Why I Am Not A Vegetarian: The China Study

I am not now, and have never been, a vegetarian.

OK, that’s not entirely true, I flirted with vegetarianism briefly a few decades ago, right around the time I was also experimenting with sideburns and dashikis. But for most of my adult life- and certainly for all the time I’ve been a nutritionist- I’ve been an unrepentant consumer of animal products.

It’s not that I’m not sympathetic to the animal welfare folks- in fact, I count myself among them (it’s a big tent, folks!) I belong to just about every animal activist group on the planet and care deeply about animal welfare. But while I share with my vegan friends a deep concern for all sentient beings, I happen to believe that we humans do better with some animal products in our diet.

Of course, God is in the details, so let me be a little more specific.

Despite arguments to the contrary, the fact remains that we humans are omnivores. We can eat- and thrive- on most anything edible. And for all of the 2.4 million years the human genus has been on the planet, we have eaten from what I call the “Jonny Bowden Four Food Groups”—food we could have hunted, fished, gathered or plucked. The exact proportions of animal vs. vegetable food that we consumed varied widely depending on where we lived. The Inuit, for example, thrived on a diet largely consisting of seal meat and whale blubber (very few vegetables grow in the freezing cold) while the Bantu of South Africa thrived on a diet very high in carbohydrates and the Masai did quite well on a diet rich with cow’s blood.

But it’s almost impossible to point to a society or a culture that has thrived and prospered without eating any animal products. (The only group I can think of that does it successfully is Tibetian monks, and they don’t reproduce.) When Dan Buettner did his landmark research on the areas of the globe where there are the greatest numbers of healthy centenarians (areas known as “The Blue Zones”) he found that three of the four societies studied did indeed eat meat (albeit not that much of it). The only exception was the Seventh Day Adventists in Loma Linda.

Despite vegan and vegetarian wishful thinking, some nutrients are simply not adequately represented in a vegetarian or vegan diet. Although the vegans will tell you otherwise, you simply can’t absorb any reasonable amount of bioavailable B12 from plant foods. Sorry. (And this is not just my opinion. The Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements, put together by a blue ribbon committee of scholars from the National Institutes of Health says “Because vitamin B12 is found only in animal source foods, strict vegetarianism has long been associated with a greater risk of deficiency of this vitamin”.) Heme iron, the most absorbable form of iron, is found only in animal foods.  And while vegetarians love to point to plant based sources of omega-3 fats like flax, the truth is that the overwhelming majority of studies on the health benefits of omega-3’s have been done on the two omega-3’s found in fish- EPA and DHA. The benefits of the omega-3 in flax, ALA, are far less clear.

So what about all those studies showing horrible things happen to meat eaters?

Well, this is a blog, not a book, so to go into depth about all the problems that “link” meat eating to bad things would take dozens and dozens of pages. Certainly, when you investigate dietary patterns you find that heavy meat eating is associated with a higher risk of certain bad outcomes, for example, prostate cancer. But in virtually every epidemiologic study ever done that links meat eating to bad outcomes, what’s missing is the fact that the “meat eaters” are

  1. getting their meat from factory farmed sources, meat that is loaded with hormones, steroids and antibiotics
  2. usually not eating very many vegetables or fruits
  3. usually eating very low amounts of fiber
  4. living very high stress lives with multiple risk factors

There has yet to be a study showing that reasonable amounts of grass-fed meat, wild fish, free-range eggs and other non-contaminated animal protein sources consumed as part of a diet high in fiber, vegetables, fruits and omega-3 fats, is associated with any bad outcomes at all. Quite the contrary.

And before you bring it up, let me address “The China Study”.

The “China Study” refers to a popular book that came out in 2005 by Professor T. Colin Campbell. Campbell was a researcher on a massive project called “The China Project” (also known as the China Study). Campbell’s book is not “The China Study” despite having the same name as the original. Rather, his book contains his conclusions about the research. Those conclusions can be summed up as this: protein is really bad for you, animal protein is the worst of all, a vegan diet is the healthiest diet on earth, and every nutrient you need you can get from plants.

The book is frequently used by vegans and vegetarians to “prove” that a vegetarian diet is healthier than any on the planet, and that protein- especially animal protein- is bad for you. They consider the book “conclusive proof” of that position.

To repeat: Colin Campbell’s book “The China Study” is not the actual China Study (also known as the China Project). The “real”, full-length study is titled “Diet, life-style, and mortality in China: A study of the characteristics of 65 Chinese counties [Chen J].”; it’s an enormously thick and difficult book that gathered data on 367 variables across 65 countries involving 6500 adults and yielding over 8,000 statistically significant associations. The popular book “China Study” by Campbell represents, as mentioned, his conclusions about this data – conclusions which have been fiercely debated, by the way. He uses hand selected, cherry picked data from the study to support his rabid pro-vegan position and leaves out everything that contradicts it.

(Campbell is associated with Physicians for Responsible Medicine, a vegan animal rights group masquerading as a responsible medical organization.)

It’s interesting that no one with a research background takes Campbell’s work very seriously. It’s too easy to spot the biases, the methodological problems, the cherry-picking and the spinning. And some statements are so patently ridiculous that all you can do is roll your eyes. (Example: “Eating foods that contain any cholesterol above 0 mg is unhealthy”.) But this is not the place to take Campbell’s book apart. For those who are interested in hearing “the other side” to Campbell’s propaganda—excuse me, I mean arguments—I suggest the excellent article by Chris Masterjohn on the Weston A. Price Foundation website, or you can find a version of it here:

There is also the stunning debate between Professor Loren Cordain, PhD and Campbell which you can find all over the internet by googling “The Protein Debate: Loren Cordain and T. Colin Campbell”. Highly worth reading. As is the comments by my good friend Michael Eades, MD, on the debate.

I have a personal story about Campbell which I think is pretty amusing. Campbell- who is a very charming and sincere man, by the way- came to speak at the Boulderfest Conference in Nutritional Medicine, a group not known for it’s affinity for veganism and high carb diets. (It was actually quite brave of him to come and speak to this group.) At the end of the day, there was a panel discussion in which all the speakers of the day sat at a dais on the stage and participated in a Q and A with the audience, including Campbell.

At one point, defending his “anti-animal protein” position, Campbell quoted a study done at Harvard University which, he said, had reached the exact same conclusion that he, Campbell, had reached. Even Harvard researchers agreed with him, was the implication.

A man sitting at the other end of the dais got up and introduced himself. “Excuse me, Dr. Campbell”, said the man.”I happened to be the lead researcher on that study you mentioned. And we made no such conclusions” It was David Ludwig, MD, of Harvard University.

So yes, I continue to struggle with the issue of how animals that are raised for food are treated. And no, I can never recommend factory-farmed feedlot meat to anyone. But I still believe that there is nothing inherently more healthy about a vegetarian diet, which, after all, could still qualify as vegetarian even if it consisted exclusively of pasta and Captain Crunch.

And I do believe that a diet with reasonable amounts of grass fed meat, plenty of wild fish, whole eggs from free-range chickens, raw organic milk, lots of omega-3’s, tons of vegetables, some low-sugar fruits, nuts, avocados, berries, real fermented foods like sauerkraut, miso and yogurt, olives and the occasional slice of truly whole-grain bread is a hard diet to beat for overall vitality.

