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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Nature's Retribution: How Killing Animals Could Kill You.


So I just read a TED blog post about nutrition and its link to diabetes (http://blog.ted.com/2013/06/25/why-our-understanding-of-obesity-and-diabetes-may-be-wrong-a-qa-with-surgeon-peter-attia/) and posted a comment linking to my blog because although there was a faint mention of nutrition being a significant factor in the reduction of obesity and type 2 diabetes, there was no information as to where to research further nor exactly what a change in your diet and therefore nutrition could do for you.

The following information in this post I give full credit to The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted: The China Study: Startling Implications for Diet, Wright Loss and Long-Term Health (I must have a thing for wordy titles or something) by T. Colin Campbell, PhD and Thomas M. Campbell II, MD. Forward by John Robbins, Author, Diet for a New America. I will cite page numbers, which hopefully will not vary from the hard copy version of this book because I have one of those nifty, virtual book devices.  

Keep in mind; I am taking these quotes out of the full context of the book to provide to you tidbits of information that may promote your interest in the concept of vegan nutrition. If you’re interested, get the book. Most libraries and bookstores carry it. My blog serves to promote discussion and interest in research; it is not a source of irrefutable factual information.


1.      “We spend far more, per capita, on health care than any other society in the world, and yet two thirds of Americans are overweight, and over 15 million Americans have diabetes, a number that has been rising rapidly” (pg.3).

Holy crap. That is terrifying information all on its own. Think about it, if we’re making such great leaps and bounds in medical science, why are we all so ill? How many people do you know with high cholesterol? High risk of heart disease? Cancer? Osteoporosis? Diabetes? How many of these people are on medications? How many of these medications are actually reversing the effects of the disease and not just alleviating the symptoms. If evidence was presented that a whole foods, plant based diet could reverse your disease, improve the quality of your life, or lengthen the life of your loved ones, would you make the switch?


2.      “What made this project especially remarkable is that, among the many associations that are relevant to diet and disease, so many pointed to the same finding: people who ate the most animal-based food got the most chronic disease. Even relatively small intakes of animal-based food were associated with adverse effects. People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest and tended to avoid chronic disease” (pg.6).

‘Nuff said folks. READ THE BOOK.


3.      “We initiated more studies using several different nutrients, including fish protein, dietary fats and the antioxidants known as carotenoids. A couple of excellent graduate students of mine, Tom O’Connor and Youping He, measured the ability of these nutrients to affect liver and pancreatic cancer. The results of these, and many other studies, showed nutrition to be far more important in controlling cancer promotion than the dose of the initiating carcinogen” (pg.66).  

The argument presented in The China Study is that although the carcinogen is the initiator of cancer within the body, it’s the nutritional environment within the body that promotes the development of cancer. Evidence is presented that a plant based, whole foods diet can prevent the development and spread of cancerous cells. Dude. It’s worth a try, right?

       4.      “It is extremely puzzling that these new government-sponsored 2002 FNB recommendations now say that we should be able to consume protein up to the extraordinary level of 35% as a means of minimizing chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. This is an unbelievable travesty, considering the scientific evidence. The evidence presented in this book shows that increasing dietary protein within the range of about 10-20 % is associated with a broad array of health problems, especially when most of the protein is from animal sources” (pg. 308).

Some of the most common questions I face as a vegan are “what about protein?” or “how are you healthy?” or “don’t you need to eat animal products to survive due to the evolution of humans to eat animal products?”

I get plenty of protein. I am healthy because I attempt to vary my diet. No, you don’t need animal products to survive and be healthy. There’s plenty of evidence out in the world that shows that vegans are healthy, often healthier than omnivores, as long as we’re not junk-food vegans (which, honestly, I started out as before learning how to sauté vegetables and grill eggplant burgers. I ate two packs of Oreos in one month. That’s gross.)

Seriously, read this book. What I have provided are only the summary passages after a crap-ton of evidence on why a whole foods, plant based diet is the best way to go. There’s also plenty of evidence as to why we all think large amounts of protein are so important, how the only vitamin D you need is 15 minutes in the sun every three days (although I highly recommend getting outside a LOT more that than), and how big corporations are in cahoots with the government regarding nutrition education and guidelines for purely fiscal reasons, and not for the much more important reason of protecting the health of the American citizens.

Once again, read the book if you want the facts. Do not make nutritional decisions based off of this one blog post. I am not a professional. I am just a concerned college student.

Bean out.

Citation:

1.      Campbell, Thomas Colin, and Thomas M. Campbell. The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health. Dallas, TX: Benbella, 2006. Print.

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