Can a whole-food plant-based diet be the answer to your health problems? Forks Over Knives makers think so. This documentary chronicles several doctors in their discoveries that animal proteins are making people sick. Specifically, they are instrumental in the progression of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. The film also follows several individuals diagnosed with these diseases as they use their diets to rid their bodies of the ailments.
It’s no secret that diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer have been on the rise for decades. This film asks why? Very compelling evidence is given which suggests that the rise of animal protein consumption since the 1950’s is to blame. Study after study shows this in the film as several doctors discuss their findings. The two most notable doctors are Dr T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn.
Dr Campbell’s research in China led to 1000’s of correlations that eating animal proteins can increase the risk of certain cancers. He believes that only a low percentage of cancers are caused by genes alone. One of the more shocking pieces of evidence for me was the graph of “Mortality from Coronary Artery Disease”. In the early 1900’s, coronary artery disease accounted for very few deaths. As meat consumption rose, so did the deaths. Drastically, in 1945, when meat was scare because of the war, the deaths plummeted! After the war, guess what, they began to rise again. Another shocker for me was the before an after pictures of an artery, the only change being diet.
The results experienced by the individuals who change their diet are amazing. One woman reverses her diabetes. Another man is no longer taking any medication for his cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes. I also loved seeing that the Mixed Martial Arts fighter and firefighter were vegan and strong as anyone!
Overall, I thought the movie was informative. At times it was repetitive. They came to the same conclusions over and over again. Personally, I think some of the evidence could have been exchanged for more detailed information on the whole food plant based diet. I had a difficult time figuring out what I would be eating. I know, no animal proteins, I get that. But now what do I eat – almond milk with my cereal, salads with beans, ….. I am an “examples” person. Give me a sample days menu and I can get it and go from there. I know many people out there eat a more vegetable based diet. I have tried, but find it difficult to find meals that my whole family enjoys.
The ForksOverKnives.com website to my rescue! The website offers several books, recipes and a blog as resources for changing your diet.
As far as showing it to your children – I think they will be bored. There are a few references to sex and operation room scenes that may be of concern. As with any of these films, watch it first and decide for your children.
Of course, if decreasing your morbidity isn’t enough for you, the film also speaks of how raising animals for human consumption is wreaking havoc on the planet. According to the United Nations, the meat producing industry generates more greenhouse gas emissions than transportation.
Popeye always said “Eat Your Spinach”, right?
What did you think?
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If you’d like to join the Friday Film Fest, take a look at the complete list of films.
Up next week is Fresh.
This post is shared on Your Green Resource.