Although vegan diets may decrease your risk of certain types of cancer, most of the claims in “The Game Changers” are misleading or don’t stand up to scientific scrutiny. Neither did Forks Over Knives, or Impossible Burgers, or fake chicken at KFC. A good portion of the gladiator population were slaves and keeping them alive was expensive. This is a review by an actual nutrition expert, registered dietitian Megan Ware. Now everyone from Mike Tyson to your mother-in-law is eating plant-based, and reporting that they’ve lost weight, dropped their cholesterol levels, and increased the amount of pep in their step at least threefold. It also overstates the significance of small, observational studies. The second experiment features urologist Aaron Spitz, M.D., administering an erectile strength and frequency test to three athletes under the same burrito conditions. Wilks begins the movie, and builds its entire concept around, a study he came across that reported Roman gladiators didn’t eat meat. Except that The Game Changers presents only one side of the facts, often via controversial sources, grand extrapolations from small studies, and statements that are flat-out misleading. Despite some accuracies, “The Game Changers” has several important limitations that call into question its credibility. Nutritional yeast and supplements can also provide vitamin B12 (3, 4). Plant-based and omnivorous diets alike can be inflammatory or anti-inflammatory depending on the foods they’re comprised of, as well as other factors like total calorie content. Except that there’s another choice: Eat more vegetables. Paul is the Food & Nutrition Editor of Men’s Health. Men's Health participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. But diet is only one component of a larger concept of what it means to be a healthy person, whether you're an athlete or not. Ancient gladiators were vegan therefore it’s optimal for performance. Director of Performance Nutrition at Precision Nutrition, This is a choice of inclusion, rather than exclusion, The President Is Wrong About 3 Coronavirus Claims, NEW GRILLING STUDY: Why Marinating Meat is Good for You, When to Say 'I Love You' in a Relationship. You could even go so far as to say "virtually eliminate your risk", as they can decrease HCA formation by up to 99 percent, says St. Pierre. © 2005-2020 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. But you don't have to do so by erroneously telling people that meat is killing them, and they need to go to an all-plant diet. One of the studies The Game Changers cites repeatedly throughout the film is “Hass Avocado Modulates Postprandial Vascular Reactivity and Postprandial Inflammatory Responses To a Hamburger Meal In Healthy Volunteers.”, Wilks uses this study to support his argument that meat impairs blood flow and increases inflammation. The myth that you need animal protein has been debunked, and the film explains that all protein comes from plants – vegans just cut the middle man (or ‘middle cow’). The Game Changers. Yes, this is a minor point, but it's indicative of the often misleading portrayal of "research" to come. “The Game Changers” may be thought-provoking, but veganism is far from the only healthy diet. Wilks later argues that the Big Meat Industry floods scientific journals with funded research, which buries the good news of vegan (excuse me, plant-based) diets and further confuses consumers. “Such a link has never been substantiated in human studies,” says Qi Sun, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard University. Alternatively, a less restrictive diet that permits some animal foods may increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels, potentially lowering your risk of heart disease (10). Vegan diets appear to have heart health and anticancer benefits compared with omnivorous diets, and diligent planning can ensure you’re getting adequate protein and essential nutrients. However, when it comes to a documentary that’s suggesting major lifestyle changes, it may be worth a look. He proves this by showing us some silly ‘findings’ of dietary research of the same quality Game Changers uses in this section. "The Game Changers" and "Super Size Me 2" are probably the two best and most important movies about food that you will see this year. The two alleged studies conducted during the film itself — measuring the cloudiness of professional football players’ blood and the nighttime erections of college football players after eating meat — were informal and unscientific. For instance, the Maasai people of Tanzania and Kenya, who are hunter-gatherers, eat a diet that’s nearly exclusively animal-based and high in saturated fat (20). And then teach them to eat higher-quality meat options. Animals are Just The Middlemen. The producer of vegan documentary The Game Changers has hit back against objections raised by critics after the film’s release. “In fact, eating 50 grams of processed meat daily (about one hot dog) increases the risk of developing colorectal cancer by 17 percent. Maybe even to consider swapping some meat for a plant-based protein (such as tempeh, tofu, or seitan). The amount of data is daunting, with the implication being: Look at all the science! Despite claims from advocates on both sides of the fence — from adamant vegans to overzealous carnivores — numerous dietary patterns promote healthy eating. However, the athletes profiled in the movie have access to significant financial support, along with teams of trainers, dietitians, physicians, and personal chefs to ensure that their diets are perfectly optimized. But it’s not as bad as disinformation efforts can make it seem. Healthline Media does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For some reason, however, when it comes to the entertainment industry, we don’t always pay as much attention to where the money is coming from. As they’re still growing, infants, children, and adolescents have increased needs for several nutrients that may be difficult to obtain on a vegan diet (32). This whole section of the film … The Game Changers never suggests that “diet is everything” for either health or performance. A vegan diet has some impressive effects on your health. Related. If you were to say the words “plant-based” to someone 15 years ago, they might have stared at you, head tilted slightly, and said, “Huh?”