Wholism vs Reductionism (this might surprise you)

Last week I sat in on a webinar hosted by Dr. T. Colin Campbell and his son, Nelson Campbell (PlantPure Nation). Before they answered questions from the audience at the end, they talked in depth about the difference between wholism and reductionism. You may know that Dr. Campbell has a book titled “Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition” which delves into this topic.

Here are a few takeaways from my notes:

~ Wholism is the entire body and whole foods working together. Reductionism leads to looking for some nutrient as the next magic bullet (much of this is driven by money, egos, control, and influence).

~ Reductionism causes confusion in society. There’s an infinite number of causes and factors that lead to disease, but when we take just one chemical (or nutrient) and try to build a business around it, enormous confusions occurs. Government, academia, the medical system, and powerful industries all contribute to it.

~ “SOS Free” (sugar, oil, salt free) has no scientific evidence to support it. While they agree that oils should be avoided, Dr. Campbell stated that the discussion has been way over extended, as if not having sugar or salt will make someone better, while ignoring the big picture. Fixating on salt and sugar is reductionism. Obviously they don’t recommend people overdo salt and sugar, but there’s no evidence to support that eliminating those items will lead to better health. It makes it difficult for mainstream folks to eat this way and diverts attention away from the big story. It’s ok to use sugar and salt in low amounts in your food to create flavor.

~ “The Fat you Eat is the Fat you Wear.” When it comes to oils, there’s merit in that idea, but many are against the consumption of nuts, seeds, avocados, and coconuts. Nature has included fat in nuts and seeds for a reason, and evidence shows that nuts have benefits (vitamin E, for example). Of course they’re higher in fat and should be used moderately. Plant foods are natural, and whole plant foods are not the problem.

~ “Nutrient Density” is another reductionist statement. ND means that some foods should be consumed in greater quantities, and it’s been distorted. In order to determine the ND of a food, you have to focus on any special nutrient, so it’s nonsense. The ND talk should be stricken. It’s the same way milk was touted as the most nutritious food.

~ “Calorie Density” – there’s no such thing as a calorie, it’s a concept that takes into consideration the heat being captured by the food and distributed in the body. Calorie Density is basically OK, but it’s really simple. Eat a whole food plant based diet and avoid animal protein.

~ Over-consuming Greens is another example of eating certain plant foods that are deemed better than others. It doesn’t make sense to focus on only one food which might help prevent cardiovascular disease.

~ Keto and Paleo are high fat, high protein, reduced carb diets that have roots in the movement to counter the recommendations of plant-based foods and good carbs. These diets work by breaking down fat in the body. It’s a very narrow, reductionist view of the body. Look at it more broadly. Look at societies around the world, the higher the protein, the higher the disease rates. Plus these diets are not sustainable.

According to Dr. Campbell, there’s no need to focus on all these ideas. Just get a variety and different colors of plants, and it’s ok to use a little salt and sugar to flavor the food. It’s that simple. Eat a whole food, plant based diet and avoid animal protein. The reductionist way of thinking leads to extreme views and judging others who don’t follow those plans.

Very interesting! If you’d like to watch the replay, click here.

PS: Great news! If you’d like to participate in the pilot program for The “Plan A” Diet Transition Course, you can now sign up! The pilot course is being offered at 85% off the regular price in exchange for your feedback and commitment to complete the course. Seating is limited. Details can be found here. 


Wholism vs Reductionism (this might surprise you)

