What the Health Review: Top 3 Misses of the Vegan Documentary

August 24, 2017
What the Health review - Dr. Axe

I never like a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to nutrition. We all have unique biologies — what fuels one person could leave another feeling lousy. That’s one of my main issues with the What the Health documentary streaming on Netflix. In this What the Health review, I’ll offer my own take and outline the major hits and misses of the film.

While it’s not completely evident in the first few minutes, What the Health is actually a pro-vegan film that tends to skew studies and figures to make a point. (The filmmakers even seem pro-sugar at some parts… no kidding.) I’m not debating the fact that there are benefits of a vegan diet, but there are drawbacks, too, including some vegan foods I’d never eat. (More on that later.)

What the Health Review: The Misses

Investigative journalist Nina Teicholz, author of “The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet,” performed an analysis of the 37 health claims made in the film. In her What the Health review, she found that about 96 percent of the data fail to support the film’s claims.

She says: (1)

The film does not cite a single rigorous randomized controlled trial on humans supporting its arguments. Instead, WTH presents a great deal of weak epidemiological data, case studies on one or two people or other inconclusive evidence. Some of the studies cited actually conclude the opposite of what is claimed.

What the Health Claim: Sugar doesn’t cause diabetes; meat does. 

The experts and doctors in What the Health are pro-vegan, although they aren’t actually introduced that way in the film. I found that to be a bit deceptive. And in the opening minutes of the film, many of them, including Neal Barnard, M.D., founder of the Physicians Committee for Responsibility, a vegan-promoting nonprofit, suggests meat and animal products cause type 2 diabetes, not carbs and sugar:

“Diabetes is not and was never caused by eating a high-carbohydrate diet and it’s not caused by eating sugar. The cause of diabetes is a diet that builds up the amount of fat in the blood. I’m talking about a typical meat-based, animal-based diet. You can look into the muscle cells of the human body and you find they’re building up tiny particles of fat that’s building insulin resistance. What that means is the sugar that is naturally from the foods that you’re eating can’t get into the cells where it belongs. It builds up in the blood.” — Dr. Barnard in What the Health

The truth: Inflammation is the root of most diseases. And there are boatloads of studies linking excess sugar and refined carbohydrates to inflammation and type 2 diabetes. On the flip side, we know that certain animal foods are loaded with healthy, anti-inflammatory compounds. (Take wild-caught salmon nutrition, for example.)

Here’s some of what we do know when it comes to sugar and diabetes:

  • The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is 20 percent higher in countries with greater availability of high-fructose corn syrup, a manmade type of sugar. (2)
  • The Swedish government actually backs a high-fat, low-carb diet for type 2 diabetes thanks to its low requirement for insulin. The country also notes this high-fat, low-carb (including sugar) diet is beneficial for weight loss. (3)
  • A high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet can help people with type 2 diabetes lose weight and lower or cut out the amount of diabetes meds they need. (4) In my opinion, using the carb cycling diet provides weight-loss and muscle-building benefits while stimulating important metabolic and digestive functions. A Mediterranean diet is also beneficial to reduce cardiovascular impacts of type 2 diabetes. (5)

Is sugar bad for you? That may not seem obvious after watching the documentary. But if there’s one thing you take from this What the Health review, it’s this: Not all sugars are created equally, and added sugars can harm your health in a myriad of ways, including:

  • Your type 2 diabetes risk increases 1.1 percent for every 150 calories of sugar consumed in a day. (6)
  • Added sugar may increase the risk of these cancers: esophageal, colon, breast and small intestine. (7, 8)
  • Dietary sugar can increase the risk of breast cancer tumors and metastasis to the lungs. (9)
  • In 2016, a sugar industry scandal broke, highlighting how Big Sugar paid off Harvard researchers to publish studies suggesting saturated fat, not sugar, caused heart disease. That ignited a decades-long dietary disaster full of high-sugar, low-fat foods. (And a sharp rise in type 2 diabetes rates.)

Aside from that, there’s another important point to make in this What the Health review. The film lumps all sugars together. But let’s be clear: There is a huge health difference between eating the sugars naturally present in a nutrient-dense blueberry compared to a soda full of high-fructose corn syrup dangers.

That’s another main issue with the documentary: It doesn’t compare apples to apples.

What it all comes down to is eating conventional meat causes inflammation. Grass-fed beef doesn’t have the same nutritional profile as beef crammed onto a feedlot and raised on an unnatural diet of pesticide-laden grain, drugs and hormones. Vegan films beat this to death: They put all types of meat in the same category. It’s like putting all sugar in the same category and saying high-fructose corn syrup is the same as blueberries or raw, local honey.

The filmmakers are very biased in what they’re saying. Blueberries reduce inflammation, and so does wild-caught salmon. On the other end, corn syrup and conventional meat cause inflammation.

The film fails to take the personalized nutrition approach. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, a person with certain “elements” reacts differently to certain foods. A female with a blood deficiency like anemia, for instance, may not fare well on a plant-based diet. Organic chicken liver is really nourishing to the blood. On the other hand, a man who is consuming too much meat and dealing with anger, liver issues, liver congestion and/or cirrhosis may flourish on a diet heavy in greens and light on meat.

Whether you’re eating meat or vegetables, make sure it’s balanced in anti-inflammatory foods.

And certain people and ethnicities may be wired to eat specific foods, whether due to genetics or environment. If someone lives in Russia or in the far north of Canada, he or she may do better on diet of warming herbs and meat. In the Caribbean, coconut water, rice and peppermint herbs may be more beneficial. A lot depends on the current environmental, emotions, epigenetics and genetic makeup.

What the Health claim: Eating a daily egg is as bad as smoking five cigarettes.

The documentary equates eating eggs as unhealthy as smoking cigarettes.

The truth: Vox points out that two in three long-term smokers will die due to the smoking habit. The same isn’t true for people who eat eggs daily. (10) In fact, cholesterol isn’t even still a “nutrient of concern,” according to government’s Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. (11)

Measuring cholesterol may not be the ideal way to track heart disease risk. In fact, low cholesterol in humans is actually linked to a higher risk of dying early. (12) What we really need to focus on is inflammation, the real cause of heart disease. The health benefits of eggs include lower risk of heart disease and better eye health. The choline in eggs actually assists liver function and brain development, too. And get this: Low choline levels actually correlate with fatty liver disease.

What the Health claim: The flesh food to eliminate from the American diet is poultry.

The film contends that chicken is loaded with HCAs, clear-cut carcinogens formed when any type of meat is cooked.

The truth: Heterocyclic amine formation generally occurs with higher cooking temperatures like 428 degrees Fahrenheit and above. So sure, frying and grilling on high flames can do that. But your cooking technique and marinades can cut HCAs to nearly nonexistent levels. (13)

When the film talked about chicken, it did everyone a great disservice by failing to differentiate organic, free-range chicken from conventional chicken. That’s because a 2017 animal study found conventional chicken increases growth, cholesterols levels and hormone imbalance. In fact, scientists concluded commercial chicken meat could lead to the development of polycystic ovarian syndrome, thanks to the steroid hormone imbalance.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of organic, pasture-raised chicken is bone broth. This traditional food has been providing health benefits for centuries. Some of these include arthritis relief, sealing healthy gut, reducing cellulite and boosting the immune system.

