Episode 57 – Sugar and Fat the Hidden Epidemic with Dr Cate Shanahan
Welcome to the Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast, where you can learn how to improve your diet, lose fat and get fitter in a sustainable and fun way without spending hours in the gym is your host Darren Kirby.
Welcome back to the podcast, guys. This is the number one cause for dads in their 40s who want to improve their health and fitness. This is Episode 57. And joining me on today’s show is Dr. Cate Shanahan. And we’re going to be discussing the silent epidemic which is affecting all of us right now. Dr. Cate Shanahan is a board of Certified Family Physicians and is a New York Times best selling author of The Fat Burn Fix Nutrition and Food Rules. Her expertize is in reversing disease by fixing the underlying problems that cause metabolic damage and inflammation leading to autoimmunity weight gain, diabetes, cancer and the accelerating aging process. Her passion is helping people feel the best. Hi, Dr. Cate, thanks very much for joining me on the podcast today. How are you?
I’m good, thanks. Between patients, right. With somebody texted me first thing in the morning. I got an email at midnight and I’m going to be more back to more patients all day.
While it’s a pretty intense time for you, then. It’s pretty crazy. Yeah. And so are you working in the traditional because obviously your your health is very different to us. So you’re working in the big hospital or hospitals in Florida or how was your day to day?
I have a unique job. I’m hired directly by a company. So I’m the company doctor. And I was hired in order to get everybody who was a diabetic to not be a diabetic and get everybody with metabolic disease to take their health seriously.
So kind of like a concierge for the corporation, really. And I do mostly remote work by phone because the company has locations all over the state of Florida. So now, though, it’s been converted into trying to help cope with this are the rules around coronavirus. And it’s much more about the rules than the coronavirus itself. Yeah, you know, the majority of people who tested positive here are have no symptoms and just tested because someone else was sick and that they were contacted to in contact with. And you know that we have to keep healthy people out of work. And it’s really difficult.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, I think we talked to a little bit about before we were recording around. The way that is being controlled in the way that is being portrayed, and I think that’s a whole other podcast that we could be better off down a rabbit hole. But, yeah, is is a crazy thing. But I mean, that’s an interesting position that you have in terms of a corporation of recognized and realized that they need to do something about their employees health. Is that a trend that’s happening in the US or is this very a very unique situation?
It’s a unique situation. It’s not a trend. It should be a trend. It would save a lot of money.
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, it definitely would save a lot of money for the NHS in this country as well.
So, by the way, if anybody wants help doing that, I’m available because I can tell you what you need to do. And I thought you would have been busy enough already. Well, this will be over soon, I hope. Yeah, yeah.
Let’s fingers crossed for people that haven’t come across you before. Can you get a bit of background into Dr Cate and how you’ve come to where you’re at today and obviously share the, you know, the other side of your profession in terms of writing and what kind of thing?
Sure, I’m a family medicine doctor, but I’m sort of a nutrition or I’m now a nutrition geek. But I’ve always been a chemistry geek. I really loved biochemistry. And I went through training at Cornell in biochemistry before deciding I really wanted to just be a doctor instead of spend my life in a lab doing basically genetically modified organism research. And so I went through medical schools for years here. Residency is an additional three years here, and that’s all after college and then started working and ended up in Hawaii a couple of years out of training. And shortly after that, I ended up getting really sick with something that had no explanation. I couldn’t walk. I had been an athlete actually. I went to college on a track scholarship and I couldn’t walk. So it was devastating. And I tried everything getting better, including surgery and didn’t work. And it wasn’t until my husband, who was always kind of into cooking and always kind of raised eyebrows over the amount of sugar I would eat on a daily basis, Wright said. You know what, I’m not really impressed by your diet. Like maybe there’s something diet wise you can do. And that was what threw me into this whole different world of realizing that there is a lot more diet wise that I could do and that I really had no clue what a healthy diet was.
You go through medical school and you think because you’ve studied so hard and learned so much, you actually do learn a ton of nutrition. What we don’t learn, you know, nutrition, if you look up the definition, they always they always kind of bash doctors and we don’t learn any nutrition. What’s the definition of nutrition? It’s how it’s how nutrients become. You basically. Well, we study that. We study cell physiology. We study all kinds of aspects of that. But what we don’t study is a healthy diet. Right. So we just kind of regurgitate the same things, the same basic five principles that everybody grows up hearing. We just we just like repeat them and yet we get this pseudo science to support them. So I had once I started looking into really the chemistry of fats is kind of what did it for me. I realized that everything I had learned about Fats was wrong and then actually turned out the other four things that I learned about nutrition were also wrong. And so and I changed all that stuff. And then I did finally get better. So for me, it wasn’t about weight, it was about health. It turns out my immune system was really not working well. I had like a viral infection or something going on in my knee. And that was what was keeping me from walking.
