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I was recently explaining my lifestyle to my sister, and explaining how I'm completely vegan and do not consume even dairy anymore.

I referenced the China Study and told her it shows a direct correlation to cancer, diabetes and a host of other ailments. She then refuted me by saying that anyone can write a book and that it's probably just the author's opinion. 

Then I told her it was an "actual study" not just a book of the writer's opinions.  And she said how "correlation" does not chow "cause."  Then she said how it is probably not a "peer reviewed" study or something like that. And she also stated that the U.S. Government still recommends that we consume dairy, so it must be good for us because it comes from "years of research."  And this is why she gives her baby cow's milk (since birth), because it is recommended by her pediatrician.

Can someone help me out here? Is there actual evidence/studies that "prove" dairy is good for us? Is the China Study a definitive study of cause and effect or just correlation?

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Check out this group: Debunking The China Study Critics

And a quick answer here:

FAQ - The China Study, The China Project

"What is the difference between "The China Study" and "The China Project"?

"The China Study" is a book that was published in 2006 by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell which details the journey of scientific discoveries and research into diet and disease over the past few decades. It comes referenced with hundreds of peer reviewed studies detailing why a plant based diet is recommended for optimal health.

"The China Project" is an epidemiological study undertaken in the 70s and 80s in China that ranged across 65 counties in an effort to understand diet and disease correlation. This study takes up only 1 of 18 chapters within "The China Study" book.

They should not be confused with one another."

1. Have her watch "Forks over Knives" - those people's recoveries were pretty incredible!  That shot of the old lady running past the stooped-over old folks on the park bench really got to me.  People are generally pretty amazed at what they learn if they really sit down & watch the whole thing.  Of course, you can argue against anything, and for a lot of people getting into a healthier lifestyle, their boosted health is due to the huge change of putting whole foods back into their diet.  Denise Minger wrote a really good critique of the China Study a few years ago:

http://rawfoodsos.com/2010/07/07/the-china-study-fact-or-fallac/

2. Don't go all "vegangelical" on her; share your viewpoint - IF she's interested - but let people believe what they want to believe.  Arguing about it just pushes people away in most cases.  Because food & diet is such an emotionally-rooted thing, the change really has to come from a person internally because they need that "motor" running inside themselves to make the decisions about what to put in their mouths on a daily basis.  I'm not vegan myself, but I prefer the diet (and now the fruitarian diet) simply because I feel so much better on it.  I still love bacon and I love milk-based products like ice cream (except they don't like me, stupid allergies! haha), and I doubt they'll ever magically stop tasting good to me, but results are results - if I want to feel awesome all day, instead of just "good" all day, then I need to eat a better diet, which is why I personally do it.

Human nature being what it is, taste & satisfaction is higher on the priority list than feeling good & having good health.  I know plenty of people who drink & smoke & live on red meat and have great health into their 90's; I also know vegans & vegetarians with a variety of health problems, including serious stuff such as cancer, so it's not like it's a magic cure-all bullet.  And if you've ever traveled abroad, the differences in dietary results between Westerners & Easterners is readily apparently - Americans who grow up on milk & meat are a lot bigger & taller than most of the Japanese (and Chinese) people I've come across, like head & shoulders taller, not to mention typically with much more muscle mass.  I would say that's genetics, but my first-generation Asian friends who grew up on the Western diet are pretty well sized-match for muscle & height against everyone else here in the states, so there's something to be said for diet in terms of growth as well.

I mean, you could argue for or against this stuff from every angle until the end of time, but ultimately, it has to be a personal choice.  The negatives aren't without merit either, especially on the fruitarian diet.  I've only been on it for two weeks, but so far, it has given me the most energy & best athletic performance of any diet I've ever tried.  While I don't know exactly what the long-term results will be, I do know that if you stick with it 100%, it makes your social life a lot more difficult - no more BBQ's with your friends, potlucks with your family, dinner dates, etc. because all you eat is raw fruit & smoothies.  For some people this is fine, such as DurianRider who is very committed to a cycling-oriented lifestyle, but that's definitely not the case for everyone, so everyone has to pick their own line in the sand, you know?  It's hard not to enthusiastically share what you have found to benefit your life so much, but there's also the risk of turning people off to it.

3. There's a ton of anti-milk stuff out there if you really want to go into it; check out http://www.notmilk.com/ to start out with.  There's a good read on the Food Pyramid here as well:

http://www.liftbigeatbig.com/2012/11/a-history-of-food-pyramid-corp...

And of course, there are "vested interests" in government food recommendations, so to blindly following advertising & bureaucratic recommendations isn't always the best course of action for optimum health:

https://notinmyfood.org/posts/1880-lobbying-on-the-food-pyramid-who...

