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Topic: Refuting dietary studies like the China Study (Plant Based Diet / Vegan).  (Read 6910 times)

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Please Note:  This post can cause a bit of cognitive dissonance with some people.  To be clear, I am not anti-Vegan.  I am pro science and pro truth.  If you read the pinned post in this forum, you'll see that I believe that about 10% of the modern population can really thrive on a healthy Vegan, plant based diet.  Please read the below with an open mind, as it is simply about good science vs. bad science.  The China study... like many dietary studies... does not provide data that you can use to draw any definitive conclusion.  The only thing one can do is "observe" the results and interpret them... and this must be done with the study parameters in mind.
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People often ask, "Doesn't the China Study Conclusively show that a diet devoid of animal byproducts is the healthiest way to eat, and that diets rich in animal fat and protein cause serious long term illness?"

Well....No.

The so-called China study is a text book example of good sounding science that is actually very bad.  In order to make any meaningful conclusions about the data, the study would have to have been actually FRAMED to isolate the causative factors.  It was not.  It was simply observational science.

Observational science is interesting and has value, but you cannot draw any sort of real conclusions based on the data.

For the study to have been meaningful for analysis, the first thing that would have needed to be done is to isolate and filter out sub-groups.  Here, we are talking about HEALTH.  You would have to exclude individuals that purposefully made unhealthy lifestyle choices, and properly categorize people who made healthy lifestyle choices.

For Vegans and vegetarians, nearly everyone would be categorized as individuals purposefully making and living healthy lifestyle choices.  Only a very small minority would be excluded.  Most of the exclusion group would be heavy drinkers (alcohol) and drug users... maybe some that over-eat, as well.  In other words, almost every Vegan and vegetarian live their whole lives making healthy choices.  Diet is just one small part of their lifestyle.

The people who eat animal protein and fat, on the other hand, are completely different.  Many of the people in this group choose to make lifestyle choices they know are unhealthy.  Others simply don't really pay much attention to health-determining choices; their priorities are elsewhere.

All of these people would have to be filtered out of the study, as well as those who regularly ate processed food (although you could classify as many subset groups as desired).

So, what you would have to do for a meaningful study is compare Vegans who live healthy lives with animal eaters who live healthy lives (by the study's classification of "healthy life", not the individual's opinion).  This would probably eliminate 70% of the animal eating population from the study!

Only once all of the parameters of the study were properly set, with all of the disqualified subgroups filtered out, would we have valid data to actually compare.

Now THAT data would be interesting.  I have a strong hunch that the results between the two groups of individuals would be very close.  There would also be great value in studying the subset of THOSE groups that did not fare well, for whatever reason!

Good science is about meaningful data that is observed from exactly the right perspective!
« Last Edit: March 18, 2019, 07:38:40 PM by Jason »
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Re: Refuting dietary studies like the China Study (Plant Based Diet / Vegan).
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2019, 11:31:31 AM »
I tried a vegan diet for a year, many years ago. It was varied and as balanced as vegan can be.   I became anemic.  I could not, no matter what I did, get out of that state.  Dr said... you need to eat red meat at least once a week.  So I did and that fixed the issue.  On a health note of that time period, I had been diagnosed with Hashi and Graves a few yrs earlier so was trying to find the best balanced diet.  I have been eating meat ever since and remain non anemic.  Like you said in your post, some people may be able to survive well on a vegan diet.  It just wasn't for me.   


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Re: Refuting dietary studies like the China Study (Plant Based Diet / Vegan).
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2019, 11:38:12 AM »
Indeed!  The world is seldom as absolute as many people would like it to be!

Out of curiosity, did you try using beets to combat anemia?  Beets are amazing, but on the other hand, they are a little bit high on the glycemic index.
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Re: Refuting dietary studies like the China Study (Plant Based Diet / Vegan).
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2019, 11:51:27 AM »
Yes, I like beets and did have them at that time. But I would say a lot of beets.  I tried to be varied, changing out veggies daily. That diet change happened in the early 90's so learned from books and HFS.  I also had my husband and child on the same.  Husband was not too happy with vegan but went along with it. Wish I would have had his bloodwork done back then.  He was happy when we went back to meat.  Hes Italian so pasta was a large part of his diet so thats probably what kept him happy during the vegan year.  ; )


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Re: Refuting dietary studies like the China Study (Plant Based Diet / Vegan).
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2019, 01:06:46 PM »
...hah - yes, Italians and their pasta!

I've run across many people who could not find a way out of the anemic condition.  I do know a few that supplemented with animal-derived vitamin Bs so that they could maintain their lifestyle, but I do not that is the wisest choice.  One took Bs and did eggs once to twice weekly.

When I have met Vegans who are really meant to be Vegan or vegetarian, they have no such issues.  They simply have no issues.  I have to qualify that by saying Vegans or Vegetarians that have been so for at least 10 to 20 years so I know that they have actually well adjusted to the lifestyle.

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Re: Refuting dietary studies like the China Study (Plant Based Diet / Vegan).
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2019, 09:19:07 AM »
Did any of them have these kinds of issues early on in their Vegan/Vegetarian life, Jason?


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Re: Refuting dietary studies like the China Study (Plant Based Diet / Vegan).
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2019, 10:13:14 AM »

...very few.  The only type of individual that I know of that does react poorly to a Vegan/Vegetarian diet right away, are those who are extremely sensitive to grains (or other foods) with pre-existing "gut damage".   But, you can find reports of people having problems in "droves" in groups/forums specializing in gut health.

There are a great deal of healthy aspects to not only the Vegan way of eating, but to the whole Vegan lifestyle.  If a person switches from a McDonald's based lifestyle to Vegan/Vegetarian, they are going to notice tremendous benefits for quite some time.  There's even a case to be made that it might be a good idea for almost everyone to go through periods of a completely plant-based diet. 

Clearly there are problems with the idea of eating in general.  Over-consumption of anything leads to issues.

The Vegans I know that are healthy simply don't have the issues that others have, 20-30 years in, it is just as effortless for them as it was on day one.  They have the enzymes to process plant-based omega 3's, they seem to be able to metabolize vitamin Bs from things like beets,  they do not have cold constitutions, they do not have gas issues in the guts, they do not have low levels of energy, they do not have weight problems, although they tend to be on the "lean" side of the weight scale, which probably increases longevity.

The great thing is that Vegans who pay attention and are honest with themselves can notice problems when they do begin, and make adjustments.  The dangerous thing here is the mob mentality and the militant stance that some people take, and try to force on others.

It was Einstein who stated that humanity would be better off, and he believed that we, as a species, would eventually continue to evolve toward a plant based diet.  I agree with him.

Personally, at one time I HAD to eat a cave man style diet (see the clinical work by Dr. Myhill in the UK), which I laughingly call the "divorced cave man" diet... what a "guy" would eat if he was a skilled hunter but not so much into foraging.  This was almost a diet VOID of all plant matter.

Today, I'm pleased to say (pleased because it is better for the environment, AND my pocket book), I've pretty much flipped the script; minimal amounts of animal products (but still daily), and a TON of raw vegetation.  I can do this because I healed my gut.  For those with impaired digestion, plant material can quite literally be poison.  Enzymes, bile, and proper levels of HCL, AS WELL as a proper and strong microbiome.  All of these are required.
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Change to survive.  Adapt to thrive.
Jason R. Eaton
Author of Upon a Clay Tablet
Founder of Eytons Earth
Current Project:
 Exploration:  Meditation Program