And I have to keep it under control on a daily basis still. Right. It’s ever going to go away. So I always have to be good with my diet. And I’ve had this is almost twenty years now. Right. But so that was my story. And it was a radical change in my practice of medicine. I basically became incompatible with standard hospital practice in a standard hospital system which is for profit here in this country. They want primary care doctors to be too busy to be effective at all. And they all want primary care doctors and everyone else dishing out completely, you know, the five things that we do learn about nutrition, our diet, I should really say. Ah, ah. Exactly backwards, and I, I, I kind of am starting to think it’s, you know, on it’s not by accident that these that the diet advice that we get to watch our salt and avoid fat and think of fat people is, is driving us towards processed food. I don’t think that’s an accident anymore. I looked at the history of this enough. And there’s there’s there’s a reason that the American Heart Association exists. And it has to do with now with funding. They couldn’t exist without funding. Back in the nineteen forties when they started, they didn’t have any funding and then they decided, well we’d like some more money and it was easy to get and they started.
The first infusion was like several million dollars from Procter and Gamble, which makes vegetable oils and hydrogenated oils. And so that was kind of the beginning of the end of any any kind of valid nutrition education in this country. Because long story short, it took about maybe 10, 20 years for for doctors who really were more interested in promoting their own careers to basically become the mouthpieces of Procter and Gamble and like organizations. And so they wormed their way into the hallowed halls of education and academia and Harvard, now Tufts and the Cleveland Clinic, the Mayo Clinic, everybody, they all just the same you know, the same five things and and everybody who looks at it seriously, who has the training and background realizes, oh, this is just wrong. And it’s really a strange place to find yourself as a doctor, because now you’re going up against your own colleagues who are telling that it may be sometimes your patients when you’re on vacation or on holiday, as you say, are there. And they’re they’re they’re telling your patients, oh, no, no, you should be watching your saturated fat. You should be watching your cholesterol. But so it’s really a strain on a doctor working in the system. And that’s why I had to leave.
Yeah, I completely agree. And to be honest, I don’t blame you. And I’m for me who’s coming from a non completely normal medical background. But obviously with the kind of your book and other people that are in the industry that have come out and spoken out like Dr. Mikola and and some other people that we’ve already mentioned, you know what? I can’t get my head around. Um, perhaps this might be around the conspiracy side of things. Is that for me now? Unless I’m too immersed in this, they were all well enough qualified, credible people talking about the fact that the model we follow as a society, whether that’s US or the UK from a from a food and nutrition standpoint, is broken, is broken beyond belief, because it’s not just for my kind of health and fix standpoint, but from a food industry standpoint. You know, once you have the the awareness around this, just the sugar and the fat element, if you just take those two things for me, is just so massive. It’s just so ingrained in our society. And like you say, you know, the the the low fat, what your cholesterol and all that low sugar stuff is just, you know, how could we possibly have a big enough voice to change that? And where do you think that can really start?
Well, that’s a big question, but I think maybe the best place is to just start with our mindset. Right. Because in order to for me to get into this, I didn’t realize what nutrition really was, what it really could potentially do. And that’s why I ended up writing my first book, Deep Nutrition, because we’re showing people the power. First of all, we’re showing people what actual real nutrition is. And second, and it’s not low fat at all by any means. It’s certainly not plant strong for the most part, although people want to go that route. That’s their choice. I don’t have any objections to that other than I just think there’s a lot of a lot more difficulty when you try to do that to get enough protein. But that aside, I think that the reason I wrote nutrition is to show that it goes way beyond your weight. Right. I think now doctors and your average. But also, the doctor kind of ignores people who are normal weight but may have serious health conditions like autoimmune diseases or cancer or like memory problems or neurodegenerative. So we kind of ignore the possibility that diet could have anything to do with that or in my case, immune system stuff. We kind of ignore the possibility if we’re normal weight, which I was, that diet could help. And it’s totally missing a huge opportunity to make people healthy. But we’re on our own.
As far as like the question of like, oh, the system’s really dysfunctional, I think, in terms of it depends who you are, who you who you who you think the system serves because. Right. The system serves the individual health care consumer. I think you need to open your eyes because it’s it’s not. And maybe it was originally sold. We are all sold a bill of goods about that’s what it’s supposed to be for. And maybe, you know, in some halcyon days gone by, it actually was.
But in America, it’s always been run by business. Health care has always been a for profit industry for the most part, except for some church based hospitals. But then they have their own conflicts of interest there as well. But so. So, yeah.
So the mindset really in the opening your eyes to what nutrition can do, and especially when you consider what can it do for your children who you know, since you have a dad podcast, I would imagine a lot of your audience has children and the earlier you start getting the excess sugar out of your child’s bodies and even more important than the sugar is getting the seed oils out of her children. But those bodies, because we talk about fat, almost like there’s only one kind of fat. And if we avoid it or eat it, we’re good. Right? There’s the low fat people want to avoid fat and the high fat people want to eat more fat. But what matters is not the amount, but the kind of fat. And that’s why. And nutrition and the fat from I describe the the vast, incredible amount of damage and inflammation you’re going to experience if you’re assuming soy, sunflower, canola, corn. And these things are in everything. And I don’t know what it’s like over there, but most responsible serving to you pizza joints, most take out places and even like supposedly healthy foods like salad dressing and peanut butter or stuff like that, you’re going to find these oils added to to those foods. And it’s it’s it’s quite the eye opener once you start looking at. Yeah. And so people can feel overwhelmed too. But what that really means is that explains what you started to do is you find that anywhere from for the average person anyway, 30 to 50 percent of their daily calories was coming from one of these seed oils. And that means that 30 to 50 percent of your daily calories was in effect just there are making you sicker. So imagine how much better you can feel if you start eating natural healthy fats that weren’t made in factories. And that is that are, you know, capable of making you so healthy. It’s what your body wants their life getting.
