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.


Anonymous said...

Another problem is all of the additives and preservatives that are in most processed foods. Many of these additives have not been adequately studied and thus the effects not known. For example, aspartame, an artificial sweetner commonly known as equal and found in most sugar-free foods, has been found harmful in some studies. Despite the questionable safeness, the FDA has approved these additives for use in food.

In addition, most physicians are not adequately trained regarding diet's effect on health and certain conditions. Instead of digging deeper and studying a patient's true lifestyle, physicians often treat just what is reported TO them in an office visit. Why don't most physicians know a lot about essential nutrients and their relationship to some chronic conditions?

mbarnes said...

if you are interested in vitamin D there are two really good websites:
D3world has a good newsletter and has recently launched a tiny pill version of vitamin D

xtramayo said...

I agree about physicians being fairly clueless about nutritional health. My dad was diagnosed with heart disease and the doctor said not worry too much about his diet, and just to lower his stress levels! He then prescribed him about 3 or 4 prescriptions for cholesterol, blood pressure & heartburn. Needless to say I was very angry. I am determined not continue my family legacy and stay healthy!
I just finished the China Study and absolutely loved it. I have dabbled in vegan eating and have been slowly lowering my meat consumption for about 2 years. This book has been my catalyst to finally go all-the-way. What I liked the most about the book was that it advocated plant-based based eating without being preachy and had scientific studies to back up everything the author said. I have now started eating mainly vegan & some vegetarian meals (whole wheat pasta with sauteed veggies & lots of salads etc) but I was wondering if you could recommend a website with excellent vegan recipes. Also I am wondering about soy products and if they are healthy, since I have been hearing some contradictory information lately.