Anna Evans

Whole by T. Colin Campbell, PhD

A compelling journey that challenges everything you thought you knew about food.

Whole’ by T. Colin Campbell, PhD

The book has gotten 3.91 ⭐️ on GoodReads.

“There are very few material game-changers in life, but this book is truly one of them.”
– Kathy Freston, New York Times Bestselling Author, ‘The Lean and Quantum Wellness’

In modern healthcare systems, money wields subtle but profound power. Financial incentives drive researchers, journalists, and politicians, shaping their decisions and behaviour. Despite the majority’s desire for better health, the pursuit of ever-increasing profits persists, often at the expense of our well-being.

In the book ‘Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition’ T. Colin Campbell, PhD, reveals how wealthy industries prioritise profits, distorting research, media, and policies. With the help of his co-author, he focuses on victims of this control – wholistic nutrition and plant-based diet – and how industries neglect these for financial gains.

Author’s background

T. Colin Campbell, PhD, is an American biochemist who specialises in the effect of nutrition on long-term health. He has dedicated over 60 years to studying the link between diet and disease, especially cancer.

T. Colin Campbell (r)

His research spans laboratory experiments and large-scale human studies, with over 350 research papers published. Dr. Campbell co-wrote ‘The China Study,’ a bestseller shedding light on diet’s implications for health. He’s also authored other books and featured in documentary films. As a passionate educator, he shares evidence-based health and nutrition information through lectures and founded the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate program.

Co-creator’s background

Howard Jacobson, PhD, is a multitalented individual with various accomplishments. He has co-authored books like ‘You Can Change Other People’ with Peter Bregman and ‘Sick to Fit’ with Josh LaJaunie.

Howard Jacobson (1)

Additionally, he’s contributed to renowned works like T. Colin Campbell’s ‘The Low Carb Fraud,’ and Garth Davis, MD’s ‘Proteinaholic.’

In his professional roles, Howard serves as the Director of Coaching at Bregman Partners and is the Head Coach at the Healthy Minds Initiative. He is also a co-founder and Lead Instructor at the WellStart Health Coaching Academy and hosts the popular ‘Plant Yourself Podcast.’

What is the book about?

‘Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition’ is a thought-provoking book that challenges the reductionist approach to nutrition and health science.

Dr. T. Colin Campbell, the author, discusses how industries, government policies, and the medical establishment have largely ignored the benefits of a plant-based diet, driven by financial interests and outdated paradigms. Through compelling research, he argues for a shift towards a wholistic approach to nutrition, emphasising prevention and empowering individuals to make informed dietary choices for improved overall health and well-being.

Key takeaways from ‘Whole’

1Embrace a whole-food, plant-based diet

The authors advocate for adopting a diet that primarily consists of whole, plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. This dietary approach is believed to provide essential nutrients and support overall health.

2Reduce animal product consumption

‘Whole’ urges readers to cut down on the consumption of animal products, particularly those that come from industrial farming and are highly processed. The book suggests that limiting or eliminating animal products can be beneficial for health.

3Educate yourself about nutrition

The authors encourage readers to become informed about nutrition and critically evaluate dietary information. By understanding the science behind nutrition, individuals can make more educated choices about their food.

4Question nutritional research and industry influence

‘Whole’ prompts readers to question common assumptions and the influence of the food industry on dietary choices. Understanding potential biases in nutritional research can help people make more objective decisions about their health.

5Recognise the link between diet and disease

The book highlights the connection between diet and chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Readers are encouraged to be proactive in preventing these conditions through their dietary choices.

6Focus on personal health and lifestyle

‘Whole’ emphasizes the importance of lifestyle choices in determining overall health. It encourages readers to take responsibility for their well-being and make positive changes in their daily habits.

7Consider the environmental impact of food choices

The book raises awareness of the environmental impact of food production and consumption. Choosing more sustainable and eco-friendly food options is seen as a crucial step in supporting both personal and planetary health.