Yeah, I think for me, my kind of approach now, particularly with my children, is that so I was getting, you know, probably about six months ago very frustrated around the fact of why we’re continuing down this road and kind of why it’s so ingrained in the food chain. If you like, the sugars in the fast. And the approach that I’ve now taken is that that’s not necessarily going to change. In decades. And but what I feel that can help and what can change and that that’s education and education at the children’s level, so, you know, getting the kids to understand that, you know, what’s in food, what’s bad about food, what’s good about food, what what we need, what we don’t need. And I think if we approach it from an educational standpoint, that is going to start to help. I don’t think it’s the ultimate fix, but it is going to start to help the children make informed decisions around what foods they have and how they consume. And, you know, just to touch on a couple of points. You talk about, you know, the the American system, the health system is obviously for profit.
Whilst the UK system isn’t for profit, you know, it is is run by the government and funded by the government. I strongly believe that there is a huge element of pharmaceuticals involved in the incentivisation of drugs and all the rest of it in our health system. And, you know, I we cannot continue in this country to grow the NHS, to grow the health services, as amazing as it is. In the way it is by just continually throwing money at it, because we’re now talking like obesity’s about something like thirty three percent of people that go and see the NHS or go through the system is because of obesity. And if you dial that back to what I just said, you know, if people are educated or if people understand what’s what’s good and what’s bad, it’s not a case of stopping. Having staff is having in a different way and understanding what it does. I think that that for me and we good to get your thoughts on that. Know that is the way that I think we have to start approaching it.
Yes. So the problem is that the oils make folks so the soy this the the corn, the kernel of the seed oils, these are full of inflammatory. Paul, the term for the kind of fat is polyunsaturated fat. So since we’ve all been told that saturated fat is unhealthy, we’ve been eating more and more of these. And in this country, we we used to get something like two to four percent of our total calories from polyunsaturated fats. And now it’s something like 20 to 30 percent just from the polyunsaturated fat part of the oils. And so that’s the problem is that we’re consuming these things because what they do actually and I talk about this in the fat from fix is they make us sugar addicts because they they prevent our bodies from being able to get energy from our body fat. So the more of these oils that we consume, the more we become in need of a quick fix and the more that we go after basically junk food, whether or not it’s sold as junk food, it is junk food. And so we have to become more aware of what really is it that makes junk food, junk food. So a lot of people think they’re having some kind of a protein bar or a healthy, like milk substitute or like a vegan burger or something like that. Chances are there’s a seed oil in the food bar or the vegan burger and definitely in the salad dressing, like I mentioned. So these things, they with this effect on our bodies where they make us sugar addicts over time by building up in our body fat, to the extent that we can’t get energy from our body fat, that’s how they work their black magic.
These oils that I call them dark calories sometimes because nobody pays attention to them and they do work this black magic in our body, making it so that when our cells try to burn our body fat, they suffer with inflammation and then they can’t get energy efficiently so that they give up really using fat and the cells have to get energy somewhere else to survive. And the only other alternative that’s always available to them is sugar, because we always have some in our bloodstream. Yeah. And so over time we become insulin resistant because of that. Then we become prediabetic, then we become diabetic. So you cited like thirty three percent obesity. I think if you count obesity and overweight together in America, it’s like in the eighties in a dorm. Yeah. And but if you if you look at diabetes and prediabetes, also in America, it’s at least 50 percent in adults. And if you include insulin resistance, it’s probably also very close to what the overweight and obesity rates are. And so it’s not just the weight that’s a problem. It’s the kind of fat that you store because that fat, if it’s full of these seed oils, if that’s what’s been in your diet and in this country, it almost always has, then you are on your way to developing diabetes. And it’s not just a destination. Right, like type two diabetes. And that’s the only kind of diabetes I’m talking about. I should clarify. Right. I’m not talking about type one. It’s a totally different disease. But Type two diabetes is not something that you you suddenly wake up one day and have and now you have to take medications for it. If if you’ve developed type two diabetes, you’ve been sick for decades. And it’s just been overlooked because doctors also don’t learn how to diagnose this condition called insulin resistance. Yeah. So the only reason that we know the prevalence rates is because of specific studies that were done. You know, when they do studies on it, they find that most people are actually already insulin resistant as adults.
So and that’s a serious metabolic problem that that, yes, it’s related to weight, because when you have this metabolic problem, you need sugar much more often. You crave sugar. It’s almost impossible to use willpower to resist these kinds of briefings where your energy is low when your brain fog. So you want something that’s going to raise your blood sugar, whether it’s sweets or just starchy carbs. But in that scenario, you’re going to gain weight eventually. But it’s it’s not the driving factor. We always talk about it as willpower. But that’s a that’s also a blaming the victim kind of mentality. It’s not lack of willpower for most of the weight that we gain. Sure. There’s some there’s some element of that.
