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Best for people who've had no exposure to plant-based diets
on May 4, 2017
"Forks Over Knives" was a fascinating documentary I caught on Netflix exploring the American diet, heavy on animal protein and dairy and how it affects health. It also shows the benefits of eating more plants on that diet - weight loss, heart health, etc.
Typically, the book is WAY better than the movie - but in this case, the exact opposite is true. Where the movie is packed full of science, the book is packed full of anecdotes of different people's experiences going (essentially) vegetarian/vegan and like 3 scientists who all are heavily invested in the plant-based movement anyway (McDougall for instance promotes his McDougall Program, sells food and 10-day treatment plans in Santa Clara, CA). These people are the same people who like to say "Big corporations are making money off of making you fat" - well, hard to not think that these people are making money off of making you thin!
It's sad because the fact is, eating too much meat and dairy isn't good for you. A balanced diet is modest protein (NOTE: not necessarily meat!) and fats with hearty servings of fruits and veggies.
While this program isn't as arduous as Joel Fuhrman's "Eat to Live" diet of 1lb of raw vegetables and 1lb of cooked, omitting all oils from your diet is probably going to drive you insane. (Really, olive oil is a naughty, naughty, bad, bad thing now?) And the "recipes" that make up a good 2/3rds of the book aren't the most ground-breaking - I think most people can figure out oatmeal and fruit smoothies!
Unless you are in desperate need of recipes or have never heard of a plant-based diet ever, I don't think most people would find much use in this. It's supremely basic, relying way more on anecdotes and biographies for random people than science. (And yes, I do realize that an anecdote is a type of evidence - but let's not forget, it is ONE piece of evidence out of a whole series of other data points.) I love the idea of eating more plant-based, but this book did not make me more motivated to join the plant-based movement. If anything, it made me think that the plant-based movement was way more "woo woo" than I know it to be.