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Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food

Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food

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Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food

4.5/5 (16 valutazioni)
828 pagine
12 ore
Jan 3, 2017

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Nota del redattore

Recipe for a vital, healthy life…

Learn the four nutrition secrets shared in common by the healthiest diets across the world. This research-driven guide from an elite athlete and doctor lays out a plan for what to eat in order to improve your health and quality of life.


Written by Scribd Editors

Physician and biochemist Catherine Shanahan researched diets around the world known to help people live longer, healthier lives and identified the four common nutritional habits that have led to the healthiest populations, young and old. Deep Nutrition lays out a plan for using these nutritional strategies as part of what Shanahan calls The Human Diet.

The potential benefits of following this plan include:

  • Improving one's mood
  • Eliminating food cravings
  • Having healthier children
  • Sharpening one's memory
  • Eliminating allergies and disease
  • Building stronger bones and joints
  • Getting younger, smoother skin

Shanahan attended 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.

Deep Nutrition reveals the four nutritional secrets shared in common by these healthiest diets across the world. The author's guide on what to eat can help you improve your health and quality of life.

Jan 3, 2017

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Informazioni sull'autore

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. Her books include Deep Nutrition and The Fatburn Factor. She currently runs a metabolic health clinic in Denver, Colorado and serves as the Director of the Los Angeles Lakers PRO Nutrition Program.

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Deep Nutrition - Catherine Shanahan, M.D.



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 course, 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.


The Wisdom of Tradition



They all ate the same foods. From left to right starting from the top row: Thomas Jefferson, Wladimir Klitschko, Geronimo, George Washington, Georgy Zhukov, John Powell, Frederick Douglass, Nikola Tesla, James Cook, Magnus Samuelson, Genghis Khan, Ernest Shackleton.

Whether battling their way to victory, surviving months of bitter arctic cold, or leading a nation, the greatest men in history were no sissies. They look tough because they are tough. They are men of grit, determination, and extraordinary physiology.


Reclaiming Your Health

The Origins of Deep Nutrition

  We are less healthy today than our ancestors, despite boasting a longer lifespan.

  Nutrition science of the 1950s convinced people that the only healthy foods were relatively bland.

  An optimal human diet is full of both nutrition and flavor.

  By disregarding culinary traditions, we’ve predisposed ourselves to genetic damage.

Ask ten people what the healthiest diet in the world is and you’ll get ten different answers. Some people swear by the Okinawa diet. Others prefer the Mediterranean or the French. But have you ever wondered what it is about all these traditional diets that makes the people living on these dietary strategies so healthy? This book will describe the common rules that link all successful diets. These rules constitute the Four Pillars of World Cuisine, which make up the understructure of the Human Diet. Throughout history, people have used them to protect their own health and to grow healthy, beautiful children.

In other words, they used diet to engineer their bodies. Most of us probably have something we’d want to change about the way we look and feel, or a health problem we’d like to be free of. What if you knew how to use food to upgrade your body at the genetic level?

Any improvement you’ve ever wished for your body or your health would come from optimization of your genetic function. Your genes are special material inside every one of your cells that controls the coordinated activity in that cell and communicates with other genes in other cells throughout your body’s many different tissues. They are made of DNA, an ancient and powerful molecule we’ll learn more about in the next chapter.

Think about it: What if you could re-engineer your genes to your liking? Want to be like Mike? How about Tiger Woods? Halle Berry? George Clooney? Or maybe you want to change your genes so that you can still be you, only better. Maybe you want just a modest upgrade—a sexier body, better health, greater athleticism, and a better attitude. When you start to consider what you might be willing to pay for all this, you realize that the greatest gift on Earth is a set of healthy genes. The lucky few who do inherit pristinely healthy genes are recognized as genetic lottery winners and spend their lives enjoying the many benefits of beauty, brains, and brawn. Being a genetic marvel doesn’t mean you automatically get everything you want. But if you have the genes and the desire, you can, with intelligent choices and hard work, have the world at your feet.

