A Vegan Debunks 'What the Health' Documentary

hey guys so I just want to start this off quickly by saying that I am vegan and you know just because I am vegan doesn't mean that I can't be critical of Pro vegan article studies videos documentaries you know whatever in fact I think this is really important no matter what the topic I can't pretend to support something I don't agree with just because in this case the filmmakers filmmakers have the same philosophy or social goals as I do it just wouldn't be right it would be a disservice to myself to you to anyone watching my videos to the animals you know promoting bad science particularly when it involves encouraging people to eat a vegan diet that's harder to follow I don't see how that's good for veganism with all that said here is my review of what the help so for those who don't know this is a documentary that came out I think it's been out for a few months maybe longer than that but I think it was just put out on Netflix not too long ago it's by the same filmmakers Kip and Keegan they did Cal Spira see there are a lot of problems with it there are a few good things I liked the the brief discussion of genetics and epigenetics just because you're predisposed genetically predisposed to something say heart disease diabetes whatever it doesn't mean that you are necessarily going to get it and there are certain environmental factors that can play a pretty large role although not as large as the the filmmakers and the interviewees would I think like you to believe I also like the discussion of like government subsidies subsidizing dairy that's that's a huge issue I like that as well so there are a few things but like I said there are numerous problems I won't go through all of them here because the video will be like as long as documentary at that point that's a little ridiculous but I will go through some of the major ones so here we go diabetes is not and never was caused by eating a high carbohydrate diet and it's not caused by eating sugar the cause of diabetes is a diet that builds up the amount of fat into the blood I'm talking about typical meat based animal-based diets you can look into the muscle cells of the human body and you find they're building up tiny particles of fat it's causing insulin resistance what that means is the sugar that is naturally from the foods that you're eating can't get into the cells where it belongs it builds up in the blood and that's diabetes so Barnard is saying two things here and implying a third so the first thing he's saying is that there is this buildup of fat in a muscle and that this is what causes type 2 diabetes the second thing he says is that this fat is coming from animal products and then the third he's implying that a high carbohydrate diet is preferable well it's true that a buildup of fat in the muscle has been associated with insulin resistance where is the evidence that this is caused by an animal-based diet studies like Bernards own studies on diabetes and low-fat vegan diets do seem to support these claims since the people eating the low-fat vegan diets did see greater improvements than the people following the typical ad a diet this is not surprising since the vegans tended to lose more weight and weight loss virtually always leads to improvements in glycemic control there's also this 20-year prospective study of over 82 thousand women that found that the women who were eating a low-carb diet high in animal fats and animal proteins that they did not have any sort of reduction in diabetes risk although that's certainly a far cry from animal products cause diabetes most importantly numerous studies have found that low-carb high-fat non vegan diets can be quite effective at improving insulin sensitivity of course such a diet does tend to raise LDL levels it's not surprising given the saturated fat content in such a diet but there is a way around this it's called eco Atkins and it's basically the vegan version of an Atkins diet of a low-carb high-fat high-protein diet this study compared it to a low-fat vegetarian diet and found that while both groups lost about the same amount of weight the Eco Atkins group saw greater improvements in blood pressure and blood lipid profiles and that study I mentioned earlier on women on over eighty thousand women well they found that the women who were consuming a low carb diet predominated by plants so the fat and protein was coming mostly from plants instead of animal sources well they found that for them they had a 20% lower risk for diabetes when compared to the women eating a low-fat diet my point here is that many different diets have proven effective at improving glycemic control at least in the short-term and that basically any diet that results in weight loss will be effective this is why organizations like diabetes UK don't recommend one specific diet recent systematic reviews and meta-analyses including people with type 2 diabetes report that although low-carb diets may lead to significantly greater weight loss and improvements in hba1c and lipids over the short term Jesus there's no greater advantage over the longer term when compared to other diets this reinforces diabetes uk's call for an individualized approach to diet taking into consideration people's personal preferences and so finally the third statement or implication Bernard's implication that a low-fat high-carb vegan diet is optimal i've already talked about this pretty extensively in this video this video debunking MacDougall's the fat you eat is the fact we're propaganda suffice it to say all fat is not the same certainly trans fats saturated fats these are fats that we will want to be limiting but the evidence is clear that we want to replace these fats with polyunsaturated fats but this is one of the best ways to reduce heart disease risk cardiovascular disease risk the idea that these foods that nuts and seeds you know sources of healthy fats and proteins and new minerals like zinc