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The China study, also known as the Oxford-Cornell-China study, directed by Dr. T. Colin Campbell of Cornell University and colleagues, studied the effect of a plant-based diet on hundreds of thousands of people in China. The study established a causal relationship between dietary patterns and chronic diseases. The standard American diet, which typically includes high consumption of animal-based foods (meat, dairy and fat) and low consumption of plant foods (whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, peas, and lentils), was found to contribute “to low-grade systemic inflammation and oxidative tissue stress and irritation, placing the immune system in an overactive state.” In addition, it contributes to a host of diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and arthritis. Even small amounts of animal-based food were associated with a small but measurable increase in risk of these chronic diseases.

The China study proved the healthiest diets may be based on whole, plant foods; the more plant-based foods and the fewer animal-based foods in the diet, the better the health outcomes may be.

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