyn Kelly Show
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.
It didn’t take long for me to bump into something I’d never heard of before—omega-3 fatty acids. According to Weil, these are a type fats we need to eat, just like vitamins, and that we need to supplement because our diets are deficient. This blew my mind. I’d thought fats were bad. Either he was off base, or my medical education had failed to provide some basic information. Like a kid who gets into the bathtub kicking and screaming and then doesn’t want to get out, I soon couldn’t get enough of these books. In these books lay more than just new information, but hope that I might walk normally again.
I came across an intriguing article entitled Guts and Grease: The Diet of Native Americans which suggested that Native Americans were healthier than their European counterparts because they ate the entire animal. Not just muscle, but all the “guts and grease.”
According to John (Fire) Lame Deer, the eating of guts had evolved into a contest.
“In the old days we used to eat the guts of the buffalo, making a contest of it, two fellows getting hold of a long piece of intestines from opposite ends, starting chewing toward the middle, seeing who can get there first; that’s eating. Those buffalo guts, full of half-fermented, half-digested grass and herbs, you didn’t need any pills and vitamins when you swallowed those.”
I liked the voice of authority this Native American assumed, as if he were drawing from a secret well of knowledge. I also liked that the article offered healthy people as evidence instead of experiments on caged lab animals or statistics. At the time, the approach struck me as novel—studying health, to prevent disease. Early European explorers Cabeza de Vaca, Francisco Vaquez de Coronado, and Louis and Clark described Native Americans as fearsome and powerful warriors, able to run down buffalo on foot and keep running after being shot through with an arrow. Photographs taken two hundred years later, in the 1800s, capture the Native American’s broad, balanced bone structure. Presenting a people’s stamina and strength as evidence of a healthy diet seemed reasonable, and it rang true with my own clinical experience in Hawaii. The healthiest family members are, in many cases, the oldest, raised on foods vastly superior to those being fed to their great grand children, foods representative of a far healthier ecosystem, and—according to the studies—many times more nutritionally potent.
Reading the passage about two grown men chewing their way through an animal’s unwashed, fat-encased intestine forever changed the way I remember the spaghetti scene from 101 Dalmations. But it also brought up some serious questions. For one thing, wouldn’t eating buffalo poo make the men ill? And isn’t animal fat supposed to be unhealthy? Two things I learned about nutrition in medical school were that saturated fat raises cholesterol levels, and cholesterol is a known killer. So who was on the right track, the American Medical Association, or John (Fire) Lame Deer? The best dietary stance would be the one most supported by the scientific facts which, thankfully, I had the training to decipher.
And that’s what I did. After six months of research, I’d found that that the available evidence failed to support the AMA’s position, and overwhelmingly sided with that of John (Fire) Lame Deer. After reading every old fashioned cookbook I could get my hands on, and enough biochemistry to understand the essential character of traditional cuisine, I changed everything about the way I eat. And guess what: I got better. Not only did my knee heal, but all aspects of my health—from better mood, to more energy, to fewer colds—took an upturn. Now, I’ve also changed the way I practice medicine, and my patients see the benefits as well.
I ultimately came to understand that the nutrition science I’d learned in medical school was nearly exactly wrong, full of contradictions, and resting on assumptions proved false by researchers in other, related scientific fields. Why is such sloppy, inaccurate science still taught? Because so much medical research is now funded by industries expecting a healthy return on that investment. When research conclusions jeopardize a product line—like the fact that trans fat causes heart attacks—they make their way into textbooks only in the rare case they survive a near impossible journey, swimming against the roaring currents of one or another industry’s profit stream. Those that make it—sometimes decades later—are allowed in only in abbreviated form. These omissions prevented me from learning, for instance, that Canola oil is actually full of trans fat, or that cholesterol lowering pills increase your risk of dying from cancer.
For the past 6 years, Luke and I have been writing a book that covers some of the fascinating things I’ve learned about health. If you’d like to learn more, click on the link: About the book.
Aloha, and thank you for reading my story!
Catey Shanahan, MD