and iron that these foods should be limited to one tablespoon okay this is just not based on good science and it very likely makes a vegan diet harder to stick with this idea that carbs make you fat is utterly ridiculous carbs cannot make you fat in and of themselves we have storage in our muscles and in our liver for carbs called glycogen so when we eat carbs we either store it or we burn it now eat fat that goes straight you're fat your body can't turn those cards into fatness are really overdoing the calories so what he says here is mostly true but I fear I fear it's very misleading the way it's presented so what he's talking about is called the Novo lipid Genesis essentially it's your body's way of turning carbs into fat and he's right that in order for this to increase for your body to turn more carbs and do fat that you have to be in a caloric surplus so in other words it used true that it is more efficient it is easier for your body to turn dietary fat into body fat than it is for your body to turn carbs into body fat but this doesn't mean that carbohydrates play no role in diabetes I mean refined carbs like sugary soda certainly have been associated with an increased risk for diabetes and it also doesn't mean that carbohydrates can't make you fat too many calories is too much calories and you will gain weight and also this doesn't take into account satiation for example if someone feels more satisfied eating a vegan diet that's higher in protein higher in fat then they're probably going to eat less on this diet than if they were eating a vegan diet hiring carbs it's true that many people are overly worried about carbs and that if they eat any sort of carbs they're just going to magically gain weight it's silly but I feel that Davis's statements here and really just the film the whole film that they go to the other extreme because no distinction is made between whole carbohydrates and refined carbohydrates that's a huge problem now I'm sure that Bernard Davis Greger pretty much everyone in the film none of them want people to replace animal products with sugar or with you know just white bread or something I'm sure that's the case and they might have even said as much in the interviews I would not be surprised but unfortunately that's not what we got for whatever reason the filmmakers Kip and Keegan decided to give us this diss overly simplistic message of carbs or good animal products and fat are bad so there's a section in the film where they talk about dairy and I think they go through pretty much all the animal product you know meat and various meats processed meat eggs dairy so in the dairy section they talk about milk and the supposed increased risk for breast cancer dairy products increases your risk for various forms of cancer especially those related to your hormones so breast cancer prostate cancer ovarian cancer and it is true that some studies have found a positive correlation between milk consumption and breast cancer risk but the evidence as a whole does not support this link so this very recent meta-analysis from 2015 of 22 prospective cohorts over 1.6 million participants did not find that dairy consumption increased breast cancer risk in fact they found that specifically yogurt and low-fat dairy actually reduced the risk for breast cancer so they speculate a few different reasons for this one is just the presence of vitamin D which makes sense since the milk in the US the milk here is fortified with D and the u.s. is where they found a significant association between dairy consumption and lower risk for breast cancer also reduction of saturated fat which might explain why they found the link with low-fat dairy and not with full fat dairy or as with any studies like these they could just be due to other dietary and lifestyle factors that people who drink low-fat milk tend to engage in just to be clear I'm not advocating that we all start drinking cow's milk not at all calcium and vitamin D can certainly be obtained other ways from other foods and alternatives to cow's milk like soy milk and all milk all milk almond milk definitely exists and of course they have the distinct advantage of like not involving the torture and destruction of sentient beings kind of important and the filmmakers are 4x that dairy has been linked to prostate cancer in men obviously but this does not mean that every negative claim about dairy is correct and it doesn't mean that just because there is a study or even several studies that indicate a positive correlation with cancer diabetes heart disease whatever that these studies are the final word so now on to a very interesting part of the movie I think probably one of the most damning parts of the film at least it looks that way but it's really not so I'm talking about the a DEA interview the interview with dr. Robert Ratner he is the or he was the former chief scientific medical and mission officer of the ABA the American diabetic Association we found actually some studies a 74 week study found that low-fat vegan diet versus the ad a plan type I think we're done here I'm not going to I'm not going to get into an argument no no just one of the studies of the studies if this is true or if it shows that of any diet works any diet works people follow it but if it's a diet that's not the proper diet like if anyone follows a diet that the I can't I can't tell you what a proper diet is I can tell you what an improper diet is who do we talk to about diet you can talk to anybody you want but that's interesting or why not recommend a diet because the data don't exist so but if I see we see data that we looked up that supports it with like you know the NIH the Europe the European dirtiness Evangelos yeah it looks bad right I mean he gets defensive he won't continue the interview it makes it look like he's he's hiding something but in reality if you listen to what he says he says that any diet works and again that's true again as I mentioned earlier many