The China Study is one of those weighty, important books that is perhaps more talked about than actually read. Its easy to see why: At 417 pages packed with nutrition facts and research stats, its a lot to digest not exactly a beach read. Campbell II, MD, discuss and analyze the results from the study (and other influential nutrition research) and recommend their protocol for the best diet for long-term health.
Here is your 10-step cheat sheet to The China Study’s conclusions.
1. American health statistics are scary.
You may feel pretty fit, but the country as a whole is, well, not so great.
2. The conclusions are based on a lot of data.
The study they created included 367 variables, 65 counties in China, and 6,500 adults (who completed questionnaires, blood tests, etc.).
3. Animal protein promotes the growth of cancer.
The book’s author T. Colin Campbell, PhD., grew up on a dairy farm, so he regularly enjoyed a wholesome glass of milk. Not anymore.
4. You should be worried about poor nutrition more than pesticides.
The food you eat affects the way your cells interact with carcinogens, making them more or less dangerous, the authors explain.
5. Heart disease can be reversed through nutrition.
Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D., a physician and researcher at the best cardiac center in the country, 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.
6. Carbs are not (always) the enemy.
Highly-processed, refined carbohydrates are bad for you, but plant foods are full of healthy carbs, the authors say.
7. Cancer isn’t the only disease plants can ward off.
It’s not just cancer and heart disease that respond to a whole foods, plant-based diet, the authors say. Their research showed it may also help protect you from diabetes, obesity, autoimmune diseases, bone, kidney, eye, and brain diseases.
8. You don’t have to tailor your diet for specific health benefits.
Nutrition that is truly beneficial for one chronic disease will support health across the board,” the authors explain.
9. Animal-based foods are not necessary.
“There are virtually no nutrients in animal-based foods that are not better provided by plants,” the authors say.
10. The takeaway is 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,” the authors state. Whether you’re going vegan or not, they suggest putting as many plants on your plate as possible at every meal.
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