After hearing the buzz about the “What the Health” documentary, I decided to watch it last night. Although it wasn’t enough to make me want to become a “full-fledged vegan”, it was enough to scare the hell out of me as it did to everyone else who watched it. It was intriguing, insightful, and impactful. Although I still consume chicken, fish, and turkey, it made me want to re-evaluate how much of it I consume. My body thrives off of protein, but it can come from different sources.

This documentary has sparked quite the controversy around the dinner table, on the internet, and in the workplace. The documentary definitely changed the culture of food and how we view food from the humane aspect, the corporate aspect, the political aspect, and from the consumer’s perspective.

Not Surprising Statistics

I wasn’t surprised at the fact that 350 million people suffer from diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and other illnesses brought on by food. These illnesses run rampant on both sides of my family. This is one of the reasons why I decided to change my eating habits over 20 years ago and I helped others along the way. As I mentioned in a previous post, my highest weight was 230 pounds. While it didn’t take long to lose the weight through diet and exercise, I had to understand that it was a lifestyle change.

An interesting point that came out of the study mentioned in the documentary was that processed foods and meats increase our risk of getting cancer by 18%! Additionally, I had no idea that dairy increases men’s risk of prostate cancer by 34% and it’s a direct link to breast cancer, according to one of the contributors in the documentary. He stated that the leading source of sodium is in chicken and that consuming meat causes diabetes. Even fish was under attack because it contains mercury, saturated fat, and cholesterol! I am not saying to take this at face value, but it gives you something to think about.

Say What!

One of the contributors stated that consuming meat is equivalent to smoking cigarettes! The discussion surrounding the environmental pollutants and the antibiotics that are injected into the meat that we consume was also disheartening. The hog houses and waste disposal fields that are in lower-income communities is disturbing. Residents complained about the chemicals being used and the smell of the dead animals near their homes. Many lower-income communities are food deserts. Why add to the issues that residents are already facing?

 Money Moves

Contributors go on to talk about the different organizations that promote meat and dairy as “healthy” because they are being sponsored by the manufactures of these products. They also stated that the farmers and the government benefit from the promotion of dairy. This research definitely caught my attention.

Veganism

The documentary ends with the doctors, contributors, and researchers promoting veganism. They said that the biggest, strongest animals such as gorillas and elephants are herbivores and that human beings will thrive off of a vegan diet. They interview people whose health improved dramatically when they stopped eating meat. The interviewees claimed to have lost weight, no longer had to take medication, and no longer suffered from illnesses brought on by obesity. Some people stated that their athletic performance improved.

Wrap-up

Although I received a wealth of information from watching this documentary, I would need to conduct my own research before making any drastic changes. However, I am willing to consume less meat. I feel as though my diet is pretty balanced right now and it works for me. I would encourage you to watch the documentary and formulate your own opinion.  If there are any vegans reading this, can you suggest some good books for our community to read about the benefits of a vegan diet? Can you share with us how your body has changed since you began eating a vegan diet? How has your lifestyle changed? If you are interested in becoming a vegan and you need some recipe ideas, visit http://plantbasedonabudget.com/.  The creator, Toni Okamoto, spoke about veganism on the His and Her Money Show titled “Eating Healthy Without Breaking the Bank.” Do your own research and do what works for you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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30 comments

  1. Thank you for sharing this information. I didn’t see this documentary, but I am vegetarian for over 15 years already and slowly going vegan. I can also recommend the movie “Home” which apart from showing beautiful views describes the ecological aspects of meat production.
    Regarding being vegetarian / vegan I can say that if the diet is well composed there are so many advantages for the body – loads of energy, better skin, lack of feeling heavy after a meal and many others. I encourage everyone to give it a try 🙂

  2. I have been a vegan for a little over two years.

    It has done wonders for my health. I struggled with PCOS (poly cystic ovary syndrome) and experienced tons of negative symptoms such as hormonal acne well into my 20s, painful and irregular periods, and others.

    I adopted a vegan diet after doing research it could help with PCOS. I tried the medical route and had been masking my symptoms for several years with birth control. However, that wasn’t sustainable.

    Within one month of going vegan things improved drastically. I stopped suffering from the negative symptoms. I also conceived easily and without medical interventions (infertility is another symptom of PCOS).

    On top of helping with PCOS, I noticed I just felt better in general. I no longer felt bloated after meals, even though I still felt full. And my skin continues to look better and better.

    I was vegan throughout my entire pregnancy and still am now. I highly recommend Dr. Michael Greger. He was featured in What the Health. He has a website, nutritionfacts.org. It’s a non-profit. There are no ads on the site, he doesn’t sell anything from it, he just creates health videos packed with information from countless scientific studies and allow the viewer to decide what actions to take.

    He does have a book you can purchase on Amazon titled How Not to Die. I own a copy and love it. It goes into great detail a lot of the common diseases Americans suffer and die from and addresses food choices we can make to combat that.

    Thanks for the post!

    1. You have convinced me to try this out slowly. I really appreciate your transparency! How can I start out slowly? I would love to improve my skin. Do you have any favorite recipes? I also appreciate the wealth of information you provided!

  3. Thank you for sharing what you learned! I haven’t seen this documentary, but have watching other “health” documentaries that were equally scary. It defiantly opens your eyes to what you are consuming and how it is effecting our health.

  4. I watched this movie too! It certainly makes a lot of good points. I’m not dedicated enough to go vegan, I love meat. However, I would love to be eating more fresh vegetables and fruits then I currently am. I always tell myself I need to do better, but it never lasts for long :/

  5. it is an incredibly interesting thought to stop eating meat. I personally don’t think I would, purely for the sake that I a) enjoy it and b) try to only buy hormone free, pasture raised products but the vast majority of the population doesn’t enjoy that luxury. Meat is natural to us, but it all works together. Diet, exercise, hydration and stress – they all play a part in our overall well-being.

    1. Thank you for reading and I agree with maintaining overall health! However, I’m going to try less meat but I’m not got to stop all together either. Thank you for reading it!

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