diets from low-fat vegan to low carb Atkins style diets have proven effective in terms of improving glycemic control the most important thing is maintaining a healthy weight so any diet that helps people lose weight and keep it off is bound to be effective at the end of the day it doesn't really matter how effective a specific diet is whether it's low fat vegan or low carb Atkins if the patient cannot stick to the diet so again ratner cuts the interview short and he seems he seems to suspect that kip has an agenda which he does and that he's like chair retaking studies which he is and yeah the guy wants no part of that and I can't really blame them again it makes him look bad particularly to vegans you know people who I think are they want the 88 be hiding something right like secretly the ad a supports a vegan diet but they won't promote it because you know they're funded by Tyson or whatever which is essentially what the documentary is saying that these organizations are inherently biased because they are paid for by the the meat and dairy industries I think it's quite a bit more complicated than that is it concerning yes it is concerning but does it necessarily mean that this is why Ratner is saying all diets work and why you know these organizations don't promote specifically a vegan diet no it's like dismissing a study because it was industry funded this is something that vegans do a lot it's actually done in this documentary as well it very much reminds me of a recent study that I cover and you can check that out here the shorter kids non-dairy milk study one of the authors was funded some of his work was funded in the past by the dairy industry and so as a result many vegans just dismissed the study as propaganda but why exactly I mean is there evidence that this skewed the data in any way that the data was somehow skewed not to my knowledge I mean there is I think an interesting question regarding how studies are made right I mean if you are being paid by someone or if you have a certain bias it may lead you to create a study that is more favorable so in this case more favorable towards milk which I mean again it's an interesting question particularly regarding this study the shorter kids milk study you know maybe that's why they created a study where they couldn't even look at protein consumption that's a really important factor in terms of growth and height right so yeah maybe it's possible that because he had received dairy funding in the past that maybe that's what led him to create a study that kind of catered to the dairy industry but again this is all speculative and it doesn't necessarily mean that the study is invalid and you know for really going to dismiss studies and organizations because of potential bias then we really need to be consistent I mean look at Barnard Neil Barnhart like I mentioned earlier in this very documentary I mean he advocates for actually fights for animal welfare he advocates for plant-based diets should we just dismiss his studies on diabetes and vegan diets because he's biased my point here is that this discussion is a lot more complex than the documentary less on I mean sure maybe the a da the a H a maybe they are recommending foods or tweaking their guidelines in certain ways to favor the meat and dairy industries because of financial ties possibly or they may be recommending these foods because they fear that a stricter diet would just be too hard for people to follow that's possible too just pointing out industry ties and like letting our minds do the rest I mean it makes for a good documentary it certainly does but it doesn't actually tell us a whole lot particularly when we actually look at these organizations guidelines and see that they're mostly pretty sensible early on the in the film specifically is really throughout the whole film but specifically early on when their kid is talking about processed meat and the World Health Organization and the increased risk for colon cancer specifically they pretty much imply that like the American Diabetes Association the American Heart Association the American Cancer Society that they really just recommend like a totally unhealthy diet so I just googled American Diabetes Association processed meat and this is what I found I found this page their heart health page they specifically say to limit process to meat consumption and then they actually linked to this other page which is very interesting it's their guide to choosing protein wisely I love the first two things that they recommend for healthy protein choices the first one is legumes beans and legumes holy the second one is meat alternatives and soy like this was just amazing to me now you don't on the page of the page and they have eggs and they have like other meats you know non like processed meats and then at the very bottom of the page they have nuts and seeds like what the hell but still the fact that they have beans you know legumes and then you know soy also legumes obviously and like meat alternatives as the first to like that's pretty awesome okay so then I did the same thing with the American Cancer Society again I just googled American Cancer Society processed meat six steps to load to help lower your cancer risk and what do you know like one of the things they talk about diet diet and they talk about limiting processed meat so a big problem here is that Kip and Keegan they seem to be saying that the ad a that the a H a that the American Cancer Society that they're like going out on their own and that they're recommending something different from the World Health Organization or they're going against the World Health Organization's guidelines but that's just not true many national health recommendations advise people to limit intake of processed meat and red meat which are linked to increased risks of death from heart disease diabetes and other illnesses I'm are suggesting that these organizations are perfect or that their guidelines are