Jump to content


my brief critique of Forks Over Knives


Recommended Posts

I finally watched Forks Over Knives. The ideas weren't new to me as I'd read Dr. Fuhrman's "Eat to Live" years ago and have followed a whole foods plant based diet to varying degrees (not always sugar free and not always 100% vegan) ever since.


The film says that dietary cholesterol is the cause of rising cholesterol levels in Americans. I thought this was no longer believed to be true-- that dietary cholesterol will only raise cholesterol in a handful of people who are genetically vulnerable to dietary sources. I thought the true cause of high cholesterol were saturated fats and sugar.


Another "beef" I had with the flim/ theory is that they look at the cancer levels associated with high meat/ dairy intake and immediately jump to the conclusion that we should all be 100% vegan, even though the data does not strictly support this. My understanding is that beyond 8-10% of calories from animal products is the tipping point for cancers. Anything under that is not linked to elevated cancer risk. Interestingly this is approximately the meat intake of primates in the wild (and I believe of traditional chinese diet).


So where do they get the 100% vegan from? Wouldn't it be better to encourage a 90% vegan, whole foods diet, and 10% animal foods, which might not only be safe, but beneficial (in small doses)? Honestly this would be a lot more appealing to people than saying they have to go 100% vegan. (Even Dr. Fuhrman writes that 10% non plant foods is ok.)


I also was disappointed that they didn't delve into fat and sugar. They touched on the topics briefly but didn't go into detail. They would say the diet had to be "whole foods" (i.e. no sugar or processed foods) but never went beyond that. As far as fats go, it's my understanding the fat increases nutrient absorption and that women with intake of healthy fats like olive oil have lower rates of certain cancers than women who are on fat-free diets. It would have been interesting for them to examine the diet of Ikaria where, yes, the diet is plant based but it is also heavy on olive oil and includes a modest amount of goatmilk products and meat.


I also could have done without the constant closeups of hunks of meat being thrown on the BBQ everytime they talked about heart disease. Did anyone catch the brief "pink slime" production clip about 3/4 in the film?


And... all of this goes against the "Fat Head" experiment, although he ate huge amounts of greens ("fields" in his own words) and counted calories. It makes me wonder if the greens aren't the magic bullet in all of this.


I would love to hear your thoughts! Have you changed your eating habits after watching the film? Currently I'm at 90% vegan whole foods threshold though I really struggle with sugar cravings. We always have cookies around and they're hard to resist.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...