Dr. T. Colin Campbell: Keeping Plant-Based Nutrition Whole for Optimal Health

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The Modern Health Nerd Podcast, Episode #45

What if we could break the cycle of disease and premature death just by changing what we eat? Dr. T. Colin Campbell believes it really is that simple.

After decades of studying nutrition’s effects on health and disease, Dr. Campbell is convinced that eating plants in as close to their whole, unrefined forms as possible is the best thing we can do to support optimal health.

In fact, he’s the one who coined the term “whole food plant-based diet!”

Since first discovering the correlations between plant-based diets and disease reduction, Dr. Campbell has written several books, inclding The China Study, Whole and The Future of Nutrition. He has also appeared in several documentary films, including Forks Over Knives, Eating You Alive, Food Matters, and PlantPure Nation and has delivered hundreds of evidence-based nutrition lectures around the world.

In the final episode of Season 1 of The Modern Health Nerd Podcast, we discuss:

  • How the common reductionist approach in nutrition and healthcare supports a system designed to make money instead of create health
  • How the current food system negatively impacts health, vulnerable populations and the environment
  • The research that changed Dr. Campbell’s mind about animal protein’s role in health
  • Dr. Campell’s thoughts on the growth of the plant-based and alternative protein movement
  • Why eating whole, unrefined plant foods is more powerful than focusing on single nutrients
  • Why a holistic view is important when interpreting nutrition research results
  • Why policy change, particularly relating to dietary guidelines, is necessary to shift the food system toward one that supports health
  • The need for better public nutrition knowledge and civil debates between proponents of differing opinions


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About Dr. Campbell

dr t colin campbellT. Colin Campbell, PhD has been dedicated to the science of human health for more than 60 years. His primary focus is on the association between diet and disease, particularly cancer. Although largely known for the China Study, Dr. Campbell’s profound impact also includes extensive involvement in education, public policy, and laboratory research.

His life’s journey has taken him from growing up on a dairy farm to obtaining a master’s degree and PhD in nutrition, biochemistry and toxicology at Cornell University and MIT. After 10 years on the faculty of Virginia Tech’s Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition, he returned to Cornell in 1975 where he presently holds his Endowed Chair as the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry in the Division of Nutritional Sciences.

Dr. Campbell has received over 70 grant-years of peer-reviewed research funding (mostly with NIH), served on grant review panels of multiple funding agencies, actively participated in the development of national and international nutrition policy, and authored over 350 research papers, most published in peer-reviewed science journals.

Dr. Campbell is also is the founder of the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and the online Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate in partnership with eCornell.

Connect with Dr. Campbell’s Work

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  1. Cyd Notter  September 28, 2021

    Incredible interview! Dr. Campbell’s passion is contagious. Having just read his book “The Low-Carb Fraud” on a recent plane ride, I never cease to be impressed by his wide range of scientific knowledge and his no-nonsense approach – all while staying quite fair and open to other ideas. He is indeed a true leader in the field of nutrition!

    • Theresa "Sam"  September 29, 2021

      Thanks for listening, Cyd!

      It was an honor to be able to interview Dr. Campbell for the podcast. He is truly a wealth of knowledge and is very straightforward when he shares!


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