Monday, February 17, 2014

The China Study

Author: Colin and Thomas Campbell

Well the cover the tells you what this book is about “the most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted”. I don’t know if it’s the most comprehensive or not; but I would say that they’ve done a lot of research. The book focuses on the effects of animal food vs plant food on the human body. The authors did research on rats as well as humans. The reason it’s called “china study” is because the authors were part of a big research project that studied the effects of dietary habits on people in China.

The authors attack the common myth most people have that a meal should be heavily dominated by proteins and that plant food doesn’t have enough protein so they need to resort to animal food.

There are a few chapters devoted to major diseases like cancer, heart diseases, etc. and how they’re a bane of the meals rich in animal food. Thy were also able to quote some real studies done on people who had heart diseases and how a low fat diet rich in plant food helped the patients.

Then they talk about the basic principles of nutrition. This seems similar to Michael Pollan’s rules. The number one being – which was and is my favorite even before I read this book – eat food and not nutrients. Food is more than sum of its parts. Implying eating an orange is more than eating separately whatever it’s constituents comprise.

It does get tiring to read about so many studies etc. and so I did skip some sections. Other than I think it’s an interesting book. If you’re baffled by all the protein debates that you keep hearing these days, then this is the book for you.

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