Did you know that the food you eat impacts not only your productivity and performance, but also your creativity and ability to innovate? Imagine a car which suddenly sputters and stalls. You call an expert, a service engineer, who opens the hood, identifies the faulty component, cleans and repairs it. After few months, the car stalls again. This time the service engineer proceeds to replace the component and puts you on a monthly maintenance plan to keep the car in running order. After few months, the car fails again and now another component is showing signs of wear and tear, atleast that's what you are told. Imagine the enormous cost you would have to bear on account of this - financial, time, emotional, mental, physical. What if you subsequently find out that the source of the problem was not the ageing of the components but the sub-standard petrol you were using unknowingly?
That's exactly the case with our body. Modern medical science does not teach our expert doctors how food impacts the body, which food can cause havoc in our body and which food can heal us naturally. All major technological advances in the medical field has been in the area of pills, devices and surgery, which the doctors are experts in. The pills, devices and surgery don't heal the source of the problem, instead they treat the symptoms in our body like our service engineer above was doing to the car.
Don't you think heart disease, diabetes, obesity, auto-immune diseases, cancer, Alzheimer etc. would impact a person's effectiveness, productivity, performance, creativity, innovation, joy, happiness and fulfilment? What if we cause these debilitating diseases 3 times in a day on a daily basis - at breakfast, lunch and dinner?
I work with my clients to remove barriers that come in the way of professional and personal excellence for them to lead themselves to realise their impossible, unimaginable dreams towards joyous fulfilment. Every year I pick up a new area to learn, grow and evolve in to support my clients to fulfil on their life’s mission. This year I picked up nutrition to study covering scientific research from the west; and the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda and Naturopathy from India. It's been an amazing journey to uncover the simple truth lying hidden under all the complexity of living.
The China Study is part of this journey and it has totally shifted the way I eat. I was troubled by recurring blisters on my tongue for over a year which the doctor-recommended vitamin supplements weren’t helping. I didn’t act upon his advice to get tests done to figure out what was causing them. The interesting thing is that when I shifted what I was eating based on my new understanding of a healthful diet, my blisters vanished on their own and haven’t recurred for over a month.
The China Study was a massive undertaking jointly arranged through Cornell University, Oxford University and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine. This project surveyed a vast range of diseases and diet and lifestyle factors in rural China and, six years later, in Taiwan. More commonly known as the China Study, this project eventually produced more than 8,000 statistically significant associations between dietary factors and disease. What made this project especially remarkable is that, among the many associations that are relevant to diet, so many pointed to the same finding: people who ate most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease. Even relatively small intakes of animal-based foods were associated with adverse effects. People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest and tended to avoid chronic disease.
The director of this study, Colin Campbell shares the outcome of the most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted through this book of the same name, along with outcomes from various other scientific researches done on nutrition in the US.
Sharing few excerpts from the book for you to start your journey to reclaim perfect heath and wellness to live a full life, personally and professionally:
1. Dietary change can enable diabetic patients to go off their medication.
2. Heart disease can be reversed with diet alone - and in doing so, reducing animal protein is more significant than reducing saturated fat.
3. Breast Cancer is related to levels of female hormones in the blood, which are determined by the food we eat.
4. Consuming dairy foods can increase the risk of prostate cancer.
5. Antioxidants, found in fruits and vegetables are linked to better mental performance in old age.
6. Kidney stones can be prevented by a healthy diet.
7. Type 1 diabetes, one of the most devastating diseases that can befall a child, is convincingly linked to infant feeding practices.
8. The above findings demonstrate that a good diet is the most powerful we have against disease and sickness.
9. I noticed … a research report from India that had some very provocative, relevant findings. Indian researchers had studied two groups of rats. In one group, they administered the cancer-causing aflatoxin, then fed a diet that was composed of 20% protein… In the other group, they administered the same amount of aflatoxin, but then fed a diet that was composed of only 5% protein. Incredibly, every single animal that consumed the 20% protein diet had evidence of liver cancer, and every single animal that consumed a 5% protein diet avoided cancer. It was a 100 to 0 score, leaving no doubt that nutrition trumped chemical carcinogens, even very potent carcinogens, in controlling cancer.
