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Posts: 29
Reply with quote  #1 
Hello Dee,

I watched a documentary called What the Health. I was shocked to learn that some of the things said in the documenatry are quite contrary to what I've learned about nutrition. According to the documentary, the major cause of diabetes is fat from animals not carbs/sugar. I didn't completely understand what their reasoning was, but they seem to claim that fats from animals prevent the sugar/glycogen from being completely absorbed into the body, thus the pancreas gets overworked in attempt to neutralize the unobsorbed sugar in the blood. They also claimed that cholesterol in animals and eggs DO make a person fat rather than carbs. 

So at this point I am a little confused. Is veganism the way to go for optimal health or eating whole, unprocessed foods the way to go?

Posts: 1,162
Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Joe,

I saw the documentary "What the Health."  I have also seen dozens of other food documentaries with their own agendas for getting information out to the public about the health effects of processed foods.  While I felt that the documentary did a good job with exposing industry ties to to the meat and dairy industry, and many of the points they made in the documentary are true, there are other documentaries that have done the same.  We also have to realize that there are industry influences to the grain and soy industries as well, which are plant foods.  This is not a one-sided industry influence.

There was nothing new presented in "What the Health" that I didn't already know.  But it clearly had a slant against meat.  Every doctor and nutritionist interviewed in the film is a vegan. Gregor, McDougall, Barnard, etc.
I am not against being vegan.  As long as someone knows how to properly combine plant foods to cover all their nutritional bases, it's a healthy and sound way to eat.  However I felt that this documentary was misleading people on a couple of things...they said sugar is OK, and they made it seem that eating meat was the only reason why the sick people in the documentary were sick.  There was absolutely no mention of all the other processed foods and sugary foods that those people were probably eating right along with their meat, which is why they were so sick.  Once they gave up all those things, along with giving up meat, they saw improvements.  I was astonished at the lack of before and after detail in dietary changes presented in the documentary.  They made it seem like the only change they made was giving up animals foods as the reason why they felt better and were able to get off their meds.

The problem with all documentaries of this type are that they slant to one side or another, and there does not seem to be any in between.

We need to see studies where people go completely organic, with large proportions of plant foods and smaller proportions of high quality organic animals foods.  The only studies we seem to have are from people eating conventionally raised animal foods vs. going vegan.  It's not a balanced view.

However, if we look not to studies but just to people who do eat in this moderate way, people like me and thousands of others, we will see that similar health results can be achieved. 

Diabetes is a complex disease.  We cannot disregard the role of excess sugar as a contributing factor to diabetes.  I have had clients who were vegans but also overweight and diabetic.  How would "What the Health" explain those people??  

I would love to see some case studies on those types of people.  

As for animal fats being the cause of diabetes, I think we need to look closer at the studies and the facts.  The main problem, again, is that we don't have enough studies of people eating moderate middle of the road type healthy diets.
Here are two good articles that explain the saturated fat and diabetes question quite well:


Dee McCaffrey
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