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Cyd Notter
Cyd Notter is a graduate of the Center for Nutrition Studies and a certified instructor for several dietary courses, including The Starch Solution, Food Over Medicine, and Women’s Health. She has also successfully completed courses in Nutrition for a Healthy Heart and Dietary Therapy for Reversing Common Diseases. Cyd has developed and offers a variety of health and cooking classes, provides nutritional coaching on both individual and corporate levels, speaks to local groups, and has worked with school district employees and a hospital’s fitness center. Her column titled “The Nutrition Coach”—which ran in three local newspapers for seven years—featured general dietary advice, recipes, and answers to reader’s questions. Several of her articles have also been published in Cape Style Magazine, a Florida-based online publication. Combining her decades-long study of both nutrition and scripture, Cyd founded The ‘Plan A’ Diet™ to illustrate the correlations between biblical principles and healthy eating and to encourage Christians to take an active role in their health. Her “Wonderfully Made” ministry offers nutrition coaching, health and cooking classes, and weight loss challenges. Notter’s past accolades include being named Woman of the Year by the Morris Business and Professional Women in 1998, Entrepreneur of the Year by the Grundy County Chamber of Commerce in 2000, and having her business featured on several occasions in Décor magazine. She and her husband Steve enjoy outdoor activities, classic movies, and old Volkswagens. Detailed Version: Founder and Author of The “Plan A” Diet™ A graduate of Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s Center for Nutrition Studies Certified Instructor for the following courses Dr. John McDougall’s “The Starch Solution” Course Dr. Pam Popper’s Food over Medicine Course Dr. Pam Popper’s Women’s Health Course Completion of Dr. Campbell’s course: Nutrition for a Healthy Heart Completion of Dr. John McDougall’s course: Dietary Therapy for Reversing Common Diseases Completion of Facilitator Training for CHIP (Complete Health Improvement Program) Development/Instructor of Health and Cooking classes offered throughout the community Past Affiliations: Columnist for the Free Press Newspaper (2010 – 2017) Former Nutrition Coach/Cooking Instructor for staff and members of Riverside Hospital’s Fitness Center Worked for six years as a Certified Health Educator for Wellness Forum Health Worked with a local school District offering monthly classes to teachers and district employees Previously submitted articles on a monthly basis for a community magazine Has developed a ministry called “Wonderfully Made” – delivering health and cooking classes and helping Christians to lose weight/regain health. How I got here………….. I became a vegetarian in 1991, however, my diet was very unhealthy; even though I had stopped eating meat, my diet still included lots of dairy, oils, and processed foods. At that time I thought I was doing all of the right things, and looking back now, I realize I was living in a complete state of ignorance. Around 1999, I stumbled upon a 4-week health class being offered by The Wellness Forum (now known as Wellness Forum Health), which is based in Columbus Ohio. I attended the class in order to have a night out with the girls, not realizing that my entire life path was about to change. The Wellness Forum founder, Dr. Pam Popper, is a no-nonsense person who dives into medical research and really gets to the bottom of things. I liked the fact that the teachings were based on long-term, independent research, and also on the healthiest populations in the world. I went on to host several subsequent classes over the years, and in 2009, I became a Certified Health Educator to conduct classes on their behalf. The materials rang true with me then, and they ring even truer with me today as the scientific evidence continually mounts. With a dire family history of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other ailments, my motivation to consume a whole food, plant-based diet is to stay off medications, stay out of the medical system as much as possible, and enjoy freedom in later life…. freedom to travel and hike, and freedom to live independently in old age. I can personally attest to the positive changes that result from adopting this lifestyle, as my cholesterol dropped 60 points rather quickly to a healthy level of 150, my bone health has improved, and my frequent bouts with colds have been almost totally eliminated. In 2011, I was certified in plant-based nutrition by the Center for Nutrition Studies, under Dr. T. Colin Campbell (author of the China Study). Most of the doctors teaching that course are well known and have been featured in the wonderful documentary “Forks over Knives”. Later, in 2013, I became certified by Dr. John McDougall to conduct classes based on his best selling book, ‘The Starch Solution”. I plan to keep current with what the latest research shows regarding the healthiest diet for humans – which is a whole-food, plant-based, no-added-oils diet. Most recently in 2015, I completed Dr. Popper’s “Food Over Medicine” course as well as her “Women’s Health” Course, which further solidifies the fact that a whole food, plant-based, no-oil diet is the optimal way to eat. As a long-time student of nutrition as well as a long-time student of the bible, I began to see many correlations between biblical principles and healthy eating; principles such as stewardship, reaping what we sow, and the fact if you are a Christian, your body is a temple of the Lord and His most intimate gift. In 2013 I was led to finally begin writing these truths down in what has become The “Plan A” Diet™, which is a book in progress. More information about can be found on The “Plan A” Diet™ tab. My clients and friends who stay compliant with this way of eating have also seen tremendous health improvement; they are typically off most or all of their meds within a short time. They feel wonderful, and weight loss is a natural byproduct. Go to the “Testimonials” tab to read some incredible (but not surprising) stories. I would love to show you how to improve your health without the use of drugs or surgery. I offer coaching -both locally and by phone – and offer local health and cooking classes in the areas surrounding Wilmington, IL and Cape Coral, FL. I would welcome the opportunity to present a topic to any local groups as well. If you work in a company that would like a REAL wellness program, one that will truly provide results, I can help with that too. Thanks again for visiting! Check out our articles, recipes, and upcoming classes. And be sure to subscribe to our newsletter! Note: Information provided on this website is for general dietary purposes only and is not intended to be construed as personal medical advice. Please consult your physician for medical advice pertaining specifically to you.