10. We found that not all proteins had this effect. What protein consistently and strongly promoted cancer? Casein, which makes 87% of cow’s milk protein, promoted all stages of the cancer process. What type of protein did not promote cancer, even at high levels of intake? The safe proteins were from plants, including wheat and soy.
11. I did not rest on the findings of our animal studies and the massive human study in China, however impressive they may have been. I sought out the findings of other researchers and clinicians. … These findings show that heart disease, diabetes and obesity can be reversed by a healthy diet. Other research shows that various cancers, autoimmune diseases, bone health, kidney health, vision and brain disorders in old age (like cognitive dysfunction and Alzheimer’s) are convincingly influenced by diet.
12. Most importantly, the diet that has time and again been shown to reverse and / or prevent these diseases is the same whole foods, plant-based diet that I had found to promote optimal health in my laboratory research and in the China Study. The findings are consistent.
13. Yet, despite the power of this information, despite the hope it generates, and despite the urgent need for this understanding of nutrition and health, people are still confused. …I will tell you why. The distinctions between government, industry, science and medicine have become blurred. … The result is massive amounts of misinformation, for which average American consumers pay twice. They provide the tax money to do the research, and then they provide the money for their health care to treat their largely preventable diseases.
14. He who does not know food, how can he understand the diseases of man? - Hippocrates, the father of medicine (460-357 BC)
15. The most dramatic recent finding is that very close to 100% of heart disease can be prevented and even reversed by a healthy diet.
16. If nutrition were better understood, prevention and natural treatments were more accepted in the medical community, we would not be pouring so many toxic, potentially lethal drugs into our bodies at the last stage of disease.
17. It is time to shift our thinking towards a broader perspective on health, one that includes a proper understanding and use of good nutrition.
18. So, what is my prescription for good health? In short, it is about the multiple health benefits of consuming whole, plant-based foods, and the largely unappreciated health dangers of consuming animal-based foods, including all types of meat, dairy and eggs.
19. Eating the right way not only prevents disease but also generates health and a sense of well-being, both physically and mentally. … eating the right way would largely obviate the enormous costs of using drugs, as well as their side effects. Fewer people would need to wage lengthy, expensive battles with chronic disease in hospitals over their last years of life.
20. … a mountain of compelling research shows that plant protein, which allows for slow but steady synthesis of new proteins, is the healthiest type of protein.
21. The results of these, and many other studies, showed nutrition to be far more important in controlling cancer promotion than the dose of the initiating carcinogen. … Furthermore, a pattern was beginning to emerge: nutrients from animal-based foods increased tumour development while nutrients from plant-based foods decreased tumour development.
22. Good health is about being able to fully enjoy the time we do have. It is about being as functional as possible throughout our lives and avoiding disabling, painful, and lengthy battles with disease.
23. Blood cholesterol is clearly an important indicator of disease risk. The big question is: How will food affect blood cholesterol? In brief, animal-based foods were correlated with increasing blood cholesterol. With almost no exceptions, nutrients from plant-based foods were associated with decreasing levels of blood cholesterol. Several studies have now shown, in both experimental animals and in humans, that consuming animal-based protein increases blood cholesterol levels. … In contrast, plant-based foods contain no cholesterol and, in varied ways, help to decrease the amount of cholesterol made by the body. All of this was consistent with the findings from the China Study.
24. The strong association of a high-animal protein, high-fat diet with reproductive hormones and early age of menarche, both of which raise the risk of breast cancer, is an important observation. It makes clear that we should not have our children consume diets high in animal-based foods.
25. Animal protein intake was convincingly associated in the China Study with the prevalence of cancer in families.
26. Diet and disease factors such as animal protein consumption or breast cancer incidence lead to changes in the concentrations of certain chemicals in our blood. These chemicals are called bio-markers. As an example, blood cholesterol is a bio-marker for heart-disease. We measured six blood bio-markers that are associated with animal protein intake. … Every single animal protein related blood biomarker is significantly associated with the amount of cancer in a family.