What the Health Review: What It Got Right

Corporate Collusion

Many junk food corporations and organizations supporting factory-farmed meat and eggs do influence studies and dietary recommendations. And many leading, mainstream organizations associated with specific diseases focus more on treatment than prevention of disease.

These institutions continue to make dietary blunders. In fact, in 2017, the American Heart Association (AHA) had us all wondering if coconut oil is healthy or not. The AHA advised people to avoid coconut oil, despite the emerging body of research showing it can provide incredible benefits for weight loss and the brain.

And for years, we’ve been advised to eat loads of inflammatory grains and factory-farmed meat and dairy. These are foods I always try to avoid.

Unethical Meat and Environmental Injustice

Many Americans do eat too much meat, particularly too much conventional, inflammatory meat. I want to be clear about this in this What the Health review: the way we raise most meat in this country is atrocious, not just for the animals and our health, but for people living around these concentrated animal feeding operations.

The film exposed North Carolina pork production, highlighting how factory farming impacts communities. (These communities are often low-income and neighborhoods of color.)

Here are some sobering stats from just one type of meat product in one state:

  • 10 million pigs in North Carolina create the same amount of feces as 100 million humans.
  • Pig feces are sprayed raw on fields and increase MRSA risk to people living nearby.
  • Cancer and asthma are rampant in these neighborhoods.
  • Living near field sprayed with hog fertilizer triples MRSA risk.
  • Fish deaths are also reported due to serious water pollution.

Final Thoughts on What the Health Review

  • What the Health is a pro-vegan documentary featuring vegan advocates and experts. However, most aren’t disclosed as being pro-vegan during the film.
  • While most Americans can certainly benefit from eating a diet rich in vegetables, going completely vegan does have some health drawbacks.
  • One of the main things I want you to take away from this What the Health review is that some experts recommend cutting animal products and eating unlimited carbs. That is a dangerous recommendation given the fact that added sugars are carbs that are linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, certain cancers and other major health problems.
  • I’m not a fan of blanket nutrition recommendations. Everyone reacts differently to certain foods. Some may flourish on a vegan diet with proper supplementation. Others may achieve better health on the Mediterranean diet or ketogenic diet.
  • I never recommend eating animal products from factory farms (also known as concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs). Not only are the animals exploited, but the final food product is often subpar in terms of nutrition and often harms the environment.
  • Eating factory-farmed meats and fish is inflammatory.
  • Some vegan foods I would never eat include tofu, canola oil, vegetable oil, and white, unsprouted breads and pastas. Many are inflammatory in nature, and non-organic versions often test high for pesticide residues.
  • Most people can stand to eat more vegetables and less meat. But if you do still want to enjoy animal products, look for organic, pasture-raised products. I like to know my farmer so I can ask questions and even see how animals are raised.

Read Next: The Most Nutrient-Dense Foods on the Planet

From the sound of it, you might think leaky gut only affects the digestive system, but in reality it can affect more. Because Leaky Gut is so common, and such an enigma, I’m offering a free webinar on all things leaky gut. Click here to learn more about the webinar.

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  1. Mila on

    So all these paleo people eat exclusively grass-fed beef and free-range (says nothing about what they ate) chicken, right? When you go to a restaurant you eat totally vegan if the chicken and beef isn’t free range. When you go to someone’s house for dinner you ask them if the steak was grass fed and then refuse it. You only buy grass-fed, pasture raised eggs, cheese, butter, and yogurt, 100% of the time.

    So if you go to these extreme lengths with your own diet (which we’ve concluded is necessarily vegan when you can’t guarantee the source of your foods), doesn’t it become very obvious how unsustainable and irresponsible it is to promote that lifestyle, given the fact that 99% of Americans cannot afford to spend that much on premium food or even have access to it? Isn’t it pretty clear that in terms of public health, the conventionally raised beef, poultry, dairy, and eggs that 99% of Americans (and a significant number of the people who identify as following a healthy/Paleo diet) are eating is probably more relevant? Maybe promoting veganism is the way to go after all.

    • Marny on

      Life is all about choices. It’s a healthy lifestyle for those with autoimmune disease, and will lower you antibodies. No one said a person had to. Eat as healthy as your grocery budget allows, and you can still eat good for you foods.

      • Mila on

        I actually don’t care at all about the people who are well-informed and choose to follow a paleo lifestyle. It’s their health. It’s also a selfish and unsustainable move for the planet, future generations, and poor people living in other countries, but whatever. I can’t make you care about others.

        My problem is with “Dr.” (not a medical doctor OR a registered dietician; he is a naturopath and chiropractor) Axe, who, given his public platform on this website, has a moral responsibility to his readers not to mislead them. He has chosen to promote himself as an authority on nutrition and has a large audience for the things he says and the diet he promotes. Now do you think that every person who comes on this site and learns that grains and fruit are bad for them! and meat and saturated fat are good! is also educated well enough that those things are ONLY TRUE if the meat and saturated fat are from the most expensive 1% of sources? And that conventionally produced meat and animal products are actually DETRIMENTAL as Axe himself states in this article?

        Because the majority of paleo/keto/low-carb people I know in real life or see on social media, elsewhere on the internet, and on this very website do NOT follow those rules and think that going to McDonalds and ordering two cheeseburgers, hold the bun of course, is a healthy meal. And they got that idea from all the low-carb/paleo internet diet gurus like Axe.

    • Matt Grantham on

      Industrial farming is not sustainable period Nitrogen fertilizers are created from natural gas a finite resource. when that runs out even the industrial vegetable production will hit the end of the line Permaculture with all its limitations is likely the future and most permacultarists recognize that animals, including their waste products, play a vital role in regenerative agriculture

    • Sherry on

      Mila, have you heard of GMO produce? Corn, wheat, soy, etc. Now potatoes are going GMO too – many of the staples of the vegan diet, at least, the people that I know that are vegan don’t buy or grow organic produce. In fact, some of them hardly eat any vegetables at all. They eat chips, cookies, candies and white bread sandwiches – like avocado (finally something good) or peanut butter sandwiches. Jams & jellies & French fries. They can drink pop, eat cheesies, cakes & sweets because there is no meat, eggs, cheese, fish or dairy in them. But how healthy is that? Some of them enjoy salads and broccoli, so that’s good too. But vegans also have to be diligent about sourcing their produce. And they can’t eat a junk food diet and call it vegan because they’re not eating meat.

      • Mila on

        90% of GMO soybeans and corn grown in America are fed to livestock. Obviously one can eat vegan junk food and be unhealthy. No one would argue that! But the fact remains that the most affordable and sustainable way to eat a healthy diet is to eat plant based foods.

        One also does not have to buy organic produce to be healthy. Countless nutritional interventional and epidemiological studies have been done showing that eating more fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, and nuts (each as their own category) is correlated with better health outcomes and lower mortality. Those studies are done on people eating regular produce. Organic greens might be slightly more nutritious, and have lower pesticide residues, but the benefits of eating vegetables outweighs whatever tiny drawbacks might come from them being non-organic.