But most of the weight that we gain is is invisible overeating because we’re driven towards carbohydrates and sugars for energy. It’s it’s no amount of willpower when our cells are craving energy and literally will die. Our brain cells do die. If we have a really bad hypoglycemic episode, you can get small spots in your brain so that when you do a brain scan, you actually see tiny, tiny little strokes that you’ve had. A lot of people have migraine sets that they have and they think it’s just a headache. But it can actually be truly such a severe energy deficit that they have a small, tiny little stroke. So but that’s what’s driving people to eat more. It’s not a sudden deficit of willpower. And certainly the fact that we I’m not saying that we don’t have an obesogenic environment. Of course we do. We have that, too. But if we just had you know, if we had the same foods laying around us, but instead of being made out of seed oils, they were made out of actual natural fats. They even though they’d actually probably taste better, we wouldn’t have such a hard time resisting them because we cannot we just physically cannot resist eating something. If our brain is telling us that it needs energy, that’s called hypoglycemia. And a lot of people are diagnosed with hypoglycemia and told that they need to snack. And that’s exactly the worst possible advice we could be giving, because the snack, the more they’re just going to be getting more of the oils and sugar, of course. Right. And so they’re just going to be gaining weight eventually.
Yeah. And I think you mentioned there about vegan and protein and stuff like that. And I think that’s another hidden real risk for people because, you know, when people actually start to take the action to say, I’m going to change my dog, I’m going to start eat healthy. And so as consumers, we sell to buy the food companies with the packaging in terms of, you know, you might say zero fat or be good to yourself. Or the biggest thing now is particularly in the UK, protein is everywhere. Protein is in Snickers, Imal, Mars bars, you know, and people then get taken off or down another path where they think that because it says protein on it or because he’s vegan is healthy, we’re in actual fact, it can be just as unhealthy or just, you know, as bad as all the processed foods that we talked about because of the oils and stuff that they put in these foods and the replacement sugars to still might entice noise. So I think that’s a very real risk for people. In the end, obviously, that will come onto this to the four pillars in a moment. But the other thing I wanted to mention, too, is that particularly with children, I noticed for kids at my son’s schools, there is an increasing amount of diagnoses for children of ADHD and aid. And I truly believe that. And I’ve not had it proven, but I believe it’s down to the diets. You know, kids are becoming hyperactive. You know, they don’t have concentration and stuff like that and think they may not have chocolate in their lunchboxes and stuff like this. But I can bet your bottom dollar, they’ve got a load of other processed foods which are not doing, you know. Any good to to their guts when you know, you’ve got the gut brain connection, the inflammatory stuff that goes up into the brain and things like that. So what what’s your view on that side of things?
I think that we should be doing IQ tests, and if we had been doing IQ tests, I think we would be seeing a decline. There’s no possible way children can be building healthy brains on the kind of foods that they grow up eating the majority. Right. If we’re eating processed everything we are. We’re not we’re just not getting enough nutrition. And there’s so much that that we take for granted in terms of, you know, a healthy what is a healthy baby? Ten fingers, ten. OK, so even if they’re born premature or they have feeding problems and breathing problems, even if the formula that they get causes skin problems or allergies or whatever, we we don’t see that as a serious problem, indicating that this child is extremely malnourished or it has the potential to be because they are when they do studies on pregnant women in their diets in America. Any given nutrition, there’s nobody that’s one hundred percent. I’m sorry, there’s no any vitamin or mineral that they study in terms of pregnant women. Are they getting enough? It always says no, always. There’s always a certain portion of the population. And usually it’s high like 20 to 50 percent that are not getting enough of any given vitamin.
So when you look at all the vitamins, absolutely nobody almost is getting enough of all of them unless they’re following unless they’re aware of somebody who I think doctors all should know about. This is west Western a price. And we can talk about that in a minute. But, you know, there’s a tiny minority of people who are diving into what true nutrition is, taking a deep dove into nutrition. So maybe they’re going to book. But, you know, those people do get good nutrition for their babies and they’re giving their children the best chance. But again, it’s I don’t also want to come across like I’m blaming parents. When I was a doctor, I didn’t know what real nutrition was for myself. And so, of course, I don’t expect parents to know. But I do hope that they have the the interest in learning what real nutrition is and the power that it has, not just to revolutionize their own health, but to give their children a fighting chance. I mean, I we talk about it when we talk about it with adults. We talk about biohacking and optimizing. But the sad fact is that because we’ve so done such a bad job with nutrition, that the current generation of children being born is preprogramed to get diabetes type two.
Yeah. And a much higher rate. They’re genetically epigenetically really preprogramed for that. So they have they’re walking a tightrope in a way that the human race has really never experienced before. And it’s so much more important for this generation that’s been born in the past 20 years to optimize their diet. Yeah. To be able to function normally. Right. It’s it’s like the bar has been so low for so long on what health is and a healthy diet that we’ve produced generation after generation of people who are less healthy and have lesser capacity for longevity and athleticism and fertility and terrifyingly perhaps even intelligence. You know, I mean, what does it mean that we have all these children with autism and ADHD and mood disorders and learning disorders? Well, I mean, take a look at the big picture. What do you think it means? We’re having our average IQ is no longer a hundred like it used to be high. Who knows? But no one’s looking into this. And in the big picture kind of way, no one’s got like the the guts really to ask these questions because the results might be just too terrifying to talk about.