27. Dietary fibre is exclusively found in plant-based foods. … The results showed that high-fibre intake was consistently associated with lower rates of cancers of the rectum and colon. High-fibre intakes also were associated with lower levels of blood cholesterol. Of course, high-fibre consumption reflected high plant based food consumption; foods such as as beans, leafy vegetables, and whole grains are all high in fibre.
28. The colours of fruits and vegetables are derived from a variety of chemicals called antioxidants. These chemicals are almost exclusively found in plants. … Free radicals are nasty. They can cause our tissues to become rigid and limited in their function. It is a bit like old age, when our bodies become creaky and stiff. To a great extent, this is what aging is. This uncontrolled free radical damage also is part of the processes that give rise to cataracts, to hardening of the arteries, to cancer, to emphysema, to arthritis, and many other ailments that become more common with age.
But here’s the kicker: we do not naturally build shields to protect ourselves against free radicals. As we are not plants, we do not carry out photosynthesis and therefore do not produce any of our own antioxidants. Fortunately, the antioxidants in plants and animals work in our bodies the same way they work in plants.
It is a wonderful harmony. The plants make the antioxidant shields, and at the same time make them look incredibly appealing with beautiful, appetising colours. Then we animals, in turn, are attracted to the plants and eat them and borrow their antioxidant shields for our own health. Whether you believe in God, evolution, or just coincidence, you must admit that this is a beautiful, almost spiritual, example of nature’s wisdom.
29. Complications such as heart arrhythmias, cardiac contractile function impairment, sudden death, osteoporosis, kidney damage, increased cancer risk, impairment of physical activity and lipid abnormalities can all be linked to long-term restriction of carbohydrates in the diet.
30. … there is mountain of scientific evidence to show that the healthiest diet you can possibly consume is a high-carbohydrate diet. … Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are the healthiest foods you can consume, and they are primarily made of carbohydrates.
31. … individuals can achieve their genetic potential for growth and body size by consuming a plant-based diet.
32. Everything in food works together to create health or disease.
33. At the end of the day, the strength and consistency of the majority of the evidence is enough to draw valid conclusions. Namely, plant-based foods are beneficial, and animal-based foods are not. Few other dietary choices, if any, can offer the incredible benefits of looking good, growing tall, and avoiding the vast majority of premature diseases in our culture.
34. When used for stable disease, bypass surgery, angioplasty and stents do not address the cause of heart disease, prevent heart attacks or extend the lives of any but the sickest heart disease patients.
35. We now know what is true: a whole food plant based diet can prevent and treat heart disease.
36. These studies document the fact that vegetarians consume the same amount or even significantly more calories than their meat-eating counterparts, and yet are still slimmer. … A plant-based diet operates on calorie balance to keep body weight under control in two ways. First, it discharges calories as body heat instead of storing them as body fat, and it doesn’t take many calories to make a big difference over the course of a year. Second, a plant based diet encourages more physical activity. And, as body weight goes down, it becomes easier to be physically active. Diet and exercise work together to decrease body weight and improve overall health.
37. Type 2 diabetes, the most common form, often accompanies obesity.
38. In dietary studies involving the Adventists, scientists compare “moderate” vegetarians to “moderate” meat eaters. … Compared to meat-eaters, the vegetarians had about one-half the rate of diabetes. They also had almost half the rate of obesity.
39. All of these findings support the idea that both across and within populations, high fiber, whole plant-based foods protect against diabetes, and high fat, high-protein, animal based foods promote diabetes.
40. … eating a plant-based diet lowered their insulin medications.
41. Another group of scientists at the Pritikin Centre achieved equally spectacular results by prescribing a low-fat, plant-based diet and exercise to a group of diabetic patients. Of forty patients on medication at the start of the program, thirty-four were able to discontinue all medication after only twenty-six days.
42. Unfortunately, misinformation and ingrained habits are wreaking havoc on our health.
43. … breast cancer is primarily caused by the same nutrition that elevates risk for other cancers - a diet lacking in whole, plant-based foods.
44. … a plant-based diet leads to a less severe hormone crash and a gentler menopause.
