Whole Book Summary - Whole Book explained in key points
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Whole summary

T. Colin Campbell

Rethinking the Science of Nutrition

3.8 (87 ratings)
16 mins

Brief summary

Whole by T. Colin Campbell is a thought-provoking book that argues for a whole-food, plant-based diet to achieve optimal health. Campbell offers compelling evidence and practical advice on the harmful effects of the Standard American Diet and the benefits of a whole-food, plant-based approach.

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    Whole
    Summary of 7 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 7

    A change of diet is a better path to healthy living than relying on the health-care system.

    In the United States, the term “health-care system” is a bit misleading. Rather than caring for healthy people and looking for ways to prevent disease, the system spends most of its time caring for people who are already sick. So, really, a more appropriate name might be “disease-care system.”

    A big part of the problem is the care itself. After heart disease and cancer, medical care ranks as the nation’s third biggest killer.

    Every year, over 100,000 people are killed by prescription drugs designed to cure diseases – and that number doesn’t even include accidental overdoses. Other common medical-related deaths include unsuccessful high-risk surgeries, catching pneumonia at hospitals and patient-care errors.

    If all of this is news to you, you shouldn’t be surprised. The government does its best to keep these facts under wraps because the medical industry is so profitable. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention don’t even list “medical care” as a cause of death.

    Yes, this is all a bit troubling – so the best way to avoid needing care is to maintain a healthy diet. What you eat can not only prevent but also help cure disease.

    The food we eat has the biggest impact on our overall health – more than our genes or our environment.

    With the right diet, we can avoid diabetes, strokes, erectile dysfunction and arthritis. It can even prevent and cure those top two killers: heart disease and cancer.

    This conclusion was reached after decades of research, the results of which you can find in the author’s book, The China Study. The data revealed that a change in diet could reverse advanced heart disease and have more immediate and profound effects on illnesses than any surgery or prescribed medication.

    What kind of diet can do all this? It’s one that is based on plants and whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, whole grains and beans, which are eaten in their natural state without any added salt, oils or sugars.

    This diet prohibits any animal products and processed foods and consists of 80 percent carbohydrates, 10 percent fat and 10 percent protein. It’s as simple as that.

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    What is Whole about?

    Whole (2013) poses some fascinating questions: Can a change in our diet change the world? Would cutting back on our meat consumption make us and the planet a whole lot healthier? The evidence certainly suggests that a diet based on whole foods, plants and other low-protein foods might be the key to healthier living for everyone. So find out why the powers that be would rather you kept eating fast food.

    Whole Review

    Whole (2005) by T. Colin Campbell is a thought-provoking book that explores the relationship between nutrition and health. Here are three reasons why this book is worth reading:

    • With its meticulous research and compelling evidence, it challenges conventional wisdom about diet and nutrition, prompting readers to reevaluate their eating habits.
    • Providing a holistic view of the impact of food on our bodies, it emphasizes the importance of consuming whole, plant-based foods for optimal health and longevity.
    • The book's accessible language and clear explanations make complex scientific concepts understandable, ensuring that readers can easily apply the knowledge to improve their well-being.

    Best quote from Whole

    Wholism isnt the alternative to reductionism, it encompasses it.

    —T. Colin Campbell
    example alt text

    Who should read Whole?

    • Health-conscious readers
    • Medical students and professionals interested in preventing diseases
    • Foodies curious about their diet’s impact on the world

    About the Author

    T. Colin Campbell is a biochemist and expert on the subject of health and nutrition. He is also a Professor Emeritus of Cornell University and the celebrated, best-selling author of the highly influential book, The China Study.  

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    Whole FAQs 

    What is the main message of Whole?

    The main message of Whole is that a whole foods, plant-based diet is essential for optimal health and wellness.

    How long does it take to read Whole?

    The reading time for Whole varies depending on the reader, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Whole a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Whole is a valuable read for anyone interested in improving their health. It provides compelling evidence and practical guidelines for adopting a whole foods, plant-based diet.

    Who is the author of Whole?

    The author of Whole is T. Colin Campbell.

    What to read after Whole?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Whole, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell
    • 100 Million Years Of Food by Stephen Le
    • Breaking Up With Sugar by Molly Carmel
    • Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman
    • The Man Who Solved the Market by Gregory Zuckerman
    • Fight Right by Julie Schwartz Gottman
    • Gut Check by Steven R. Gundry
    • The Hunger Habit by Judson Brewer
    • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
    • Practical Optimism by Sue Varma