You may have heard about Dr. Campbell’s book The China Study
, which investigates the benefits of plant-based diets, but want to learn more about this fascinating topic. The China Study book was written by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, a professor of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University, and his physician son Dr. Thomas Campbell the 2nd.
What Is The China Study?
The China Study book is based on a 20-year study conducted by the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine at Cornell University and the University of Oxford. Researchers found that Chinese residents who consumed large amounts of animal foods had higher death rates from chronic diseases than residents who ate mainly plant foods. The China Study was one of America’s best-selling nutrition books. In the book, Dr. Campbell examined the effects of eating animal foods on chronic diseases, such as:
- Heart disease
- Prostate, breast, and bowel cancers
- Other chronic health conditions
Based on results from The China Study, Dr. Campbell and his son found that people who eat mainly whole, plant foods—and avoid animal products such as pork, beef, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy foods; refined carbohydrates; sweets; and alcohol—can reduce their risk of, avoid, or even reverse chronic disease development.
Why Plant-Based Diets Are Healthier than Traditional Western Diets
There are numerous reasons plant diets are healthier than traditional Western diets:
- Processed meats and red meat are known to cause cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, eating 50 grams of processed meat daily increases your risk of colorectal cancer by 18%—and red meat increases the risk of pancreatic, prostate, and colorectal cancers.
- Eating animal fat increases your risk of developing high blood cholesterol and heart disease, and sodium in processed meats can increase your blood pressure when consumed in excess.
- Plant foods that protect you against heart disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases are rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids, but are low in saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, and sugar.
- Plant foods are the only source of fiber you’ll find, and whole plant foods are naturally lower in sugar, sodium, and other additives. Steer clear of fruits canned in syrup.
- Plant foods tend to be lower in calories than refined, processed foods containing added sugar. While nuts and seeds are high in calories, these plant foods keep you full for long time periods and are fiber-rich, which is why nuts and seeds aren’t associated with weight gain based on numerous studies.
Last, disease-causing chemicals, growth hormones, antibiotics, and other components found in animal foods can lead to the inflammation that contributes to chronic diseases.
Are There Risks Associated with Plant-Only Diets?
Nutrient deficiency is commmon worldwide due to nutrient depletion in our soils, highly refined and processed foods, and poor eating habits overall. However, by carefully planning menus, you can easily meet your body’s daily essential nutrient needs with a whole food, plant-based diet. The China Study recommends getting sun exposure or taking vitamin D supplements to meet daily vitamin D requirements and taking vitamin B12 supplements, as numerous animal foods are rich in this essential vitamin and plants don’t contain it.
Getting enough protein, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, iodine, iron, and zinc is important when eating entirely plant-based diets. The good news is that by choosing a variety of plant-based foods and proper supplementation, you can easily steer clear of nutrient deficiencies. Many people following plant-based diets report increases in energy and improvements in overall health and wellness. One reason for this is that plant diets are associated with lower body weights
, smaller waist circumferences, and lower rates of overweight and obesity, according to numerous studies.
Why Is The China Study Significant?
Dr. Campbell’s book The China Study and its revelations are associated with just one of numerous studies reporting the health and wellness of plant-based diets
. The research is consistent—eat plants for better health.
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, which utilizes an entirely plant-based meal plan, takes the guesswork out of planning your own meals and menus. You’ll receive recipes, meal plans, and the supplements
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