At least it is for me.

jb@jonnybowden.com'

Author: Jonny Bowden

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, (aka "The Nutrition Myth Buster") is a nationally known expert on weight loss, nutrition and health. He is a board-certified nutritionist with a master’s degree in psychology and the author of fourteen books on health, healing, food and longevity including three best-sellers, “The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth”, “Living Low Carb”, and "The Great Cholesterol Myth".

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69 Comments

  1. cbattles@rochester.rr.com'

    I live in the country and although I’m not up to raising my own milk yet (I have a puny goat herd), but I can get raw milk from the farmer down the road. I whip up pastured eggs in the raw milk in the morning with a little almond extract and a shake of cinnamon. No sugar. It is delicious and will keep you going until about 2:00 in the afternoon.

    It is great to raise chickens. They are easy, cheap to raise. Goats are fun. In the summer they both only need a bit of cracked corn, and in the winter hay and oats and the corn and a salt lick.

    Now if I can just get my property taxes paid so I can stay here!

    Post a Reply
  2. james@kerrison.net'

    I think there is a place for being a part time vegetarian for a number of reasons including health and conservation.
    It has never made any sense to me to be 100% vegetarian or even vegan.
    Each to their own I suppose.

    Post a Reply
  3. evolutionaryagent@yahoo.com'

    Hi Johnny,

    What I find interesting about the “China Study” is that it also compltely contradicts everything that my Chinese friends tell me about what they eat “back home”. Fish, eggs, chickens, and pork, PORK! They love all of these things, they’d love more beef too when they can afford it. China is one of the least vegetarian countries on Earth.

    A minor aside- Tibetean monks eat meat, and dairy. They live in high, high mountians, and it’s hard to live on vegetables up there, as some of my Tibetean Buddhist friends liked to chide me while I was a vegan. Buddhist monks in other Asian countries often practice vegetarianism, but in Tibet they eat meat.

    Great article thanks!

    Post a Reply
    • alexlekander@hotmail.com'

      And, China has gotten more obese. The China Study isn’t “how Chinese people eat plants,” it’s “Chinese people in the past ate traditional diets which varied strongly, so we looked at how certain diets correlated with health.”

      Post a Reply
    • icemanwanker@gmail.com'

      No one is claiming that everyone in China is a vegetarian. What Campbell et al. are proposing is a gradient where more animal products associate with more disease. On one end of the spectrum, you have the wealthy urban Chinese who eat lots of animal products, and on the other end of the spectrum, who have the rural Chinese who eat mostly rice and vegetables, and treat meat and dairy like a condiment. Whether or not more animal products really do associate with more disease in the China Study monograph is up for debate. But the bottom line is that you simply don’t understand the study.

      Post a Reply
      • michelle@jonnybowden.com'

        I understand the study very well. Rather than explain it here, i humbly suggest you check out my lengthy chapter in the new edition of “Living Low Carb” which has a new chapter in it called “What About The China Study?”

        warmly
        jb

        Post a Reply
  4. ken@feedyourheaddiet.com'

    Dr. Bowden,

    In your last paragraph, you make it seem so easy to eat properly and healthy. However, confusion reigns.

    By way of example, you state to eat grass fed meat. In theory, that’s great. In the real world, we know 99% of our meat is raised on factory farms. So, grass fed meat is not readily available and it is much more expensive. Possibly, a better alternative is to eat less meat.

    Then you go on to say eat plenty of wild fish. Yep, everyone says that. So, I was told the only truly wild salmon is Sockeye. Well, after a little investigation, I was told that Sockeye, can in fact be farm raised. Of course, most salmon is farm raised and much comes from Norway. And with some investigation, it appears that the Norway connection is one of ruining our salmon supply and environment.

    Next, it’s on to free-range eggs. What’s the definition of free-range? Are they truly in the wild and allowed to be outdoors? Or can the eggs state free-range, but be factory farmed? I’ve also been told by the experts to pay about a dollar or so for these delicious eggs. Wow, that’s a lot of money for an egg. Personally, I have not found free-range eggs to be any more delicious than the standard egg sold in my highly-processed supermarket. As a side note, I do have a friend who raises hens that produce free-range eggs. Fortunately, I get them for free.

    So, while I’ve done thousands of hours of research into the American food system, I don’t expect the average person to do so. Thus, eating in America is a crap-shoot at every level.

    Bottom line, eat lots of fruits and veggies…protein and fiber…to create satiety, and while the government won’t say it, I will: “Eat less meat.”

    As always, thank you for your thoughtful information.

    Ken Leebow
    Feed Your Head
    http://bit.ly/1JKNz6

    Post a Reply
    • unkaputtbar@gmx.net'

      Wow, you have done thousands of hours of research and only ‘heard’ that the only wild salmon is the Sokeye? Where did all the farmed salmon come from? The wild. And they are still in the wild, and commercially fished every year. In fact, farmed Pink Salmon for example does not lend itself to canning, the meat of the farmed Pink Salmon falls apart during the canning process, so that one is usually wild. Quick look at the label will tell you, should tell you. If it does not, do something. Contact the manufacturer and demand proper labelling. Like dolphin safe or not for tuna. Free range farm eggs around here cost about $4 a dozen, organic eggs at the supermarket close to $6, regular eggs just over $3 a dozen. This bit of research would have only required a supermarket visit. Ken, with your statements, how can anyone trust what you say. If anything, you are the biggest support for Jonny’s article above.

      While I live in an area where free range, hormone and antibiotic free meats of any kind are readily available, I have had problems finding the same during my travels. These types of meat are not (yet) easily available to the masses, especially where high volumes of food are needed. With more knowledge about good quality meat sources hopefully that too will change.

      Post a Reply
    • bernadettebudnic@bellsouth.net'

      Ken,

      First, I want to say I agree with you that eating right takes some work. But the more you learn, the more you look around, the easier it gets. And it’s all GOOD. Your well-being is the pay-off :)

      I found out the salmon in most seafood cases in most grocery stores are farm-raised, but after rummaging around in the frozen seafood, reading labels, I find “wild caught” in small print on the back of the package.

      And I recommend you google around for farmer’s markets in your area. That has lead me to some great local finds. If you ask people, and tell them you are willing to buy these things, they can be willing to bring it to market. I now get fresh, hand churned butter that’s never seen any machinery (YUM!) produced by an Amish community in my area. And I buy local eggs. They even tell me what day the hens laid the eggs :) Heh. Imagine that.

      And yeah, I’ve had days that I’ve prepared a delicious. healthy lunch to take with me to work, and forgot it! Or just too busy to put something together. And trying to find something healthful in a short amount of time, can really be a disaster some days, but just think of it as a speedbump in your healthful eating path. No one is perfect.

      Good luck!

      Post a Reply
    • simoncropper@nolimitsasia.com'

      Ken,

      Very good points! I used to spend a fortune on organic produce, until I lost my job! Now I have to do what I can to eat healthy as possible! For the average person we can’t afford to eat grass fed meat, top quality eggs etc etc. I actually am about 90% vegetarian not by choice but because I can’t afford “Jonny’s Diet”!!!

      Post a Reply
  5. ithakacontractdesign@hotmail.com'

    what do you mean by vegetariansim? veganism or vegetarianism? i eat meat, and i dont see that big a difference between being “vegetarian” (eating eggs, dairy, etc.) and eating all animal products. Being vegan however, seems WAY different

    Post a Reply
  6. whisperweb@earthlink.net'

    Great Post Jonny!!!! I have heard about a book called The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability (Paperback) that came out last year is a good book on this subject. I have not read it but want to. I agree this Jonny on this subject!!!

