Whole by T. Colin Campbell, PhD is an eye-opening, paradigm-changing journey through cutting-edge thinking on nutrition, a scientific tour de force with powerful implications for our health and for our world.
"The first problem for all us , men and women, is not learn but to unlearn."
- Gloria Steinem
"In the China Study, T. Colin Campbell revolutionized the way we think about our food with the evidence that a shole food, plant-based diet is the healthiest way to eat. Now, in Whole, he explains the science behind that evidence, the ways our current scientific paradigm ignores the fascinating complexity of the human body, and why, if we have such overwhelming evidence that everything we think we know about nutrition is wrong, our eating habits haven't changed"
Chapter Five in Whole addresses the impact that reductionist thinking has had our understanding about nutrition and food. He shares with us three main 'wrenches' in our thinking which are worthy of our time and consideration - especially as we all try to live more optimally healthy lives.
We would like to share with you here these three 'wrenches' with quoted excerpts from Dr Campbell's work. We hope you find them thought provoking and allow you to approach your own health goals more 'wholistically' as you move forward in your journey.
Wrench #1 - The Wisdom of Our Bodies (pages 68 - 69)
"Are you sitting down? Because I need to explain something that almost no one acknowledges about nutrition: there is almost no direct relationship between the amount of a nutrient consumed at a meal and the amount that actually reaches its main site of action in the body - what is called bioavailability ... the proportion of a nutrient that is digested, absorbed, and provided to various tissues and the cells in those tissues is mostly dependent on the body's need for that nutrient at that moment in time."
Wrench #2 - The Variability of Foods (pages 69 - 70)
"The nutrient content of the foods we eat themselves varies far more than most of us realize ... The variation in food nutrient content and the variation in the nutrient absorption and utilization by the body compound each other ... the consumption of any particular food at any particular moment, we cannot know with any precision how much of any nutrient is actually available to our bodies, or how much our bodies actually use."
Wrench #3 - The Complexity of Nutrient Interactions (pages 70 - 71)
"Interactions among individual nutrients in food are substantial and dynamic - and have major practical implications ... the common belief that we can investigate the effects of a single nutrient or drug, unmindful of the potential modifications by other chemical factors, is foolhardy. This evidence should also make us extremely hesitant to 'mega-dose' on nutrients isolated from whole foods. Our bodies have evolved to eat whole foods, and can therefore deal with the combinations and interactions of nutrients contained in those foods. Give a body 10,000mg of vitamin C, however, and all bets are off."
Dr Campbell's final thought in the chapter (page 74)
"Focusing on individual nutrients, their identities, their contents in food, their tissue concentrations, and their biological mechanisms ... is not the way nature evolved, and it makes proper nutrition far more difficult than it needs to be ... as long as we let reductionism guide our research and our understanding of nutrition, good health will remain unattainable."
Now, that is a lot of 'food for thought'! And it reinforces Dr B's idea that diversity of plants is the only way to ensure optimal health and wellness and balanced nutrition. The more plants we eat, the more options our bodies have to get what they need!
We thank Dr Campbell for all he has done and continues to do for us all in this world trying to live a plant-centric lifestyle, searching for optimal health and wellness and for always sharing his own authentic self.
If you are interested in joining our explorations of Whole with our 6D Book Club, where we dig deep into these ideas and how they impact our own lives, registrations are open through May 2023. You are welcome to join us - simply click here to register today!