Can You Break It Down? Thoughts on The China Study and…

I read a lot of articles and books on nutrition with a special focus on keeping weight at a healthy level. It holds a personal interest for me ;) I have an endless curiosity for these books and articles!

SOMEtimes when I read a book that’s new to me, I want to race ahead and see what the ‘Bullet Points’ are. I liken it to being impatient to get to the end of a mystery novel! What is the WRAP UP? What does this book RECOMMEND? WHAT SHOULD I EAT and DO to create a healthy body? Is there a quick BREAKDOWN? Some BULLET POINTS? A brief SUMMARY? A flow chart or columns of DO’s and DON’TS? Is there something NEW in this book??

On my last trip across the country (5 hrs JFK to SAN) I read a good portion of THE CHINA STUDY by Dr. T. Colin Campbell. I’d been meaning to take a look at it for some time. Lots of buzz about this book on the healthy blogger boards and beyond. As I was reading and reading about the science and experiments and studies all I could think of was… ‘but what’s the take away here?!” I know, that sounds pushy and shallow not to want to hear about all the years of studies and awards it took to get this information together… I CAN be quite impatient at times…

This is not a review, as I haven’t read the whole thing yet… And I’m still working my way through it! I am giving you the ‘meat’, the ‘gist’, the takeaway information that jumped out at me so far:

  • In his studies it showed there is a strong possibility that ingesting animal proteins create an environment where certain cancers can thrive more readily in the body than without. That is to say the more animal products that are ingested the greater chance there is to make a hospitable environment for cancer in the body. Plant proteins seem NOT to encourage cancer and even to discourage it. That is what I inferred from my reading among the MANY other health benefits of eating a plant based diet…
  • Excerpt:

page 243 and 244 THE CHINA STUDY by Colin T Campbell

page 243 and 244 THE CHINA STUDY by Colin T Campbell

page 243 and 244 THE CHINA STUDY by Colin T Campbell

page 242 THE CHINA STUDY by Colin T Campbell

page 242 THE CHINA STUDY by Colin T Campbell


I have heard similar diet recommendations before, but what I hadn’t heard was the idea that eating animal proteins might encourage cancer growths, and that eating plants may inhibit cancer growth (there is much more health information if this book, but this, is the message that stuck with me most). Something to think about right? I have mostly focused my reading on how to eat more naturally AND keep my weight down. And there’s always been an internal debate for me – This menu plan has always seemed like THE ideal for health and weight management:

BREAKFAST: Egg Whites with Spinach and a little low fat Feta Cheese Omlette
LUNCH: A Nice Big Salad with Grilled Salmon on Top with Newman’s Dressing
SNACK: Yogurt
DINNER: Steamed Broccoli, Grilled Chicken and a Baked Sweet Potato

Right? That sounds ideal according to most things we read today?
Lean proteins lots of vegetables and healthy carbs?
Isn’t THAT the takeaway we hear all the time?
Aren’t THOSE supposed to be THE most healthy meals there are?
Maybe according to Dr. T. Colin Campbell they aren’t?
And yes, I am willing to consider that.
But it makes for grey area in nutrition and health doesn’t it?

I can easily make a list of substitute vegan meals;

BREAKFAST: Oatmeal, Berries and Nuts
LUNCH: Stir Fry Veggy Wrap
SNACK: Apple and Trail Mix
DINNER: Vegetarian Chili and Corn Bread (no butter)

What do you think? With my preferences running toward vegetarianism since childhood I could easily wrap my head around the bottom example meals and more. The reason I even hesitate is that I have read many times that lean proteins at each meal and unrefined carbs such as  fruits and veggies are the way to feel full and calm your hunger and manage your weight.

My very own takeaway, my personally extracted bullet points are; that being a Plant Based Moderate is still the best way to go.

  • We should focus on having most of our food from plants (fruits vegetables nuts seeds beans and grains) in their most whole states, as often as possible, and everything else in condiment style portions.

    That’s the Goal! The Goal to be a Plant Based Moderate. Moderate because occasionally incorporating a product that is not vegan (from the best sources possible!) with the intentional or  unintentional benefit of that item; a small dose of B12. Organic milk in my coffee? Pat of grass fed butter on my bread? Grilled salmon? You get the idea. 

    The more I read, the more questions I have and the less Black and White everything becomes. I look good in Black and White, but nutrition rarely does :) The things that come up as constants seem to be more fruits and veggies, more whole foods close to – or in their most natural states, and little to no processed foods. Keep reading, keep learning, keep making your own decisions :) 

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