    • Healthy Living on

      Well wouldn’t you rather pay just a tiny bit more now than the doctor later? Also, the more demand there is for organic/free-range/pastured meat, the more the cost will go down!

      • Mila on

        Not really. Free range and pastured meat takes many times more land and water than factory farmed meat to produce. A single grass-fed cow requires 20-50 acres of grazing land. There simply isn’t room for this kind of agriculture to produce more than a small percentage of the meat Americans are choosing to eat.

  2. Evanie Boyd on

    Thank-you!!! I overheard someone talking about this film today, but didn’t have the proper words to address the mistruths and unsound claims this film was presenting. I wish I could somehow get this review to that woman:) Thanks for tackling this in a thoughtful, research-supported way!

  3. Andre on

    Nine million people die from hunger every year, most of them children.

    At the same time, farms that raise livestock consume more food than they produce.

    How can a nutritionist not recommend veganism as a remedy for famine? I’ll tell you how — when that nutritionist is totally out of touch.

  4. Brooke on

    The problem here is if you research what kind of diet is recommended in the film, it doesn’t include processed sugar or oils. This article is really misleading and I can only laugh at judging the documentary for using epidemiological studies (it’s impossible to do randomized control trials on diet because ppl can tell what they’re eating, its also hard to get people to stick to any diet for a long period of time) then reference pseudo-science like eating based on your genetics or blood type.

    • Matt Grantham on

      this review did not comment on the nature of the exact diet they recommend and since a lot of rhetoric can be mixed in without being part of a final diet recommendation i think Dr Axe is quite right to point out the ridiculous claim made that sugar does not cause diabetes. The bizarre nature of such a claim is not sugar coated, so to speak, on whatever their final conclusion is about their recommended diet

      As for your idea that apparently all claims that individual variation both in genetics and environmental exposure, does not make certain subgroups having different reaction to different types of foods is not supported by science. You seem to point to D’adamo and others who may have had virtually none of their facts correct to lead to some conclusion that no subgroups can be identified as having more benefit from some types of diets than other. Many of the top vegan/vegetarian experts including Johnathon Wright, Ronald Hoffman, and tons of other top experts have had to admit that veganism made them sick after too many years and had to introduce animal products to regain their health

  5. Megan on

    Seems the information you’re providing is somewhat misleading as well, is grass fed meat and wild caught salmon available to the wider population? I don’t think so, so claiming there’s major health benefits to meat while using those as examples is extremely misleading. Also referencing government health advice for the benefits of eggs when we all know they’ve provided detrimental health advice in the past doesn’t exactly make you sound credible

    • Lenny on

      Not sure where you are from, but yes, in general wild caught salmon and grass fed beef is readily available to the wider population.

      • Aaron on

        Available yes, the discussion is more on affordability. When 1 in 4 children in the US don’t know where their next meal is coming from, that family is also not running around town trying to find grass fed beef and wild caught salmon. I buy Alaskan Wild Caught Salmon from farmers market in the LA area at $25-$27/lb. How many can afford that?

        Still I think Dr. Axe is doing justice by debunking some myths in the documentary. But I would never negate the need for most to wake up and realize that the mistreatment of these animals and the fact that we still have hunger in the US in 2017 when there’s absolutely no lack is down right absurd and enough of us Vegans can take a stand to make people wake up to what is going on.

    • Lina on

      Megan, you are probably out of touch for sure..:) wild caught salmon and grass feed beef are available for every one… vegan people it s like they are bowl good to some of cult… they hate every one who is not vegan..gush.. don’t push your ideas on every one else, period.

    • Matt Grantham on

      Right and since the majority of governmental nutritional advisory institutions continue to espouse the outdated cholesterol hypothesis your point is well taken. but this particular committee seems to be a light in the darkness

    • Matt Grantham on

      What is misleading is not recognizing the simple fact that there is a difference in the quality of nutrition of pasteurized free range or very forms of non industrialized meat and dairy products. This a fact that Colin Campbell and most of the other Vegan experts omit on a regular basis. When someone then simply raises the fact that these previously omitted options are available they are accused of being extremely misleading

      Lets be clear Josh Axe did not make the statement that there are not financial concerns with eating healthier foods. He did not comment on cost because the subject was the different “health” effects. Your apparent inference is that when a health claim is discussed we need to concurrently explain all the economic considerations and if we do not we are being misleading. when an organic grower mentions the health benefits of eating organic care they being disingenuous by not adding a fact that we all know about that it costs more How can something so obvious be misleading

      • Mila on

        The problem is that “Dr.” (not a medical doctor OR a registered dietician; he is a naturopath and chiropractor) Axe has chosen to promote himself as an authority on nutrition and has a public platform and large audience for the things he says and the diet he promotes. Now do you think that every person who comes on this site and learns that grains and fruit are bad for them! and meat and saturated fat are good! is also educated well enough that those things are ONLY TRUE if the meat and saturated fat are from the most expensive 1% of sources? And that conventionally produced meat and animal products are actually DETRIMENTAL as Axe himself states in this article?

        Josh Axe, due to the size of his platform, has a moral responsibility to the public not to mislead them and recommend things that will actually harm their health. If his stance (which we can surmise from this article) is that one should eat vegan if and when one cannot afford perfection-level animal products, then that needs to be front and center.

  6. Liutas on

    In article 12 there isn’t evidence that to low cholesterol will cause you die early. It only talks about extra virgin coconut oil in reducing weight in patient with cardiovascular disease.

    • Matt Grantham on

      It seemed like very few vegans came to the defense of coconut oil from the latest mainstream target d’jour. It would seem that their reliance of saturated fat as an evil, made even a plant product an uncomfortable member of their club

  7. Clinton Dunlap on

    I have to say I have never read all of your articles,but a lot of them.I have enjoyed most and almost all of them can be backed up one way or another,but you should have left this subject alone.There are no health drawbacks from a Whole Foods plant based diet with a few of the right supplements. You are taking what a few pro vegans have to say from what the health and giving your advice based off of their information.The information from what the health sounds about like your opinion,not very knowledgeable.FYI ,most Educated Plant Based Individuals don’t let what the health represent them or set a standard for themselves.True healthy Vegans don’t eat chemicals ,pesticides or added refined sugar,sugar is not even vegan for that matter it has ground bone char in it!I can eat as many carbs as I want because not all carbs are created equal,as long as it’s Whole Foods and plant based I don’t have to watch what I eat or how much I eat.You talk about inflammation a lot,but never seem to touch on the fact that meat is an acidic food that causes inflammation,dairy causes a state of acidosis and pulls the highest most readily available mineral from your body to combat the acidosis,very high inflammation sources all meat and animal products.Not to mention the fact that all cooked animal fat has trans fat and causes cancer and the body cannot rid itself of trans fat.I can go on and on all night and day .Once again Healthy educated Whole Foods Vegans aren’t represented by non educated beginner Vegans.They are in a whole different category and if you want to put the Educated Vegans in that category you won’t lose to many Vegans that follow you,but you have lost me from this very one sided Un knowledgeable article!!I don’t eat tofu or canola oil or unsprouted breads or white pasta or anything that isn’t organic for that matter because I know that’s not healthy!!Is that the best you can do to put down the true Whole Food plant based diet?Take a bunch of generalized information and try to give your opinion on it?I have never heard a cancer survivor or any person with a disease say I cured it by eating meat and meat products!!!But I have heard to many to list say that I reversed my cancer ,diabetes,heart disease,blood pressure,obesity,Crohn’s disease etc etc with a Whole Foods Plant Based Diet!!! You should try to debunk Forks over Knives which is presented by the Best And only Doctors in the World in my opinion!They would take you back to school and have all the statistics to back up the knowledge and my information!That’s why you have never tried to debunk Forks Over knives Whole Food Plant Based Documentary.You want to use something like what the health to put all Vegans underneath their identity,well Veganism is so far from what the health that it’s hilariously funny at this point!Yes I have a little bit of an attitude at this point because people like you try to categorize the cleanest eating individuals on the planet with bottom feeders.Which couldn’t be farther from the truth!!!Instead of promoting your educational articles from now on I believe I will search for knowledgeable information elsewhere when I’m learning something new,your not the only one out there. You really picked out the very few negatives about a refined non organic Vegan diet and tried to categorize the Cleanest eating on the planet?Educate yourself better next time Dr.Josh Axe

