Summary: What is The China Study? It’s the largest comprehensive study of human nutrition ever conducted. It was launched via a partnership between Cornell University, Oxford University, and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine. The groundbreaking results from the study (and other influential nutrition research) recommend the best diet for long-term health.
1. American health statistics are scary. You may feel fit as a fiddle, but the human population of the nation is basically unwell. Almost a third of adults over 20 are obese; well over two-thirds are overweight; one out of thirteen persons has a diabetic condition; and heart disease kills one of every three Americans. Americans also pay more for health care services and coverage than is spent by any other nation, and yet Americans don’t enjoy better health to show for spending all that extra money. Cost overruns are not making Americans healthier; in fact, one can suspect that higher expenditures are correlated with less optimal human outcomes.
2. Animal proteins have been shown to promote the growth of cancer. The book author T. Colin Campbell, PhD., grew up on a dairy farm, so he regularly enjoyed a wholesome glass of milk. Not anymore. In multiple, peer-reviewed animal studies, researchers discovered that they could actually turn on and off the growth of cancer cells by raising and lowering doses of casein, the main protein found in cow’s milk.
3. Pesticides are gross, but none switch cancer cells the way like poor nutrition turns them on. The food anyone eats affects the way that person's cells interact with carcinogens, making them more or less dangerous. “The results of these, and many other studies, showed one's actual nutrition to be far more important in controlling or retarding cancer promotion than the dose of the initiating carcinogen.”
4. The study findings are considered bulletproof. After years of controversial lab results on animals, the researchers had to see how they played out in humans. The study they created included 367 variables, 65 counties in China, and 6,500 adults (100 adults per county who completed questionnaires, blood tests, etc. - 50 adults in two villages in each county). “When we were done, we had more than 8,000 statistically significant associations between lifestyle, diet, and disease variables.” In other words, there’s no arguing with the findings, Meat Council of America. Sorry.
5. The results are simple: Eat plants for health. “People who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease. People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest.”
6. Heart disease can be reversed through nutrition. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D., a physician and researcher at perhaps the finest cardiac center in the nation, The Cleveland Clinic, treated 18 patients with established coronary disease with a whole foods, plant-based diet. Not only did the intervention stop the progression of the disease, but 70 percent of the patients saw an opening of their clogged arteries. Dr. Dean Ornish, a graduate of Harvard Medical School, completed a similar study with consistent results.
7. Carbs (as such) are not the enemy of good health. Highly-processed, refined carbohydrates are bad for you. But plant foods are full of healthy carbs or carbyhydrates, and fiber - necessary for health, is itself a carbohydrates, though, typically, 'not counted against net carbs' because the word 'carb' often is used somewhat ambiguously. Research shows that diets like the Atkins or South Beach can actually cause dangerous side effects. While they may result in short-term weight loss, one may be sacrificing long-term health. Low glycemic impact diets are not necessarily indicted in this critical point.
8. Plants are powerful. It’s not just cancer and heart disease that respond to a whole foods, plant-based diet. Whole foods plant-based (WFPB) diets may also help protect you from diabetes, obesity, autoimmune diseases, bone, kidney, eye, and brain diseases.
9. One doesn’t need to tailor one's diet for specific health benefits. Eating healthfully can seem segmented—broccoli will prevent breast cancer, carrots are good for eyes, did you get enough vitamin C today? “Nutrition that is truly beneficial for one chronic disease will support health across the board.”
10. Plants do it better. “There are virtually no nutrients in animal-based foods that are not better provided by plants.” Protein (YES, PROTEIN!), fiber, vitamins, minerals—you name it, they’ve got it, and the health benefits. There are, however, one or two essential nutrients everyone may wish to supplement, and that optimizes the diet. —Lisa Elaine Held
Published by well+Good September 23, 2011
Distributed by Maynard S. Clark Building Vegetarian Culture