45. … there are two types of carbohydrates: refined and complex. Refined carbohydrates are the starches and sugars obtained from plants by mechanically stripping off their outer layers, which contain most of the plant’s vitamins, minerals, protein, and fibre. This “food” (regular sugar, white flour etc.) has very little nutritional value. Foods such as pastas made from refined flour, sugary cereals, white bread, candies and sugar-laden soft-drinks should be avoided as much as possible.
But do eat whole, complex carbohydrate containing foods such as unprocessed fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grain products like brown rice and oatmeal. These unprocessed carbohydrates, especially from fruits and vegetables, are exceptionally health promoting.
46. … every doctor should tell every man with prostate cancer to stop consuming dairy immediately and embrace a whole food, plant based diet.
47. … a whole food, plant based diet may be an incredibly effective anti-cancer medicine.
48. In the case of Type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks the pancreas cells responsible for producing insulin. This devastating, incurable disease mostly strikes children, creating a painful and difficult experience for young families. What most people don’t know, though, is that there is strong evidence that this disease is linked to diet and more, specifically, to dairy products. The ability of cow’s milk protein to initiate Type 1 diabetes is well documented. … The greater the consumption of cow’s milk, the greater age prevalence of Type 1 diabetes. In Finland, Type 1 diabetes is thirty-six times more common than in Japan. Large amounts of cow’s milk products are consumed in Finland but very little is consumed in Japan.
49. We not only have evidence of the danger of cow’s milk, we also have considerable evidence showing that the association between diabetes and cow’s milk is biologically plausible. Human breast milk is the perfect food for an infant, and one of the most damaging things a mother can do is to substitute the milk of a cow for her own.
50. A recent study showed that American women aged fifty and older have one of the highest rates of hip fractures in the world. The only countries with higher rates are in Europe and in the South Pacific (Australia and New Zealand) where they consume even more milk than the United States. … those countries that use most cow’s milk and its products also have the highest fracture rates and the worst bone health. … It was found that a very impressive 70% of the fracture rate was attributable to the consumption of animal protein. … We have had evidence for well over a hundred years that animal protein decreases bone health.
51. … a 1968-1973 UK study (reports) a stunning relationship between animal protein consumption and the formation of kidney stones.
52. Professor W G Robertson (from the Medical Research Council in Leeds, England) published findings showing that, among the patients who had recurrent kidney stones, he was able to resolve their problem simply by shifting their diet away from animal protein foods.
53. These two eye conditions, macular degeneration and cataracts, both occur when we fail to consume enough of the highly coloured green and leafy vegetables. In both cases, excess free radicals, increased by animal-based foods and decreased by plant-based foods, are likely to be responsible for these conditions.
54. … there is a good science to show that thinking clearly well into our later years is not something we need to give up. Memory loss, disorientation, and confusion are not inevitable parts of ageing, but problems linked to that all-important lifestyle factor: diet. … The seven studies mentioned above all show that one or more nutrients found exclusively in plants are associated with a lower risk of cognitive decline in old age. … the combination of a diet high in animal-based foods and low in plant-based foods raises the risk of Alzheimer’s.
55. Supplements will not lead to long-lasting health and may cause unforeseen side effects.
56. … one of the biggest health hoaxes of all time: the nutrient supplement industry. … It is not that all these nutrients aren’t important. They are - but only when consumed as food, not as supplements. Isolating nutrients and trying to get benefits equal to those of whole foods reveals an ignorance of how nutrition operates in the body.
57. … we now have clear evidence that the hoped-for health benefits of nutrient supplements are not forthcoming. … the vitamin supplement industry has nothing to do with science and everything to do with marketing - nothing to do with the health for the many and everything to do with wealth for the few.
58. There are virtually no nutrients in animal-based foods that are not better provided by plants. … plant foods have dramatically more antioxidants, fibre, vitamins, and minerals than animal foods. In fact, animal foods are almost completely devoid of several of these nutrients - but they have much more cholesterol and fat. … the fat and protein of nuts and seeds are different: they are more healthful than the fat and protein of animal foods.
