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  1. #1
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    Ultimate Nutrition? The China Study

    I read The China Study (by T Colin Campbell PhD, pub 2005) a few weeks ago after receiving it as a gift. I always view such books skeptically and became increasingly so after the first few pages and jumping ahead to the recommended eating style. But, I kept reading, skipping around looking for
    the methodology and the collaborating independent studies and other researchers/MD's who have reached the same results. It's all there. The clincher is that's it's born out very well by lab (animal) studies, population studies and human trials. I doubt that the conclusion that animal-based protein is bad for your health will be shot down, though I wish it would be.

    The gist of the extensive reported research is that heart disease, cancer, obesity, mental degeneration with age and so forth are diseases of the affluent. The rural poor of the world consume far more calories than we do (adjusted for physical activity) and have more than an order of magnitude less disease and obesity problems than we do (age adjusted). Before the industrial revolution in the US, we too had far less of these diseases of affluence because the vast majority of Americans were too poor to eat much animal based protein.

    The book may not be as controversial as it sounds. If you were to eat the 8 or 9 servings a day of fruit and vegetables recommended by the Government (USDA), you wouldn't have room for much meat and milk products anyway.

    The discussion of why there is so much conflicting, changing and miss-information on nutrition and the politics of nutrition are sufficient reasons by themselves to read The China Study. I suggest everyone should spend the roughly $ 11.00 to read a used paperback at least. You can also read the 130 or so Reviews on Amazon. Whether you decide to modify your diet ore not is not as important as having the most complete and current information on all aspects of nutrition available. It's very readable.

    An amusing short chapter on how long it has been known that animal protein is not all that healthy quotes some writings of Plato some 2500 years ago where he recounts a discussion between Socrates and Glaucon. Glaucon is arguing that the citizens should eat meat to make the city a more luxurious place. Socrates argues against it because then the city will become overrun with doctors and lawyers.

    Al
    Last edited by Al.canoe; 06-29-06 at 03:28 AM.

  2. #2
    Twincities MN kuan's Avatar
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    Man do I have an upclose and personal POV on this. I'm Asian. My Dad's side was affluent, they ate a lot of meat. Steak, and lots of it. They drank lots of coke. They believed in a "western" lifestyle. All three brothers dead at 33, 40, and 42. Colorectal cancer, heart disease, heart disease. Not to mention the diabetes and the diabetic coma my dad went into when I was only 10 years old.

    My mom's side, poor, lived on one chicken a week, ate tofu, veggies, and rice. Great grandma lived to 106, grandma died at 86 (cancer), still used an abacus faster than a calculator at 80, and my mom still going strong.

  3. #3
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    I guess that old depression-era campaign slogan of "a chicken in every pot" should have been "a chicken once a week".

    Al

  4. #4
    Vegan Cyclist
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    This is one of the best books I've read. It's also one of the influences that started getting me thinking about finally moving completely to a plant-based diet. I think the data and information presented is too important to ignore--for anyone.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuan
    Man do I have an upclose and personal POV on this. I'm Asian. My Dad's side was affluent, they ate a lot of meat. Steak, and lots of it. They drank lots of coke. They believed in a "western" lifestyle. All three brothers dead at 33, 40, and 42. Colorectal cancer, heart disease, heart disease. Not to mention the diabetes and the diabetic coma my dad went into when I was only 10 years old.

    My mom's side, poor, lived on one chicken a week, ate tofu, veggies, and rice. Great grandma lived to 106, grandma died at 86 (cancer), still used an abacus faster than a calculator at 80, and my mom still going strong.
    I'm Asian too and come from a 3rd World nation. One of my ancestors lived to be 104 in the 1400s Had 81 kids too, I wonder if that had to do with his longevity. We at mostly rice and veggies, meat was a rare treat. We had it, but not in the quantities consumed here in the U.S.

    Although I think the TYPE of meat and how it was raised and prepared probably makes a big differences as well. Compared to the hormones and chemicals used in beef & chicken production here, in Asia, the cow that you ate was probably pulling the plow for most of its life, so it'll be lean and a little on the tough side with low fat-content.

    The Japanese are the longest living group on the planet with the largest numbers of over-100 elders. They apparently eat a lot of rice, veggies and fish.

    I don't think it's possible to isolate diet alone though. All these studies must examine the entire lifestyle including exercise, work, stress, and leisure activities.

  6. #6
    Huachuca Rider webist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mothra
    I don't think it's possible to isolate diet alone though. All these studies must examine the entire lifestyle including exercise, work, stress, and leisure activities.
    They should examine the whole picture, but most do not. I haven't read the one under discussion, so can't comment on it. Too often also, we tend to tout and support the view of things that agrees with our own view.
    Just Peddlin' Around

  7. #7
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    The subject here is nutrition. If someone is not satisfied with that, you might consider starting a lifestyle thread. I can hardly wait to read all the folklore and platitudes concerning that broad subject. The China Study does mention exercise, but the author decided to limit his contribution to his area of expertise and 40 years of practical experience. Something more authors should practice.

    Al

  8. #8
    Senior Member Jarery's Avatar
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    I've not read it, but it sounds as if it follows along with the the whole meditteranean style diet, which most so called experts recomend as a diet lifestyle that is healthy and maintainable.

    http://www.mediterrasian.com/ is a website that mixes asian diet with the mediteranean diet, to give more choices to eat.
    Jarery

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