I recently started getting a lot of questions about The Game Changers, a popular documentary on Netflix. So, I figured it was finally time for me to watch it and see what the fuss was all about.
The film argues that people living an active lifestyle should maintain a vegan diet. Through various personal stories and short experiments, the film highlights many benefits of a vegan diet. To any of you who might be making fitness and nutrition goals this time of year, here’s a dietitian’s review of The Game Changers.
Please keep in mind—these are my opinions and not reflective of dietitians as a professional group.
Things I liked:
1. I liked that the film encouraged the consumption of plants. Here are my top three reasons to include plants in your diet.
- Reduced risk of developing chronic diseases, like heart disease and diabetes.
- Increased fiber intake for a full belly and healthy gut.
- Supports immune system to fight off sickness.
2. I also liked that the documentary showed you can meet your daily protein needs with plants. A few of my favorite high-protein plants are:
- Edamame: Such a versatile bean–throw it in a stir fry, salad, or roast them for a tasty snack.
- Quinoa: A whole grain that has all of the essential amino acids, making a delicious complete protein.
- Hemp Seeds: This seed makes the absolute perfect toast topper. My favorite combo with hemp seeds is cinnamon almond butter and fresh berries—yum!
Things I didn’t like:
1. The misuse of the term “plant-based.”
The film argues that viewers should adopt a plant-based diet. From what I could tell, they were really campaigning for a vegan diet. There is a significant difference between the two.
Here’s the difference: plant-based focuses on plants while also enjoying small portions of animal products, whereas vegan eliminates all animal foods.
Both options can be very beneficial for your health. However for those of you who can’t bring yourself to give up chicken tacos, know that you can have them in moderation, and still reap the benefits of a plant-based diet. I think this middle option of eating mainly plants, with some animal foods can be a more attainable health goal for most Americans. Unfortunately, I felt the film never considered this.
I’ve come to learn that the best diet for your health is one that includes a variety of nutritious foods, and one that you can sustain long-term. The Game Changers does a good job of showing the benefits of a vegan diet. If you are somebody who refrains from consuming animal products for any reason, you can still get all of the nutrition you need. But, if you are someone who enjoys consuming animal products (chicken tacos, anyone?), know that you can still reap the benefits of plants that The Game Changers discussed while keeping your favorite foods on the menu!
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