Forks Over Knives: No Need for Animal Protein

Invest in your health now, don’t pay for it later.

I recently saw a life-changing movie called “Forks Over Knives”. This film is about the surprising research that has been done on the health benefits of a whole food, plant-based diet. If you’ve ever heard of the China Study, which was a huge 20-year long research endeavor, you know that this research is pretty incredible. The research shows that switching from an animal protein-based diet (meat, milk, seafood, eggs, etc.) to a plant-based diet, helps prevent disease and aids in the proper function of our cells and organs. The Chinese have historically lived off of a plant-based diet, with meat (mostly seafood) in very small portions (think of how much fish is actually in sushi) and certainly not as often as our Western diet now contains. We know that vegetables, fruits, and whole grains (actual food) is good for us, but it likely isn’t as simple as eating 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day.

It sounds like a lot of naturopathic crap, really, it does. I was a skeptic before I watched the movie, hoping there would be actual science, biology and rigorous, peer-reviewed research cited. Turns out, there was all of that. I already know the whole myth about needing to eat meat to get all the protein you need (there is plenty in beans, legumes, nuts, whole grains AND vegetables), but what is it that we get out of dairy products? I bet you just said “calcium”.

Osteoporosis is not really about not having strong bones or not being able to build strong bones. Osteoporosis is actually a premature degeneration of the bones. Not only does our acidic diet help cause this but there is also some implication that too much calcium could contribute as well. If you are eating a plant-based whole foods diet, you probably don’t need much more calcium, if any at all.

See this list of vegetables that have calcium (there are a lot more than I even thought there were!)

There are also many fruits that have calcium.

Oh yeah, whole grains also have calcium.

Have I convinced you that we don’t need dairy yet? No? Ok well, many nuts and seeds also have calcium.

Plus, eating these foods gives you all of the other health benefits and nutrients they have. Dairy products don’t give you much more than calcium (remember, these calcium-rich foods also have plenty of protein and omega-3, so don’t even go there!).

If you’re still skeptical, beans and legumes also have a lot of calcium.

No, I’m not calling myself a vegan. I won’t avoid cheese, fish, or eggs completely, but I will treat these things as though they are delicacies, meant for special occasions and in small portions.

I encourage you to see Forks Over Knives if it’s playing in your area.

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3 responses

  1. That is how we eat now – mostly vegan but when the craving hits we have a little bit of meat, etc – I just try to buy the best quality of all our foods as well. When we do have meat I savor the small quantity that I serve to us, but slowly have noticed that I am fine without it the majority of the time. And now I can buy fresh over priced vegetables and not feel guilty – since they are still cheaper than meat!

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this film. I’ve been meaning to see it and have had some of the same hesitations you did, about whether or not there would be significant science to back it up. I try to eat as little meat as possible and get much of my protein from whole food sources, but feel the same as you do about treating these kinds of foods as delicacies–a nice way to conceptualize limiting our intake. Now I’m really motivated to seek out local screenings!

  3. Pingback: Recipe of the Week – Quinoa and Black Beans with Oven-Roasted Radishes | Eat. Learn. Thrive.

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