Top critical review
Read The China Study, too.
February 16, 2017
Read The China Study first or in addition to this book. You may not find yourself so inclined to want to do such an extreme diet if you read The China Study, too. According to T. Colin Campbell, whose qualifications and experiences as a nutritionist and scientist FAR outclass Dr Graham's, you do not need to do anything nearly this extreme to be in superb health. All you need is a whole food, plant based diet, with low fat (10% or less of calories, same as recommended here), and no animal proteins. That's it. That's all there is to it.
While I have no problem with the idea that some people will absolutely thrive on this diet, it's not for everyone. Not everyone can afford piles of fruit, or the consumption of several pounds of fresh greens per day. Some of us will absolutely have to include some cooked starches and align our dietary patterns more like those recommended in The China Study. Now, the ratio 80/10/10 is pretty much on point. But there are two things overlooked here. One, is that plant proteins do not have the detrimental effect that animal proteins do. But I guess "eat less than 10 percent of your calories from fat and eat only raw food" isn't as catchy a title as 80/10/10. Of course, if you eat only raw foods, it's going to be very difficult to get upward of 10% protein. One of the problems I had was that I actually did not feel satiated on this diet. Again, I can't afford, nor do I have the space, or will, to want to eat 2+ lbs of greens every day to get that protein. And while you don't need a lot of protein, you do need SOME, and if you don't get it, your body will drive you mad with cravings. After a couple of weeks, I found myself in the kitchen, and absolutely ravenous for pasta. Meat and fat were easy to give up, that was no big deal. But my body was absolutely dying for just a LITTLE bit more protein. And you do see full on fruitarians who eat almost nothing but fruit, but they tend not to count their calories, and you often see them pounding back a giant handful of nuts or young green coconut or avocado. They might be doing well health wise, and that's fine for them and all that, but based on their behaviors, they're either going over the 10% fat ratio to induce satiety, or they're going well over a normal person's calories, and then exercising compulsively to compensate for it. That's their prerogative, but I don't have that luxury. I can't financially afford to eat 3500 calories of fruit and greens per day, and spend four hours burning off the extra 1800 calories I had to consume to meet my body's protein needs (which, if you think about it, would probably go up somewhat, because I exercised all day). So... it's an okay book, but for a lot of people, being totally raw won't be sustainable. You can still massively benefit by doing the diet about 3/4 of the time, but you're going to have to throw in a cup of legumes or whole grains in the evening if you're not very affluent, with a bunch of time on your hands to exercise and take walks all day. It's as plain and simple as that; and The China Study shows very clearly that you do not need to be on this immaculate, fully raw diet to reap the benefits. People in China- like the ones they studied- very rarely eat any raw vegetables, and have a high consumption of rice. But their diets are still doing incredible things for them. So... you can do this, but being completely raw is not going to do more than give you maybe a marginal improvement over a whole foods, unprocessed plant based diet that's less extreme than this one. And it's a LOT of effort and monotony and personal restriction and forced eating of foods you may not want to eat, in quantities you may not want to eat, for what is only a marginal improvement.