perfect you know a perfect example would be the ad A's insistence on limiting fat intake no matter the source which leads them to put nuts and seeds at the bottom of the page is really stupid but to suggest that these organizations are promoting diets that are just wholly unhealthy as Kip and Keegan seem intent on doing is just wrong there's no question that rates of obesity heart disease diabetes even cancer would fall if people follow their guidelines the AEA guidelines the American Cancer Society guidelines you know to eat less processed foods to exercise moderately and regularly and to maintain a healthy weight and it's no secret that you don't have to go vegan you don't have to eat a vegan diet to accomplish those although the animals would certainly appreciate it so now on to Jake Conroy so this has nothing to do with health there is a brief clip about an hour into the film with Jake Conroy who they labeled formally imprison activist and you know they imply that he went to prison for something noble you know fighting against animal agriculture fighting against like AG gag laws the pharmaceutical industry spends more money on lobbying than any other single industry just like animal agriculture they are so powerful they write their own laws of that activist imprisoned to silence them governments in bed with anyone that gives them the most money which is the pharmaceutical industry which is the animal AG industries thing they are pumping the government full of money and resources and in return the government's giving them what they want subsidies imprisoning activists that go against them and I think it's quite telling that these industries are working so hard and spending so much money to criminalize people for simply taking a picture for simply recording in reality he went to prison for conspiracy to harass and internet stalking so he was part of stop huntington animal cruelty SHAC it was a campaign to shut down an animal testing laboratory called Huntington Life Sciences Center tactics were pretty disgusting including harassment of employees of the company and their families the SHAC website said it published names and addresses only so that people could protest within the law but testimony to the British House of Commons in 2003 included excerpts from a document reported to have come from Shack which advised activists on tactics for protests outside targets homes these included throwing rape alarms and roof guttering at night setting off fireworks and ordering taxis and pizzas in 2001 hls managing director in the UK Brian Cass was beaten outside his home by three masked men and hls marketing director Andrew gay was attacked on his doorstep with a chemical spray at to his eyes that left him at temporarily blinded I'm honestly just really baffled that Kip and Keegan thought it was a good idea to put someone like this in their film I really believe that as vegans as animal advocates that we should be distancing distancing ourselves as much as possible from people like this from people who engage in or condone any sort of violence sort of harassment property damage terrorism anything like that yeah I'm just I'm really amazed that they thought this was a good idea so to wrap things up yes a vegan diet can be healthy I would not eat a vegan diet if I didn't believe that it can be done successfully and healthily and this is consensus but a plant-based diet with minimal amounts of animal products particularly certain animal products like omega-3 rich fish or low-fat yogurt in terms of Health metrics this diet does pretty well promoting a vegan diet as the only healthy diet particularly an overly restrictive low-fat vegan diet and lumping all animal products together and acting as though even a tiny bit of meat is going to significantly increase your risk for heart disease diabetes cancer whatever it's pure pseudoscience it would be like shouting about lung cancer to someone who wants to have a cigar after the baby's born right you know like the tradition I was like having a cigar when the when the baby's born it would be like telling someone oh you're going to get cancer it's like when the exposure is that limited it gets pretty unlikely right like there is a point where the risk is just so small that it's it's not worth people worrying about and it sucks it sucks if you care if you're advocating for veganism from an asshole standpoint it does suck I mean it would be great it's like one egg a year doubled your risk for heart disease I mean how much easier would that be to convince people to go vegan right it would be amazing for animals but it's not true and any time you know we discredit ourselves we discredit ourselves any time we exaggerated claims in order to convert people you can argue for reduction on health grounds you know reducing animal products for health and that's certainly important too you know if people would just reduce animal product consumption that would be amazing that would be great for people and you know for animals obviously but in order to argue specifically for veganism you need to argue for animal ethics or if people don't care about that there are other arguments you can make and at me I have a video on that right here so I guess that's it I was going to talk about the V dog review of it briefly but this video ended up wait longer than I don't repeat maybe I'll talk about that in a separate thing I don't know but anyway thank you so much for watching I really hope you enjoyed this video of course if you have any comments or questions leave them down below if you want to subscribe of course that's really awesome and patreon if you want to support the channel you can do so at patreon.com at slash unnatural vegan and thank you so much to everyone who does for the channel it is very very offer and yeah I guess I will have a new video very soon this is why organizations this is why organizations like diabetes UK don't recommend this is why organizations like diabetes UK


