Documentaries like Sweet Misery and Fast Food Nation are insightful films that dissect dietary dogmas to help people understand how a healthy diet benefits their overall well-being. However, the documentary Forks Over Knives may not provide you the same healthy insights. Dr. Joseph Mercola says that the documentary – although made with the best intentions at heart – is sending a message that may potentially damage people’s health and contribute to chronic disease.
According to the film’s official website:
“Forks Over Knives examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting animal-based and processed foods. (link)”
You Cannot Be Optimally Healthy Without Animal-Based Foods
Dr. Mercola says he completely agrees with rejecting processed foods from your diet, as these can have dire effects on your health. However, rejecting all animal-based foods may put many people at risk of long-term health complications, because they are missing out on crucial nutrients and healthy fats.
Your body needs nutrients from animal-based foods. This doesn’t necessarily mean “meat,” though, because not everyone needs to eat meat to stay healthy. There are other healthy sources of animal-based foods you can include to your diet, like raw dairy products, free-range eggs or even omega-3 fats from krill. These can suit people who have a more or philosophical objection to meat consumption.
The China Study is NOT as Credible as It Seems
The book The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell was given a lot of focus in Forks Over Knives. Many strict vegetarians and vegans revere this literary work, believing that it is “authoritative proof” that meat consumption is “harmful.” However, Dr. Mercola says The China Study has many major flaws. For starters, it is not a study but a comprehensive set of observations. This means Campbell did not test his theory on real patients, and his assertions that animal protein should be avoided are not as credible as they seem.
Dr. Mercola became more convinced that Campbell’s study was not as reliable as it seems when he noticed that many of the patients he was treating failed to improve after he had implemented a vegetarian or vegan diet. His findings were similar to that of Dr. Michael R. Eades (whom he has never met), a practitioner of nutritional and metabolic medicine since 1986 (visit his website here).
How to Make a Plant-Based Diet Optimally Healthy
Forks Over Knives does not use the term “vegetarian” or “vegan.” Instead, it uses “plant-based diet,” which makes it appealing to a broader audience while avoiding stereotypes associated with the more common terms.
It’s true that eating vegetables in place of fast food and junk food will improve your health. Plant-based foods like organic, raw vegetables are a great source of nutrition, and are preferable to grain and sugar-filled products. In fact, Dr. Mercola recommends you try vegetable juicing as a way of getting more plant-based foods in your daily meals. However, he says you should still eat foods that will provide your body with animal-based foods that contain vitamin B12, valuable saturated fats, sulfur, and animal-based omega-3.
The Bottom Line: Listen to Your Body
Dr. Mercola says that the most important thing you should remember is to listen to your body and evaluate its responses to the food that you take. If your current diet gives you the highest level of energy and fitness, and that you feel hungry or crave sweets rarely, then it means you are consuming foods that suit your Nutritional Type.
On the other hand, if you follow a diet that limits animal protein and you feel its negative impact on your health, then consider changing your diet to include some animal proteins.