When I was doing my research before trying out this diet, I came across a lot of negative material, such as this video edit by Youtube user "Media Maggot":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rxf2Wt4OeMw

The big thing they're bashing in that video is a lack of scientific data to back up their claims.  For me, personally, results are what matters, bottom line.  The scientific community changes their minds about what is healthy vs. what will kill you on pretty much an annual basis.  Freelee & DurianRider are pretty lean & seem pretty healthy; DurianRider did a 500+ mile bike ride in one day, which not too many people I know have done (or could do).  Freelee posted a video showing her blood tests with good results across the board.  Chris Califano claims he's been doing this for many years & has a great physique to show for it; Doug Graham has done pretty well with his race-related activities on a fruit-based diet.

I would definitely be interested in a double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized multi-year trial to study the effects of a fruit-based diet, but who exactly is going to fund that?  The government is driven by the lobbies, the lobbies are driven by corporations with a strong financial interest to keep the status quo.  And even if studies came out that said the fruitarian diet was the most amazeballs meal plan in the universe, would double your lifespan, make you fly, and build biceps on top of your biceps, people still wouldn't be switching in hordes because it's a personal choice driven by emotions, taste, culture, family, social connections, convenience, and a variety of other drivers.

Anyway, what I'm ultimately trying to say is be willing to share, but don't be pushy about it - dietary changes is a deeply personal choice.  I know plenty of people who have quite literally died rather than changing their diets, even when their doctors told them they could reverse their diabetes & heart disease simply by changing what they put into their bodies every day.  And they still wouldn't do it!  So hopefully those links help you out somewhat with your sister; there's plenty more information to be found if you hop on google, Youtube, and check out the various documentaries on food & health out there.  The best way to do it is by being a living example.  I mean, I have a couple friends at work trying out the fruitarian diet now simply because I have so much more energy and they wanted to know what I was doing to get it!  Hehehe.

forks over knifes is why i went vegan in the first place. there are tons of studies on how milk is bad so im sure you could find others to show her. Its amazing how people are so quick to believe drs and the government.

The most telling part of that documentary was that old lady who was pretty much dying, went vegan, and they had that shot of her running past those stooped-over old people on the park bench...horrible haha.  Totally inspiring to get on track eating healthier!

>Denise Minger wrote a really good critique of the China Study a few years ago:

http://rawfoodsos.com/2010/07/07/the-china-study-fact-or-fallac/

You do realize that 30BaD is a vegan site right?  Not sure why you would share something like that here nor why you would call it good, please watch Campbell here:

And check out this 30BaD group: Debunking The China Study Critics

I believe in seeing both sides of every argument to get a solid understanding of the issues in question, which includes being open to reading critiques such as the excellent one Denise Minger wrote.  The China Study is good stuff, but so far I feel that the Fruitarian approach is better than Veganism based on my personal results over the past few weeks, and I don't recall a pure-fruit diet being discussed much in Forks Over Knifes & other China Study-related stuff.  Also, Denise has an excellent formal analysis & response that is worth reading: 

http://rawfoodsos.com/2010/08/06/final-china-study-response-html/

There's a lot of variables with diet.  For starters, I don't think the scientific community has a complete picture because they change their tune every year.  This year, the theme is "cholesterol is good, sugar & transfats are bad".  Even DurianRider & Freelee don't have a complete picture - when I was researching this diet, I started from the beginning of their videos on up to the present time.  They too have changed their tune from totally gung-ho about a 100% fruit-only diet to allowing cooked vegetables into their diet.  So even the site operators are open to change as they learn & grow in relation to health knowledge.

I think the China Study is great, but I also think that everybody is different.  If everything affected 100% of the people 100% of the time, then all of the people would be suffering from cancer & other diseases - it would be on a much larger scale.  I know very few vegans in real life, but I also know vegans who have cancer.  Most people I know aren't suffering from breast or liver cancer or many of the other things that meat & dairy are attributed to cause.  I think that (1) we don't have a 100% accurate picture yet, and (2) everybody's body is different.  I know people who show up at work with a 2-liter of Pepsi for breakfast and have more energy than I do all day long.  Part of it is just genetics.  I do think that eating things like meat in moderation is a much better idea than binging on it like a lot of people do.

One of the websites I read through was BeyondVeg, which has an anti-fruitarian page with a variety of links to different articles.  But the more I dug into these & other articles, the less I found definitive proof that being a fruitarian wouldn't work long-term.  The people who are committed to it & do it right seem to have good results.  Here's a link to that site:

http://www.beyondveg.com/cat/fruit-dreams/

There are plenty of other websites like that, including Youtube videos, interviews, articles, and more.  But you also never know 100% of the story - if they were eating enough, drinking enough, getting enough sleep, eating cooked foods or not, and so on.  A lot of the articles published in the news media were also fairly hokey & just regurgitated USDA factoids, rather than actually trying it out properly & seeing how they fared.  One of the best articles I read was on No Meat Athlete, where author Ben Benulis tried it out for 30 days with good results:

http://www.nomeatathlete.com/fruitarian-experiment/

I'm curious to see what the long-term results will be for me.  A number of interviews & reviews I read were from ex-fruitarians who did not do well on it long-term, but again, I don't know exactly what their daily routine was & how closely they followed things properly.  For example, one ex-vegan stated in an interview that he consumed 4 pounds of leafy greens some days; I haven't finished my way through the 80-10-10 book quite yet, but when I was studying the diet plans, I don't recall every seeing more than one pound of leafy greens recommended on the sample meals plans provided in the book, so that seems like an excessive quantity of non-fruit dietary input.

