Deep Nutrition

Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food

Catherine Shanahan, M.D.
Luke Shanahan
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Book Details
 642 p
 File Size 
 5,669 KB
 File Type
 PDF format
 2008, 2016
 by Catherine Shanahan and Luke Shanahan

About the Author
CATHERINE SHANAHAN, M.D., is a board-certified family physician.
She trained in biochemistry and genetics at Cornell University before
attending Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. She practiced medicine
in Hawaii for a decade, where she studied ethnobotany, as well as the
culinary habits of her healthiest patients. She currently runs a metabolic
health clinic in Denver, Colorado, and serves as the director of the Los
Angeles Lakers PRO Nutrition Program.

This book describes the diet to end all diets.
That’s easy to say, of course. All kinds of nutrition books claim to
describe the one and only, best-of-all diet—the last one you’ll ever need.
The truth is, there really are a lot of good diets out there. You’re already
familiar with some of them: the Okinawan, the Mediterranean, and the
French—who, paradoxically, live long, healthy lives though their foods
are so heavy and rich.
As a physician, I’ve often wondered—as have many of my patients—
what it is, exactly, that makes all these good diets so special. If the
people in Japan, eating lots of fish and fresh vegetables, and the people
of the Mediterranean, eating dairy and foods drenched in olive oil, can
enjoy superior health, and attribute their good health to the foods they
eat, then how is it that—enjoying apparently different foods—they can
both lay claim to the number-one, best diet on earth? Could it be that
many cultures hold equal claim to a fantastically successful nutritional
program? Might it be that people all over the world are doing things
right, acquiring the nutrients their bodies need to stay healthy and feel
young by eating what appear to be different foods but which are, in
reality, nutritionally equivalent?

This book comprehensively describes what I like to call the Human
Diet. It is the first to identify and describe the commonalities between all
the most successful nutritional programs people the world over have
depended on for millennia to protect their health. The Human Diet also
encourages the birth of healthy children so that the heritage of optimum
health can be gifted to the next generation, and the generations that follow.

We like to talk about leaving a sustainable, healthy environment for
our children. The latest science fuses the environmental discussion with
the genetic one; when we talk environmental sustainability, we are
necessarily talking about our genomic sustainability.
This is also the first book to discuss health across generations.
Because of a new science called epigenetics, it will no longer make sense
to consider our health purely on the personal level. When we think of
our health, we think of our own bodies, as in “I feel good,” “I like my
weight,” “I’m doing fine.” Epigenetics is teaching us that our genes can
be healthy or sick, just like we can. And if our genes are healthy when
we have children, that health is imparted to them. If our genes are
ailing, then that illness can be inherited as well. Because epigenetics
allows us to consider health in the context of a longer timeline, we are
now able to understand how what we eat as parents can change
everything about our children, even the way they look. We’ll talk about
how, with the right foods, we can get our genomes into shape to give
our kids a fighting chance.

Each chapter is chock full of scientific revelations you can use to take
positive action toward better health. If you have digestive system
problems, you will learn how to act as a gardener of your intestinal flora
to better protect yourself against pathogenic infections. If you’re fighting
cancer, you’ll learn that sugar is cancer’s favorite food and how cutting
sugar helps you start to starve it out. If you suffer from recurring
migraines, frequent fatigue, irritability, or concentration problems, you
will learn how eliminating toxic oils and adding more fresh greens into
your diet can free you from these syndromes.

One of the most important new concepts of Deep Nutrition is the idea
that the foods parents eat can change the way their future children look.
Actually, it’s not entirely new. Most of us are familiar with fetal alcohol
syndrome, a developmental impairment characterized by a set of facial
abnormalities caused by alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Those
very same developmental impairments can be caused by malnutrition
during pregnancy or early childhood. I see this every day in my clinic.
On the pages here, I’ll explain why following the standard dietary
recommendations currently promoted by nutritionists and dietitians
means running the risk that your child’s development will be similarly
affected. To protect your children from these potentially life-altering
problems, I provide a game plan to help ensure mom’s body is
adequately fortified with all the nutritional supplies a growing baby
requires—something I call the sibling strategy.

There’s been a reluctance to equate good looks with good health—
even, for that matter, to broach the subject. But with the healthcare
infrastructure creaking under the bloat of chronically ill children and
adults, it’s time to get real. We’re not talking about abstract aesthetic
concepts of beauty. If you’re planning on having children, and you want
them to have every opportunity in life, you want them to be healthy and
physically attractive. How do we know what’s attractive? We met with
the world’s leading expert in the science of beauty to find out for
ourselves what, exactly, makes a person pretty or plain. His name is Dr.
Stephen Marquardt. He’s a highly sought-after plastic surgeon living
outside Los Angeles, and his “Marquardt Mask” shows how the perfect
human face is the inevitable result of a person’s body growing in
accordance with the mathematical rules of nature.

