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CHOOSING FORKS OVER KNIVES


Doctors Advocate a Plant-Based Diet by Linda Sechrist


F


ilm Producer Brian Wendel’s concern for the many Americans suffering from multiple chronic diseases, as well as the strain this puts on our nation’s health care system and economy, sparked the idea for documenting what doctors research- ing the issue have to say about it. In his latest film, Forks Over Knives, these pioneering thinkers examine the claim that most, if not all, of the degenera- tive diseases afflicting humanity can be controlled or reversed by avoiding the ingestion of animal-based and processed foods; more, they make a compelling case that switching to a whole-foods, plant-based diet can restore health. Much of the foundational science


showing why a plant-based diet of whole foods is not only best for every- one’s health, but also for the planet,


comes from noted nutrition research pioneer T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. He has summarized his results in his book, The China Study, co-authored with his son, Dr. Thomas M. Camp- bell. His 1980 study of 130 Chinese villages, involving 6,500 adults and their families, directly tied the con- sumption of animal protein-based foods to the development of cancer and heart disease. Based on his research, Colin Campbell, teamed up with Dr. Jun- shi Chen, currently a senior research professor with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in Beijing, specifically characterized casein, a protein found in milk from mammals, as “the most relevant car- cinogen ever identified.” With con- crete evidence in hand, and account- ing for other diet and lifestyle factors, the pair went on to conclude that consuming whole, plant-based foods offers the best strategy for improving health and preventing serious diseases. Other solid science presented in the film comes from Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., whose 150 scientific articles complement the 1995 publi- cation of his peer-acclaimed book, Pre- vent and Reverse Heart Disease, which summarizes the results of his long-term research on arresting and revers- ing coronary artery disease through nutrition. In his two decades of global research, Esselstyn, who directs the cardiovascular prevention and rever- sal program at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, found that wherever


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