New documentary 'What the Health' creates case for going vegan, but is it accurate?

New film sparks questions about veganism

A new documentary film on Netflix is creating lots of buzz about going vegan and how it could be the only healthy diet to consider.

The documentary "What the Health" promotes a plant-based diet which means no dairy and especially no meat. And while the reactions online have been mixed, but one thing is for sure, people are not afraid to share their opinions on the film and veganism.

Jack Sunderland, owner of The Root Cafe in Little Rock, said it's sparking a conversation among his customer.

"I saw how they was treating the animals and that made me not want to eat meat again," admitted Sherri Johnson while at the restaurant, "for a little while anyway."

Filmmakers Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn discuss a link between diet and disease in the movie, focusing on the dangers of a diet that contains high intake of meat and dairy.

But University of Arkansas for Medical Science (UAMS) nutritionist Betsy Day said vegan isn't the only healthy diet to consider.

"We don't need a lot of meat, we don't need a lot of dairy but it's an excellent source of protein and it can be incorporated in a healthy diet if we do it in moderation," Day explained.

The film suggest that eating one egg per day is "as bad as smoking five cigarettes per day" because they are high in cholesterol and fat content.

But Day said that claim has been debunked. In 2015, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee suggested that cholesterol be removed from the "nutrients of concern" list. The committee's review didn't find a link between high levels of cholesterol in a person's blood and eating foods with high cholesterol content.

Andersen and Kuhn suggest that a vegan diet could help to prevent and even reverse chronic disease, but Day thinks changing your food habits isn't the only answer to fixing all our ailments.

Despite the film's misrepresentation of some food facts, there is a growing trend of people wanting to eat healthier. And that trend has already pushed people to go vegan in Arkansas and other states.

"What the Health" also looks into some of the nation's leading health organizations and how big business could influence our nation's health.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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