Table of contents

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1. The Modern Health-Care Myth
  • Chapter 2. The Whole Truth
  • Chapter 3. My Heretical Path
  • Chapter 4. The Triumph of Reductionism
  • Chapter 5. Reductionism Invades Nutrition
  • Chapter 6. Reductionist Research
  • Chapter 7. Reductionist Biology
  • Chapter 8. Genetics versus Nutrition, Part One
  • Chapter 9. Genetics versus Nutrition, Part Two
  • Chapter 10. Reductionist Medicine
  • Chapter 11. Reductionist Supplementation
  • Chapter 12. Reductionist Social Policy
  • Chapter 13. Understanding the System
  • Chapter 14. Industry Exploitation and Control
  • Chapter 15. Research and Profit
  • Chapter 16. Media Matters
  • Chapter 17. Government Misinformation
  • Chapter 18. Blinded by the Light Bringers
  • Chapter 19. Making Ourselves Whole
  • Acknowledgements
  • About the Authors
  • Notes
  • Index

Strengths and weaknesses, according to readers’ reviews


  • Thought-provoking content: The book challenges conventional beliefs about nutrition and health, encouraging readers to question the reductionist approach to science and consider the benefits of a whole-food, plant-based diet.

  • Comprehensive research: The author draws upon decades of research, including his famous “China Study,” to support his arguments about the advantages of a plant-based diet and its impact on preventing diseases like cancer.

  • Raises awareness: The book sheds light on the influence of powerful industries, such as pharmaceuticals and agriculture, on shaping nutritional guidelines and policies, making readers aware of potential conflicts of interest.

  • Advocates for prevention: The book emphasises the importance of preventive measures through diet and lifestyle changes, rather than just focusing on disease treatment.

  • Inspirational message: Despite facing challenges, the author’s determination to promote a plant-based diet and advocate for a holistic approach to nutrition comes across as inspiring.


  • Repetitiveness: Some readers found the book repetitive, as it reiterates certain points, including the author’s personal struggles in promoting his research.

  • Bias and confrontational tone: The book exhibits a strong bias against reductionist science, which may put off readers who are more accepting of different scientific methodologies. The confrontational tone towards the medical establishment and other industries can be perceived as negative.

  • Lack of practical advice: While the book presents compelling arguments for a plant-based diet, it lacks detailed meal plans or practical guidance for readers who may be interested in adopting this lifestyle.

Best quotes from ‘Whole’

“The medical, pharmaceutical, and supplement industries figured out long ago that a nation of healthy eaters would be disastrous to their profits.”
“If we had to rely on our brains to figure out what to eat, in what quantities, and in which combinations, or risk malnutrition or disease, the human race would have died out long ago. Luckily, our task is considerably simpler. When we eat the right foods, in amounts that satisfy but don’t stuff us silly, our bodies naturally metabolize the nutrients in those foods to give us exactly what we need at any given moment.”
“In short, proper nutrition doesn’t just prevent damage; it affects the way our bodies respond to already damaged genes, often mitigating disease symptoms as they arise or even preventing them completely, sometimes with no additional medication or other treatments needed.”

Final takeaway

‘Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition’ challenges traditional dietary beliefs, advocating for a plant-based approach backed by scientific evidence. Its strengths include accessibility and holistic emphasis, while potential weaknesses lie in limited discussions on individual needs and cultural considerations. The target audience encompasses health-conscious people seeking evidence-based dietary guidance and those interested in plant-based nutrition for a sustainable, healthful lifestyle.

Where to buy

You can buy ‘Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition’ at Amazon. It’s available in hardcover, paperback, Kindle, and audio formats.

Healthypedia FAQ

The author is T. Colin Campbell, a prominent nutrition researcher. His co-author on this book is Howard Jacobson, PhD.

The book challenges conventional dietary beliefs and presents a scientific case for adopting a whole plant-based approach to nutrition.

The book's strengths include its accessibility, making complex nutritional concepts understandable, and its emphasis on a holistic approach to nutrition.

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