Thursday, November 12, 2009
The China Study
As readers of my blog know I'm a vegan, a locovore, and grow my own vegetables organically. I avoid caffeine and exercise by climbing, cycling, hiking, kayaking, and skiing.
As a vegan, I cannot get B12 from vegetables, so I take a B supplement.
Living in the Northeast, wearing sunscreen while outdoors, and working indoors during the week, I do not produce all the Vitamin D my body needs. Of course, this is just an artifact of a modern office-bound existence. I take Vitamin D each day. Vitamin D toxicity can be problem, since it is a fat soluble vitamin retained in the body (along with Vitamin A,E and K), so more is not better. Take the amount recommended by your doctor.
There are many books about healthy living, but the one book that incorporates all the elements that I have found to work for me is The China Study by T. Colin Campbell. The book examines the relationship between food and health, incorporating data about cancer rates, heart disease, diabetes and their prevalence among different societies with different diets. The data is compelling - an all vegetable, high fiber diet markedly reduces and reverses the lifestyle diseases which afflict our affluent industrial society.
I highly recommend the book, as well as the work of Michael Pollan.
You'll discover that the food industry is not our friend - highly processed, high calorie foods, rich in high fructose corn syrup are killing us, but making profits for the agribusiness, the meat industry, and food packaging conglomerates. The food industry lobby is one of the strongest in Washington, making the status quo very challenging to change.
Healthcare reform starts at home - read The China Study and decide for your self.
Try an organic, locally grown, all vegetable diet with minimal Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D supplements and no caffeine. Your body will thank you for it. I realize that such a diet is not possible in some urban locations where food choices may be limited to convenience stores. I know that fresh vegetables may be more expensive per calorie and thus unaffordable.
My hope is that by putting more government resources into diet education and support for the right foods, we'll be able to eat our way back to health, a better economy, and higher quality lives.
Posted by John Halamka at 3:00 AM