What. The. Health?? Is this guy for real? Can we agree that this film was made for ONE purpose and one purpose only…. to get you to become a vegan? I think we can all see that from the information that was shared and the creators who produced it. Every person in this documentary was vegan, so duh, they are going to be very passionate about spreading the word on veganism. After watching this yesterday I was pretty fired up because of the way “science” was portrayed as though meat is killing people (give me a break). This type of blanket statement causes fear and panic among the general population who don’t understand nutrition or the science behind it. I can see why so many people are asking me about the film because it makes you feel as though you are killing yourself by eating animal products –which, spoiler alert, you’re not. Here are my opinions on the whole thing.
Dear Kip, you can’t just walk into a building and tell the security guard you want answers and then turn around and say “see, they won’t even answer these questions.” The poor security guard, the poor customer service reps on the telephone! They signed up for a job that did NOT include needing to be an expert in food and nutrition. They field calls and kick out crazies like you. So please, stop acting like these societies were “out to fool us.” It’s pretty much like you walking into the White House and demanding to see the President, then pouting when he won’t come see you. Just stop. I can’t even handle it.
Also, Kip, you made yourself look like an a$$ with the American Diabetes Association gentleman. I wanted to stand up and applaud that man for cutting off your interview because of your aggressive questioning obviously geared towards only one answer: “veganism is best.” Like the man said, THERE IS NO ONE SIZE FITS ALL APPROACH TO DIET. And while we’re at it, wipe off that smug “omg I can’t believe he just walked out” face. You were being a jerk and you know it.
The “science” that isn’t backed up by SCIENCE. For example, eating eggs is like smoking. The resource the film used (cited here) even states: “This hypothesis should be tested in a prospective study with more detailed information about diet, and other possible confounders such as exercise and waist circumference.” Key statement: more detailed information about diet. This is what makes me so irritated throughout the entire film. ALL of the “before and after vegan diet success stories” did not include a synopsis of what the person was eating before. Some important things that are conveniently left out are: was this person eating fast foods, highly processed foods, no vegetables, no fruit and a ton of sugar? What did their 24-hour food recall before filmmakers approached them look like? Are these people financially strained? Did the film provide this 2-week vegan diet for them free of charge? Were foods prepped and made for them? If not, how did they know how to become a vegan? What happened after those first 2 weeks? Did any of them continue on the path of veganism? And, the woman who needed the hip surgery — did anyone remember this? In my opinion, a double hip replacement of bone on bone joints will definitely help you walk better. Heck, my granny had that done and didn’t even need morphine afterward because the pain of surgery was far less than the pain of bone on bone.
During my graduate school program to get a Master’s in Nutrition, I took an Oncology course. This course heavily reviewed research articles, relative risk, absolute risk and claims that were allowed to be made about certain foods. My main takeaway from this course: almost everything can be viewed as good or bad, it just depends on what angle you want it to be. When it comes to food you cannot say that eating animal products will cause you cancer. Because there are so many variables you cannot control for. From my clinical experience, this is what I know. The overweight and obese clients/patients that I have worked with tend to eat out at restaurants more, drink soda/juice, buy pre-made frozen entrees, sauces, noodle/rice packets from the store, eat a lot of boxed cereal, crackers, chips and sweets, drink alcohol more frequently, don’t exercise and do not know where to even begin with changing their diet. For them, going vegan is probably the worst thing I could recommend because it is not a realistic lifestyle change for most people. A realistic lifestyle change for them is to decrease their soda/juice intake by 8oz every week until they no longer depend on it. Crazy right? It’s the SMALL THINGS that add up. The consumption of too many processed foods in our diet is where the answer to health is found. Cooking your own food from scratch that includes a wide range of vegetables, fruits, meat and healthy fats is my approach to lifelong health.
And finally, the fact that he and other medical professionals in this film tried to act like sugar in our typical American diet is NOT a problem just blows my mind. There is no reason on earth that we need to have sugar added to everything we eat. It’s added because it is a hyper-rewarding taste that food companies know will make people love their products. Because it’s addicting. And once we’re addicted we will have to keep coming back for more and more and more. Check your labels folks and check out Day 1 of my Clean Eating Course here.
Now, here is the one thing I can agree with in the film– there needs to be more holistic approaches to health before the prescribing of medications just to manage symptoms. While taking a pill is easy, it doesn’t address the root problem which is: THE FOOD. But did you know that within Medicare/Medicaid the only 100% covered diseases for Medical Nutrition Therapy by a Registered Dietitian are Diabetes and Renal disease? That means if you are diagnosed with pre-diabetes you cannot come see an RD for nutrition counseling with full coverage. But, you better believe that you can get a pill for it. So I agree with that synopsis, just not the solution they provide.
All in all, this film was vegan propaganda at it’s finest. There are OF COURSE health benefits to a plant-based diet including lowering blood cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugars. But those benefits can also be seen in a diet with animal products. My key takeaway for you is to find what works best for you. That’s why I do what I do, to show people a different way of living that includes delicious foods, no deprivation and a life full of energy.
If you want to watch a really good documentary that isn’t propaganda, watch Fed Up.
If you want to read a book that will help you understand food and how it is processed in your body, read It Starts with Food.
If you want to talk about how to change your diet and live a healthier lifestyle, reach out to me here!