Forks Over Knives - Here's My Take on the China Study
“Some of you have been asking me for my opinion about the new movie “Forks Over Knives” which includes Dr. Campbell who wrote the book The China Study. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, in his book Campbell suggests that many so-called “normal” illnesses of aging aren’t actually normal. Rather, his findings indicate that the vast majority of degenerative illnesses can be prevented, at least until very old age, simply by adopting a plant-based diet.
I greatly enjoyed reading Dr. Campbell’s book and he’s absolutely right on many points. For example, I think his theory about animal protein promoting the development of breast and prostate cancer is right on. But I don’t fully subscribe to his general premise. Here’s why.
Some vegetarians will not eat meat but will eat eggs and dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese. Others avoid all foods derived from animals. In my opinion, a strict vegetarian diet will put you behind the nutritional eight ball.
Every strict vegetarian (vegan) I’ve examined has had low blood levels of CoQ10, L. carnitine, alpha lipoic acid, and vitamin B12. These are critical nutrients found most abundantly in animal protein. You can try to compensate for these missing nutrients through supplementation, and I would strongly recommend that if you’re firmly wed to being on a strict vegetarian diet. But I would not switch to becoming a vegetarian based on The China Study.
I researched international cuisine for many years and came to the conclusion that the best diet on the planet is what I call a Pan-Asian Mediterranean diet. That’s what I eat, and I recommend it to my patients. Asian and Mediterranean cultures enjoy fish and smaller quantities of meat, root vegetables, and fresh local fruits and greens. They also frequently use meat to flavor their sauces.
As for myself, I follow an 80-20 rule. I eat 80% vegetarian foods, and 20% meat—including lamb, buffalo, salmon, and chicken. I also eat a lot of organic vegetables, fruit, eggs, yogurt, and some cheese on a day-to-day basis and use organic milk on cereals.
Now it’s your turn: Do you follow a vegetarian diet?
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Meet Dr. Sinatra
Dr. Stephen Sinatra is a highly respected and sought-after cardiologist and nutritionist with more than 30 years of clinical practice, research, and study. His integrative approach to heart health focuses on reducing inflammation in the body and maximizing the heart's ability to produce and use energy. More About Dr. Sinatra
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