Book Review: WHOLE – Rethinking the Science of Nutrition

Author: T. Colin Campbell, PhD Howard Jacobson, PhD
Publisher: Ben Bella Books
Publish Date: 2013

On the cover of The China Study, co-authored by Colin and Thomas  Campbell, is a statement made by Dean Ornish, MD which reads, “Everyone in the field of nutrition science stands on the shoulders of Dr. Campbell, who is one of the giants in the field. This is one of the most important books about nutrition ever written – reading it may save your life”.

This review is about a second book written by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, which details his reasons for conclusions reached in The China Study and how it all came together.

In WHOLE: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition, Campbell makes the case that human consumption of meat and dairy is the cause of America’s most insidious diseases, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, mental illness, Alzheimer’s, obesity, hypertension, and more.

Campbell has spent over 50 years in the field of nutritional research. His findings, published in The China Study, explain that humans evolved from herbivorous primates, so the assertion follows that humans are not genetically designed to be carnivores. The digestive systems of humans flourish when we eat plants and unprocessed foods called ‘whole foods.’ The standard Western diet is totally toxic to humans, so why are people not listening? Here’s why.

It’s all about profit. Medical schools, hospitals, and government health agencies treat nutrition as if it plays only a minor role in health. There has been a conspiracy of control, silence, and misinformation but the truth belongs to all of us. Our future as a species hangs in the balance.

The modern healthcare myth states that disease can be eliminated by advances in technology, genetics, and pharmacology. Billions of research dollars are poured into dangerous and ineffective treatments. The health-care system in America is a misnomer; it is really a disease-care system, and America is sick.

Modern medicine in America kills more people than traffic accidents, the high numbers coming from medication errors, hospital errors such as botched surgeries, hospital-caused infections, and unnecessary surgeries. Meantime, the U.S. government stays in denial mode as once-vibrant people in nursing homes and geriatric centres suffer needlessly by being dosed up with pharmaceutical cocktails.

The good news is that the foods we eat can heal us faster and more profoundly than the conventional strategies currently being used.

Campbell’s ideal human diet looks like this:

– Eat whole foods and plant-based foods that are as close to their natural state as possible.
– Eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, raw nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, and whole grains.
– Avoid heavily processed foods and animal products (including fish and chicken, and their byproducts).
– Stay away from salt, oil, and sugar. Aim to get 80% of your calories from carbohydrates, 10% from fat, and 10% from protein.

That’s a whole food, plant-based diet.

In Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition, Campbell points out that the human body doesn’t make antioxidants because they are so readily available in our primary food source – plants. When humans shifted their herbivorous diets to one that was high in animal-based and processed food fragments, the game was tilted in favour of oxidation. And this oxidative stress, happening at the cellular level, was further promoted by the increasing amounts of protein in our diet.

Unfortunately, the standard Western diet does not supply enough plant-based antioxidants to contain and neutralize this oxidative stress, and illness results.

But as Campbell asserts, the power to change this is in our hands.

The authors’ dedication, which appears on the first few pages of the book, reads: “To all those who unnecessarily paid the ultimate price of a failed health care system.”

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