Yeah. I mean, like you say, you know, that could open up a whole can of worms. And I’m not sure if this is in your book, but I think I read somewhere around the the study that was done in nineteen fifty two around. Fats and how I think it was the US government knew that the doctor that had come up with this was incorrect, but they actually still carried on going down the path of recommended you to stay away from from saturated fat. So, you know, unfortunately, whether or not the government is still run by humans and humans can still get things wrong or choose to carry on down a path that they know is not correct. And to try and reverse that now, you know, to try and reverse it, particularly on this whole saturated fat thing, is is is going to is going to take lifetimes for it to happen. Because, you know, when I talk to people about the fact that you need saturated fats and I have saturated fat, more thought you get a horrified look from people. Yeah. You know, particularly my parents during the 70s. So the baby boomers, because that was drilled into them.
Right. We’ve been so program. But, you know, you earlier you said, you know, let’s start with the younger generations. And that’s exactly how how we got into this mess. I mean, that is the solution. Right. But as far as getting this belief system that we now have in place, they just kept repeating it until the younger generation of doctors, starting with like my my dad is also a doctor, starting with my dad in the 70s. You just got to drill into him. He never really learned the alternative. You go back. It’s true. In the fifties, doctors were skeptical of this. And they just, you know, the the Madison Avenue and the people who owned giant corporations have a long enough view and a lot of time they’re going to be around forever. So they’re like, okay, well, let’s just keep drilling this message home and eventually doctors will essentially grow up learning this stuff. And so that’s part of why they stick it on cereal boxes. And, you know, it’s part of the benefit of having commercials of Cheerios is going to lower your cholesterol. It sent the message to that seven year old who’s sitting there watching the TV show with their dad that, look, that cholesterol is bad. And so that’s exactly what they did. And so now we’re in a situation where if you want to undo it, then we, like you said, the most effective way to do it is that slow motion. Just let’s just repeat the facts. But unfortunately, there’s it’s not like I mean, it’s had a cost. It’s exacted a toll already. And so here we are now with this altered state of being human where it’s normal. I mean, if 80, 80 something percent of adults are obese or overweight and the same percentage of them have a metabolic disruption called insulin resistance, it’s not normal to be unhealthy. And how can we possibly expect that kind of you know, if our adults are unhealthy, how can we expect our children to come out healthy if we’re not making ourselves healthy and we’re doing the same stuff?
Yeah. Yeah, exactly. They lead by example, a very simple, very simple point. They just follow their example. We set a very bad, poor example and continue to do so. So in your book, obviously nutrition, you talk about the four pillars.
So can we go through what the four pillars are and exactly what they mean and kind of how you came about, the four pillars where I came about it, because once I realized that everything I had learned about diet in medical school, the five things were wrong.
So it’s basically, you know, I learned fat makes you fat, cholesterol clogs your arteries, salt is causing hypertension.
You should eat often, you know, to to regulate your blood sugar. Right. You need to get small meals. And athletes especially need to consume a lot of carbohydrates. So those five things are all wrong. So once I swallowed that bitter pill, I was like, OK, well, how do we figure out what people really do need to eat? And I was fortunate to come across a book called Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, written by somebody who asked the same question but long ago that he could actually travel the world to isolated groups of people who had not been influenced by any kind of commercialism or factory refining of food and who lived basically that way people had always done, which is to say self sufficiently off the land. Very simple. And he that what the book that he wrote, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, is his book, he says, is that people are not supposed to get cancer. People are not. Supposed to be susceptible to so many infections, we’re actually supposed to have nearly perfect teeth and perfect vision, we’re not even even just the idea that wearing glasses is just like, oh, well, it’s bad luck. No, actually, it’s a result of malnutrition of some sort. So that kind of opened my eyes to the fact that, wow, we really need a lot more nutrition because he described in his book the extreme labor that was involved in I mean, it wasn’t really hard labor, but it was just a thought process, the extremely deep thinking that went into how are we going to live off the land? How are we going to afford to fortify the soil? How are we going to make sure that our animals are healthy? How are we going to keep our children as healthy as possible? Because if you have a child one hundred years ago and they don’t have street teeth, well, they could die because there were no antibiotics and crooked teeth get infected with abscesses and abscesses become sepsis and sepsis is fatal.
So people took health and preventative nutrition really much, much more seriously. They understood the profound importance of it in a way that is absent from our society. And so what my husband and I did was we said, OK, well, this is a really great book, but it doesn’t really tell you what is a healthy diet, because the people that he studied in the 11 societies who went to war all over the globe and they had radically different diets. So one was the ensuite up in Canada, where it was mostly meat, very few vegetables. One was one group was the Massai in Africa, where it was all animal based, but it was mostly milk and blood and so radically different and strange. And then he went to Hawaii where there was just a ton of fish and all different kinds of animals. And even though they had access, they could have grown a lot of vegetables. It wasn’t a huge, huge part of their diet. Among the healthiest people.
Right. And it seems as though so what my husband and I started noticing was a pattern of well, it seems as though where you get people who come away from the abundance of their ecosystem, the first thing that goes away is the animal products. And they start relying more on farming in their own vegetables that they can grow. And in our case and Western civilization, actually in a lot of the world, it became starchy stuff. So in Asia, they started eating more rice and in a lot of the western part of the world, we started eating more wheat based products. And I thought that rice and wheat are toxic. It’s just that they they displace healthier, higher nutrition foods, except when the farmers paid just meticulous attention to the health of the soil. So in places like Scotland, where oats were actually a huge part, a relatively huge part of the diet, Dr Price, who wrote the book, found that the the oats that they grew in Scotland had massive amounts of minerals and much more much more nutritious than the oats that were growing in America. So they were effectively, erotically, even though we call them both oats, they were radically different foods. And so then to write nutrition, what my husband and I did was we said, OK, well, is there anything that everywhere that price went did that was common to all all those 11 places and beyond that, was there any anything that everybody everywhere did?
