Part 1 of this series explains the groundbreaking health information found in the book The China Study! We’ll also talk about how a whole food, plant-based diet can prevent, halt, and even reverse serious diseases!
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Disclaimer: I am not a healthcare professional. You can read about our personal experience with a plant-based diet, but please know that your experience may be different from ours. You should do your own research before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle especially if you have a health condition.
Welcome to my 3-part series where I’m talking about The China Study! Here’s what you can expect from each post in this series:
Part 1: Overview of what Dr. Campbell learned during the biggest scientific study of his career, the China Study; what foods to eat and which ones to avoid for long-term health; which diseases and other health problems a whole food, plant-based diet can prevent, halt, and even reverse.
Part 2: Why your doctor hasn’t told you about a whole food, plant-based diet as a solution for your health problems; other reasons you haven’t heard about this research before; why you should read The China Study for your health and your family’s health.
Part 3: Helpful transition tips to get your family on board with a dietary change; resources to teach you more about the health benefits of a whole food, plant-based lifestyle; where to find new recipes.
The Book That Will Change Your Life
Guess what? I just finished reading a fantastic book! To say it’s life-changing is an understatement. I wish I had read The China Study by T. Colin Campbell when we first started our journey to a whole food, plant-based lifestyle. All of the information we so desperately needed was in this book all along!
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, then you probably already know that Josh and I follow a mostly plant-based diet. If you’re new around here, I highly recommend you read our full story.
What A Plant-based Diet Did for Us
In a nutshell, I suffered with irritable bowel syndrome for six years with no sign of ever finding a cure.
Then, in 2015, Josh was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis (UC), an inflammatory bowel disease where his body attacks his colon. For nearly a year, we struggled to keep Josh’s symptoms under control using very expensive medication. He was weak, lethargic, and miserable.
In early 2016, my mom introduced us to a plant-based diet after learning that it can prevent, halt, and even reverse serious diseases. Within one month, my IBS was gone. It took Josh a little while to get on board with the idea, but once he did, he saw a real improvement in his symptoms too!
It’s been over a year since we started this journey, and Josh hasn’t had a single UC flare since. Also, he no longer takes ANY ulcerative colitis medication! It may be a bit early to say this with 100% certainty, but we believe he’s healed.
6/26/2018 Update: Josh has been off of his UC medication for 8 months now without any flares!
1/16/2019 Update: Josh has been off of his UC medication for over a year now without any flares!
We’ve spent a lot of time learning about a plant-based diet over the last year and a half. But as I mentioned earlier, all of the information that got us to this point is conveniently located in The China Study. Let me tell you about it!
Let’s Talk About The China Study and What It Means for Your Health!
The China Study is a book written by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, a renowned biochemist and retired professor at Cornell University.
He started his career as a proponent of diets high in protein, believing that meat and other sources of protein could significantly improve the health of the world’s poorest countries. After all, he grew up on a farm consuming the standard American fare: lots of meat, milk, and other animal products.
Shortly into his career, though, he stumbled upon a startling relationship between food and disease. After a little investigation, he realized that he could actually turn on and turn off the growth of cancer in rats simply by adjusting how much animal protein they were fed.
He wasn’t looking for this link when he found it, but he couldn’t ignore the evidence in front of him. As a result, he spent the rest of his career studying how diet affects disease. In fact, he made some groundbreaking discoveries during the biggest scientific study of his career, the China Study.
I won’t go into all the scientific details of the study because I want you to read this book for yourself. But I will give you a brief snippet so you’ll see what kind of groundbreaking discoveries we’re dealing with here.
An interesting relationship between diet and disease
In the 1980s, when Dr. Campbell and his colleagues undertook a massive human study in China to test his theory about the relationship between diet and disease, he found that people living in rural China had lower rates of Western diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and others.
In fact, some of the diseases we have here in America were nonexistent in rural China! However, in richer parts of China, these diseases were more common.
What he found was that the people living in poor, rural areas ate a primarily plant-based diet while their richer counterparts consumed meat and other animal products. As the level of animal protein consumption increased, disease rates increased with it.
And the China Study isn’t the only research that supports this notion. In his book, Dr. Campbell references hundreds of other studies that show the exact same thing.
So what does this mean for you?
If you’re looking for long-term health and freedom from totally preventable diseases, then the information in Dr. Campbell’s book is what’s going to get you there. Specifically, a whole food, plant-based diet is the solution you’re looking for.
Is it vegetarian? Vegan? Something else?
So what exactly is this whole food, plant-based diet?
It isn’t exactly vegetarian or vegan, per se, although it probably more closely resembles veganism than anything else.
People who eat a whole food, plant-based diet (or simply plant-based diet, for short) consume fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. They avoid meat, fish, poultry, dairy, cheese, eggs, and any other product that’s made with dairy. Essentially, they avoid all animal products.
But it doesn’t end there. The “whole” part of a whole food, plant-based diet adds an extra caveat. This is where the plant-based diet deviates from vegetarianism and veganism.
Whole foods are unrefined and minimally processed. So people who follow this diet avoid refined sugars (cakes, pastries, candy), refined grains and flours (white bread, white crackers, white rice), prepackaged foods, and unhealthy oils (vegetable oil, canola oil) even though these foods may technically come from plants.
Plant-eaters are far more concerned with the nutritional content of their food, which is why they’re looking for whole plant foods rather than junk.
Can a plant-based diet really Heal diseases?
So now that you know what constitutes a whole food, plant-based diet, you might be wondering what all it can do for your health.
I mentioned earlier that it can prevent, halt, and even reverse disease. But which diseases and health problems are we talking about here? Some of the health concerns specifically mentioned in The China Study include these:
- Heart disease
- Cancer (breast, prostate, bowel, melanoma, etc.)
- Diabetes (can reverse Type 2, significantly improve Type 1, and prevent Type 1 in children if started early enough)
- Autoimmune diseases (ulcerative colitis, Hashimoto’s, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, etc.)
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Erectile dysfunction
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Kidney stones
- Weight problems
And so many more that I can’t list them all!
For us personally, Josh and I have found that this way of eating healed many of our health problems. Josh healed his ulcerative colitis and eczema and lost some weight. I healed my irritable bowel syndrome, night terrors (these are different from nightmares), and mild anxiety.
I have also heard accounts from people who have been able to permanently overcome depression!
Does this information really apply to me right now?
At this point, you may be wondering what all of this means for you and your family.
Well, at the very least, you can expect improved health and the likely prevention of disease. And if you start early with your children, you can help them learn healthy habits so they have a lifetime of good health ahead of them.
If you ask me, those are some pretty good incentives!
And the earlier you can start, the better.
However, even if you’re already in the throes of illness, don’t dismiss this information as too little too late. The truth is that it’s never too late to start. If Josh can overcome his ulcerative colitis, an autoimmune disease for which his doctor told us there was no cure, then it isn’t too late for you.
A Chinese proverb goes like this: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
The China Study and What it Means for Your Health, continued!
We aren’t finished yet! Head over to Part 2 to find out why you haven’t heard about this health breakthrough before.
Other posts in this series:
Part 1 (you’re already here!)
Other posts you may enjoy
- How to Start a Plant-based Diet: The Ultimate Transition Guide for Beginners
- 12 Healthy Habits You Can Start Today
- Plant-based Shopping List: What to Buy When You Follow a Plant-based Diet
- 3 Simple Ways to Live a Healthy Lifestyle
- How to Afford a Healthy Lifestyle on a Budget
- 15 Plant-based Recipes You Need to Try
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