Back in the mid-1980s, a handful of biotech millionaires thought they had the technology to bring daydreams like these to life. They organized the Human Genome Project, which, we were told, was going to revolutionize how medicine was practiced and how babies were conceived and born.

At the time, conventional medical wisdom held that some of us turn out beautiful and talented while others don’t because, at some point, Mother Nature made a mistake or two while reproducing DNA. These mistakes lead to random mutations and, obviously, you can’t be a genetic marvel if your genes are scabbed with mutations. The biotech whiz kids got the idea that if they could get into our genes and fix the mutations—with genetic vaccines or patches—they could effectively rig the lottery. On June 26, 2000, they reached the first milestone in this ambitious scheme and announced they’d cracked the code.

This is the outstanding achievement not only of our lifetime but in terms of human history, declared Dr. Michael Dexter, the project’s administrator.

Many were counting on new technology such as this to magically address disease at its source. Investors and geneticists promised the mutations responsible for hypertension, depression, cancer, male pattern baldness—potentially whatever we wanted—would soon be neutralized and corrected. In the weeks that followed, I listened to scientists on talk shows stirring up publicity by claiming the next big thing would be made-to-order babies, fashioned using so-called designer genes. But I was skeptical. Actually, more than skeptical—I knew it to be hype, an indulgence of an historically common delusion that a deeper understanding of a natural phenomenon (like, say, the orbits of the planets) quickly and inevitably leads to our ability to control that phenomenon (to manipulate the orbits of the planets). Add to this the fact that a decade earlier, while attending Cornell University, I had learned from leaders in the field of biochemistry and molecular biology that a layer of biologic complexity existed that would undermine the gene-mappers’ bullish predictions. It was an inconvenient reality these scientists kept tucked under their hats.

While the project’s supporters described our chromosomes as static chunks of information that could be easily (and safely) manipulated, a new field of science, called epigenetics, had already proved this fundamental assumption wrong. Epigenetics helps us understand that the genome is more like a dynamic, living being—growing, learning, and adapting constantly. You may have heard that most disease is due to random mutations, or bad genes. But epigenetics tells us otherwise. If you need glasses or get cancer or age faster than you should, you very well may have perfectly normal genes. What’s gone wrong is how they function, what scientists call genetic expression. Just as we can get sick when we don’t take care of ourselves, it turns out, so can our genes.


In the old model of genetic medicine, diseases were believed to arise from permanent damage to DNA, called mutations, portions of the genetic code where crucial data has been distorted by a biological typo. Mutations were thought to develop from mistakes DNA makes while generating copies of itself, and therefore, the health of your genes (and Darwinian evolution) was dependent on random rolling of the dice. Mutations were, for many decades, presumed to be the root cause of everything from knock-knees to short stature to high blood pressure and depression. This model of inheritance is the reason doctors tell people with family histories of cancer, diabetes, and so on that they’ve inherited genetic time bombs ready to go off at any moment. It’s also the reason we call the genetic lottery a lottery. The underlying principle is that we have little or no control. But epigenetics has identified a ghost in the machine, giving us a different vision of Mother Nature’s most fantastic molecule.

Epigenetic translates to upon the gene. Epigenetic researchers study how our own genes react to our behavior, and they’ve found that just about everything we eat, think, breathe, or do can, directly or indirectly, trickle down to touch the gene and affect its performance in some way. These effects are carried forward into the next generation, where they can be magnified. In laboratory experiments researchers have shown that simply by feeding mice with different blends of vitamins, they can change the next generation’s adult weight and susceptibility to disease, and these new developments can then be passed on again, to grandchildren.

It’s looking as though we’ve grossly underestimated the dictum You are what you eat. Not only does what we eat affect us down to the level of our genes, our physiques have been sculpted, in part, by the foods our parents and grandparents ate (or didn’t eat) generations ago.