    • Marianette on

      That is why I stop taking his bone broth. I did had it many months but I develop skin rashes that look like shingles but before that I had swelling on my private part(outer vulva), hard to walk and had to go to emergency. Im not sexually active so no transmitted disease. I ate organic plant based products for a long time and never had skin disease. So I decided to stop the bone broth.

    • John on

      I’m not sure why you took this the way you did, he did say exactly what you said he didn’t say and that is that a Vegan diet can certainly be healthy and you might want to take certain supplements.

      “Educate yourself better next time”? He seems pretty educated to me. It sounds like he’s trying to give an unbiased review but you’re sounded pretty biased to me.

      For example, you say:
      “You should try to debunk Forks over Knives which is presented by the Best And only Doctors in the World in my opinion!They would take you back to school and have all the statistics to back up the knowledge and my information!That’s why you have never tried to debunk Forks Over knives Whole Food Plant Based Documentary.”

      That’s why he hasn’t done this? Good to know you know him that well. In fact, that’s the kind of rebuttal my child would say. You’re certainly taking a much more biased and “upset” approach then the logical one he is.

      And I got in no way that he was trying to say Vegans are bottom feeders.

      For crying out loud, all the guy was trying to do is point out that there were some false conclusions in What The Health from what he’s learned in his research. If you don’t agree with his reply, then so be it I guess. But making him out to be a jerk for trying to help people and having a logical discussion isn’t so cool…. in my opinion.

      • Jess on

        Well said, John! Dr Axe was very clear that he supports many points What the Health makes. And he has never advocated against veganism. The only points I see him making are 1. SOME of the claims made by this documentary don’t stand up to scrutiny 2. You can be vegan and unhealthy if you don’t do it right (same goes for any diet) 3. No diet is 100% perfect for everyone at every life stage. Seem like perfectly well-researched, balanced points to me. Why would anyone freak out over this?

    • Addy on

      Please learn to argue and think like an adult. Your boisterous, angry, child-like conclusion that he comparing healthy vegans to bottom feeders is the most irrational statement I have read on this blog yet.

      And just because you’ve “never” heard of someone being healed by eating meat doesn’t mean it has not happened. There are plenty of things that we do not ‘hear’ of that happen. Our personal span of knowledge isn’t the final-declared source to whether or not something is valid. Your rebuttal is full of opinion and you have cited no research that says what you say in factual.

      Please learn to state your opinion respectfully, and tactfully. Responses like this are quite sad because here, we have it again, another American (I’m assuming) polarizing an issue that could simply be discussed logically and intelligently.

      Dr. Axe is not the anti-christ-jerk that you have made him out to be simply because you do not agree with him.

      And to the commentators below this response telling you that you have well-said your response. Shame on you. This is not well said; it is very very poorly stated.

  8. Evalee on

    All eggs, dairy and meats are hormonal products. Our hormones are messed up already just from things we cannot control in our environment, either we go organic and have the cleanest possible air at home, there’s too many things we can’t control on this planet anymore..would limit all animal consumption to high-quality rare occasion human consumption

  9. Steve seguin on

    Food is an emotional topic for many. Despite what critics say about this movie, the evidence is clear, a whole food plant diet reverses many chronic diseases. Dr Gersen’s therapy healed many stage 4 cancers, something modern medecine can’t do nor a meat diet.

    Tofu, canola oil, vegetale oil are not “vegan food”, they are processed food, simply.

    For Dr Axe and people who advocate eating meat, please answer these questions:

    1) what are the nutritional benefit of eating meat product that can’t be met by eating plants?

    2) unless we had invented tools to kill and cut animals, we would have never been able to eat them. Not mentionning the need to cook meat to avoid digestion problems. Can we run after a deer and kill it with our mouth? So how do you explain the need to eat meat if we never had the natural ability to kill them?

    3) criticising a film is easy, anybody with no science or medical background can do that, for a real chalenge, please provide your critisism on Dr Furhman’s .

    Thank you

    • Matt Grantham on

      Number one would include most of the Fat soluble vitamins and for sure vitamin K. also the Omega 3s are only bioavailable to most people in fish. and add vitamin B12 Protein is at least more complicated for vegans

      Numer 2 is a silly point in my opinion since if we did not have the technology and tools to develop agriculture we would never had the ability to live off plants either. so trying to separate out our ability to develop tools we would never arisen to be the species we are today. But seemingly it is pretty obvious we could have eaten eggs, insects, turtles, fish, recently dead animals that we did not kill with our weapons that foor some reason you have deemed as unnatural

      Number 3 Dr Fuhrmans what? book?

    • Jess on

      Hi there, I don’t consider myself a “meat advocate” but I’ll address 2 of your points:

      1) It takes a healthy, efficient gut to process many plant nutrients into animal nutrients. People suffering issues with nutrient absorption can find it very difficult to get certain nutrients from a 100% vegan diet. I’m one of them, and found out the hard way. I consumed 80-90 grams of vegan protein a day, but blood tests came back with starvation-low levels of albumen protein. Even my vegan nutritionist recommended I introduce quality meat and eggs when the test results came back. I’m in the minority, I’m sure, but people like me do exist.

      2) Humans CAN kill animals for meat without tools, and have done so for hundreds of thousands of years. Certain bugs, eggs, ground birds, and shellfish have been on the human/hominoid menu long before complex tools. Same goes for large animals. Humans are proven to run large game to death under the right conditions, and it’s widely believed to be one of the keys to our species’ success. Persistence hunting without advanced tools is also the only accepted reason why humans are among the greatest long-distance runners on the planet. (We didn’t develop the anatomy to handle running 50+ miles if we were only gathering berries!) Research the Running Man Theory for more info.

      I can’t comment on point 3, since I’m not Dr. Axe :) I hope this helps clarify some things.

  10. Lina on

    Ok i give you that the documentry was very pro vegan. But what about Forks over knives? The China study? Dr Furhman’s research and books? I still hold a plantbased diet very high. Mostly because of dr furhman’s book eat to live i am now off my bloodpressure medicine that i had for ten years.

