BBC released yet another documentary called Clean Eating’s Dirty Secrets that fails the test of reliability. What is the topic this time? Plant-based diets. They claim that diets that are, as narrator Grace Victory puts it: “Dairy-free, Sugar-free, Gluten-free, Meat-free, Joy-free” are being pushed by people who don’t understand nutritional science.
To be honest, many do have a point. When people push Gluten-free, 80-10-10, fully-raw, the potato diet, etc, they are likely not knowledgeable on what they are talking about. Many people talk about free radicals, the PH balance of food, Organic, Toxins, and other nonsense without checking facts, and as a result give the community a bad name. But in terms of plant-based diets, which is simply a diet nearly or fully devoid of animal products with a focus on plant foods, this isn’t the case.
In terms of people who push Clean Eating, almost all of the foods they push are plant foods. Fruits and vegetables are universally accepted by all dietitians to be healthy. There is no debate, even Paleo supporters believe fruits and vegetables are healthy.
Ms. Victory also mentions that a plant-based diet, alongside not eating animal products, means not eating white rice, white flour, white pasta, wheat, chemicals, flavorings, and additives. I don’t know where she got this information from, because this isn’t true. I can find no big promoter of this diet saying to exclude these things, although the do reccommend whole grains. In terms of wheat, that’s a lie, because wheat is recommended on a plant-based diet. Chemicals and Flavorings are not mentioned either.
She claims that all she can eat on a plant-based diet is organic. This is also a load of bull. In terms of plant-based foods, the intent is for you to buy fresh or frozen plant foods and cook the foods yourself. I cook my dinners every day. I eat oatmeal with cut up fruit, I eat potatoes with some oil and seasonings, I eat rice with beans and mixed vegetables, and I have been known to make a killer black bean and corn soup from scratch. The purpose of a plant-based diet is simply to get whole foods that you learn to cook delicious meals from scratch. That alone makes you healthier by default.
Wow, so many words, that I have not even reached 5 minutes into the video. Better buckle up, this is going to be a long bumpy ride!
Ms Victory goes to a healthfood store and complains that the prices are too high, and believes that eating healthy or vegan for cheap is not possible. She calls eating healthy “middle class,” when in reality frozen and fresh fruits and vegetables are really cheap, as are dry beans, you just have to shop at a grocery store, not a health food store.
She also ignores the idea that milk might leech calcium from bones and brings… ummm… this:
She looks like the stuff of nightmares. Sarah claims that milk is a good source of calcium, and that not drinking milk can harm the bones. Meanwhile, a video by Dr. Arron Carroll, who has written a multitude of books on the subject of health myths, claims in a video that milk is useless at best for bone health, and harmful at worst.
On the claim that milk leeches calcium from bones, there is very little evidence for that. Although according to Harvard, Dairy is not a very good source of calcium at all, as it increases the risk of many cancers.
Ms, Victory then tries High Carb Hannah’s notoriously useless potato diet, and whines that she doesn’t have time to cook. Ms Victory is starting to look more like Ms. Failure at this point, because she fails to know that you can buy healthy foods for cheap, and that you can cook in batches and save some food for later to eat, which is what many of us who live in poverty and don’t want to cook every time we are hungry do. But if you claim that you simply don’t have time to cook, that is complete nonsense, you’re just lazy Ms. Victory, not busy.
She then goes to another vegan YouTuber and talks about Raw Veganism. Ms Victory then complains that veganism isn’t set in stone, and that vegan diets are highly diverse. She doesn’t realize that Vegan is a way of eating, not a specific diet. Some like raw foods, some like junk foods, some like potatoes only, others advocate high fat, you are not going to know veganism the right way, the same way there is no single way of dieting in general, even in terms of the USDA nutritional standards.
Victory has a point when she talks about people going to extremes with clean eating, trying to eliminate carbs and severe calorie restricting. Don’t get me wrong, restricting calories is not inherently had, eating at LEAST 1600 calories a day is not a bad thing. But extreme restricting only hurts people, and can increase their risk for developing eating disorders.
She also talks to a promoter of an Alkaline diet, which is a crap diet promoted by scam artists such as Food Babe, more information on this and other aspects can be found on SciBabe’s website.
My main issue with this documentary is that it does not talk about plant-based in terms of health. Ms. Victory does not try talking to any real experts in the feild, like Dr. Esselstyn or any other plant-based doctors, and she doesn’t seem to differentiate vegan diets from other unhealthy diets, by default equating them.
She lies about a plant-based diet, makes veganism out to look crazy, cries over missing eggs while listing tons of egg recipes in many parts of the video despite saying she has no time to cook, and doesn’t even try. It is really no wonder why people believe this documentary was paid for by Animal Agriculture. She doesn’t try to know more, and she claims she is pro-body positivism, so she obviously has no idea how to eat healthy ever in her life.
She also doesn’t look into any way where you can eat healthy and clean while also eating animal products, such as consuming egg whites, non-fat yogurt, fish, and skinless chicken. All you have to do to know that is to click the first link in the google search for Clean Eating. She does not mention eating animal products in clean eating diets, which is really popular, and goes straight for plant-based diets, also not mentioning that you can still eat meat occasionally and still be plant-based. Because of this as well, it is of no wonder that people believe this documentary was sponsored by animal agriculture industries.
Just be wary of false dietary claims, but don’t attack veganism because of this. Eating more plants is not the problem, it’s the solution.