Monday, October 17, 2011

Quality not Quantity

       I have mentioned before probably that I am NOT a huge fan of calorie counting for a number of reasons. Mostly because it can be inaccurate by as much as 30% , or basically a useless guess. And even if you are closer to the mark, you are measuring it against an estimate as to how many calories your body actually burns based on semi-useful equations. You aren't listening to your bodily clues when calorie counting and you are spending a bunch of needless time and energy obsessing about something that your body is telling you how to do naturally. 
Well here is another extraordinary piece of evidence that indicates calorie counting isn't what its cracked up to be. It comes from the ground breaking book, The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Cambell II who discuss twenty years worth of data collected comparing the health and nutrition of the Chinese to other nations. This is just one of the many interesting facts included in the book.

United States
Total fat (% of calories)
Dieetary fiber (g/day)
Total protein (g/day)
Animal protein (% of calories)
Total iron (mg/day)

Notice Chinese people, on average, eat 650 calories more, or in other words an entire meals worth of food, and are in much better condition as far as heart disease, obesity, cancer, and other long term health indicators. They are not fat. On the contrary, if they struggle with their health at all it is usually from the diseases of poverty not wealth i.e. pneumonia, ulcers, TB, parasites etc. The majority of their food is plant based, not animal based. There is more quantity but it is of much greater quality.  More fiber, more phytochemicals, more  antioxidants and basically more everything good and less everything bad. Take home message from the book:

Animal products in your diet cause long term disease and obesity- eat the very least amount you possibly can, if any at all. 

As a westerner myself this is a hard one to swallow since it is not uncommon for me to eat meat once a day, but facts are facts. The Lord knew what he was talking about when he said: 
"12 Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly. 

13 And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be  used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.
D&C 89:12-13
Don't just say "hummmm, interesting." 


  1. is very interesting. Where does all that iron come from without animal protein? I do love to eat! We're not huge meat eaters. Great post.