BOOK NERD : Kickass Quotes from Deep Nutrition - Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food by Catherine Shanahan, MD


Dr. Catherine Shanahan is a thoroughly modern woman.

I thought I should mention that first, as I now see that taking quotes from her book out of context might make her delivery seem stuffy and above the average health-seekers' level of interest.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Deep Nutrition is a fascinating read.

It's also controversial, as most diet-related books are.

Vegetarians, for instance, are inclined to dislike this book, and if you are unwaveringly committed to a vegan lifestyle, you might want to skip it all together.

There are also those who have accused Dr. Shanahan of having a beauty bias, as she claims there is a direct correlation between beauty and health.

I actually found that piece intriguing, and it's one of the many reasons this book is at the top of my list of favorite health reads.

I've never been one to shy away from controversy, and I admire researchers who can present unpopular findings with confidence.

What Deep Nutrition promotes is the idea that there are Four Pillars of cuisine that are foundational to just about every traditional culture on the planet and that by reintroducing these pillars back into our diets we can improve our own health and that of future generations...

"...the genetic lottery is not random... when we've eaten right- when our chromosomes have marinated long enough in the chemical soup that enables them to do their utmost best- Homo sapiens genes can produce extraordinary beauty." -Catherine Shanahan, MD

"We live in a world of sugar. The single most common organic molecule on Earth is glucose, a kind of sugar. But unlike the candy garden in Willy Wonka's factory, we can't just eat anything we see." -Catherine Shanahan, MD

"Other animals can hunt, but only humans have learned to extract every last bit of nutritional content from the edible world around us." -Catherine Shanahan, MD

"If you think the wealthy- members of the upper, upper social class- would ever touch the foods we eat daily, the foods relentlessly touted as healthy, you'd be mistaken. No, the most priveleged among us eat very much the way their great-great-great-grandparents ate." -Catherine Shanahan, MD

"Given that the privileged can, and typically do, eat the way we all used to, and given that this shift in eating habits first occurred over a century ago and that the effects of continued nutrient deprivation are magnified with each generation, the widening gap between nutritional-physiological classes should place the other issues of class differential well into the background." -Catherine Shanahan, MD

"Orwell warned that the acceptance of newspeak is no small matter; it can ultimately convince us to trade liberty for totalitarianism. So what have we lost by accepting the reductionists' foodspeak?" -Catherine Shanahan, MD

"Given the highly competitive world of survival, it seems obvious that those genetic codes capable of listening to the outside world and using that information to guide decisions would enjoy a marked advantage compared with those stumbling in the dark, dependent completely on luck." -Catherine Shanahan, MD

"By denying our bodies the foods of our ancestors and severing ourselves from our culinary traditions, we are changing our genes for the worse. Just as corporations have rewritten the genetic codes of fruits and vegetables to better suit their needs, they are now in effect doing the same thing to us." -Catherine Shanahan, MD

"The two basic steps to accomplishing genomic rehabilitation are 1) stop eating toxins, and 2) start eating according to the Four Pillars of World Cuisine." -Catherine Shanahan, MD

"Genetics is all about information. Your genetic wealth is a function of how much of the information in your genes has been damaged or remains intact, and how well the supportive epigenetic machinery is able to express the surviving data contained in your genetic code." -Catherine Shanahan, MD

"To gauge the present condition of your genetic data, you can begin by asking your parents and grandparents what they ate when they were little." -Catherine Shanahan, MD

"In a sense, our lifestyles teach our genes how to behave. In choosing between healthy and unhealthy foods and habits, we are programming our genes for either good or bad conduct." -Catherine Shanahan, MD

"Fermented foods, full of probiotics, protect the intestinal tract from invading pathogens. Since a healthier intestine is more able to take in nutrients, probiotics may prevents infections and allergic disorders from developing elseweher in the body, reducing the need for repeated doses of antibiotics." -Catherine Shanahan, MD

"Traditional cooking methods often make nutrients more bioavailable and are, for that reason, anti-inflammatory." -Catherine Shanahan, MD

"Vegetables contain a higher nutrient-to-energy ratio than fruit. Even fruits with decent nutrient content- like wild blueberries- are full of sugar... for most people, eating one apple-sized portion of fruit per day is plenty." -Catherine Shanahan, MD

"You can taste how much nutritional power a given plant is packing: More intense flavor means more intense nutrition." -Catherine Shanahan, MD

"The Four Pillar foods instruct your body to do it's very best, and once you start eating them, better health will come automatically." -Catherine Shanahan, MD

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