So anyway, I like to read & discuss the pros & cons of everything.  If I'm for it, I like to give it a try myself to see how I do.  I'm a few weeks into the fruitarian diet and feel even better than I did on a "clean" vegan diet, so that alone speaks volumes for this meal plan.

>I believe in seeing both sides of every argument

That may be, but 30BaD is not the place for that.  It's a club for folks that already are convinced that a high carb raw vegan diet based on fruit is the way to go and that human supremacy syndrome is not okay.  This is all covered in the 30BaD guidelines to which you agreed to read and follow when signing up as a member here.

"First and foremost this network was created to support people wanting to succeed on a low fat raw vegan lifestyle not those wanting to debate the validity of it. So if that's why you want to join, please read 811, peruse the forum, and do your research first then join us when you are convinced this is the right way to go."  Forum Guidelines: Read before posting!

"30BaD does not tolerate promotion of the human supremacy syndrome. This means we oppose the harassment and exploitation of sentient beings for the 'potential benefits' of some humans. We find it unacceptable to suggest that humans use animals for experimentation, entertainment, consumption, clothing, economic benefit, and for food for pets etc."   Animal Sanctuary and 30BaD No Kill Zone!

Good point on the forum guidelines; thank you for the reminder.

Swon your comment "but my first-generation Asian friends who grew up on the Western diet are pretty well sized-match for muscle & height against everyone else here in the states, so there's something to be said for diet in terms of growth as well."

I don't think you are thinking correctly about this fact.  I don't think that us getting larger is a plus for the SAD diet, not at all.  Actually I was reading information about how humans are getting larger and I honestly think that is due to improper diet.  We are all consuming dairy and other hormone laden animal products such as meat.  Meat even if you don't add hormones still has hormones I would imagine since it derived from an animal.  I think our trend of getting larger is a bad thing.  As a species we are damaging our design.  We are turning into some huge animals and no doubt if we don't change our dietary practices and eat the diet we were designed for humans will go extinct if they don't cause their extinction through some other way first, like from all the crap we are doing to this planet.  Again I don't think you are evaluating the reasons correctly.  If we eat our natural diet over time humans will return to what they were meant to be and they will get smaller I am sure and that isn't a bad thing that is a good thing that is how we were meant to be and we will be enhancing our DNA instead of destroying it.  And really if I think about it humans as they were meant to be probably are already extinct.  Modern humans are far different then what humans were originally.  Our brains have shrunk.  As a species we have gone insane, we are violent some are evil.  I truly believe original humans were nothing like we are today and our ancestors would be ashamed of what we have become.

 such a good post FOL 

cancer cells are getting bigger too  

eating hormones is c r a z y 

excellent thoughts FoL, totally agree! 

I love this talk from KerryMac on topic: Weight Loss Should Be Easy: Brain Loss Shouldn't Be

and in response to this video Jon Fergus posts:

In terms of the historicity of animal consumption, you might be interested in the last part of this article: http://www.30bananasaday.com/profiles/blogs/ancient-vegans-porphyry...

Here, the greek philosopher Porphyry gives us his understanding of the way in which animal consumption came to be, drawn from historical records and testimonies he was apparently in possession of (this is before the church started burning all such docs). What he says is very interesting and supports what you describe here but from another angle.

Also, for anyone interested in the shrinking brain part mentioned, see here:

http://discovermagazine.com/2010/sep/25-modern-humans-smart-why-bra...

I'm just saying that kind of off-the-cuff, in other words, to be clear, no scientific basis provided.  I'm in a heavily Asian community where I live and have a lot of friends from Japan & China.  Before the Western diet started growing there, the people generally seemed a lot smaller & skinnier than their American counterparts (let's say the 70's & earlier).  My friends who have kids here in America who feed them the American diet (more meat & milk) suddenly have jumbo-sized kids compared to the ones who stick with the traditional Eastern diets.  Kids in the Eastern Asian countries are getting large as well, which I believe is due to the newer diets they are eating that are partly coming from the West (also to be clear, no racism of any kind meant here, just an observation of historical growth rates).

I do think it's weird how much food additives are affecting kids.  Girls in their early teens are becoming fully developed.  Some of my friend's boys are over 6 feet tall.  I'd blame it on genetics, but a lot of their family members aren't that tall, and an awful lot of kids I see walking home from school are mega-tall compared to when I was in middle school & high school.  So we've got hormone milk, excessive meat intake, processed-everything, GMO foods, and even microscopic pieces of metal in our food now.  And we also have ridiculously high rates of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and so on.  It's all about food, for sure!

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