  11. El on

    I’m a whole food plant based vegan and I don’t eat tofu, vegetable oil or any of the other foods you claim are vegan. I didn’t realize that non vegans don’t eat any of these things.

    I follow many of the doctors in the film and they all promote whole foods and are for removing processed sugar, oil and salt. This movie wasn’t about sugar so it didn’t go into detail on this point.

    These doctors eat what they promote for the health benefits, just because they can also be labeled vegan, doesn’t mean they are promoting veganism.

    There is no other species on the planet where some eat one way and others eat another, so why would humans be different? I have celiac so I stay away from certain grains but still eat grains. With all the varieties of different plants, excluding people with rare conditions, humans can thrive on a plant based diet. Because most of us learned the SAD diet growing up, a healthy hfpb lifestyle needs to be taught as well.

  12. Sirian on

    Scientific studies all linking high saturated fat diets to Diabetes:

    W J Evans. Oxygen-carrying proteins in meat and risk of diabetes mellitus. JAMA Intern Med. 2013 Jul 22;173(14):1335-6. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.7399.

    M Cnop. Fatty acids and glucolipotoxicity in the pathogenesis of Type 2 diabetes. Biochem Soc Trans. 2008 Jun;36(Pt 3):348-52. doi: 10.1042/BST0360348.

    R Taylor. Banting Memorial lecture 2012: reversing the twin cycles of type 2 diabetes. Diabet Med. 2013 Mar;30(3):267-75. doi: 10.1111/dme.12039.

    A K Leamy, R A Egnatchik, J D Young. Molecular mechanisms and the role of saturated fatty acids in the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Prog Lipid Res. 2013 Jan;52(1):165-74. doi: 10.1016/j.plipres.2012.10.004.

    D Estadella, C M da Penha Oller do Nascimento, L M Oyama, E B Ribeiro, A R Dâmaso, A de Piano. Lipotoxicity: effects of dietary saturated and transfatty acids. Mediators Inflamm. 2013;2013:137579. doi: 10.1155/2013/137579.

    R Taylor. Pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes: tracing the reverse route from cure to cause. Diabetologia. 2008 Oct;51(10):1781-9. doi: 10.1007/s00125-008-1116-7.

    D A Cunha, M Igoillo-Esteve, E N Gurzov, C M Germano, N Naamane, I Marhfour, M Fukaya, J M Vanderwinden, C Gysemans, C Mathieu, L Marselli, P Marchetti, H P Harding, D Ron, D L Eizirik, M Cnop. Death protein 5 and p53-upregulated modulator of apoptosis mediate the endoplasmic reticulum stress-mitochondrial dialog triggering lipotoxic rodent and human β-cell apoptosis. Diabetes. 2012 Nov;61(11):2763-75. doi: 10.2337/db12-0123.

    G Musso, R Gambino, F De Michieli, M Cassader, M Rizzetto, M Durazzo, E Fagà, B Silli, G Pagano. Dietary habits and their relations to insulin resistance and postprandial lipemia in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Hepatology. 2003 Apr;37(4):909-16.

    J Cao, X X Feng, L Yao, B Ning, Z X Yang, D L Fang, W Shen. Saturated free fatty acid sodium palmitate-induced lipoapoptosis by targeting glycogen synthase kinase-3β activation in human liver cells. Dig Dis Sci. 2014 Feb;59(2):346-57. doi: 10.1007/s10620-013-2896-2.
    C Xiao, A Giacca, A Carpentier, G F Lewis. Differential effects of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated fat ingestion on glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, sensitivity and clearance in overweight and obese, non-diabetic humans. Diabetologia. 2006 Jun;49(6):1371-9.

    M Cnop, S J Hughes, M Igoillo-Esteve, M B Hoppa, F Sayyed, L van de Laar, J H Gunter, E J de Koning, G V Walls, D W Gray, P R Johnson, B C Hansen, J F Morris, M Pipeleers-Marichal, I Cnop, A Clark. The long lifespan and low turnover of human islet beta cells estimated by mathematical modelling of lipofuscin accumulation. Diabetologia. 2010 Feb;53(2):321-30. doi: 10.1007/s00125-009-1562-x.

    M Ricchi, M R Odoardi, L Carulli, C Anzivino, S Ballestri, A Pinetti, L I Fantoni, F Marra, M Bertolotti, S Banni, A Lonardo, N Carulli, P Loria. Differential effect of oleic and palmitic acid on lipid accumulation and apoptosis in cultured hepatocytes. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2009 May;24(5):830-40. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.2008.05733.x.

    C J Nolan, C Z Larter. Lipotoxicity: why do saturated fatty acids cause and monounsaturates protect against it? J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2009 May;24(5):703-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.2009.05823.x.

    D R Parker, S T Weiss, R Troisi, P A Cassano, P S Vokonas, L Landsberg. Relationship of dietary saturated fatty acids and body habitus to serum insulin concentrations: the Normative Aging Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 1993 Aug;58(2):129-36.

    D J Maron, J M Fair, W L Haskell. Saturated fat intake and insulin resistance in men with coronary artery disease. The Stanford Coronary Risk Intervention Project Investigators and Staff. Circulation. 1991 Nov;84(5):2020-7.

    L Wang, A R Folsom, Z J Zheng, J S Pankow, J H Eckfeldt, ARIC Study Investigators. Plasma fatty acid composition and incidence of diabetes in middle-aged adults: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Jul;78(1):91-8.

  13. Geoff on

    Very well put Dr Axe. I found the documentary so false in many respects and not consistent with actual unbiased studies. From the outset it was obvious it was a vegan orientated documentary and it didnt take long before I was shaking my head in disbelief. These doctors are selling books and products and cherry pick data to make sure it backs up their claims. A perfect example is the coconut oil study. Test mice with a predisposition for diabetes on hydrogenated coconut oil and feed them maltodextrin and all of a sudden coconut oil becomes evil. In the past i was on a vegan diet, but it was nothing short of disastrous to my health. Im one of those people that it does not work for. There are a lot of good things about a vegan diet, but this documentary falls short ethically. The claims by Dr Bernard in relation to carbs and sugar for example are both preposterous and dangerous.

  14. Brett on

    One thing not in the documentary was how a vegan diet inhibits proper brain function, thanks for proving me right guys!

    I just read that PCRM had a study funded by coca cola, that’s so sad you couldn’t make it up

  15. Inkling on

    I respect Dr. Axe but I also have a great deal of respect for Dr. Barnard who has done and still does do a tremendous amount of good, especially his drive to end experimentation on animals. This type of dietary debate will soon enough come to an end when epigenetics takes center stage and it becomes abundantly clear that diet, like everything else, is intensely individual. One size does not fit all and ego driven arguments are hopelessly outdated from the outset. Thank you for your opinion Dr. Axe.

  16. Jody on

    Thete is so much conflicting information out there that many dont know what type of eating is best. Eat pale, no don’t eat paleo. Be a vegan, no that’s bad for you. Grains and grass fed dairy are good for you, no dont consume grains or dairy. Soy is fine, no avoid soy like the plague. Coconut oil is a beneficial saturated fat that doesn’t harm you bcz it’s a MCT, no stay away from saturated fat including coconut oil and butter. What the hell is one to do?? I feel like I just need to follow my gut instinct on this and stop reading about what the best way to eat is. Craziness!!

