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The Empowering Neurologist – David Perlmutter, MD and Dr. Cate Shanahan


Is there any question more fundamental to our health than “What should I eat today?” It’s something we grapple with daily, and how we answer that question can set the tone how we feel for days, weeks, or months. Today on the program I’m joined by Dr. Cate Shanahan, who is here to help us better answer this crucial question.

A bit more about Dr. Cate:

Dr. Cate Shanahan is a board-certified Family Physician. After getting her BS in biology from Rutgers University, she trained in biochemistry and genetics at Cornell University’s graduate school before attending Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. She practiced in Hawaii for ten years where she studied ethnobotany and her healthiest patient’s culinary habits. She applied her learning and experiences in all these scientific fields to write Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food. She consults for the LA Lakers.

I’m certain you’ll enjoy our discussion today. If you want to learn more, be sure to visit Dr. Cate online.

  • Larry Kellogg

    Great interview!! But I am now not certain what is a good plant derived oil and what is not. Olive, coconut and avocado oils good, all others bad? What about flax seed oil? And all the rest?

    Another point about epigenetics, what about lifestyle activities such as heavy exercise and social activities that relate people to each other?

    • Elaine

      Your guest was very technical. She also did not say anything new! I don’t think most people would understand what she said!

  • Ara

    Great interview Dr. Perlmutter. Thank you!

    • David Perlmutter

      Thank you Ara!

  • Kate

    Larry, you need a guide to the different fats and oils which are safe to heat and the ones you should never heat. See Dr Masley’s book. The latter includes olive oil and flax – olive oil best for salad dressings and flax used cold only perhaps in smoothies. Cheap refined oils such as sunflower and canola should be avoided as they are already damaged and will become toxic when heated or worse – reheated.

    Dr Shanahan’s enthusiasm is infectious but she brings no new information to the, er, table. Two decades ago Udo Erasmus wrote ‘Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill’. Poor old Ancel Keys has been lambasted so many times now, he is more famous than the people who write about him. Even he admitted his research was flawed, but when did lack of evidence ever stop governments from dictating what we should eat?

    Similarly, the merits of bone broth – every health guru worth his or her salt has been shouting about it for some time now. In my day we just called it ‘broth’. But a word of caution – back then we didn’t need to worry about the horrors of factory farms. The cattle just munched away at grass in the fields in summer and ate hay in the winter, while chickens just pecked around the farmyard. Not sure about making broth from animals reared with antibiotics, growth hormones and fed grains or corn. Don’t we have to consider what we are eating ate? And aren’t today’s processed meats full of bits of recovered gristle etc? Glycosaminoglycans might not be fully developed in those factory dudes which may not even have room to stand up.

    Organ meats are still available and popular In the UK – New Zealand lamb’s liver, black pudding, haggis, cod roe. Not everyone agrees that sprouted beans are healthy – see ‘The Plant Paradox’ by Steven Gundry. Dr Shanahan’s book is her contribution to the food revolution although the revolution started some time ago.

  • Luc Chene

    Thank you for this nice information, being a biochemist myself I appreciate all that was said.
    About what our “ancestors” ate I tend to disagree. For perhaps 5000 years many humans have eaten grains, but did not evolve one step towards properly digesting gluten. And looking at the whole picture, our genetic make up looks more like a decaying road than a road under construction.
    One big defect is our enzyme which would allow to make vitamin C from glucose which is broken. That gene is broken, probably so many others too.
    That said the idea of our manufactured diet is something that Dr. Weston Price called appropriately “food of commerce” which have had a devastating effect on our health for the past 150 years or so.
    I deeply appreciate your work to let us know all the most relevant information about achieving health!

  • Francie Epperson

    I ordered her book before your interview was even over! I’m reading it now. I have lyme and many co-infections, including many types of parasites. I had stopped allowing myself rare meats for fear of getting more parasites. Does Dr. Shanahan (or Dr. Perlmutter) discuss the issue of parasites when taking in such rare or raw animal products? Thanks!

  • lisapietron

    makes so much sense. we were designed to eat natural foods.

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