  1. Is cronometer your new bible?
    Don’t you agree our closest relatives are apes? Shouldn’t we eat like them: mostly fruit?

  2. If I was that ADA guy I would've acted the same way. The filmmaker was being so smug in that scene. And it's true, many different diets work, there is no one sole miracle diet.

  3. I love that you are so open minded. I hate meeting people who can’t even have a conversation and hear another persons point of view. Great job! You make me want to find some alternatives.

  4. I'm trying to find a good milk replacement since I'm lactose intolerant, but I'm allergic to soy and I'm have to have some sort of milk to lean me more toward water to drink regularly and nut milk just tastes wrong to me. What milk should I try outside of rice milk? I'm trying to find a smaller thing of rice milk to try it before I commit to it, but I can't find it much in grocery stores around my area.

  5. I wish you could talk to Russel Brand and be on his podcast. So much of this is missing from his stuff.

  6. What if soybeans are sentient? What do we do then?

  7. Food and clothing is a common thread amongst every civilization on the face of the planet. You could name all kinds and manners of dress throughout the vast history of civilization's. Can you name one vegan civilization?… I mean if it truly does produce a healthier more viable population it should be an easy answer. Due to their increased survivability.

  8. This was a good video. I saw the documentary when it came out because my vegetarian GF and her friend wanted to watch it. I wasn't sure what to make of it though because of the obvious bias the movie presented. I was left with more questions, namely because of how the film presented the data.

    Least to say, I've been reducing my meat consumption to about one to two small sides of meat every week or two for about half a year now, sometimes even longer when I'm not paying attention. I haven't really lost weight, but I have noticed that I feel less groggy, I've been sleeping better, and have almost no more acid reflexes (Though that could be because I've been eating less processed food overall). I think a more moderated diet is the way to go, especially (as you've said before) being too strict is often more harmful in the long run, and I don't think there is enough quality data to really make a definitive diet decision. Allowing myself to have a tiny bit of meat once in a while is helping me transition into a more healthy diet.

    Any (zealot) Vegan saying that Unnatural Vegan's videos hurt veganism is delusional, Veganism already has a bad image problem, but that could be improved with more people like her.

  9. Congratulations on a great unbiased video. Hopefully you’ve had no death threats from Vegan Gains, he tends to spit his dummy out over stuff like this. I’m an omnivore myself.

  10. I support vegans wholeheartedly when they talk about health. It turns me away when they talk about animals.

  11. Mcdougall and Barnard were very conservative in giving advice to their patients who were already in severe type II diabetes condition. They wanted to give advice that works for most population on the bell curve (>99%). Sure some people will have a leeway / are privileged enough to consume animal fat without catching type II diabetes , but they are the exception not the norm.

  12. I watched this movie and THE GUY WORE A BASEBALL CAP TO AN INTERVIEW! How unprofessional!

  13. You mean your not crazy like Banana Girl freelee??

  14. Your arms are pretty thick for being vegan……

  15. "Correlation does not equal causation."

  16. Some many "facts" you claim in this video are just wrong. But you reach carnists (non vegans) better with this approach. Thank you.

  17. I can't believe how many dislikes this has. My main irritation with the vegan camp is that most advocates avoid scientific journals, or even more disturbingly, promulgate bad science. Here you are demonstrating a profound understanding of the scientific literature, and debunking bad science, but clearly some people don't want to hear it. If more vegan advocates were like you I could see myself switching back to the vegan camp. Top job, famalam.

  18. I like your videos a lot. I think the evidence that diabetes is caused by animal based products is a) it happens in cultures who eat a lot of animal products and b) the success rate in healing diabetes is close to 100% when people switch to a plant based diet.

