My take on the game changers
It seems that every two years or so , we are getting a documentary that causes people to drop everything they are doing because it ” literally changed their life’
The 2019 edition would be the game changers a documentary presenting the advantages of eating a purely bland based aka vegan diet.
Disclaimer: I will not touch upon the ethical or ecological aspects of consuming meat, but solely whether your performance and overall health will increase when you consume only plants.
Here is my main issue with movie: confirmation bias. It was made to sell product.
As a nutritionist I am in favor of educating people of healthy ways to eat and to improve their health as well as their physique. What I do not like is when propaganda material is packaged as a documentary with the end goal of shaming or bullying people into a certain lifestyle. This is even more despicable when the producers of the movie also own a company that produces vegan protein powders.
The game changers is very short on data , the main reason being that there is none. A lot of the fear mongering along the lines of ” meat will give you cancer as this study shows” is simply wrong.
There is no such study. Imagine the set up: two groups of people in one building, one gets fed meat for years one doesn’t. Now we wait who develops cancer but we do not intervene.
Never going to happen.
Instead we have observational studies. Those come in the form of cross-sectional studies, prospective studies, and retrospective studies. Essentially, researchers observe what people eat/ate and relate it to what diseases or health issues they get/have.
Methods of food reporting include single day dietary recall interviews, food frequency questionnaires (most common), and even 7 day dietary recall interviews where they ask specific questions about foods consumed several days prior.
Quick: what was your Friday lunch? See the issue?
Additionally, you can not pin something as complex as cancer on a single food. The issue is: was the patient a smoker? Obese? Genetics etc?
The most reliable source I found was that out of 5000 people four died of cancer during the 11 year observation period, which makes the comparison to cigarettes somewhat ridiculous. ( side bar: the movie actually quotes a study about FALLING down . Yes, people do die from falling. Got it.)
The use of outlier athletes . So out of 10000s athletes you picked four vegans that did well. That would not explain why 99% did not switch over , especially since we are dealing with people who eat for performance, not for taste. If there was an edge to be had, they would jump on it.
Also the athletic examples are rather flawed such as a meaning eating fighter who was defeated by vegan athlete that was two weight classes higher. I am pretty certain the extra 20 lbs played a role.
The interchangeable use of carbs and plants.
Movei Quote ” People associate protein with energy.” no, only if they are completely devoid of any nutritional knowledge. Yes, carbs are the preferred fuel source but humans can make glucose out of protein and fat mechanism called “gluconeogenesis”. Saying that endurance athletes perform better when they consume plants which in this case means grains such as rice, wheat is nonsensical because the question would be : could they perform even better if they consumed animal protein.
That said, the number is simply too small to make such statement but endurance athletes should definelty eat pasta.
The movie also uses some cheap parlour tricks which annoyed me to no end.
The beetroot part being one. Beet juice lowers blood pressure, increases blood flow to the muscle thereby creating a higher output when training. here is the thing : you are basically consuming natures NO2 supplement, which has nothing to do with a vegan life style. By the same token, plants are devoid of creatine, vitamin b12 and the amino acid Leucine which are all proven muscle builders. So where does this leave us?
In conclusion, this reminds of such horrific works such as the China Study, Americas Wheat Belly or the gluten free craze of 2012 ( I guess gluten is cool again as long as it is vegan).
In the end here are the take aways
1.Eating plants is a good idea
2 Most of us do not eat enough plants
3. Eating meat will not kill you.
4 .Eating only plants will not make you a better athlete or increase your health
the health issues in the western world stem from obesity, where the excess calories come from does not matter all that much.
If you want to live long and happy, stay lean and learn about nutrition from people who are actually qualified.
The video link is here