  17. Jody on

    There is so much conflicting information out there that many dont know what type of eating is best. Eat pale, no don’t eat paleo. Be a vegan, no that’s bad for you. Grains and grass fed dairy are good for you, no dont consume grains or dairy. Soy is fine, no avoid soy like the plague. Coconut oil is a beneficial saturated fat that doesn’t harm you bcz it’s a MCT, no stay away from saturated fat including coconut oil and butter. What the hell is one to do?? I feel like I just need to follow my gut instinct on this and stop reading about what the best way to eat is. Craziness!!

  18. Patricia A. Murphy on

    I’m not a vegan or a vegetarian. However, when I first heard about this vegan documentary, I was intrigued. I thought I might learn some wonderful things about veggies and fruits that I’d never heard before. After reading your article, and a couple of other reviews, I’m disgusted knowing that probably thousands of people will watch it and believe every word of it. To say sugar is good for you is appalling. To not differentiate between CAFO raised meats and organic meats is also appalling. Thanks so much for your clear, well-written article critiquing this wretched documentary.

  19. Erin on

    Dr. Axe,

    I have enjoyed the material you have put out so far, however, I believe your own bias (as someone who makes a living selling animal products) is really showing here.

    I, too, took issue with some of the claims in the documentary because, you are right- it all comes down to inflammation. However, ALL meat is acidic and causes inflammation. Yes, grass-fed beef has a better nutrient profile than factory, but it is still inflammatory and leaves an acid ash reside when digested. Eggs? There are redeeming nutritional qualities, but eggs are very acidic as they contain large amounts of sulfur (acidic). If you are going to promote animal products, as least be honest about it – ALL animal proteins cause inflammation. HOWEVER, we can still eat these things and be healthy if we balance it with lots of alkaline- ash foods, like fruits and veggies.

    Lastly, it seemed like you felt decieved that the documentary didn’t come out and say that the doctors support a vegan diet. But, why does it need to? People research and observe and come to conclusions. Many have concluded that animal products do more harm than good. Then they present that information. Why does there need to be a preface? Within a few minutes of the doctors talking it is pretty obvious that they support a vegan diet. I don’t know why that is so deceptive.

    I had issue with the documentary too. Mainly that they demonize meat and eggs while ignoring the inflammatory effects of grains, nuts, and legumes. However, you are criticizing the film for only giving half the story, where you yourself are only giving half the story in your review (promoting grass-fed beef without mentioning that this too is inflammatory).

    Thanks for everything you have contributed. I just wanted to point out the apparent hypocrisy.

  20. Lauren on

    Just to clarify – the film advocates a plant-based diet, not a vegan lifestyle – which are 2 very different things… Google it.

  21. Kristen on

    Dr. Axe. I am a huge supporter of your work. I speak of your research a lot. Since I am such a supporter it seems to me that this article is a little outside of the manner in which you present your material.
    I wish your review of a movie promoting health was a much more positive one. I’m a little disappointed with the tone and stance of this article.

    Did you really write this?

    I’ll ignore it and continue to support the rest of your work.

  22. Sarah on

    While every documentary has an agenda driving it, “What the Health” drove home some good points. There are over 30 years of studies that support a plant based whole foods diet. I completely disagree with the example of the anemic woman. I adopted a plant based whole foods diet and 6 weeks into it, anemia was completely corrected. This is something 10 years of supplementation was unable to accomplish and half of those years was on prescribed iron and the last 2 years double the dose. I was able to donate my first pint of blood in over a decade and have been taken off all iron prescribed medication.

  23. Veronica on

    As far as the cost of eating meat that is organic, grass fed, and free range, yes it can be expensive for a large family, but we have to remember that the veggies should make up the majority of what is on our plate and the meat part is the smaller part. Who needs the bread at all?

  24. Kim on

    I respect your review of the movie and I do not agree with everything in the movie either. However, do you dispute the money from food corporations that is being dumped into all of the so called organizations that are supposedly looking out for the American Public? Have you looked at the diet that the Diabetes Association hands out to Diabetics? I do eat meat occasionally along with a high plant based diet, including wild caught fish from Alaska. Every week there is a new “study”. You never really know who backed the “study”. It’s all well and good to promote grass fed, free range “meat” which is still an animal. If people had to raise the animal and then slaughter it themselves, they would certainly think about where all this meat comes from. It comes down to respect, respecting your own body, respecting the life of an animal. If you eat high quality meat occasionally instead of crap meat everyday, it’s more affordable. There is no reason that as a human race we need to consume massive amounts of meat, or anything else. If you eat plants as you main source and supplement with small amounts of meat, it would be beneficial to you and to the animal world. My husband and I have gotten very creative with mushrooms, nuts, we love Beyond the Meat Burgers (no soy), gluten free grains for buddha bowls, cauliflower bowls, etc. I don’t understand the labeling of your diet being one way or another. Common sense should rule. Stay away from high sugar processed foods and eat meat, fat, dairy in moderation. If we demand grass fed, free range, humane treatment of our animals, we will eventually get it. We can start by just cutting back on consumption and demanding better for all. No need to be strictly one way or the other, just think before you eat!

  25. Kat on

    I’m a lifelong vegetarian, and I agree with most of what you’ve said, here.
    But I agree with many of the comments made, too.
    Accessibility to farm raised or organic hormone free animal product is not feasible for most of us… however, if the American public could at least curb animal protein little by little, it would be a step in the correct direction.. eating an average of one good egg a day.. and not 5! Eating one slice of bacon a week, and not hundreds! Eating 4 oz of chicken or beef or pork (yuk) a day, and not several pounds. Supplement animal protein with vegetables, which can be so much more inexpensive…
    I think the main problem here is the mass production of processed foods and typical fast food. The original fast food is a slice of toast and jelly, or a banana–Not granola bars or cereal laced with the legal drug that is high fructose corn syrup.. Homemade bread product (pancakes,, muffins, waffles) using flour and water is less expensive, and healthier, than a Otis spoonaker muffin, for example. I could go on forever. Everything in moderation!!

  26. EM on

    Thank you for clarifying type 2 diabetes in your article. As a type 1, it was super frustrating sitting through the documentary without much distinguishing between the two diseases. Documentaries like this are the reason most people think diabetes is one disease and that being overweight causes it all. Once a pharmacy tech said to me “you don’t look like you could be diabetic” as I was picking up my medication. Comments like these are fairly common.

  27. Betsy on

    I completely agree with you on this, Dr Axe.
    As a holistic nurse and health coach, I also don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to nutrition. In general, I do think that our country as a whole could benefit from less meat, and more veggies + healthy fats. However, we all do have different needs based on so many factors, so while a plant-based, vegan diet is great, it may not work for everyone, as the film suggests. Dr. Axe, I think YOU should make a documentary about diet and health to educate the public, with a different perspective. Thanks for the review!

  28. Mogan on

    If I want to have an immediate following and make money from that following, make ridiculous claims like Barnard makes and gets strokes from the misinformed and living in a dream world vegans. What diseases are virtually assured with the vegan diet: Does “jc” stand for Jesus Christ.? Historically, there are no cultures that have thrived by subsisting off of animal-free diets; Just one discovery, more to follow: Dr. Price made the ground-breaking discovery about the link between a diet low in animal foods (thus low fat-soluble vitamins) and tooth decay.
    Vegan diet danger #2: people often turn to vegan diets because they have trouble digesting meat and dairy products and have other issues like fatigue, inflammation, acne, bloating, and weight gain. Indicate imbalances within the body, which can cause weaker digestive function (such as slowed metabolism and sluggish thyroid function).
    Vegan diet danger #3: the best diets are those with the greatest variety of nutrients and without dietary limitations. Blacklisting certain food groups interferes with your body’s communication system, which causes you to ignore your body’s cravings by placing certain types of food off-limits. “Any craving is a good starting point, because we have several biological mechanisms for correcting specific nutritional deficiencies.” -Dr. Ray Peat, PhD.
    Vegan diet danger #4: vegan diets tend to be low in high-quality protein (and low protein diets can increase toxicity). According to Dr. Ray Peat, PhD, “One thing that happens in the vegetable diet, heavily based on [the] cabbage family, or beans, lentils and nuts, these proteins, in quality, rank about 15 times lower than the highest quality protein. And so even though a person might think they’re eating nothing but protein rich foods, beans, and nuts, their quality is so low that their liver simply can’t respond to the thyroid.” According to this recent study, vegans and vegetarians have lower sperm count and mobility! According to Dr. Ray Peat, PhD, “Protein deficiency itself contributes to the harm done by toxins, since the liver’s ability to detoxify them depends on adequate nutrition, especially good protein.”
    Vegan diet danger #5 plant foods don’t contain real vitamin a, only the precursors that require conversion. Aside from genetic mutations that can impact ones ability to get real vitamin A from plant foods like carrots and sweet potatoes, there are also non-genetic factors such as poor gut health, low thyroid function, liver disease, and nutritional deficiencies that can greatly reduce your body’s ability to make this conversion. As a little reminder, vitamin A is extremely important for thyroid function, hormone production, fertility, a healthy immune system, eye health, and fighting fatigue.
    Vegan diet danger #6 plant-based diets can decrease digestive juices. Protein stimulates the production of HCL (hydrochloric acid) in your stomach to break down proteins. Proper digestion begins with strong stomach acid production that sets the stage for the pH driven digestive process. Without regular and healthy stimulation of digestive juices, your digestion weakens and fewer nutrients are able to be absorbed in your body.
    Vegan diet danger #7: dietary dogma that if it’s not working for you, you’re doing it “wrong.” Immersion in any dietary paradigm can be very powerful, and the vegan community is no exception. A 10 year vegan shares her story: I remember over the years when people would go vegan and then stop because they didn’t feel well on it, I used to think to myself, “Well, they’re simply not doing it right.” Some people complained of lack of libido, lack of iron, lack of energy, etc. I now realize, quite humbled, that many of those problems may have been valid, even if they were doing a vegan diet “right.” Perhaps it took longer for the vegan diet to take a toll on my health than others. More likely I just couldn’t admit it to myself because my beliefs were so strong, constantly reaffirmed by my full-time immersion in the understandably self-reinforcing vegan culture. –Kristen of Kristen’s Raw
    Vegan diet danger #8: because of the body’s ability to adapt to any type of fuel (for survival), it often takes time to see the negative effects of this way of eating. Due to the body’s incredible ability to adapt, the decline of health due to a vegan diet is often slow and gradual. This can make it very difficult to detect. At first, you may not notice the lack of fat soluble nutrients you’re getting (particularly retinol and K2) and that a protein deficiency is hurting your health. Because your body will first exhaust your “nutritional bank account,” it may be many months or years until nutrient deficiencies cause impaired detoxification, thyroid issues, and/or hormonal imbalance.
    Vegan diet danger #9: vegan dieters often favor soy products. Since protein is scarce when you avoid animal products, soy products like tofu, soy protein powder, and tempeh are often dietary staples. The reality is that soy protein is very difficult to digest, thyroid suppressive and estrogenic due to phytoestrogens. It also contains high levels of phytic acid that cause less assimilation of nutrients, as well as contain trypsin inhibitors that can interfere with digestion.
    Vegan diet danger #10: vegan diets can be heavy in nut consumption. In an effort to increase dietary protein and calories, nuts are often adopted to form a more significant part of the diet. But there are major downfalls to heavy nut consumption. Nuts are very hard to break down, especially for those with low stomach acid. They are also very high in polyunsaturated fats, contain enzyme inhibitors, and include phytic acid that blocks the absorption of minerals.

  29. Robert on

    Taking into consideration the folks who push the vegan thing, one does have to pause and think, “Okay, Atkins didn’t exactly get it right, nor do most folks who recommend this diet of that.” So, let’s bring in Hal David for fun with, “What’s it all about, Alfie(s)” Has anybody mention exercise, that is, push, pull, run, climb, etc.? Then there’s sexual desire and satisfaction that often produces babies, and let’s not forget the trend in work nowadays, is sitting on our butts at a computer, making up 87% of the work force, manual labor or labor like driving a truck, etc., makes up 13%. Yet, what truck driver, cab driver or anyone who drives a vehicle can be called labor? We can’t know what to do because we live in a weird world where our bodies are used to transport our heads. Can we possibly be connected to physiological realities when we’re made to move, lift, run, walk, etc. and think a half mile of jogging, or five miles, which is all right or maybe not. Let me tell you an interesting story about loggers, not logger now but loggers 50 years ago. I was a kid really but got a job at a logging camp, I mean a real, barrack style camp and all week we’d gather the logs for the trucks on the top or nearby. Nobody has a clue what real work is until or unless they worked in such a place. It was dangerous, it was amazing and some of the best guys I’ve ever known were loggers. Okay, it’s time to head back to the barracks, shower or not and go into the dining room. Here’s where the fun starts. My first meal was an eye opener I’ll never forget. Shorty, named shorty because he was indeed short, came to the table I, and seven other men sat waiting for food. Shorty had about ten pork chops on a platter and put the platter before the first logger. I figured he’d take one or two at the most. Instead, he scraped the platter clean, he took all ten chops, and shorty snorted and ran back to get more chops. It took longer to get food to the loggers than it took to eat what they took. Oh, and the guy who took all ten chops, he ate everyone, plus potatoes, butter, gravy, bread, etc., and in two weeks I gain ten pounds of muscle. I became a specimen. We live in a weird world of half men, in fact, boys born today have half the testosterone of the grandfathers. When I was 14 years old a friend and I were at the YMCA and we happened on the weight room reserved for adult males, no coed scene there. There was a 180 pound barbell on the floor and my friend say, Kindelan, pick up that weight. It was a kind of older boy command to the young, which was the case. I didn’t think anything about it and went over to the weight, picked it up and I was later to find what I did was called a military press. It was nothing, I could have lifted more, much more. Oh, by the way, I weighed 145 pounds and I’d never lifted a barbell before but for fun I’d lift friends over my head of various weight. Neanderthal? Hardly, just loved to wrestle, never lost, and meal time wasn’t was this good or bad, it there was meat, potatoes, milk, cheese, tomatoes and butter, I was in hog heaven. If someone would have said the word vegan I’d not know what they were talking about, and If they were to tell me how vegans ate I wouldn’t have believed it, I mean truly not, I’d wait for the punch line but of course vegans now don’t have a sense of humor about the kind of loony, to me, dietetic behavior the follow. On such a diet they could never work in the woods, nor lift a 180 pound barbell at 14 while weighing 145 pounds, nor wrestling hundreds of times and never losing, nor arm wrestling African American, whites and anyone else and only losing once but beat the same guy two weeks later and then there was my love life. I won’t elaborate on stamina except to say, I could never have performed on a vegetable diet. I went vegetarian for a month once and got sores in my nostrils, was angry all during that time and the day I went back to being an omnivore, happiness. How hold am I? 86 and still a tiger and I just had a dinner of salmon, baked potato with butter, sea salt. mushroom, onions, greens (Swiss chard), and whole raw milk. My uncle lived to over 100 and my mother would have made that easy but was struck by a Lincoln car in a crosswalk and that slowed her down a bit and she only made it to 95. She never went vegan, nor did my uncle. However, if one is inclined in that direction, go for it, but for me, lots of vegetables, salmon, beef, eggs, butter, avocado oil, etc. and my body never craved nuts and completely rejected beans, lentils, etc. I ate wheat because I was told it was good for me, but it never agreed with me and finally I said, “Enough!” Good luck to all of you, but remember you weren’t made to sit, you were made to move, lift, push, pull, run, etc.

  30. Christine on

    I’m so glad you wrote this! I was watching WTH and had to turn it off because I was so confused! As soon as I could I looked up what your thoughts on meat were. Then you posted this and was great to read! Thanks so much!

  31. Tony on

    A few people of the top of my head who were vegans. Steve Jobs (59) Sam simon (58) Robin Gibb (62) Linda McCartney (56) was a vegetarian. They all died from cancer

  32. lee nadurak on

    question! Is there nutrition found in meat, cow,or chicken, etc, that we can’t find somewhere else. Example beans, seeds vegetables and fruit. I don’t eat any meat products except wild caught salmon and tuna. should i be worried that i don’t eat cow pork or chicken. i do supplement with your bone broth protein.

  33. Caitlin on

    if Americans could shift their way of thinking about eating cows like the way we feel about eating dogs we would make a huge dent in our overall environmental and physical health. Maybe cows are sacred after all. And the average American does not rely on industrial cow meat, I’m sorry, but that is a far stretch of the imagination. Chicken is the number one consumed meat in the US so they would not go hungry if that was taken out of the equation. We might even live longer as a whole.
    Best thing we can promote as a collective good is eating locally as much as possible, restaurants included.
    Good luck out there everyone! Bon appetit!

  34. Kathleen on

    Good job Dr. Axe. Thanks. Would love some indepth teaching on TCM diets. An honest observation: some of your listeners are scary with their perceptions! I appreciate your patience.
    Also, may I please request that you consider doing a webinar on the EO that would offer support for the flood areas with mold epidemic and dysentery ?
    Please, please, please! Kids with asthma will be struggling. I live in Houston.
    This is a huge problem that may very well grow even bigger if Irma hits Eastcoast or Gulf again! I would very much appreciate your consideration and perhaps a response!

  35. Clazza on

    I never usually comment on anything I read but really felt I wanted to here. I also watched this film and as with everything I read or watch, I reserve my right to decide what resonates with me and what doesn’t. I have actually totally given up firmly believing ANYTHING as all studies and anything spoken can be manipulated by someone. Whatever is said or written these days is debunked by someone else crying that their proof confirms the opposite. Unless I physically performed and recorded the results of a study myself (and knew all the variants!), I will never commit to “blindly” believing fully. I suffered for many years with arthritis but have since “cured” myself. Through self observation, reading and watching I have navigated my way though the mass of information to find what works for me personally and right now it’s a diet of 98% fruit and vegetables only. At this moment in time, I have never felt better in my whole life. I would never claim this as everyone’s ideal diet. Only YOU know which foods make YOU feel good and which make you feel less than great. I take some supplements and am now drug and pain free since 3 years. We are all unique.

  36. Deb on

    There is no healthy diet. Everything is toxic one way or another. We were tricked into eating meat, and it is addictive. I don’t want to eat DEAD FLESH and it is hard to kick the habit but I will. It is a huge billion $$ industry, so please eat more, get sick and have the doc give you prescriptions…the sicker you are the more money they make. Have a good day.

    • Tommy on

      Well, your ancestors ate and thrived on DEAD FLESH, so you should probably get over it :P.

      What exactly do you think people ate before agriculture was invented? Or are you one of those 4,000 year old Earth people?

  37. Srini on

    WTH pointed out , Is non veg is necessary as most of food now a days grown by antibiotics etc. and lack of knowledge around food cleaning and processing. WTH says if you confuse the people and they will😀. Nothing goes wrong if we try a veg and sees some changes. It is hard to accept a change & facts as we digested non veg is very good with some terms and conditions😀 .

  38. Shannon Macri on

    The one thing all these so-called nutritional experts have in common is that they all make a ton of money selling their ideas,books and seminars. Everything in moderation is still the key to good health. What may make you healthier can make another person feel unhealthy. Eat for your own needs. DON’T FALL FOR THE HUGE MEDIA SCAM. This debate has been going on since the early 70’s from what I can remember. Theirs a study for everything out there.

  39. Julie on

    I would just like to point out that you are using Wikipedia as a reference. Anyone with any sort of education knows that Wikipedia is not a reliable source. I checked out several of your cited refernces and they didn’t prove a thing. You can get choline from vegetables. The Dietary Guidelines Committee accepts money from the meat & dairy industries. And you seriously are going to cite a source that cholesterol isn’t a “nutrient of concern?”

  40. Sandra on

    Dr. Axe is trying to state the point that not all meat is bad, as not all vegetables/fruits are healthy due to pesticides, and agricultural changes over the years. To make a blanket statement that everyone should banish meat from their diet isn’t logical. It is each person’s duty to do the due diligence to see what’s best for them. Obviously not everyone has the funds to buy the better meats… but then again, how much meat do we actually need? A little can go a long way, but unfortunately we believe that meat should be the main dish on our plate. When In actuality, it should be more of a side. Long story short, I believe it’s easy to bash someone for their beliefs if it doesn’t coincide with your own. I’ve learned to be responsible for my family and myself by looking into the foods I’m eating and quite frankly seeing what makes each of us feel the best. A one size fits all is not the answer. Just as Dr. Axe stated the pros and cons of the documentary, we each should do the same for people’s perspectives and with research.

  41. Fix yourself on

    No. This article is the biased one; did you even watch the movie in its entirety? For starters the doctor you are “quoting” goes on to say that carbs and sugar don’t cause diabetes ALONE, and even proceeds to differentiate/clarify what he meant. Secondly, the film specifically speaks on grass-fed animals and how it makes no difference, because of the chemicals they ingest, they do Not just focus in on farm raised or crowded scenarios. Stop spreading false information. I’m not even vegan, but I can see when something is well done & unbiased. Smh


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