When I read this book, it's like preaching to the converted. I know we are what we eat. I know that excessive protein in the Standard American Diet (SAD) causes calcium deficienes. I know that the most healthful way of eating is a raw diet. Along with others like Dr. John McDougall, I'm guessing it's an uphill battle trying to get other medical professionals to even listen to the evidence in the China Study. But again, that fits the road to truth: rejection, ridicule, then, eventually, if we're lucky, acceptance.
Here's some notes from the book:
From the cover:
"...findings from teh most comprehensive large study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developin disease are challenging much of American dietary dogma."--The New York Times
[p. 94] ...The triumph of health lies not in the individual nutrients, but in the whole foods that contain those nutrients: plant-based foods. In a bowl of spinach salad, for example, we have fiber, antitoxidants and countless other nutrients that are orchestrating a wondrous symphony of health as they work in concert within our bodies . The message could not be simpler: eat as many whole fruits, vegetables, and whole grains as you can, and you will probably derive all the [necessary] benefits.
[p. 101] The body employs a delivate balancing act adn some very intriate mechanisms in deciding how to use the calories being consumed. When we treat our body well by eating the right foods, it knows how to partition the calories away from body fat and into the more desirable functions like keeping the body warm, running the body metabolism, supporting and encouraging physical activity or just disposing of any excess. The body is using multiple intricate mechanisms to decide how calories get used, stored, or "burned off".
[p. 106] The more we thank that a single chemical characterizes a whole food, the more we stray into idiocy....
[p. 172] ...if Americans had an additional thirteen grams of fiber a day (about a cup of any variety of beans) from food sources (not as supplements), about a third of all colorectal cancer cases in the U.S. could be avoided.
[p. 201] If changing your diet is expensive, I don't know what they would say about being bedridden and incapacitated. As far as altering the "normal nutritional balance" is concerned, what is normal? Does this mean the diet that we eat now is "normal"--the diet that is largely responsible for diseases that cripple, kill, and make profoundly miserable millions of Americans each year? Are massive rates of heart disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases, obesity and diabetes "normal"? If that is normal, I propose we start seriously considering the abnormal.
And finally, on the topic of The Man sticking it to America, protecting corporations and profits ahead of individual health and well-being:
[p. 341] Both (doctors) Esselstyn and McDougall have not been denied reentry into the establishment, after headline-making success at healing people with a nutritional approach. You can focus on the money--according to John and Ess, 80% of St.Helena's and 65% of the Cleveland Clinic's respective incomes were generated by traditional heart disease treatments, surgical interventions--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 the knowledge of pills and high-tech procedures; it may be the influence of the drug industry. Whatever it is, it has become clear that the medical industry in this country is not protecting our health as it should. As McDougall reaches his arms out, palms up, and scrunches his shoulders up, he simply says, "It's beyond comprehension."