Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Forks Over Knifes


Forks Over Knives: A Response

I was not sure what to expect with a documentary entitled “Forks over Knives”. Five minutes into watching the documentary in my Issues In Dietetics class it became evident to me that the title refers to the method in which you would eat plant based food compared to animal products (I guess you use a fork for plants and knife for meat?). Anyway, the documentary is an argument for a vegan lifestyle as a means to prevent chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes. 

The film begins with a fear tactic, showing the deadly statistics of cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases of the western culture, blaming them on the western diet. Specifically targeting diary and meat products. The film compares the chronic diseases in America with nations that eat mainly plant-based diets showing an overwhelming larger amount of deaths from chronic diseases in America.

The documentary suggests that by eliminating all meat and diary products from the diet we can eliminate chronic diseases. The Dr.’s that star in the film believe that animal products activate cancer genes and plant products turn them off.

Plant-based Diet:


The documentary had a lot of evidence supporting the benefits of eating whole foods, plant-based diet and the evidence was hard to ignore. Of course if you only consume plant-based products you will drastically lower your cholesterol, most likely reduce your weight, and overall reduce your risk of chronic diseases. However, the film ignores that fact that those same benefits can be achieved by eating meat and dairy in moderation. The film also compares the western diet to other nations such as Japan in the 1950’s and suggests they eat a plant-based diet so it must be meat and milk making American’s sick. However, I believe that while our over consumption of meat and dairy in America may be a contributing factor to our decline in health other factors such as technology, work, stress, fast foods, and processed foods are all contributing factors to chronic diseases in America.

Overall, I think that adopting a plant-based diet may be a healthy solution for some looking to reduce their risk for chronic dieses but it is not the only solution. I believe the Dr’s used fear of disease to make their argument against meat and milk and down played the evidence from the previous American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics president that suggests lean meats and dairy can provide essential amino acids, minerals, and nutrients to the diet and need not be eliminated to lead a healthy lifestyle. Ultimately, I support the movement towards whole foods and eating a more plant-based diet but I also believe meat and diary can be a part of a healthy diet as well. 

...I guess you can say I'm not completely sold. 

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