You’re going to meet another maverick, a man who should be
considered the father of modern nutrition. Like Marquardt, a plastic
surgeon, this modest dentist refused to accept the idea that it was
natural for children’s teeth to crowd and shift as haphazardly as
tombstones on frost-heaved ground. Teeth should fit, he insisted. He
traveled the world to determine if living on traditional foods would
ensure the proper growth of children so that their teeth, their eyes, and
every organ in their bodies would match one another in perfect
proportion, ensuring optimum function and extraordinary health. He
discovered that human health depends on traditional foods. proves that
this is so because our genes expect the nutrients traditional foods provide.

The most important single idea you’re going to come away with is
that there is an underlying order to our health. Sickness isn’t random.
We get sick when our genes don’t get something they expect, one too
many times. No matter your age, meeting these genetic expectations will
improve your health dramatically. This is why we’ve devoted the bulk of
the plan section of the book to describing what, exactly, your genes
expect you to eat: the Four Pillars of the Human Diet. These foods will
unlock your genetic potential, literally rebuilding your body one
molecule at a time as fast as you can feed it. Of coure, this doesn’t all
happen overnight. The longer you continue to provide your body
rejuvenating nutrition, the more benefits you will enjoy.

The first thing you will notice is more mental energy—usually within
the first few days. As I tell my patients who elect to embark on this
healing journey, the real you is obscured behind layers of cognitive
static. Like a cell phone signal flickering in and out, the communication
between regions of your mind is partially blocked. You don’t even know
who you really are until your mind is fully operational.
But before you can discover that potential, it is essential that you
learn to recognize two toxic substances present in our food that are
incompatible with normal genetic function: sugars and vegetable oils.
These are not just toxic to people who have food sensitivities or certain
medical conditions like leaky gut or prediabetes. They’re toxic to every
living thing. By eliminating vegetable oil and reducing foods that raise
blood sugar, you will make caloric space to 
accommodate the nutrition your body craves.

When you have finished reading this book, you will have completely
revised the way you think about food. We’re going to put calorie
counting and struggling to find the perfect ratio of carbs to protein to fat
on the back burner. These exercises don’t reveal what really matters
about your food. Food is like a language, an unbroken information
stream that connects every cell in your body to an aspect of the natural
world. The better the source and the more undamaged the message
when it arrives to your cells, the better your health will be. If you eat a
properly cooked steak from an open-range, grass-fed cow, then you are
receiving information not only about the health of that cow’s body, but
also about the health of the grasses from which she ate, and the soil
from which those grasses grew. If you want to know whether or not a
steak or a fish or a carrot is good for you, ask yourself what portions of
the natural world it represents, and whether or not the bulk of that
information remains intact. This requires traveling backward down the
food chain, step by step, until you reach the ground or the sea.
In the following chapters, you will learn that the secret to health—
the big secret, the one no one’s talking about—is that there is no secret.
Getting healthy, really healthy, and staying healthy can be easy.
Avoiding cancer and dependence on medications, staving off heart
disease, keeping a razor-sharp mind well into advanced years, and even
having healthy, beautiful children are all aspects of the human
experience that can be, and should be, under your control. You can live
better, and it doesn’t have to be that difficult. You just have to be armed
with the right information.

No matter what you already believe about diet, medicine, or health—
including the limits of your own health—the book you’re about to read
will enable you to make better sense of what you already know. To
answer what is for many people a nagging question: Who’s right? What’s
the simple, complete picture that ties all the best information together,
so that I can know, once and for all, which foods my family is supposed
to eat and which ones we need to avoid? How can I be sure that what
I’m preparing for my children will give them a better chance to grow
normally, succeed in school, and live long, happy lives?
What am I supposed to make for dinner?
This book will give you the answer.

Table of Contents
Title Page
Copyright Notice
Author’s Note
Part One: The Wisdom of Tradition
1 Reclaiming Your Health
The Origins of Deep Nutrition
2 The Intelligent Gene
Epigenetics and the Language of DNA
3 The Greatest Gift
The Creation and Preservation of Genetic Wealth
4 Dynamic Symmetry
The Beauty-Health Connection
5 Letting Your Body Create a Perfect Baby
The Sibling Strategy
Part Two: The Dangers of the Modern Diet
6 The Great Nutrition Migration
From the Culinary Garden of Eden to Outer Space
7 Good Fats and Bad
How the Cholesterol Theory Created a Sickness Epidemic
8 Brain Killer
Why Vegetable Oil Is Your Brain’s Worst Enemy
9 Sickly Sweet
How a Carbohydrate-Rich Diet Blocks Metabolic Function
Part Three: Living the Deep Nutrition Way
10 The Four Pillars of the Human Diet
Foods That Program Your Body for Health, Brains, and Beauty
11 Beyond Calories
Using Food as a Language to Achieve the Ideal Body Weight
12 Forever Young
Collagen Health and Life Span
13 Deep Nutrition
How to Get Started Eating the Human Diet
14 Frequently Asked Questions
Epilogue: Health Without Healthcare
Carb-Counting Tool: Simply Counting Carbs
Protein-Counting Tool: Simply Counting Protein
Helpful Websites
Recommended Brands
Doctors in Your Area
Suggested Reading
Illustration Credits
About the Author


A substantionally different edition of this book was previously self-published in 2008.
First Flatiron Books Edition: January 2017

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