And we found that there were four things. And these things became the four pillars of the human diet, which we described as essential. Like there are actually strategies. It’s not like it’s food, like an apple. It’s a strategy. So there’s four of them. Right. So these strategies are you eat fresh food and that’s one you a lot of fresh food and you need to store it. Well, then you ferment it. Or in the case of a seed, to make it more nutritious, seeds naturally store well, but when you want to wake them up, you’ve just brought them. So the second pillar, the second pillar is fermented and sprouted in. Then the third is what we call meat on the bone. So we use the skin. When we cook meat, we use the bone and all the joints and the fat and it makes it the most tender, juicy, delicious, and it gives us more than just protein.
It also helps build our connective tissue, which is the determining factor of our. With healthy connective tissue, we can feel young even when we’re old for a lot longer.
And the fourth pillar is nobody’s favorite, but it’s it’s the most kind of exotic is the organ meats. Right. So this is where the nose to tail eating idea that’s coming back a little bit. It’s including all the parts of the animal because that’s actually what people really went after and a lot of ways and a lot of places where they were very, very meat heavy, the humans, a lot more of the organs than their pets. And they would give in the in Canada, the Inuit, they and the other Eskimos studied up there. They would feather the Tenderloin and like the lean meets to their dogs. Right. And they would eat the fattier parts and the much more nutritious organs keep them for themselves. So even though it seems like something you might never want to eat, it’s it’s actually extraordinarily nutritious and, you know, even just starting to include a little bit of liver in your diet once you can do a massive amount of good.
Yeah, so yeah, oh, I agree, I think I think to just touch on the liver side of things, when I was growing up, when I was about nine or ten, we would have liver once a week. And it seems to you know, we we’ve definitely gone away from that. And particularly in the UK now, it’s almost seen as a little bit like a delicacy. So this whole kind of nice to tell eating that’s coming back, I think is very, very important. But people are not aware of that, are they? They’re not aware of that kind of style of eating.
No, but if they’re foodies, they they naturally kind of gravitate that way, like they’ll go to the people who are foodies or into cooking. It’s so easy for them, for me to work with folks who know how to cook and who are really into food because they’ll they’ll often be like, oh, I love liver. You mean I can have liver pâté for lunch and it’s good for me. And they’ll just just be like, those are the folks that have the fastest and most profound health turnaround’s when they start understanding what, oh, this lean stuff and, you know, salt and everything that I’ve been sort of enduring for years just because I thought I was healthy, I can a bit forget about all that and just go with the flow of what I’ve been wanting all along. Yeah. And that’s how, you know, that’s that’s the real I guess, the real benefit of growing up in a household where somebody loves cooking. Because if you grow up in a household like that, you have this huge advantage of being exposed to better food and better and real and develop a real healthy natural appetite for real nutrition. Well, I grew up with an appetite for sugar and calories. You know, like I didn’t I didn’t even think carrots, teeth are good. I thought they did cardboard once I started getting rid of those vegetable oils, which were inflaming my brain, including the appetite centers of my brain, preventing me from being able to enjoy real nutrition as you taste it was a whole new world of flavor opened up to me.
And that’s the fun part of it, right? Like the down side is OK. Yeah. So you have to think about food differently and change a lot of habits. That’s hard. But the upside is you’re going to actually enjoy eating extremely healthy foods and you’re not I’m not going to say you’re going to crave them because I don’t really find myself craving having cravings anymore. So I mean, I hate to say that I’m taking away your cravings. I’m not like you can still crave whatever you want. It’s just that you want to be in control. You know, once the sugar cravings, you have so much more control, especially if you’re sugar added. A lot of people aren’t. And they go more for like the starchy, salty stuff. But regardless, once you get those vegetable oils out of your diet, you’re going to find that you have so much more control over your eating habits and and your cravings are going to be working for you because you might be like preparing dinner. And you’re like, well, I don’t have time to make a salad. But you know what? While I’m while I’m making my hamburger, I’m just going to peel a carrot and chomp on that. And it’s actually tasty.
Yeah. Yeah, I think I think that’s the biggest thing is that they change in the taste buds. So I know about eight years ago when I started switching my door, you know, I can really taste now when there’s a small amount of sugar in something and you you get that taste, you get that taste in your taste buds back and you can taste how the food is supposed to taste. And I think the other thing that you mentioned around cravings, there’s a big difference between cravings and what you fancy. And I think to kind of maybe elaborate a little bit on your point around cravings, I think we all fancy sweet stuff at some stage. But there’s a very big difference between fancy and craving something, because, like you said, cravings are uncontrollable. And I know I’ve had this in the past when my diet was an end point, like there is nothing that is going to stop you from eating that chocolate or eating that whole. You know, I went for a stage where I actually would eat the kids Easter eggs like I had no holds barred. I would chow into that and eat it with no disregard for the fact that I was going to upset the kids. And so that’s the difference between fancy something and craving something. I think, you know, when you take this the sugar out of your diet and you eat what I call the nutrient dense foods, that you don’t have the need for that anymore.
