Deep Nutrition Summary

1-Sentence-Summary: Deep Nutrition will help you get healthier by explaining the danger of modern dieting techniques that are actually doing harm to your body and making you sick.

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Many of us have probably tried a diet at one point or another. But anyone who is up-to-date on the science of dieting can tell you that diets fail people far more often than they work. In fact, studies show up to 95 percent of diets fail and most will gain the weight back within 1 to 5 years. 

Depressing, right? But if you think about the modern “diet”, it really is no wonder people aren’t set up to succeed. So many of them require expensive, low-calorie, prepackaged “health” foods. Or maybe they require extreme regimens that can’t really be continued in the long run. 

Sure, science has progressed immensely but yet we can see our nutrition lags behind as so many more of us are overweight. The solution? We need to get back to traditional eating and back away from the over-processed foods that dominate supermarkets today. 

In Deep Nutrition: Why Your genes Need Traditional Food, doctor and biochemist Catherine Shanahan shares the solution that your body is begging for. Her plan is based on extensive research on the best diets around the world combined with the latest science in epigenetics. You’ll find eating traditional foods will help your body get the most out of what you take in.

Here are the 3 most important lessons I’ve learned from this book:

  1. Even though medical science has progressed incredibly, our health is still on the decline because of our poor nutrition.  
  2. Avoid vegetable oils and excess sugar to halt unnecessary damage to your body. 
  3. The four pillars of a healthy diet include meat on bone, organs, fermented, and fresh. 

Get that salad ready because after this, you’re going to want to start eating healthier!

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Lesson 1: We may be advancing in medicine at a staggering pace, but it’s not enough to keep up with our bad diets causing a decline in our health.

Though our grandparents have the accomplishment of living longer than any generation previously, we probably can’t count on the same fortune. Sure, medicine has come leaps and bounds, particularly with advancements like vaccines and antibiotics. But we are struggling with a new trend: age-related disease earlier in life. 

These are things like heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis. Doctors are encountering people in their 40s dealing with issues that their parents didn’t have until much older. This is mostly because generations before ate more healthily. Their diets weren’t built around processed foods and they had much more natural food. 

As food became more industrialized, we wrongly villainized saturated fats and cholesterol. We replaced natural things like butter, cream, and eggs with nutrient-poor options claiming to be healthy. One example of this is when we replaced butter with margarine, which is full of trans fats. These artificial fats are linked to many health issues, including atherosclerosis. 

What’s more, we try to replace the nutrients we lack with supplements, which are not as readily absorbed. Rather than learning how to help people with the root of their problems, their nutrition, doctors are quick to recommend artificial supplements. The good news is that if we can skip out on the processed food of today and replace them with more traditional options, many of our wellbeing problems will fix themselves.

Lesson 2: Steer clear of vegetable oils and things with added sugars because they slowly cause damage to your body.

One particularly bad food you should avoid is vegetable oil. Regular vegetable oils such as canola oil have large amounts of trans fats, which disrupt the brain’s antioxidant system. Because the antioxidants can’t help as readily, oxidation occurs, meaning dangerous free radicals threaten your brain by damaging molecules. The brain contains polyunsaturated fats that are particularly vulnerable to oxidation.

Another huge thing to avoid is sugar, which not only damages your brain but just about everything else too.

You may have heard that sugar was found to be more addictive than cocaine when given to rats. We also can get highly addicted. We have designated receptors for sweetness, but the problem is that they were formed when people had barely any access to sugar. So our modern overexposure quickly can overload our brain and we become addicted. 

Sugar disrupts hormones in your brain that regulate the growth of neural connections.

When these are lost, it can lead to dementia. Not to mention diets high and sugar are contributors to heart disease, diabetes, and cancer to name a few. Sugar is bad news all around the body. And more and more, our food is packed with it. To make matters worse, the food industry gives different names to it making it hard for the consumer to always identify it.

Lesson 3: There are Four Pillars to a healthy diet: bone-in meat, organs, fermented/sprouted food, and fresh food.

Now that we know what we should avoid, it’s time to talk about what to eat. The author came up with four pillars that are essential to traditional, healthy diets. The first of these is eating meat cooked on the bone. Not only does it taste better this way, but the bone releases minerals into the meat when it is cooked, making it more nutritious. 

You hear organs and you’re probably thinking this sounds pretty gross. But organs actually have more nutrients than even fruits or vegetables, so they should definitely be considered. A good option is liver, which is extremely nutritious. What’s interesting is that each organ we eat from an animal actually nourishes that organ in our body. 

Sprouted or fermented foods are also super nutritious. Wheat is a big problem for people nowadays. But did you know fixing your issue with wheat may be as any as switching to a sprouted bread?

It’s an ancient technique where soaked seeds or legumes are allowed to start germinating over a few days, releasing nutrients. Fermented foods are also good because microbes help with easier digestion.

Lastly, we have fresh plant foods. You can get all the vital antioxidants you need from fresh greens, herbs, and spices. Some great choices are peppers, broccoli, celery, and garlic. To get the best dose, eat plant foods at the peak of freshness and raw.

Deep Nutrition Review

Deep Nutrition is a really important book for anyone and everyone. It makes sense that a way to curb the health problems we are dealing with more today than ever would be to go back to traditional food. All of the advice feels very doable and it had all of the up-to-date research on nutrition.

Who would I recommend the Deep Nutrition summary to?

The 55-year-old who feels like they’re always getting sick, the 32-year-old couple that would like to have a child, and anyone that wants to become healthier.

Last Updated on September 8, 2022

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Luke Rowley

With over 450 summaries that he contributed to Four Minute Books, first as a part-time writer, then as our full-time Managing Editor until late 2021, Luke is our second-most prolific writer. He's also a professional, licensed engineer, working in the solar industry. Next to his day job, he also runs Goal Engineering, a website dedicated to achieving your goals with a unique, 4-4-4 system. Luke is also a husband, father, 75 Hard finisher, and lover of the outdoors. He lives in Utah with his wife and 3 kids.