Recently a friend recommended that I read The China Study by Colin Campbell. When I found out what this book was about I was a little reluctant to read it because I heard it addressed the benefits of a vegetarian diet and I have never aspired to be a vegetarian. Most of the serious Vegetarians and Vegans I have seen over the years appeared to be much thinner than the average person, but aside from the weight difference I didn't think they were much healthier than the general population. I admit I was biased as I approached this topic.
As I've read this book I have been intrigued by the many findings the author shares. He uses data from several studies which shows a correlation between high animal protein consumption and many diseases. Despite the scientific evidence he uses to back up his claims, there are still many critics of his findings including other scientists and doctors. I don't have any moral issue with eating animals or animal products but I have never been a huge meat eater. Even if I wanted to I don't think I could stop eating animal products completely. People can make a conscientious effort to cut back on certain foods they are tyring to avoid as many people do with refined sugar, but to completely eliminate all forms of certain foods is virtually impossible. Fortunately there are many levels or degrees of vegetarians ranging from the strict Vegan who shuns any animal product to the Flexetarian who will occasionally eat meat and animal products but emphasizes a plant based diet.
I applaud anyone who attempts to eat healthier but it seems to be an uphill battle in today's society. I've noticed that unhealthy food is much more affordable and plentiful than healthy alternatives. Our country is a prime example of poor nutritional habits since most Americans are overweight and are plagued with cardiovascular problems, diabetes, and other diseases. I believe nutrition plays a larger role in our health than most people acknowledge. I'm not saying changing one's diet will necessarily cure any disease, but it is obvious that good nutrition can help prevent and delay many of health problems people are afflicted with.
I don't consider myself a vegetarian, but as a result of reading this book I am more open minded to the concept and have become more aware of the foods I eat. I recommend this book for anyone who is concerned about their health. Even if you only make some of the changes in your diet that this book suggests, you would still be better off. Everyone could benefit from eating more fruits and vegetables and improving their nutritional habits.