The body of evidence compiled by thousands of epigenetic researchers working all over the world suggests that the majority of people’s medical problems do not come from inherited mutations, as previously thought, but rather from harmful environmental factors that force good genes to behave badly, by switching them on and off at the wrong time. And so, genes that were once healthy can, at any point in our lives, start acting sick.

The environmental factors controlling how well our genes are working will vary from minute to minute, and each one of your cells reacts differently. So you can imagine how complex the system is. It’s this complexity that makes it impossible to predict whether a given smoker will develop lung cancer, colon cancer, or no cancer at all. The epigenetic modulation is so elaborate and so dynamic that it’s unlikely we’ll ever develop a technological fix for most of what ails us. So far, it may sound like epigenetics is all bad news. But ultimately, epigenetics is showing us that the genetic lottery is anything but random. Though some details may forever elude science, the bottom line is clear: we control the health of our genes.

The concept of gene health is simple: genes work fine until disturbed. External forces that disturb the normal ebb and flow of genetic function can be broken into two broad categories: toxins and nutrient imbalances. Toxins are harmful compounds we may eat, drink, or breathe into our bodies, or even manufacture internally when we experience undue stress. Nutrient imbalances are usually due to deficiencies, missing vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, or other raw materials required to run our cells. You may not have control over the quality of the air you breathe or be able to quit your job in order to reduce stress. But you do have control over what may be the most powerful class of gene-regulating factors: food.


Believe it or not, designer babies aren’t a new idea. People designed babies in ancient times. No, they didn’t aim for a particular eye or hair color; their goal was more practical—to give birth to healthy, bright, and happy babies. Their tools were not high technology in the typical sense of the word, of course. Their tool was biology, combined with their own common sense, wisdom, and careful observation. Reproduction was not entered into casually, as it often is today, because the production of healthy babies was necessary to the community’s long-term survival. Through trial and error people learned that, when certain foods were missing from a couple’s diet, their children were born with problems. They learned which foods helped to ease delivery, which encouraged the production of calmer, more intelligent children who grew rapidly and rarely fell sick, and then passed this information on. Without this nurturing wisdom, we—the dominant species on the planet as we are presently defined—never would have made it this far.

Widely scattered evidence indicates that all successful cultures accumulated vast collections of nutritional guidelines anthologized over the course of many generations and placed into a growing body of wisdom. This library of knowledge was not a tertiary aspect of these cultures. It was ensconced safely within the vaults of religious doctrine and ceremony to ensure its unending revival. The following excerpt offers one example of what the locals living in Yukon Territory in Canada knew about scurvy, a disease of vitamin C deficiency, which at the time (in 1930) still killed European explorers to the region.

When I asked an old Indian … why he did not tell the white man how [to prevent scurvy], his reply was that the white man knew too much to ask the Indian anything. I then asked him if he would tell me. He said he would if the chief said he might. He returned in an hour, saying that the chief said he could tell me because I was a friend of the Indians and had come to tell the Indians not to eat the food in the white man’s store…. He then described how when the Indian kills a moose he opens it up and at the back of the moose just above the kidney there are what he described as two small balls in the fat [the adrenal glands]. These he said the Indian would take and cut up into as many pieces as there were little and big Indians in the family and each one would eat his

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  • (5/5)
    The old version is better than this one. This version does not flow as well, but the information is still priceless. Truly!
  • (5/5)
    el titulo es altamente preciso; aborda los tipicos temas profundamente
  • (3/5)

    3 persone l'hanno trovata utile

    I would love to be able to rate this book more highly. The author starts off well, and there is a lot she gets right, but she doesn't support her statements, gets many facts wrong, is often contradictory, and leaves out crucial bits of information. It is almost as if she started with the right materials and then her ability to write well, and her hopefulness took over. Actually it is a shame. There might be a really good book hidden in there if she ever took a more reasoned crack at it.

    3 persone l'hanno trovata utile