A great plant-based, whole-foods promoting documentary, considering the growing obesity and chronic illness epidemics. I don't believe in diet pills or snake oil, but do believe in making consistent lifestyle and diet changes, so this documentary spoke to me in that sense. The main focus was adopting a healthier diet and lifestyle in order to prevent cancers, diabetes, high blood pressure and other diseases. The docu often quotes the "China Study
", which is based on the work of Dr. T. Colin Campbell on the links between protein consumption and various forms of cancer.
A few critique points:
They advocate cutting all animal based products from one's diet, which likely is extreme for most. They are in favor of massive limitations of fat, irrespective of where fat comes from. (e.g. seeds, nuts, oils, fish) I don't agree with that kind of generalization. We need essential fatty acids to (re)build cells.
Another generalization is that they seem to think the only way to go is veganism, while the 'American diet' is equalized to having one foot in the grave. They forgot to mention people eating a traditionally meat rich diet (eg Inuit) and the fact that the Western diet isn't the same everywhere. They also don't take into account different dietary needs depending on age, sex, metabolism and so on.
What was also questionable was the outdated attitude that animal products based cholestoerol remained in the blood streem
and clogged arteries, despite the fact that according to studies, most people are hypo responders
to cholesterol intake (cholesterol of their foods has a negligible effect on the cholesterol in their bloods).
That being said, I found their list of foods to eat freely & foods to avoid/eat sparingly very useful, so I will paste it here.
You can watch the trailer
and further videos (e.g. China study) on their channel
. FOODS TO EAT FREELY
E.g. apples, apricots, bananas, berries, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, citrus, dates (presumably fresh dates as dried fruits should be limited), figs, grapes, lemons, limes, mangos, melons, oranges, peaches, pears, pineapple, plums, pomegranate, raspberries, strawberries, tangerines
Cruciferous vegetables including bok choy, baby bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, napa cabbage, radishes, swiss chard, turnips, watercress
Leafy greens including arugula, beet greens, chard, collard greens, dandelion greens, escarole, kale, lettuce, parsley, spinach
Other vegetables e.g. acorn squash, artichokes, asparagus, beets, butternut squash, carrots, cauliflower, celery, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, fennel, garlic, green beans, leeks, onions, parsnips, peas, snow peas, sugar snap peas, bell peppers, hot peppers, pumpkin, scallions/green onions/spring onions, shallots, spaghetti squash, squash, tomatillos, tomatoes, yellow squash, zucchini
Bean sprouts and other sprouts including adzuki bean sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, broccoli sprouts, mung bean sprouts, soybean sprouts, sunflower sprouts
Tubers including potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams
Mushrooms including button mushrooms, cremini, porcini, portobello, shiitake, and other mushrooms
Beans, e.g. adzuki beans, anasazi beans, black beans, cannellini beans, fava beans, great northern beans, kidney beans, lima beans, mung beans, navy beans, pinto beans, white beans
Lentils, e.g. green lentils, red lentils
Dried peas, e.g. black-eyed peas
Whole, not ground into flour (whole grain flours and products made from them should be eaten sparingly, see below)
E.g. amaranth, barley, buckwheat groats, bulgur wheat, corn, hominy, kasha, millet, rolled oats/old-fashioned oats, steel-cut oats, quinoa, brown rice/brown basmati rice, rye berries, spelt berries, wheat berries, wild rice
Herbs and spices
Herbs – e.g. basil, bay leaf, cilantro, dill, marjoram, mint, parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon, thyme
Spices – e.g. allspice, ancho chili powder, cardamom, cayenne pepper, chipotle peppers, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, crushed red pepper, cumin, curry powder, fennel, fenugreek, garam masala, garlic powder (not garlic salt), ginger, kaffir lime leaves, kombu, lemongrass, mustard powder, nutmeg, onion powder, paprika (smoked and sweet), peppercorns, saffron, turmeric FOODS TO EAT SPARINGLY
Fatty whole foods
Nuts e.g. almonds, (raw) cashews, coconut, peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts
Nut and seed butters, e.g. almond butter, cashew butter, chestnut puree, peanut butter, tahini
Seeds, e.g. chia seeds, flaxseeds and ground flaxseeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds
Coconut products, e.g. coconut, unsweetened shredded coconut, coconut meat, coconut flour, lite coconut milk, coconut water
Sugary whole foods
Dried fruits (preferably unsulfured) – e.g. dried apples, dried apricots, dried blueberries, dried cherries, dried cranberries, currants, dates, mejdool dates, prunes, golden raisins, raisins
Unsweetened plain soy yogurt
Plant milks (unsweetened) including soy milk, rice milk, oat milk, hemp milk, and nut milks such as almond milk
Fruit juices and plant milks are okay to have a little on cereal or to flavor foods when cooking, however you should avoid drinking glasses of them
Smoothies can be enjoyed occasionally, if desired, but should not be a major part of the diet
Whole grain products (The Forks Over Knives plan doesn’t ask you to limit these, although the original book does)
Whole grain breads, mixes, and crackers, including whole-grain bagels, cereals, muffins, pancakes, pastas, pita pockets, pizza crusts, and waffles
Corn or whole wheat tortillas
Whole grain pasta, brown rice noodles, soba noodles
Foods made with whole grain flours such as brown rice flour, cornmeal, oat flour, sorghum flour, spelt flour, whole wheat pastry flour
Be careful to avoid added oils, sugars, and other unwanted ingredients
Minimally processed dry sweeteners, e.g. evaporated cane juice, cane sugar, sucanat, date sugar, maple sugar
Pure maple syrup, Grade A or Grade B (don’t substitute pancake syrup, table syrup, or maple-flavored syrup as they often consist primarily of high-fructose corn syrup)
Brown rice syrup, date molasses, date syrup, unsulfured molasses
Condiments and pantry – barely processed
Arrowroot powder, barbecue sauce, low-sodium vegetable broth, Bragg liquid aminos, capers, cornstarch, gochujang, hot sauce such as Tabasco, ketchup, mirin, miso, mustard, nutritional yeast, sambal oelek (Indonesian chili sauce), low-sodium soy sauce, sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil), low-sodium tamari, Thai red curry paste, tomato paste, tomato puree, tomato sauce, vinegar (including balsamic vinegar, brown rice vinegar, red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar), vegan Worcestershire sauce, wasabi paste
Aluminum-free baking powder, baking soda, grain-sweetened chocolate chips, unsweetened cocoa powder, unsweetened apple cider, unsweetened pineapple juice, tamarind paste, tahini, pure vanilla extract
Egg replacer, such as Ener-G FOODS TO AVOID
Meat, e.g. beef, pork, lamb, etc.
Poultry, e.g. chicken, turkey, etc.
Game meats and birds
Fish and shellfish
Eggs including egg whites
Any foods containing eggs or ingredients made from eggs
All milk products, including milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, cream, etc.
Dairy from all kinds of animals, including cows, goats, sheep, etc.
Any foods containing dairy products or ingredients made from dairy products
Hidden animal ingredients that may be on labels as casein, whey, whey protein, albumen, caseinate, sodium caseinate, lactose, lactic acid, rennet, and rennin
Soda, energy drinks, and other sweetened beverages
Foods made with bleached flour
Refined sugars and foods made with them
Potato chips, pretzels
Extracted oils including olive oil, vegetable oils, coconut oil, etc.
Foods containing chemical additives such as artificial colorings, flavorings, and preservatives, including dairy-free pastries, low-calorie soda