  19. I don’t know wtf to eat

  20. there's more and more evidence that cvd risk, ldl, and hdl are not causally related especially with the new psk 9 inhibitors, not being all that effective. I suspect that the way we raise animals has a lot to do with raising our risk for cardiovascular disease when we eat them.. ie if the cow has diabetes or peripheral vascular disease when we eat it we are more likely to get the disease idk how any of this could be proven though.

  21. They changed their guidelines btw

  22. I watch this video after watching the video where a vegan youtuber analyze 23 vegan youtubers that went from being vegans to being non-vegans for health reasons (which is ironic since many vegans have been promoting vegan diet as the healthiest diet), plus after watching the latest video of Freelee where she obviously shows signs of severe health issues and mental decline.

    Veganism is not the only healthiest diet in the world, nor that it suits for everyone. That is a fact. Unlike other stuck up vegan youtubers, UV acknowledged and accepted this fact. She understands that a balance diet that caters to individual needs, whether it's vegan or non-vegan, can be healthy. She also understands that doing vegan diet does not necessarily means you have the best and healthiest diet.

    This is what she's trying to tell vegans. That all diet works as long as they are balance and consistent.

    Okinawa in Japan is one of the healthiest places on earth where people are more likely to reach 100 years old than anyone else, and the people there eat seafood a lot. Norwegians are the world's healthiest people and they eat meat and salmon. Harvard conducted a study of the healthiest people and found that these people's longevity and vitality are heavily correlated with their happy relationship with their partner, family and friends, not their food or diet regime. People in India are majority vegetarian and vegan due to their Hindu religion, yet the country still suffers from major health problems include lung diseases and disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, heart disease, and diabetes.

    I think what UV wants to emphasize is that celebrating veganism by making exaggerated claims on "vegan diet is the healthiest diet" is simply misleading, not true, nor ethical. She thinks vegans should focused more on ethical issues like animal rights to promote veganism. Otherwise, the world will see more and more people going from non-vegan to vegan and then reverted back to non-vegan for the same health reasons. And I think she's right.

  23. Good morning

  24. You did a real good job with that. I now don’t have to make a video I can just copy the link. Thank you that’s pretty much verbatim what I wanted to say.

  25. are you a doctor????

  26. Thank you so much for approaching this subject in a very logical and researched way. I am contemplating a vegan diet and enjoy listening to your perspective. I recently watched "what the health" and was confused by some of the health claims. Thanks for clearing up my confusion.

  27. Your no scientist so stop acting like one 🙂 clearly you dont care about the animals as such since you said kind of.
    You say almond and soya… you also have oat, hemp, rice, quinoa, flax, hazelnut etc. No reason to drink dairy no excuse..

  28. I am a vegan, I thought this documentary was shit as well. It makes me think a lot of vegans are dumb as fuck or in denial if they don’t see it. Intellectuals who will watch this, will not take veganism seriously, and probably don’t want to be vegan.

  29. This is the most straw manning I have seen in less than 30 minutes. Also, why do you have an upper inflection on statements?

  30. I'm a vegan (for ethical reasons!) and seeing critical thinking is soo refreshing. I don't know when we started saying "veganism is healthiER" as opposed to "can be just as healthy" which after this video, I still believe. UV is a breath of fresh air from weirdo health nut vegans that I really appreciate.

  31. Hey! Wondering if you saw this? https://www.vegan.com/posts/vegan-dietitian-review-what-the-health/ I appreciate your videos 🙂

  32. This is great. An objective vegan.

  33. Hey! You'll probably not see this and I dont really know how yputube ads work but I just wanted to warn you that all the ads in this video (and some other videos of yours) were from pizza hut portugal and I'm pretty sure that's not something you'd appreciate… hope you see this and thank you for your great videos!! They have helped me out a lot!!

  34. That’s a terrible documentary.

  35. Wait… the fucker tried to stop a Huntington disease research lab? That's lowww


  37. I discover your channel by accident and I'm genuinely amazed. You REASON and you RESPECT science! Great work!

  38. Given that high fat intake IS INDEED associated with diabetes and heart disease, you would be wise to follow the advice of Ornish, Esselstyn, Barnard, McDougall et. al.

  39. Okay but why is she better at choosing peer reviewed material than most university professors

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *