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
Why Plant-Based Diets Are Healthier than Traditional Western DietsThere 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.