Exactly, and that’s like the real victory. Yeah, and so once once you get there, then it’s way not about willpower anymore, it’s about planning and, you know, having the food in your house so that when you come home from a long day at work, if we ever all get back to work, you can feel the energy and skill to be able to make yourself a whip up. A quick dinner.
Hmm, definitely. So you mentioned about the fact that you use Scotland as an example where they grow the use and stuff like that. And I really want to get your views on this. And that is around veganism and the how popular it’s become and and how a lot of people are citing how is this kind of holy grail. And now I think there’s two things for this. One side of it is obviously the environmental side of it, which I think you can kind of put to one side, because if people want to do veganism because of that, then absolutely that’s what you should do. But this whole notion around the fact that meat is bad and, you know, just a complete plant based is the way to go. There’s never there’s never a one kind of a one sided view or approach to any kind of food or diet protocol. And I believe it’s a high level. And you mentioned soil. And I believe that for me, it’s about the way that food is farmed. And I think we have over farmed or over farming, whether that’s meat, whether that’s vegetables or fruit or the rest of it. Do you agree or disagree with that? Because I think there’s less nutrients in the soil on the earth which the cattle grazing on all the food is grown in the.
Yes, and then that’s a huge problem, right? Michael Pollan, who is an American writer, you wrote a book called The Botany of Desire. And in Defense of Food, he uses a term called the notional vegetable like a notional tomato. It looks like a tomato, but it doesn’t really smell or taste like a real tomato should. And yes, this is due to the fact that we don’t pay attention to the soil, enough of the we don’t. We just want to produce something tomatoes that all look the same that can ship over long distances, that can be picked unripe and ripen on a truck. And it’s just yeah, that’s it makes it another tough.
Another thing that makes it tough to be a vegetarian or vegan is that at least the meat, even though they suffer, the animals that we produce still suffer literally. And they, you know, they suffer from the same kind of they’re not as nutritious either as they should be or could be, but they’re still far more nutritious than our vegetables now. So it’s really, really hard for someone who wants to avoid eating animals to get all the nutrition unless they’re basically growing stuff themselves or that you end up having to supplement quite a bit and the supplement may not be as effective. Yeah, so but I mean, there’s such a thing. So on the topic of environmental health, I, I don’t like this idea that, like the vegans have cornered the market on what’s good for the environment because but I don’t think you can really talk about the what’s good for the environment without talking about making the soil healthier and do that. But there is a movement called regenerative farming and regenerative ranching where they. Yeah, if you haven’t heard of it, you will love it because this is like the only hope basically for for having a dramatic impact on the carbon issue, because it actually if you farm and ranch this way, you can actually extract so much carbon out of the air that if everybody adopted it, we could reverse our carbon CO2 counts down to what they were before the industrial era, supposedly.
Wow. I mean, it’s just a massive it’s a massive change in our farming practices, to be sure. But it would make the animals healthier, would make the product taste better. It would make the animals happier. I mean, they’re good to be outside and running around in herds and getting exercise and sunshine. So it’s just like it’s an all around win win kind of scenario. And what I don’t like is the vegans who will just reflexively shut it down because no, no, you can’t do that or whatever their belief system just happens to be. And there’s two really strong ones. The the idea that saturated fat is unhealthy and animal animal protein is somehow not healthy and the environmental thing. But those are two fallacies that are really preventing any kind of progress in producing better food for for the world. This isn’t a localized problem in this country. It’s all over the world.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
No, I definitely agree. I think, though, one one of my views is that I think it’s the Western world, because if you go back, like you said before, if you go back to what we class’s kind of third world, whilst from an economic standpoint, those countries are very, very challenged. They all farming how we used to farm many generations ago. So I think they are potentially in a slight obviously, provided they have a food chain and there is food available. But when they do have it, I believe that they are much better placed to get more nutrient dense food than the Western world. And so, yeah, I mean, that’s just a just a view from my side, but that’s kind of what I feel. But when we’re talking about, obviously supplementation, as you mentioned there, what is your view on supplementation if you are eating a healthy balance thought, do you think it’s necessary or do you think it depends on an individual basis?
Yes, it’s necessary and depends on the individual right. So I think because the soil’s been depleted, it’s basically impossible to get the dose of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that we actually need in order to be optimally healthy. So I always recommend people do a small little regimen of vitamins, mostly vitamins and minerals, to cover their bases a little bit. So I have recommendations in the Fat Perfect’s and also on my website as far as the supplements that I recommend and how to cover your bases. But it’s just getting supplementing with vitamins and minerals and not supplementing with, like loads of other bits and pieces of food, because in my mind that dissects what could have been healthy food and makes it less healthy. Right. So people are doing all kinds of weird stuff like Pea Protein or Pignol Journal, which came from some bark of some tree or extracts of this or that fruit. And it’s just insanity. And we’re taking basically decent food there and turning it into pretty much worthless, for the most part, stale powers. I mean, so I’m not very popular with people who actually sell supplements, but that’s the biochemistry of the reality of just processing. It never adds nutrition. But I think we’ve got this idea since we saw Thayn commercials and the like. I grew up in the 70s and there were these commercials for this orange powder flavored drink that was basically just sugar and orange flavor and some vitamin C added after the fact. And supposedly they brought into space for the astronauts to eat. And somehow we have this idea that it concentrates the nutrition. Right. That’s what Madison Avenue has done to our minds, that when we take a natural, plump, ripe fruit or any actual piece of food and we run it through some tubes and things in a factory and ended up putting it into a powder container or a pill, somehow we’ve concentrated the best stuff and gotten rid of all the empty calories. And that’s not at all what happens. We’ve basically converted it from something healthy into something not not worth very much.
