forks over knives.

by Mindy @ Just A One Girl Revolution on June 25, 2011

in Reviews

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, once said “let food be thy medicine”.  This, in essence, is the thesis of Forks Over Knives (FOK), a documentary that looks at the effects of the typical Western diet, full of animal protein and processed food, and the negative effect it has on our health.  Based largely on the research of Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselystyn, FOK advocates for a change in the way we eat.  Rather than sustaining ourselves with meat and dairy products, the film argues that a change to a plant based diet has profound effects on our health and can not only stop, but in some cases, reverse the effects of such illnesses as heart disease and cancer.

The overarching message:  you are not doomed and the foods you use to fuel your body have a profound impact on your health.  I

Much of the data and statistics come from Campbell’s book, The China Study (my review) and well as Esselystn’s research through the Cleveland Clinic.  It is supplemented with current stories of individuals who have adopted a plant based diet.  The other physicians featured throughout is Dr. Matt Lederman and his wife, Dr. Alona Plude.  Drs. Lederman and Plude not only encourage their patients towards a plant based diet, but take it a step further by going with them to the grocery store to counsel on how to shop and helping them cook meals appropriate for their new eating habits.

The real stories was certainly what made the film most compelling for me.  I tend to look at statistics quite cynically; numbers can be twisted to say whatever needs to be said.  It’s considerably harder to argue with the stories of those people who could live down the street.  The film showed stories of a individuals with breast cancer, with sky rocketing blood pressure and cholesterol levels, with diabetes.  By following a plant based diet, every individual featured in the film showed a drastic improvement in their health.

The major critique that I have is that while they focused on the switch to the plant based diet of these individuals, they didn’t discuss any other lifestyle changes, particularly changes in exercise habits.  I would be very curious to know what other changes each person adapted, in addition to the new diet.

Forks Over Knives is a provocative, eye-opening look into the way we eat, with an inspirational message that by changing our eating habits, we can drastically improve our overall health and well-being.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Michelle (Chasing Chelles) June 25, 2011 at 10:40 pm

I would really like to see that. Ebert raved about it! I’ve seen a whole lot of documentaries on health, but I always enjoy watching a good one. It seems the health bloggers I’ve read who’ve watched it weren’t too impressed with it though. I guess you can only learn so much, eh? 😉


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