    Post a Reply
  7. dan@liftingrevolution.com'

    That is pretty interesting… but I never understood way people were so adamant about being a vegetarian. Just like you did, you look at other cultures (even from the past) to see what they ate. Well just look at our teeth. If we were meant to be vegetarians from our ancestory then I don’t think we would have the selection of sharp cutting teeth that we have.

    That would be interesting to look around at different cultures and compare their teeth to see if it reflects their diets.

    Interesting post though.

    Post a Reply
    • Ilianasd94@aol.com'

      Have you ever thought that maybe our teeth evolved and became sharper as we started eating more meat?

      Post a Reply
      • jason.kehoe@gmail.com'

        And primates also have incisors and canine teeth for what exactly?

        Post a Reply
  8. jstyre@unitedfiregroup.com'

    Jonny – thanks for some insite into the “The China Study” by T. Collin Campbell – the book has certainly used and quoted by many to convince others that meat protein is the worst substance you can put into your body – even Whey protein is considered by many to be posion to your system. I appreciate your over balance on diet.

    Post a Reply
  9. tamara.mccollough@gmail.com'

    YES! Great article. I especially agree with the “pasta and Captain Crunch” bit. I’ve known too many self-proclaimed vegetarians who pat themselves on the back when they order grilled cheese and fries at a restaurant instead vegetables and fruit. Feelings about the treatment of animals and meat production aside, I’m of the opinion that any change you make to your diet should be done with the intention of optimizing your own health *first*. It should never be an afterthought.
    .-= Tamara´s last blog ..Break-Schmreak. =-.

    Post a Reply
  10. rachel.hendren@gmail.com'

    Thank you, Dr. Jonny.

    Once again you’ve provided me with a great resource and verified my natural beliefs. It’s not all or nothing with meat – it’s in what form and how much that is important. I don’t believe in mistreating animals for any reason.

    The website that I’ve included is a great source of grass-fed beef products (and a lot of information about healthier eating). Two pounds of ground beef, for example, costs just $5.08 right now. That’s a great price. You can select any cut you want, but you just pay shipping (so ordering in bulk spreads out that shipping cost – plus you get big discounts). They ship to every state. Maybe some like-minded people can come together to form a meat co-op and really save?!

    Thanks again for providing me evidence, research, expert advice, and other tools to defend my position about my diet. You are my favorite healthy living guru!

    Rachel

    Post a Reply
    • michelle@jonnybowden.com'

      Thank you Rachel. I also would like to put in a plug for the company I like as well- US Wellness Meats which can be found through a link in my online store under “Healthy Foods”.

      warmly
      jb

      Post a Reply
  11. chunkylover53678@yahoo.com'

    Saying that humans have been eating meat for 2.4 million years and therefore we need to continue to do it is not a valid argument. Humans also used to wear nothing but loin cloths and use outhouses. Does that mean we should get rid of jeans and indoor plumbing? In today’s society, sacrificing an innocent animal’s life is no longer necessary in order to stay healthy.

    Meat is not the only source of vitamin B12, good multivitamins have plenty. As for iron, iron deficiency is rarely ever a risk for men and much more commonly, men will actually overconsume iron which can lead to a lot of negative health consequences. And women are always at a risk for iron deficiency, regardless if they are a vegetarian or not, and thus should be consuming iron-fortified multivitamins either way. Fish are not the only source of EPA/DHA, they actually get these omega-3’s from the algae that they eat. Vegetarian EPA/DHA supplements are available that are derived from this algae. Since consuming ample amounts of omega-3’s is virtually impossible in today’s society without taking some form of supplements, this aspect should be no different for vegetarians than it is for omnivores. Also, humanely raised chickens can also produce eggs that are high in DHA. You could also make an argument that vegetarians typically consume less creatine, beta-alanine, zinc, and acetyl-carnitine, but once again, all of these are available in supplement form and should often be supplemented in omnivores as well as vegetarians, making the distinction nonexistent. And needless to say, it is not difficult to consume enough complete protein without having to eat meat. I’m a vegetarian bodybuilder and I easily consume nearly 300 g of protein everyday from organic unpasteurized dairy from grass-fed cows, omega-3 enriched eggs, and occasionally some quinoa or tempeh. If you don’t believe it’s possible, tell that to guys like Bill Pearl or Mike Mahler.

    I will agree with you that Dr. Campbell’s arguments are severely flawed, and when animals are raised humanely in their natural environment, they can be very healthy to consume. However, healthy is NOT synonymous with ethical. I imagine if someone were to kill and eat your family, you would be fairly upset, even if eating your family was “healthy” for that person. Autistic or mentally impaired children don’t look or think the same way as we do, but we don’t kill and eat them, do we? Even if somebody is less mentally acute, they can still feel pain. Why should animals be treated any differently?

    Post a Reply
    • michelle@jonnybowden.com'

      very thoughtful and reasonable arguments. Believe me i’m no fan of killing animals, but each person has to make their own personal decision about where to draw the line. For example I would never, ever wear a fur coat, but recognize that there is a certain inconsistency in that position if I’m still willing to eat beef occasionally. And it can go all the way down to would you kill a cockroach… i guess i’ve just made peace with the fact that this is an almost unsolvable, very difficult philosophical issue that doesn’t permit easy, black and white answers. At least not for me. Thank you for sharing your thoughtful opinions.

      warmly
      jb

      Post a Reply
  12. Lynnzuck@aol.com'

    How do you feel about whole milk dairy versus low fat?
    Thank you in advance for your thoughts.

    Post a Reply
    • michelle@jonnybowden.com'

      I have zero affinity for no-fat anything (yogurt, milk, etc); SOME tolerance for reduced fat ONLY because of the calories not because of the fat. And i think the whole issue is minor compared to the one of “raw” vs “homogenized, pasteurized”. When it was still possible to buy raw milk in California supermarkets, i always bought the full fat kind.

      warmly
      jb

      Post a Reply
      • ruddyr@rogers.com'

        My father was told (back in the 60’s) to drink full fat milk for his stomach ulcer. Such great advice back then huh? He ate steak 3 times per week as well. Loved his eggs, bacon and buttered toast. By the time he was 60 he had a double-bypass procedure.

        My experience with LCHF was spent watching my cholesterol levels go up and up and angina pains that soon followed. I got smart and switched to a low fat, plant-based diet. The only dairy I’ll touch these days is the very same type that you revile – skim milk and 0.0% fat Greek yogurt.

        Post a Reply
        • newbirth35@yahoo.com'

          When I was eating low carb the only thing that made my cholesterol go up (and it was the bad LDL stuff, too) was whole eggs. I could eat bacon, beef, and anything else and it wouldn’t do a thing to my cholesterol levels, but whole eggs, yep.

          Now I eat whole eggs very rarely and when I do eat them, I prefer to just stick to egg whites, though that’s mostly due to the calories since I’m not eat enough now to impact my cholesterol. I might throw in one yolk for color and flavor.

          Post a Reply
  13. meh206@comcast.net'

    Hi Jonny,
    Always enjoy all of the information you give us.
    I am just wondering about your opinion on reversing heart disease.
    Seems like everything I see about it is mostly vegetarian or vegan, and very little fat. (Ornish, Fuhrman, Esselstyn,McDougall).
    Could you comment on this please.
    Thanks so much.

    Post a Reply
    • michelle@jonnybowden.com'

      Certainly Ornish has good research to show just that- but remember his was a five part program that involved anger management, exercise, meditation, no smoking AND a low-fat diet…. Nevertheless that’s not to say that in a THERAPEUTIC way this might be an effective strategy for combating a situation that’s already progressed. Maybe. And for most of the people in these studies, they’re already eating so badly that any change is going to be for the better. I don’t mean in any way to disparage people from trying Ornish’s approach if they are sick… it does have the advantage of being highly ANTI inflammatory (from all those vegetables, etc)… But I stand by the fact that a healthy diet heavy on fruits and vegetables, with plenty of good fat and protein from non-contaminated sources is a perfectly good and wonderful diet for most people.

      warmly,
      jb

      Post a Reply
  14. tone-88@hotmail.com'

    To make any change by anyone for any reason takes an open mind. An especially open mind when it comes to diet, in particular animal food. I have been involved in the healing arts for almost 30 years and you can read and read and almost always still be confused. The only time knowledge becomes wisdom is when you stop reading about it AND DO IT.
    I have done many experiments in my life so far, from running a health center to working on my farm (fresh eggs, meat, and raw goat mink/cheese home made), to practicing Macrobiotics for 22 years (and teaching it), to raw (almost) for another 6. While doing all this, also running a health food store for 21 of those years. Omnivore – Vegetarian- Vegan – Raw food … you don’t know what you’re talking about untill you DO IT WITH AN OPEN MIND.
    I also do health consults with live blood microscopy and what I have noticed was, if a client THINKS he can’t live without animal foods, even if he tries, will never succeed in feeling the benefits because he doesn’t BELIEVE it is possible. (closed mind)
    The same is true for raw foods or any other change. Just because you read somewhere that it’s SUPPOSED to work doesn’t mean that it will.
    The point I’m trying to make here is to give something new a chance to work you have to abandon yourself to the change and GIVE IT TIME. A personal example I can give is related to my experience with Macrobiotics. I was a Macro counselor using yin and yang and many other complicated references from Traditional Chinese Medicine. Now, when I decided to give raw foods a whirl I had to completely TURN OFF my yin/yang, because if i didn’t I would have gone nuts because yin/yang didn’t make sense any more in the new world I was getting into. You have to DO IT, and do it well with honesty and integrity and an open mind. Give your 100% and if it doesn’t work after giving it ENOUGH TIME then respect yourself and move on. Study more and try something different.

    Hope this helps someone.

    Antonio.

    Post a Reply
    • michelle@jonnybowden.com'

      Thank you for sharing your experience, Antonio, in such a generous open-hearted way

      warmly
      jb

      Post a Reply
  15. tnikkola@lifetimefitness.com'

    This was my favorite article of yours so far. I can certainly see how some people may choose to avoid animals from an emotional standpoint, but the theory of it being healthier or better for the environment just doesn’t have legs to stand on when you look at animal products that were raised and processed appropriately. Keep the great articles coming!
    Tom

    Post a Reply
  16. cbattles@rochester.rr.com'

    Johnny, you are in the forefront of a wave of public interest and understanding on nutrition. Do you have some advice for people who would like to get into such a career themselves, a way to get excellent training in nutrition without taking a lot of time and spending a lot of money? (hope this is not too off-topic?)

    I think you, more than any other nutrition expert “out there,” (except perhaps for Weston A Price Foundation and Sally Fallon) are right on the money in your analysis of good nutrition, which is why I ask this question.

    I just love your articles, and you are great in the videos, a living testimony, another Jack LaLane (sp?) type, with as much enthusiasm and even more persuasiveness, and top notch advice.

    Post a Reply
  17. FoodIs@nucleus.com'

    Yes, I agree with cheryl; thank you for being the ballast in the tall ship, Dr J, when so many others are simply sailing on fad and fancy.

    To jump the Reply cue, only to repeat the good doctor’s own words from a previous post for nutritional study, Dr J might suggest:
    -University of Bridgeport, Masters in Human Nutrition;
    -Clayton College of Natural Health;
    -Institute of Integrative Nutrition.
    The latter two having a veggie-bent about them. Yes, doc?

    Also, the Weston A Price Foundation is offering courses through Hawthorn, and the Price-Pottenger Foundation is also offering courses. Hopefully the consciousness will shift to revere Mother Nature – soon!

    Post a Reply
  18. immayerbly@gmail.com'

    The Inuit and the Masai are extreme examples and are at the ends of the bell shaped curve when it comes to diets throughout history and are hardly good examples. Though tools for hunting can be documented vegetable or starch consumption is not easy to find archeologically. Seeds were consumed though. Diets throughout history have been all over the place but they lean more towards more majority plant based consumption than meat (email me for the references if you wish)

    The longest living people on earth don’t eat a lot of meat. Meat seems best as a side dish or on rare occasions or holidays only when one looks at epidemiological studies. Again majority plants!

    Many 7th Day Adventists thrive on an no animal diet, it is not hard to thrive on that sort of diet, if that is your thing, they are some of the healthiest people in the world. To not find a society that thrives on a vegetarian diet does not mean anything! It just points out that doing anything 100% is not something we have historically thought about because getting enough calories was always the number one factor. It is no way detracts from the vegetarian argument. We have choices of so many foods now, and so the debate is open.

    The point is there there are many examples of societies that thrive on a starch based, plant based diet, ok so they eat meat on occasion, the point is that the diet is MOSTLY plants and they thrive. Are you making the assessment that that they are thriving because they are eating a little meat? because one could make a counter argument that it is in spite of the meat that they are healthy and back that up by credible studies.

    I don’t know what vegetarians you are talking to, but b12 deficiency is known by most vegans/vegetarians that I know. This is not a defect in the diet, just a defect in the way we grow things now, dirt, insects in the veggies and even in wild soil would make up for it but we clean things too much and have depleted soil, so you take a b12 supplement.

    Heme iron – big deal, a plant based whole foods diet, eating lots of leafy greens, is going to provide you with plenty of iron. The absence of heme iron from the diet is in no way a defect!!
    True def more studies done on DHA but it is obvious if you look at the pathway that ALA gets processed through, which ends up in DHA which we make on our own if we have ALA. Admittedly, this can vary greatly from person to person. The point is that the overall ratio of 3:6 in someone eating a vegan plant based whole foods diet is great! DHA can be obtained from seaweed if you wish.

    Would you agree that the majority of your food should come from plant based sources?

    Campbell has an agenda, no doubt, but one arrived at through science. One can interpret that anyway one wishes to. He has also seen the corruption of the meat and dairy industry and its interaction with big government.

    As far as the PCRM. I have met many of the physicians for this group, one that as a physician I will likely join in the coming months (though I am not a complete vegetarian) I know from my experience as a physician that it is a vegan diet that reverses a wide variety of diseases, let me tell you it is the most dramatic thing I have seen treating patients since medical school!! When they even start to increase meat intake even slightly even non factory farmed, things like lupus, start coming right back, it is DRAMATIC. Did I say it was dramatic? Ok, so you mention that there is a difference in therapeutic diets and healthy diets. I agree partly, but, lets be clear about something, the majority of doctors in PCRM didn’t arrive there as animal rights espousing, vegans, they arrived there like myself, as a physician who has seen first hand, disease reversal when we have only been taught about disease modification. Vegan diets ALWAYS highly outperform any other diet in this case.

    In my opinion, I think you can acknowledge that vegan diets can be a legitimate choice? I have dozens of patients who are healthy today because of that diet. Those inclined to changing often come from the free range eggs, grass fed beef community with articles like this one in hand and they are still sick. When they come in, since they are into “healthy food” they know a little and then I can guide them to making these vegan choices.

    The other issue raised by my patients is that they feel so great that they don’t want to go back. So one can thrive and thrive amazingly well on a vegan diet. Ok so you take b12, perhaps some DHA if you don’t think you are converting enough yourself. Other than that, your protein needs are met, fat is even met fine, as long as it is a plant based whole foods diet.

    If I don’t lump factory farmed meat eaters and Mcdonald’s customers with the type of people who eat grass fed meat, then I think you could agree to please don’t mix vegetarians eating potato chips and captain crunch who eat a plant based whole foods diet.

    I would love to know what ratio of plants to animals is in your diet.

    Thanks for your articles!!

    Izzy

    Post a Reply
    • tone-88@hotmail.com'

      Hi Izzy,

      Thanks for taking the time to write. You make some good points. I am not a Medical Doctor, but I have seen many recoveries from illness with clients moving from a meat based diet to a vegan diet. I did not see any going the other way around. I have see clients that say they feel better when they eat animal foods, but the blood readings don’t show it. I suppose that if the animal foods could be reduced to the point of not creating congestion it could work. That I have seen. This includes animal foods from ALL sources. It’s not impossible for some people to really need some animal foods. I can and am living without it, and yes I am thriving, have no excess weight, great muscle mass (with little resistance exercise), and look younger that most men 10-15 years younger.

      The other concern I have with animal food consumption is the way heat denatures the protein and fat. I doesn’t seem to be as digestible when it has been heated. (It would be great if there were studies on this subject). We should also be aware that if fat oxidizes before it is absorbed by the cell it will go elsewhere. Heating fats don’t help.

      About the B12, this is not a Vegan exclusivity. According to Dr. Brian Clement there are 3 times more B12 deficient animal food consumers than Vegans. I have not read the studies, but he seemed pretty convinced when I heard him speak about it. I for one am vegan now (since 1982), and when I did my blood test I was not deficient in B12, however I know that the common lab test for B12 in not accurate, so I send my blood out to the people that do the SpectraCell test (in Texas I think), and I was borderline for B12. I took a special fermented form of B12 for 4 months and SpecrtaCell tested through the roof. Also my Live Blood Test showed a clear improvement in cell shape and size. I was jumping through the roof !!

      I know that you can always find ‘scientific’ support for something you want or not want to do in terms of diet. From my observation over the last 27 years it comes down to likes and dislikes. In the end however the truth will always float to the surface.

      There are omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans and in my practice I have seen unhealthy clients from all three disciplines. At the end of the day you have to know what you’re doing, and I’m still learning something new every day.

      Antonio.

      Post a Reply
      • imayerbly@gmail.com'

        You say “I have seen many recoveries from illness with clients moving from a meat based diet to a vegan diet.” That is the point I was trying make.

        Post a Reply
  19. schninoclock@gmail.com'

    Jonny, this article seems a little bias to me.
    I’ve been a vegetarian for 8 years, vegan for four years….and I love it!

    Post a Reply
  20. cassandraforsythe@gmail.com'

    Excellent blog post Jonny!

    As was stated by another reader, it is quite hard to choose healthy meat, fish and fowl in this day and age. It would be wonderful if we could go back to real farms, where the animals ate grass and roamed free, but with our greed for food and our excellent ability to dump into the environment, we’re running out of land to do this with.

    Yes, eating animal foods can be done safely and healthfully, but I do think the majority of our nation (especially the US) just eats too much meat/fish/fowl in general and would benefit from plant-based meals more often than not. But, I’m sure you do agree and I wasn’t trying to argue with you. Just stating my two cents. :)

    Thank you again for a great post!

    Post a Reply
  21. drjim@drjamescarlson.com'

    Hi Dr Jonny! Great post!

    I recently had a 15 year old male patient present for a routine physical exam. Upon review of his lab data I noted a dangerously low folic acid and B 12 level, a very low HDL, and an extremely elevated triglyceride level (very common biochemical abnormalities I see in my vegetarian patients). When the patient presented for follow-up with his parents they were all ‘shocked’ at the results. The patient proudly proclaimed in front of his beaming parents that he was a vegetarian, then his parents stated they didn’t understand why the numbers were so bad as he ate ‘healthy.’

    Then I went into my ‘eating healthy’ does not, for most people, equate to ‘eating the correct way’ lecture. It has been my experience in nearly twenty years as a family doc that the sickest people in my practice are indeed my vegetarian patients. They also make the drug companies alot of money as they routinely require pharmaceutical agents to treat their disease processes. This is so sad because most medical diseases can be treated quite easily by lowering the carb intake, and eating more saturated fat, cholesterol and protein.

    Oftentimes, it is very difficult to get through people’s belief systems, for vegetarianism is a ‘belief’ about how one should be eating. Unfortunately, beliefs can be right or wrong; the facts just are. I read with amusement the section where Dr Ludwig addressed Dr Campbell’s ‘belief’ about the Harvard study. But this is so prevelent, that is, people ‘believing’ things about the correct way to eat, holding themselves out as a ‘nutritional expert’ (a combination of words which I believe have obtained oxymoron status), and then proselytizing to the masses incorrect dietary advice.

    As you well know, from Michele Obama, to the current Surgeon General, American Heart/Diabetes/Dietetic/Cancer Societies, NIH, NHLBI, AOA, AMA and even Dr. Oz (who I like, I just wish he would understand the facts about human nutrition and then discuss that on his show); all these people, societies and organizations still adhere tenaciously to the low fat/low cholesterol brainwashing mantra.

    As an interesting side note, one of the ‘critics’ of my book actually used Campbell’s ‘The China Study’ in an attempt to refute what I had written. I found that quite interesting. Since I am privileged to be a physician, and even more fortunate enough to understand the correct way to eat; I not only have thousands of ‘success’ stories of my patients doing phenomenoly well backing off on carbs, and eating more of the very stuff they’re told is bad for them; but I also understand ‘why’ we need to eat that way. I can guarantee you most nutritionists, dieticians and clinicians have forgotten (if they ever knew) the importance of Acetyl CoA and how this molecule is a pivotal biomolecule in the understanding of the correct way to eat.

    Bye for now,

    dr jim

    Post a Reply
    • michelle@jonnybowden.com'

      just wanted to thank you for such an informative and fascinating post

      warmly
      jb

      PS i’d love to see a copy of your book!

      Post a Reply
    • happyearth50@yahoo.com'

      Dr Jim,

      I am and always have been a vegetarian. I did have elevated triglycerides and low HDL as you mentioned your veg patients had. What I was doing wrong I discovered in hindsight was eating a high dairy & high processed food diet along with a sedentary lifestyle. I agree that one CAN damage your body eating bad veg diet …just like you can a bad carnivoire diet.
      I am VEGAN now and feel like I did at 20 … not JUST because of becoming vegan. I am focusing on eating WHOLE UNPROCESSED foods with minimal cooking if needed. I eat oats, berries, bananas, almond-milk, big salad, beans, peas, tomatoes, lima beans, potatoes, carrots, brocolli, walnuts, pecans, cherries, …you get the picture.
      BUT THE REAL SECRET TO MY GREAT BLOOD WORK AND HEALTH IS HARD WORK !! I got a job in a warehouse where I walk 9 hrs a day, lifting 5-30lb objects 40 times an hour. I was cursing the job the first 3 months. Then I got to blood work and kept quiet then I started cursing the job because I was working 50-60 hrs a week during holiday season and then I realized something. On my off days I was restless and wanted to get back to work. I am as active as I was in highschool and I love it !!

      Now if I ate junk, I would not be able to sustain my lifestyle…believe me I had days I ate junk and was ready to drop… so I can tell you my diet allows me to be this active !!

      So moral of my story… instead of steering your veggie patients away from being veg, have them go WHOLE FOODS VEGAN with each meal having carb, protein, veg, fat balance and HAVE THEM GET PHYSICAL !!!

      M. R.

      Post a Reply
  22. mattpack@impackfitness.com'

    No one seems to remember that we are all descendents of the Ice Age. What vegetables, fruits and grains/starches were we consuming than? I

    Post a Reply
  23. mattpack@impackfitness.com'

    I also think it’s worth noting since we are speaking about LONG-TERM health. Dr. David Getoff a Naturopath from the Price Pottenger Foundation once said that only true way to determine if a diet/lifestyle is working is to find a group or culture that has been free of disease and has been thriving on a particular way of eating for 3-4 generations. He stated that you would never see a Vegan society thriving for 3-4 generations because they would eventually run into major infertility issues. He also makes excellent points stating that most people feel so good switching to a vegetarian/vegan based diet not because it’s necessarily healthier but because of it’s detoxing effects. He goes on to say that if something makes you feel good/better or improves blood panels and than 30 yrs go by and you get sick or develop negative symptoms from that diet than it wasn

    Post a Reply
    • happyearth50@yahoo.com'

      Major infertility issues ?????!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA !!! Tell that to India that has a majority veg population !!

      Post a Reply
      • passerby@anonymous.com'

        Liv, most of India is LACTO-vegetarian, not vegan. The fertility promoting factors are found in abundance in milk, butter, yogurt, ghee, etc. Likewise, the Seventh-Day Adventists in the California “blue zone” are mostly lacto-vegetarian — very, very few are pure vegan. Some go vegan as they get older, past reproductive age.

        On the other hand… one group of Indian “vegans”, moved to Britain and after a few years, came down with all sorts of illnesses that were eventually traced to veganism. They were perplexed — “But we’ve been vegan for centuries!” — however, upon investigation, it was discovered that the problem was the clean British grain supply. Back home in India, the grain was filled with weevils, mealworms, etc — sources of animal protein, B-12, and extended omega-3s — which were ground up into the bread and consumed unknowingly. So back in India, they only thought they were vegans… in Britain, they really were — and it was very bad for them.

        Veganism just cannot be sustained multi-generationally. Some people can coast on it for a long time on stored nutrients, perhaps a few outliers can go the rest of their lives. But most cannot. And yes, fertility and child-growth issues are a problem if you try to reproduce as vegans. This may be why there is not one healthy indigenous vegan culture, anywhere. (Weston Price looked hard for one — he evidently *wanted* to find a healthy primitive vegan culture, but to his sorrow he could not.)

        Post a Reply
  24. silver_fyn@hotmail.cm'

    I am vegetarian, one living in China, and one that totally agrees it takes a lot of brain power to get all the right stuff into you somehow.
    I don’t think it’s fair for people to make comments like \maybe some of them [vegetarians] would come to their senses\ because it implies a lack of thought on our part. if you’ve ever been a healthy vegetarian for a sustained period then you’d understand it’s not something you can lightly flutter into. Temptations are all over the place, like that filthy greasy Big Mac that’s staring you right in the hangover or the roast leg of lamb on Christmas Eve that all your family’s tucking into. It’s hardly a matter of us being unaware of our choice, believe you me.

    Responsible vegetarians understand the basic complexities of nutrition fully. This in itself is beneficial, to anyone’s lifestyle, and anything that makes people think more about what they’re putting into their throats, or what they’re not, has got to have some sort of inherent value. Thus I support this post despite disagreeing with parts of it.

    Responsible vegetarians also understand why they’re giving up meat, and can explain it (hopefully) fluently and logically! For example, I include some fish in my diet because of the density of nutrients they carry, and the fact that they CAN be harvested sustainably. It is widely known that we are grossly over-fishing our seas and it is short-sighted to denounce the entire fish-farming industry because of this. I exclude red meats because if we used the land space that we currently use to raise beef, just beef, to farm vegetable crops then we could feed a population many times our current size. I exclude chicken because it is almost always unethically and unhygenically farmed.

    I think if I ever had a plot of land big enough to raise my own meats, thus knowing exactly how they’ve been raised, and could somehow commit to their humane slaughter, then I would again eat meat. If I ever have children this is the meat I’d want to be feeding them, simultaneously fostering in them an understanding of where their food comes from and where it doesn’t. Because this is another way a vegetarian lifestyle can benefit individuals and, more broadly, society: it questions how we source our food, and whether there are better ways to do it.

    I’ve recently watched that Jamie Oliver series that studied the canteen industry in American schools and was both fascinated and sickened when a tomato was held up before a Grade 3 class and not one student could name it, but when a sachet of tomato sauce was displayed the whole cohort jumped out of their seats and screamed ‘KETCHUP! YEAH!’ An extreme example of ignorance and disassociation, I know. But no-one in this forum can deny the severity of this issue with diet that societies of today are facing, and not just in America.

    For me at least, vegetarianism, in any form, is a viable solution.

    Post a Reply
  25. darrington.jack@gmail.com'

    Dr. Jonny, I loved this post. It seems like more often than not when people engage in the vegetarian vs meat argument they get over-heated and their arguments lose credibility; but kept an even keel; I appreciate that. That said, I’m a vegetarian, but mostly just because it helps me save money on grocery bills.

    Post a Reply
  26. padmajanarsipur@yahoo.om'

    Jonny

    I am a South Indian Brahmin – and generations of us have survived/thrived on a lacto-vegetarian diet – lots of grains, pulses, fruits, vegetables AND milk/milk products but no eggs, fish or meat.

    Although I am open to eating eggs once in a while, I cannot/will not eat meat. How do I sustain a low-carb diet in these conditions?

    Paddy

    Post a Reply
    • rmaha2121@yahoo.com'

      Hi Paddy,

      Whew !! Thank God someone represented who I am in these comments !! I also am a SI Brahmin raised Tamilian. I am vegan now and just feel awesome. When I became vegan, it coincided with a heavily physical job that involved walking and lifting 30lbs of weight continuously for 9 hrs a day 4 days a week. My cholesterol went from 213 to 168 and all the other blood numbers were thru the roof positive !!

      This article and most of the comments are very arrogant and dismissive about the success of being veg (vegetarian or vegan). I was raised to respect ALL life.

      When one has to take a family of animals, split up mother and baby, slaughter them both and prior to slaughter, keep them in horrible conditions is super-horribly-psycho bad already !! Similar things were done to slaves during the time when blacks were commodities of an economy !
      Now these people here think they are very noble if they eat ‘grass-fed’, ‘humanely’ raised animal. What if I were to kidnap one of their babies, raise them nicely but keep abusing them sexually periodically but still they will have a beautiful home and food and playground for frolicing…does what I am doing make it more noble????

      KILLING IS STILL KILLING…especially animals that are JUST LIKE US with two eyes, ears, mouth, uterus, brains, feelings, loss….

      THE FACT THAT I COULD SURVIVE WITHOUT DOING HARM MEANS I’VE ALREADY WON !! CASE CLOSED !! NEXT TOPIC !!
      Why the hell are humans STILL arguing whether we should go vegan??? Vegans are healthy, reproduce, and thrive !! PLUS WE ARE NOT CAUSING TORTURE AND CRUELTY TO ANOTHER SENTIENT BEING !! PLAIN AND SIMPLE !! No more need to analyze and discuss !!