Yeah, yeah, I mean, like you say, the supplement industry is a very interesting industry and again, that’s a whole other can of worms that we could open and disappear off down into. To be honest, I believe truly the supplementation is is necessary for, you know, for the just for them from how food is produced. But I don’t believe that is I believe that it has to be in a bioavailable form in its individual state, if you like, and not mixed together with with other supplements. That’s my kind of belief. And like I say, I’m not a practitioner or anything like that, but to me, that seems more logical. So, yeah, it’s interesting, but. Toxic, before we wrap up today, I know it’s been a really interesting and fascinating conversation, I could talk to you all day, so but obviously we can’t do that. But before we wrap up, what would you say for people listening would be the five key actions that you would recommend that they could take away? I just thought kind of making a change to, you know, the diets that we are presented with right now in terms of the fats and the sugars for sure.
So, yeah, and the fat from fix, I actually lay out five steps that’ll pretty much get you there back to health. And so the first step is to swap out the toxic Doyles for whole food based real fats.
The second one is to swap out the refined sugars and flours that give your body sugar and raise your blood, your carbohydrates. We call them sometimes for whole food based carbohydrates that will not raise your blood sugar or affect your insulin. So, for example, instead of white flour and bread made from white flour, I recommend sprouted grain bread we talked about. That’s one of the pillars.
The third thing I recommend is drink water, because, you know, it’ll it’ll help you in so many ways that I elucidate what they are. But for one thing, it gets you off of a hopefully gets you off of a soda habit or habit, which has just so many people get two, three, four hundred calories of empty calories every single day from that. And the fourth is salt, because the idea that salt is unhealthy is itself an unhealthy idea. So it’s really the scapegoat for why is junk food unhealthy. Right. But so like when doctors think of wire chips unhealthy, the best answer they’re going to give you usually as well. It’s got salt in it, but that’s actually salt of the only thing that’s healthy about chips. What’s really unhealthy is the cereals that are in there. And then so after so dense and that your body can handle like a ton of salt because if you eat too much salt, you’ll just end up picking it up. So there’s no way you can hurt yourself with salt unless you you have totally dysfunctional kidneys and like you’re on dialysis or you’re in heart failure, but you have to restrict everything. So and then the fifth thing is supplement with vitamins and minerals. Right. Because like I say and you say, it’s not in the soil, it’s not in our food. So we need to get ourselves cover our bases. And I give I do give people some guidance on how to tell, based on their diet what they are most likely deficient in. That’s going to be the most important to supplement so they don’t have to swallow everything under the sun.
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, because you can be a minefield in itself and about 50 or 60 different supplements.
So, yeah, that’s amazing. That’s great. Simple advice that people can follow. So before we wrap up then, is there anything that I didn’t ask that you feel that I should have asked you which would benefit the people listening?
Yeah, I guess if you had asked do do folks have to worry about their cholesterol levels of their cholesterol is high? The answer is no. And the you know, in this country, something close to 20 percent of adults are taking statins to lower their well and that those are pretty toxic drugs and they do some damage to your body. Yeah, that’s that’s really why I like I don’t I don’t agree with the practice of prescribing statins to just anyone with, like, you know, and I don’t believe it’s based on their high cholesterol intake. It’s based on whether or not they smoke and eat C Doyle’s that they’re going to benefit from taking a cholesterol pill.
Yeah, definitely. I think that’s again, that’s a whole other topic that we could discuss. I mean, it’s just.
Yeah, amazing how how bad those drugs, all the statins I’m talking about. Yeah. So and the whole cholesterol thing as well, which is another interesting topic. So I really sincerely appreciate you coming on today with all of the the stuff you’re dealing with a pandemic. But how can people connect with you? Where can they find out more about you and all of your books?
So go to Dr. Cate Dotcom, which is my website, and that’s DR is D-R. And then Cate is with a C and there’s a doctor. So D.R.C. dot com. And I’ll have I have lots of information there. I’ve got shopping guides that under the free resources tabs you can find and information about the three different books that I’ve written so you can decide which one you need to rush out and get immediately.
Absolutely. What I like I said, I’m two thirds of the way through deep nutrition. So I highly recommend that book and also, you know, the fat benefits and you’ve got some fantastic resources on your website. So for the listeners, I should definitely, definitely check that out. And all the links for your website and books and everything will be in the show notes so people can check that out there. So finally, thank you again for coming on to the podcast today. I really appreciate your time and look forward to speaking to you again in the future.
Well, thanks so much for having me. It’s been great talking to you.
Thank you. Thanks for listening to the Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please subscribe. And I would really appreciate if you could leave a review on iTunes or the things mentioned in the website will be in the show notes and a full transcription is over at Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast.