Forks Over Knives

Lee Fulkerson’s Forks Over Knives documentary explores the claim that diseases can be controlled and possibly reversed by changing the American diet from animal-based foods to whole foods and plant-based foods. Not only is the American diet overflowing with animal-based products, it is also flourishing in highly processed foods.  Obesity statistics are skyrocketing along with our top leading causes of death, cancer and heart disease.  Hypertension and diabetes are other food-related diseases that may arise as obesity takes over.  The doctors and research cases that are revealed in this documentary display how they went about proving that your diet can become a form of medicine when executed properly. This is not a new concept. In fact, 2,000 years ago Hippocrates made the statement,  “ let food be thy medicine”.  The science and research behind his statement wasn’t applied until the 1950s as researchers, such as Dr. Esselstyn and Dr. Campbell began putting this claim to the test.  They conducted labs that exposed rats to animal nutrient cultures and many more.  They also pulled statistics from other nations, such as Kenya or Japan, and compared their disease rates to America.  One study shows that America’s breast cancer rate averaged nearly 80 times that of Kenya, simply because Kenyans did not have access to the protein and dairy that Americans have access to.  One of Dr. Esselstyn’s patients, Anthony Yen, who is a Japanese native that moved to America as a healthy adult.  Yen soon began endulging into the fast, convenient foods of America and shortly became a victom of weight gain, heart disease, and 5 bypass sugeries.  Yen explained how the Japanese diet consisted mainly of rice, soup, and vegetables, and that American’s servings of meat per person could feed a whole family in Japan.  There are a handfull of degeneratively-diseased patients reveiwed throughout the film who have made the decision to follow a whole food, plant-based diet, including Yen.  Each patient received worthy results after committing to the diet, and some were even able to ditch the pills, reverse their disease, and exceed their life expectancy.  In conclusion, Dr. Campbell and Dr Esselstyn pinpoint animal-based foods as the cause for disease, especially for cancer and heart disease.  Dr Campbell believes that authorities are avoiding this valuable concept in order to protect the status quo, which is ridiculous.  I know that doctors will recommend diabetics change their diet and it’s up to them to decide whether they want to listen or not, but sometimes healthy foods are not accessible or affordable to patients.  Having the support from authorities would be helpful.  As seen in Food Inc., the food industry has so much power that authorities are allowing them to produce tons of unhealthy foods that have been known to raise disease risks.  Dr Campbell believes that America could decrease health care costs by 70%-80% if everyone were to adopt this dietary pattern.  It’s a shame how much money is put into America’s health care and yet our nation is sicker than ever.  Food is essential to us because of its nutrition, culture, and tradition, but instead of “living to eat” we should learn to “eat to live”.


2 thoughts on “Forks Over Knives

  1. How amazing would it be if we could all drastically decrease the number of cases of obesity and diabetes by switching our diets? I actually wish that it were way easier done than said… I agree with Dr. Campbell that authorities should exercise their responsibility as individuals in power & make changes to America’s food system because it hurts so many people!!!

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