Saturday, September 27, 2014

The China Study

I just finished reading The China Study by T. Colin Wilson. Though I have to say I sort of skimmed the last few chapters, because it was getting kind of tedious, and I'm actually happy to have finally finished it. Not that it was bad, but just that I didn't need that much convincing.

Basically what this book is all about is that it provides epidemiological data supporting  a whole foods, plant based diet, showing a link between the consumption of animal protein and the development of heart disease and cancer; and even shows a link between the development of various autoimmune disorders, like Type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis, and the consumption of cow's milk in particular.

In the author's opinion, nutrition is the single most important factor in determining whether or not we are sick or healthy. More important than genetics, and even more important than exposure to environmental toxins, because if you have a healthy diet, you will have a stronger immune system that will ordinarily fight off the development of most diseases; and for everything else, there is medication, there's vaccinations, but let good nutrition do all the rest.

I've never been a heavy meat eater. I've been vegetarian on and off for much of my life, but yet I've never given up dairy products or eggs, so to do so would be an entirely new experience, and an experience I'm not sure I'm prepared for, but according to the author, they're just as bad as meat, and cow's milk is by far the worst. Well, I never really much cared for cow's milk either, never drink it, and the only time I've had it is with cereal, if there's no soy milk, which I actually prefer the taste of, but uh, I don't know.

I'm all for consuming more fruits and vegetables and whole grains, a whole foods, plant based diet, but I still am not completely sold on the idea that animal protein is all bad, despite the evidence in support of that. I mean, I certainly agree that it is best to consume it in moderation, if at all, and that plants should make up the bulk of your diet, but not sure that consuming 100 percent plants, and zero animal protein is absolutely ideal, maybe for spiritual development or ethical reasons, yes, but not necessarily for reasons of optimum health and longevity.

I only say that because I happen to know people in my family, who lived a long time, well into their upper eighties and nineties, completely free from disease, no cancer, no heart disease, and yet they eat meat, and in the case of my two grandmothers, weren't even particularly that physically active; had a sweet tooth, were/are a bit on the pudgy side; so I think that, not disputing the importance of nutrition, there are certainly other factors involved. Genetics, state of mind, quality of life, is huge.

That's all I have to say for now. But trust me, I'll have more to say later.

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