      Of course it is simple if you have a conscience…now if you don’t have a conscience then my only suggestion to those people is ‘PUT YOUR SELF IN THE ANIMALS SHOES’ DO THE ‘I FEEL YOU’ on the animal…’feel what they feel’ !!!

      Now Paddy, a low carb diet is easy peazy on a vegan diet. I eat oats, berries, bananas, nut-milk, lots of herb-greens salad, beans, peas. My protein is from beans(black, pinto, lima, Garbanzo, peas (try crowder, black eyed, purple hull peas). My starch is from potatoes, Oats. Ofcourse, die-hard low-carbers say legumes have high carb. But their fiber cancels the carb somewhat.

      Paddy, in any event, the idea is EAT WHOLE FOODS in it’s most original form possible, not juices, fried, extracted or processed. This way you don’t have to worry about low carb. I know some raw fooder who only eat whole fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds and they are super healthy.

      Good Luck,
      Mahalaxmi

      Post a Reply
  27. erikb@mailinator.com'

    I take issue with some of the Paleo reasoning. History shows early humans as opportunists/gathers and scavangers. Hunting took a while to become a part of our main stay, after all its your brain that enables hunting, you are not naturally equipped with things like claws or teeth suitable for combat, historically you were quite likely to get your ass kicked by buffalo. Tool development is what precipitated more hunting/fishing, and even then it was in minimal amounts supplementary to the gathering activities.

    Just take a look genetically at our closest animal matches in the wild Chimps/Gorrillas etc. Their diet is 95% fruit/nuts. 5% baby animals/eggs etc.

    The problem with a lot of this low carb stuff is that it gets interpreted just the same way as fail vegetarians eating mock meats, in that meat becomes 50%+ of peoples overall caloric source. This was never the case evolutionarily.

    Post a Reply
  28. makeupbykat@yahoo.com'

    Ok, but did you ever wonder why you can get B12 only in animals? It’s because animals such as cows eat grass that’s full of insects, spiders, bugs etc. which equals B12. If cows are not fed with grass, forget about B12. Their meat doesn’t contain it. So if you are vegan or vegetarian and eat fruits and vegetables and here and there you swallow a bug, you get your B12. We need only micrograms of it and it’s not hard to obtain it through plant based diet. In fact, as a vegan you might get more of it than someone who eats toxic meat.

    Post a Reply
    • rmaha2121@yahoo.com'

      B12, I once heard at a raw foods lecture grows on any food left outside. Since we clean and refrigerate our foods so often, the b12 gets washed off. The guy suggested taking a bite of a fruit, laying it down and eating another bit a half hour later and so on.. also keep your fruits veggies outside, not refrigerated as much as possible.

      Post a Reply
  29. Zandoor@princetowncable.com'

    I am a fan, Dr. Bowden and I follow a healthy diet and lifestyle. The movie Forks over Knives promoted an exclusive plant based diet. The doctors involved followed the research, much of it in China, and thought they had it right but one of them had osteoporosis. I found myself wondering if some more protein would have helped reduce or prevent that condition.

    Post a Reply
    • michelle@jonnybowden.com'

      i would love you to read the chapter i wrote on “The China Study” in my book, “Living Low Carb” (the new, revised and updated 2013 edition).

      warmly
      jb

      Post a Reply
  30. i.lobben@gmail.com'

    I’m not vegan because I think it’s so much healthier than being a meat-eater. I’m vegan because I know I can live healthy nevertheless, and I like the fact that no animal has to be killed just so that I can make sure I get those extra nutrients. Even grass-fed cows have to be killed before you eat them, and I believe that since we know we can make a choice (unlike a lion who neither will survive without meat nor have the moral understanding of what it means to kill another animal) we should be able to make a more moral decision here.

    Also, I get my DHA and EPA from the same source that fish get them from: algae. My two pills of algae oil per day provide me with the same amount of DHA & EPA as two servings of fish every week. It’s a nice alternative to contributing to overfishing. I’m Norwegian, and used to LOVE eating salmon. Although it was hard for me to stop eating fish, I feel that the life of these creatures are worth more than my minutes of enjoyment while eating them.

    As for B-12, I get that from an organic, raw, and live supplement from Garden of Life, a brand I also use for Iron, Calcium, and extra protein.

    The China study didn’t really convince me either, although I never took the time to actually read the results, nor the book that Dr. Campbell wrote on it. However, I do know that it was a correlational study, which is very different from an actual laboratory research experiment (which are the only ones that can make conclusions about causation).

    I do however know that I am healthier than ever, and when I went get my blood checked a couple of months ago, everything looked absolutely perfect, including my B-12 levels, my Iron levels, and my Omega 3 index.

    My boyfriend is not vegan, but vegetarian. I bought eggs for him last week, and at Whole Foods they did have eggs from a producer called Vital Farms. Free range eggs doesn’t mean anything, here’s an example of a free range farm: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jw8LOrrExZw I chose to add a link to a video uploaded by the producer itself, rather than from an animal rights organization in order to avoid arguments about how the video is not representative for the industry. I do however wonder how someone could be ok with hens living inside such a sad environment. Back to Vital Farms, they actually provide their chicken with pretty decent living conditions: http://vitalfarms.com So if you really feel that you have to eat eggs, and you’re not one of those who have friends who have their own chicken, I think that’s the best alternative out there. But let’s not be too naive. I’m sure the male chicks are still killed somehow and that the hens are also killed once they stop laying eggs, simply due to the fact that it would be very unprofitable to do not to this. The eggs were also $4 for a 6-pack, a bit pricey, but I don’t want to get too selfish with my money when I already know that purchasing eggs in the first place is a bit selfish.

    In the end, I appreciate the fact that you do not support the horrific factory farm industry. Choosing grass-fed, free range, and wild caught fish is definitely an improvement from the average American diet, both in terms of your health, animal welfare, and the environment.
    I’ve made my choice simply because I do not want to cause any suffering or unnecessary death. I’m not saying I’m healthier than you are, although I don’t believe that you’re that much healthier than me either.

    Post a Reply
      • rmaha2121@yahoo.com'

        Well Put !! You hit on ALL points of argument against veg-ism… And Dr. Bowden, you ‘respect’ her choices but DON’T RESPECT the choice of the animal to keep his/her life and to be living on this earth during his/her short life with his/her children and family….

        ANIMAL EATING IS NOT A CHOICE FOR THE ANIMAL !!! SO WHEN ONE SAYS RESPECT YOUR CHOICE…it is soooo thoughtless and lacks affect !!

        Post a Reply
        • aruna.s.ravi@gmail.com'

          Well said Mahalaxmi! I totally agree with you. I’m a South Indian Brahmin as well, raised as a lacto-vegetarian and working on becoming a vegan (by substituting dairy based products with soy / almond / coconut based products). I must say I feel very healthy, my doctors says my vitals are great and my family (including ancestors) have been lacto-vegetarians. We maintain a healthy work-life balance and watch our nutrition and regularly exercise. Of course there are supplements that are readily available over the counter if ever needed. I just don’t understand why many people are not able to see from an ethical perspective. It is very, very sad! This 2014 and most of us have easy access to healthy vegetarian / vegan food options PLUS supplements. Still, people choose to justify and consume meat. I just don’t understand why it is so hard to show empathy and compassion to other species. I am not making all these statements just because I was born and raised this way, many of my peers and friends who were raised on a meat based diet have switched to a vegetarian diet and feel better than ever!

