Game Changers: Vegan vs. The Magic Pill: Keto
Food science has exploded in recent years. What use to be acceptable eating habits have started to be debunked and, in some cases, thrown out altogether. This change in perspective has bloomed due to innovations in food science as well as a better understanding of the human body. Recently, two documentaries have surfaced on Netflix challenging traditional eating habits and backing up their claims with eye opening testimonies. The two documentaries are called Game Changers and The Magic Pill. Game Changers claims that switching to a Vegan diet is the best thing for you. The Magic Pill on the other hand claims that switching to the Keto diet is in your best interests. So, which one is telling the truth? One must be the best, right?
Game Changers: Vegan Diet
Game Changers is a new Netflix documentary that touches on veganism, masculinity, health, and athleticism. The first week of its’ release, it became the highest selling documentary on iTunes. The documentary highlighted some of the biggest names in sports such as Chris Paul and Novak Djokovic and some big-name producers like James Cameron. I must admit I was very intrigued when I heard these big names, but a little skeptical because there always seems to be a new diet on the rise. I decided to watch the film as well as make a pros and cons list from my own individual research. This is what I concluded:
- Proves it is possible to be an athlete on a plant-based diet.
- Proves You can get enough protein in plant-based diets
- Showed how a red meat concentrated diet could lead to health problems.
- Challenges the stigma that “you aren’t a man unless you eat meat”
- Showed the benefits of a plant-based diet (not vegan) and provided evidence that supported a semi plant-based diet rather than exclusively plant-based.
- The athletes being interviewed were on vegan diets, discounting the messages trying to be conveyed about plant-based diets (not plant exclusive).
- Most comparisons were made with people that were near carnivores and vegans and not omnivores following dietary guidelines vs vegans.
- Interviewed athletes such as UFC fighter Nate Diaz who researched and created his own diet. Also interviewed MD’s. No sports dieticians or doctors interviewed to support their claims.
I was very surprised how well the movie was put together and there was a lot of compelling evidence. Which made me even more curious. If this movie seemed to be credible how could The Magic Pill claim to be the same?
The Magic Pill: Keto
The Keto diet has been gaining a lot of popularity recently so there is no surprise a movie popped up about it. The Magic Pill claims that the ketogenic diet (high in fats, moderate protein, and low carbs) is the best diet you could be on. The movie claims the diet has the capability to cure obesity, cancer, liver disease, symptoms in mental disorders such as autism, and a dependence on prescription drugs. This movie was claiming a little more than Game Changers, so I was excited to see how it matched up. After viewing the movie and doing some research, this is the pros and cons list I came up with.
- Eliminates processed foods and replaces them with better options such as whole grains.
- Emphasis on protein. Fish, eggs, and lean meat have been proven to be superfoods.
- Clinical trials of ketogenic diet have concluded they could have profound health improvements as well as reduced prescription dependency on people with type 2 diabetes.
- Incorporates healthy fats that most people don’t incorporate into their diets
- Restrictive diets are very hard to maintain
- There s no magic pill for anything, so claiming the ability to cure cancer, obesity, asthma, and diabetes is a bit farfetched.
- No interviews with food/nutrition researchers, instead interviewed a cook
In conclusion, both documentaries claim that their diets are the “best” diets out there to lose weight, gain energy, and cure health problems. Game Changers had compelling evidence that athletes could still have exceptional performance output while on a vegan diet. The Magic Pill showed evidence of improved health, weight loss, and reduction in prescription dependency. But there were also cons to both movies. The common criticism in both movies was the credibility of the people they interviewed as most were not experts in the field. Both diets could be very beneficial, but just like every health decision, you should consult your doctor before making any drastic diet and lifestyle changes. What works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for the other. I highly recommend you watch the movies yourself and form your own opinions.
If you want an even more in-depth analysis of both movies watch Iron Orr personal trainer Adrian break down both documentaries below.
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by Ray San Giovanni