Whole Foods Lifestyle - the china study

View Full Version : the china study

09-13-2009, 08:42 PM
i've been curious about this book, but can justify buying it right now (financially) (maybe library...)
anyway, i was wondering what anyone that has read it thought about it, and if anyone could give a summary or some examples of what is in the book?


09-13-2009, 09:59 PM
i checked it out on wikipedia...really interesting

09-13-2009, 10:12 PM
It's a very good read. It provides a very compelling argument for veganism.

09-14-2009, 03:18 PM
You can read a lot of the highlights on this site:


09-14-2009, 06:47 PM
so what is the basis of the diet, is it mainly plant based or do they reccommend grains like rice as well?
i guess i'll just have to read the book :)

09-14-2009, 07:34 PM
Think of the Asian diet - highly plant based, with rice and seafood. No dairy. The idea is that they live longer with less disease and don't suffer from osteoporosis even though they don't consume very much dairy.

09-15-2009, 10:55 AM
I bought it to read on vacation last year. I like the book, but it's maybe a good one to read from the library. It's not a diet book that you're going to refer to again and again. It's more of a perspective changer.

09-17-2009, 12:39 PM
I knew this sounded familiar -- I walk past a poster about it on my way to epigenetics class twice a week! My class happens to be in the Nutritional Sciences building... the department in which Dr. Campbell was/is a professor here at Cornell.

It sounds like it might be an interesting read, I'll have to see if I can get it from one of the libraries on campus, I'm sure they have a few copies. :D

09-18-2009, 08:11 AM
I bought it and enjoyed it a lot. There is however one thing which I disagree with and that is the advice to eat a very low fat diet because it works for people in China. We need fat for numerous functions in our body. Although we should all make an effort to avoid trans fats and cut down on saturated fats, the efas in fish, nuts and seeds are very important for us. Limiting our fat intake to 10% of our total calorie intake would almost certainly mean a deficiency of the above, unless our calorie intake is very high (which it may well be for the people studied in rural China, given that they still do a lot of manual labour)

Altogether, I can recommend the book.

09-18-2009, 09:46 AM

I'd recommend reading Eat to Live which I find very complimentary to the China Study. Our body needs fat but it doesn't need very much, especially if we are following a mostly plant based diet. I've seen heart healthy diets that recommend around 2% fat and suprisingly, the people that follow them show vast cardiovascular improvements. I wouldn't recommend someone follow those though unless their cardiologist recommended it.

The low fat, whole foods, vegan diet is much different than the low fat, processed food diet of the 80s.

I've been following a low fat vegan diet for about 2 years and I really enjoy it. My skin isn't dry, my nails grow like crazy, my hair grows like crazy, my skin is clear and my blood work is fantastic.

09-19-2009, 11:22 AM
I've been following a low fat vegan diet for about 2 years and I really enjoy it. My skin isn't dry, my nails grow like crazy, my hair grows like crazy, my skin is clear and my blood work is fantastic.

Great to hear this as I would be worried about my skin (which is on the dry side anyway). I have been experimenting with vegan but found it too hard to stick to. It was however a "normal fat" vegan diet with plenty avocados and nuts.

09-20-2009, 12:01 AM
Great to hear this as I would be worried about my skin (which is on the dry side anyway). I have been experimenting with vegan but found it too hard to stick to. It was however a "normal fat" vegan diet with plenty avocados and nuts.

I found a vegan diet too hard to stick to until I decided it was the only option then it became ridiculously easy, if that makes sense. It also takes some practice, I went from meat eater to vegan overnight but others have had different experiences.

I like low fat but obviously you can play with your fat percentages. I sometimes forget to add some fat in because most plant based food has a small amount of fat but I think it is good to add some on top of that. So I'll usually grab a few nuts to eat if I notice I haven't been really adding any fats in for the day.

09-20-2009, 04:25 AM
I always (three times) managed well for two months or so, because I really dedicated myself to it. I eventually became lazy and slipped. Even though I was already vegetarian (fish only founds its way back onto my plate fairly recently).

Do you find it difficult to eat out? And do you gfind that your eating is constantly scrutinised by others, bc this is what I found...


09-20-2009, 09:18 AM
I would say eating out varies by country to country. In the US, I think it is very easy to eat out. Well where I live specifically, we have vegan and vegetarian restaurants. Beyond that though, there seems to be something to eat no matter where you are at. Restaurants here will also generally make something for you. My husband recently went to a steak restaurant as part of a business trip and they had nothing on the menu for him. He said they whipped up a wonderful veggie/rice plate for him though once they talked to him. Of course ethnic food is always a treat and tends to be more vegan friendly than American food.

As far as others scrutinizing, I've had comments but a lot of times I just don't talk about unless it is with someone I know. And really it depends on why someone is scrutinizing you. I think here in the US, people are more astonished by giving up meat than giving up eggs and dairy. I know it is hard for vegetarians and vegans especially to be constantly questioned or worst, ridiculed but informing yourself and being prepared is probably the best option.

The common things I've heard/heard of being said can have an answer such as:

"A vegan diet is very limiting" - Actually there are so many foods you can eat. Ethnic foods are especially varied because many cultures have vegan dishes or dishes that can easily be made vegan from Ethiopian to Thai to Indian to Burmese. For me, I actually have about 20 vegan cookbooks as it has been quite an addiction but really there are tons of recipes and various types of food to eat.

"How do you get your...."
"Calcium" - Osteoporosis is actually more prevalent in countries that consume dairy than those that don't. Animal proteins leach calcium from your bones in order to be digested. There are plenty of plant based foods with calcium in them naturally.
"Iron" - Again, there are plenty of plant based foods that are rich in iron.
"Protein" - Every plant based food has some protein in it but others are obviously higher. Leafy greens are 50% protein. You don't have to worry about complete proteins as long as you eat a varied diet but soy products and certain grains (quinoa, amaranth, etc) are complete proteins.
"Vitamin D" - I don't know about other countries but here in the US, vitamin D is added to dairy products. How you get Vitamin D in a country with plenty of sun exposure is you go outside. Otherwise you supplement, the vitamin D in dairy is just a supplement anyway itself.
"Vitamin B12" - This is really the only vitamin you don't usually get from a vegan diet. You could get it by eating unwashed organic produce as B12 is in the soil but the best option is to supplement.

You could also state other reasons as a well balanced vegan diet is very healthy and it is also environmentally friendly and animal friendly too. A lot of people may view your eating a vegan diet as a condemnation to their meaty/cheesy diet but really its not, it is just what you believe to be the best for you.

My funny story is my mom was the biggest critic/skeptic about me going vegan but I told her the reasons and now she is following a vegan diet. I would've never expected that from my mom.

09-20-2009, 09:33 AM
Thank you for this very detailed reply. I enjoy eating fish again and value its health benefits but I am cutting down on dairy (cheese especially).

09-20-2009, 09:51 AM
I would also recommend Eat to Live as something to read. It is a vegan diet although there are modifications he recommends in the book, including eating fish. I personally have concerns about eating fish plus I never cared for the taste :)