Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food. Catherine Shanahan. M.D

Deep Nutrition Book Summary - Catherine and Luke Shanahan ...

This book is an incredible exploration of the human diet and its prosperity for health. I have read it, so you don’t have to! The information in this book is essential and everyone needs to understand it and fast! In this blog post I will summarise the main points and the most important information for you!

You must firstly understand just how far from traditional our diets and lifestyles have become. Thousands and even millions of years ago our diets looked very different and so did our health. Life was centred around seeking, foraging, hunting food that was nutritious to ensure survival. Survival depended upon a nutrient dense diet. Traditional food is delicious AND nutritious. The food we eat today would not be recognised by our ancestors as food, put simply the food we eat today is NOT FOOD.

There was virtually no disease, certainly no chronic disease. Today, around 15 million people in England alone have a long-term condition (chronic disease). 15 MILLION. Our lifestyles are killing us. Our ancestors must have been doing something right! We have a lot to learn.

Our genes and genetics play an essential role in the health of our populations today. Our genes are affected by everything we do and consume. An unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle will alter your genes to be somewhat sub-optimal. Your bad diet does not only destroy your health it also impacts your children, your children’s children and every generation after that. I am serious.

Generations of unhealthy eating plays a role in our incredibly diminished health. What’s more, Shanahan shows that healthy genes produce beautiful people and beautiful children. She describes that beautiful people; symmetrical people most likely have good genes and healthy diets and healthy parents and grandparents.

Your diet now will affect your children, no matter your age. The good news is you can take charge of your health and your genes. Your genetic fate is NOT written in stone. Even if you have bad genes you can change this fate. Act on your health by adopting a healthy diet and active lifestyle.

The modern world is full of nutrient deficiency, even if you are meeting the government guidelines you are probably still not eating enough nutrients to be optimally healthy. We are brainwashed.

We break up foods into carbs, protein, and fat. I have some good and bad news.

  1. Everything you have ever heard about fat is probably wrong.
  2. We eat far too many carbs.

Saturated fat and cholesterol have been demonised, hard. They are not the fats you need to worry about. I have explained this in more depth in my last blog post “Vegetable Oil is killing us.” Read for more information.

The truth is we need natural fats, saturated and unsaturated. We DO NOT need industrialised vegetable oils. Vegetable oil really is KILLING US. Remove it from your diet today.

All carbs are processed in the body in a similar way. ALL carbs end up as sugar. No matter if its chocolate, rice, or brown pasta.

Carbohydrates are important for our health but for the most part they take up too much space. The government guidelines suggest that 38% of our diets should come from unrefined grains (i previously believed this and have conducted enough evidence to change my opinion).

Carbohydrates main function in the body is energy and it provides fibre. However, there is nothing you can get from carbohydrates such as whole wheat bread, pasta, that you cannot get from vegetables. Catherine’s argument is that carbohydrates take up too much space in the diet and revert your intake away from more nutritious foods such as vegetables.

It makes sense. Vegetables are a source of carbohydrate, but they are also a source of many micronutrients. She suggests that you should keep your carbohydrate to 100 grams a day. An easy way to do this is to have one meal that includes a carbohydrate source and the rest of your meals coming from protein, fats, and vegetables.

Shanahan also suggests that our carbohydrate consumption is the reason we are all so fat and can’t keep the weight off. Sugar causes inflammation and a negative insulin response that has been shown to favour the storage of fat over the usage for fuel. Therefore, if the majority of your diet is coming from carbs that are being processed into sugar within your body, you are not providing the most optimal environment for weight loss or even weight maintenance.

A place to start, be more weary of your carbohydrate consumption, try to include more vegetables in place of carbohydrates. Try out some low carb meals. You will find that you can have way more fat (natural fat) and that its delicious.

EAT YOUR BONE BROTH. We’ve all heard of collagen and its benefits for looking young. We don’t get nearly enough collagen in our diets and bone broth is the way to get it in. There are so many recipes that require some type of stock or stock cube. Bone broth is so rich in nutrients and collagen. Boil some bones from healthy, grass fed and even organic meat and reap the benefits in soups, stews.

There are thousands and thousands of opinions on the most optimal diet for health and its important to bear in mind that nothing is proven as it is so difficult to study. This diet makes sense to me, it stands out and is backed up with an umbrella of information and personal experience.

The human diet is simple. Low carbohydrate, plenty of bone broth, more vegetables than fruit, no refined sugar, and fermented foods such as yogurt. Your meals should be made up of mostly vegetables.

If you are interested in the book I HIGHLY recommend reading it.

Your health is the most important thing. Take your health seriously, do your own research, message me if you want to know more. Comment any questions!

Thank you, Mairi

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