59. Genes do not determine disease on their own. Genes function only by being activated, or “expressed”, and nutrition plays a critical role in determining which genes, good and bad, are expressed.
60. Nutrition can substantially control the adverse effects of noxious chemicals. … like genes, the activities of these chemical carcinogens are primarily controlled by the nutrients that we eat. … nutrition primarily determines whether the disease will ever do its damage.
61. In humans, we have seen research findings showing that a whole-food plant-based diet reverses advance heart disease, helps obese people lose weight, and helps diabetics get off their medication and return to a more normal, pre-diabetes life.
62. Those who feel good about themselves are more likely to respect their health by practicing good nutrition.
63. Furthermore, it turns out if we eat the way that promotes the best health for ourselves, we promote the best health for the planet. By eating a Whole-Food Plant-Based diet, we use less water, less land, and fewer resources, produce less pollution and inflict less suffering to our farm animals.
64. My recommendation is that you try to avoid all animal-based products.There are 3 excellent reasons to go all the way:
a. First, following this diet requires a radical shift in your thinking about food. It’s more work to just do it halfway.
b. Second, you’ll feel deprived. Instead of viewing your new food habit as being able to eat all the plant-based food you want, you’ll be seeing it in terms of having to limit yourself, which is not conducive to staying on the diet long-term.
c. Third, you will, within a month or so, perhaps a little more, actually break the physiological addiction that we acquire from eating large amounts of fat and refined carbohydrates.
65. Why haven’t you heard this before? … The entire system - government, science, medicine, industry, media and academia - promotes profits over health, technology over food, and confusion over clarity.
66. Doctors have virtually no training in nutrition and how it relates to health.
67. The problem with doctors starts with our education. The whole system is paid for by the drug industry, from education to research.
68. … the only type of research that is funded and recognised is research on drugs. Research on the causes of disease and non-drug interventions simply doesn’t occur in medical education settings.
69. … but it’s something more than just money. It may also be the intellectual threat that the patient should be in control, and not the doctor; that something as simple as food could be more powerful than all the knowledge of pills and high-tech procedures: it may be the lack of credible nutrition education in medical schools; it may be the influence of the drug industry. Whatever it is, it has become clear that the medical industry … is not protecting our health as it should.
Wow, the book shook me with the simplicity of its message and the extensive scientific findings put together to hold to light the truth of its message.
I had become a vegetarian 19 years ago, when I started practising yoga. I not only no longer found any taste in eating dead animals but also the fact of having dead animals on my plate put me off - intellectually and emotionally. I continued with eggs for a little while but the vision of chicks didn’t let me continue for long. The idea of giving up milk and milk products was a little more difficult. I finally gave it up on 10-Oct-18 this year after I read an article about Virat Kohli becoming a Vegan. I followed it up with more research which brought me to this book.
Before this book, choosing to eat only plants was just a personal whim of mine, more out of not wanting to harm other beings. After reading this book, I woke up to the severe health impact of being any other way. I could not help but inspire my kids, husband and parents to choose a vegan lifestyle with my new understanding of how the food we eat impacts our health and therefore, the quality of our life.
Sharing information is my responsibility. What you do with it is totally your choice, as it should be. Who to be and what to do can only come from within and cannot be thrust upon from outside, if it has to sustain for the long-term.
Wishing you the joy of physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual health and well-being to realize your greatest dreams in deepest communion with your highest self.
Love and reverence,
Further Reading / Viewing:
1. These 14 elite athletes are vegan — here's what made them switch their diet
2. Indian Cricket Captain Virat Kohli Goes Vegan
3. Milk: A Silent Killer by Dr N K Sharma (Distinguished Naturopath)
4. How Not to Die (Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease) by Dr Michael Greger (Founder of NutritionFacts.org)
5. Other authors to explore: Dr John McDougall, Dr Roy Swank, Dr Caldwell Esselstyn Jr, Dr Dean Ornish
6. Movies: Fork over knives, Plantpure Nation, Cowspiracy
7. TEDx Talk by Philip Wollen - Ethics in meat-free world
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.