          Post a Reply
  31. Theheedlist@gmail.com'

    The author of the china study actually states in the book that he eats meat very occasionally…

    Post a Reply
  32. alexlekander@hotmail.com'

    We’re not true omnivores. We process meat about as well, maybe slightly better than most herbivores, which occasionally will eat sources of meat if things get really scarce. Our australopithecine ancestors did really good surviving on plants. When we got smarter, we found more plants and we found more ways to make those plants (and insects) easier to obtain.

    If you want to eat a truly natural diet, eat the plant based diet and add insects to it. There’s your natural diet. If you want to eat like shit, eat meat constantly.

    Meat is physically addictive because it’s high fat by nature and has cholesterol in it. If you want to live longer, don’t eat much meat. Do you know who prospers? The Yuzurihara people of Japan, who live on rice, potatoes, beans and vegetables, with a very small amount of fish. Same with the village of Bama in China. On the Isle of Ikaria people live to a long age much more frequently. Oh, and meat is on the menu maybe twice a week for most people?

    Age slower with plants. Now, I stopped eating most forms of meat because they’re destructive to the environment and clearly not necessary for my health. It’s also unethical to raise animals in horrible conditions. I’ll eat fish rarely on occasion and I might eat some red meat when I get the opportunity kill a deer.

    You can have any junk that you want if you have it in TRUE moderation. That doesn’t mean have a little bit each day. That means, have something once every half week to two weeks in a small portion, eating healthy the rest of the time. Then, the junk tastes better, and you can feel better about having it because it won’t be a detriment to you.

    Post a Reply
  33. mckenziebj@wildroseinternet.ca'

    Hey all,
    very interesting. Firstly, all things that are edible for the human being to develop and grow, and that means body and consciousness, are there for us whether it is the grass, a flower, a tree, a pig, or anything that crawls and flies, unless it is poisonous to the human being, but we must accept these things as food with great respect and gratitude, that way we do not misuse it or become gluttonous over anything. Also, whether you be vegetarian or meat lover, everything needs to be consumed with a balance, otherwise it even affects our consciousness too greatly in an adverse way where we cannot evolve positively in our consciousness, but become degenerated. Also, we should never consume meat from tortured or pained animals as that can affect us greatly. This is likely what some animals raised in feed lots go thru their whole life, very sad. If we are vegetarian or vegan, we must be very careful in our research to make sure that we acquire all the different nutrients that meat gives us from other sources or eventually we will suffer in body or mind. So become knowledgeable in whatever you place in your body, acquiring all the different nutrients that are a necessity to you, as you only get one per lifetime. Eat healthy, be happy, be free, and be at peace, whether veg or meat lover. Most of all be true to yourself, do not base your decisions on someone else or because of someone else. Be responsible for your ownself.

    Post a Reply
  34. mckenziebj@wildroseinternet.ca'

    I forgot to say one small but big thing. It is the fact that we have a major overpopulation problem on this earth and that is why so many people are turned off of eating meat. No one wants to live on tortured animals from the disgusting feedlots and cubicles that they raise chickens in that cannot stand up on their feet. It’s awful, so let’s change it. DO NOT SUPPORT THIS KIND OF MEAT PRODUCTION, FIND HEALTHY AND RESPECTFUL SOURCES FOR YOUR MEAT. and become conscientious about the overpopulation problem and don’t have kids if you don’t need to, and if you do, only have one or two and take good care of them and teach them proper truths about the world.

    Post a Reply
  35. diamdave@sbcglobal.net'

    I would be curious, Dr. Bowden, to get your take on inflammation being the chicken or the egg (so to speak) in terms of CVD. I recently bought your book ‘The Great Cholesterol Myth’ and found it extremely eye-opening. I know you believe inflammation, from sugar and other sources, is the primary cause of cardiovascular heart disease, and you list ways to cut it down via a revised diet. However, I am also aware of a landmark study by Brown and Goldstein (please google, I don’t have the link handy) stating that inflammation is a downstream BYPRODUCT of cholesterol / sat. fat infused scarred endothelium, rathen than the CAUSE of it as you and Dr. Sinatra contend. Your comments on this, please?

    Post a Reply
  36. marika.charalambous@gmail.com'

    It’s the first time I’m visiting your blog, I actually came across it while looking for views on The China Study book views vs the Preston Price book and as I’ve read both, I was still confused, because for a layman (or woman, lol) like me, both sound scientific and have plenty of logical and well said stuff to back them up. But they are totally opposite in view and I feel that without further research from my side, I can go either way, because both are credible to a simple girl like me, who is trying to live healthier.

    A friend of mine is vegetarian (I think she’s actually vegan) and swears by the China Study and she pushed me to read it. But then so many things don’t really jibe with my nature. I do eat meat, I love meat (red meat even) and ever time I try to eat only fruits and veggies, I’m always hungry and feeling not quite well. So I guess I know which my direction is.

    My main problem is that in my parts of the world it is just so difficult to find all those healthy animal products. While I did find free range eggs, there’s noway I can find here raw milk, no matter how much I try, unless I got to the some far away village to buy from locals – by the time I get home, the milk will be spoiled in the heat. And these are just two small things…for most people who are busy with working just to make money to be able to put food on the table, it is just not so easy to go fully healthy, sometimes we do need to make a compromise. But still, we do as much as we can, I guess.

    I digressed, for which I’m sorry, I really just wanted to say that I loved your blog post and will be subscribing to your RSS feed to read more.

    Post a Reply
    • rmaha2121@yahoo.com'

      Marika,

      You are making things way too complicated. EAT WHOLE FOODS !!

      For each meal I balance carb, protein, veg/fruit, fat.

      Carb for me is potatoes, rice, quinoa, oats.

      For protein, beans, various peas (crowder and black eye and green my favorites).

      Veg is a green salad, tomatoes, bell pepper, and other things in season.

      Fruit is berries & bananas daily with other seasonal fruits.

      Fat is Flaxseed oil, nuts, tahini, sunflower seeds, etc.

      You may be hungry because you are not eating enough fat & fiber. Fat from Avocado, nuts, seeds and some cold pressed oils. Fiber from salad veggies.

      Post a Reply
  37. yezgani@gmail.com'

    I personally find my lacto ovo vegetarian diet to be adequate for me. I am a Seventh day Adventist and I believe that most of the Loma Linda residents are also lacto ovo vegetarians. I became a lacto ovo vegetarian more than ten years ago and i have never felt healthier. I encourage you to try some recipes on my Vegetarian and vegan recipes blog and I also encourage you to read my post on how to become a vegetarian http://vegetarianandveganrecipe.com/2013/04/how-to-become-a-vegetarian.html

    Post a Reply
  38. joulu@pukki.com'

    Eat plenty of veggies.
    Add quality fruits.
    Enjoy free range meat/fish.

    Steer away from anything processed.

    Think like an animal ;P

    P.s. If you can pop it straight in, it must be good!

    Post a Reply
  39. nicole@nicole4health.com'

    is there a way to post this on Facebook?

    Post a Reply
    • michelle@jonnybowden.com'

      Sure! Just copy the link and paste into the post window on facebook.

      Post a Reply
  40. mike@gmail.com'

    “Jonny Bowden Four Food Groups” That’s funny, lol.

    Go Johnny…

    Post a Reply

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