. come out as beneficial for the plant-based circumstances. "What The Game Changers fails to mention is that though hetereocyclic amines seem to cause cancer, and the overall risk may be small, you can mitigate potential damage by marinating your meat with spices and acidic marinades (such as yogurt or vinegar-based marinades)," St. Pierre says. All rights reserved. As long as it’s balanced, a vegan diet is acceptable for older adults. Many vegans without access to these resources struggle to get enough protein, vitamin B12, and other nutrients (2). Limited studies available show…. “Ultimately, it's not that getting people to eat plants is a bad thing. Much like my feelings about the Impossible Burger, I leave with an immense sense of gratitude that The Game Changers will soon be widely available to the … However, this increased risk is relative,” St. Pierre says. The film suggests that vegan diets are superior to omnivorous diets because they promote heart health, decrease inflammation, lower cancer risk, and improve physical performance. This full-length movie is available for rent or purchase.. FROM $3.99. And a new documentary called The Game Changers is pushing the “plant-based” lifestyle even further. If you’re interested in nutrition, you’ve probably watched or at least heard of “The Game Changers,” a documentary film on Netflix about the benefits of plant-based diets for athletes. This review digs into the science that “The Game Changers” only skims and offers an evidence-based, objective look at the claims made in the film. The Game Changers does an incredible job of pulling in high-performing athletes who have made a switch to a plant-based diet and excelled. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. Here are 6 science-based health benefits you may experience by eating vegan. "So, while it's true that the 'strength of the evidence' for the carcinogenicity of smoking is the same as processed meat. Pierre., M.S., R.D., C.S.C.S., Director of Performance Nutrition at Precision Nutrition, a nutrition coaching company that has worked with the San Antonio Spurs, the Carolina Panthers, and thousands of non-athlete clients. Elite Athletes Are Going Vegan. Except that the study isn’t actually a study. I have been waiting to give my review because I wanted to gather enough data AND make sure I … In reality, actual risk goes up by about 1 percent total, to a new absolute risk of about 6 percent. Overall, unprocessed red meat does not appear to increase your cancer risk. "And by eating your meat with fruits and vegetables, all of which can significantly reduce your risk of HCAs.”. Although parts of the film are credible, it has been criticized for cherry-picking data to suit its agenda, making broad generalizations from small or weak studies, and being one-sided toward veganism. While vegan diets can offer health benefits, they may be low in certain nutrients. Furthermore, vegan diets may protect against heart disease and some cancers compared with diets that include animal products (5, 6). It’s a short narrative by Andrew Curry, a contributing writer to Archaeology, a publication of the Archaeological Institute of America. “…eating 12 hazelnuts daily (1 oz) would prolong life by 12 years (ie, 1 year per hazelnut), drinking 3 cups of coffee daily would achieve a similar gain of 12 extra years, and eating a single mandarin orange daily (80 g) would add 5 years of life. After all, genetics are responsible for 10–20% … The protein one gets from eating a steak or a burger are actually … “I don’t think this is a concern at all,” Sun says. We also know that eating processed meats increases the risk of developing colorectal cancer,” says Brian St. Making some improvements to your diet doesn't have to be hard. I have now watched this one twice. It is actually more of a demonstration of how diet affects erections. Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. And The Game Changers is filled with research. The film, produced by James Cameron, argues that eating any animal products—including meat, fish, eggs, and dairy—can hinder athletic performance, wreak havoc on your heart, impair sexual function, and lead to an early death. Long-term human studies indicate that vegan diets may decrease your risk of any type of cancer by 15%. The Game Changers is a pro-vegan documentary produced by James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Thus, vegans should eat a variety of legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains to get enough of these acids (1). The Game Changers is James Cameron's latest documentary, focusing on plant-based diets. And my intention was to bring those to light because I knew a lot of people had already seen the film and were going to see the film. The Game Changers does a great job of presenting a counter-argument to the meat-centric narrative and science that has been primarily funded by an industry looking after its interests for years. The implication is look what plants built. The scientists pulled from a pool of 18 people (seven men, six children, and five women), and found that milk reduced testosterone secretions—not overall testosterone—temporarily. “Veganism and vegetarian are stigmatized,” Wilks said, in an interview with Men’s Health. Indeed, vegan diets have long been linked to lower levels of total cholesterol (10). However, the film wrongly suggests that red meat causes cancer. But there are so many variables left unconsidered in both of these experiments. “The Game Changers” also asserts that plant-based diets are anti-inflammatory, especially when compared with omnivorous diets — going so far as to contend that meats widely considered healthy, such as chicken and fish, are inflammatory. The 'degree of risk' is not even in the same sport, let alone the same ballpark," he says. As such, you may need to take time to plan your meals or cook more at home. Curry recounts a visit to the Medical University of Vienna where he held a gladiator skull and remarks upon how gladiators ate “a vegetarian diet rich in carbohydrates, with the occasional calcium supplement.”, There does exist research on gladiators following non-meat diets, some of which is later cited in the film, but Wilks still calls a narrative a “study” when it is not a study.*. We may earn a commission through links on our site. Plant Protein is As Effective for Building Muscle as Animal Protein. Nutrients of concern include: A robust and structured vegan diet is a fine option for healthy adults. Many foods — both animal- and plant-based — can contribute to inflammation, such as added sugars, highly processed foods, and seed oils like vegetable and soybean oil (12, 13). Most healthy diets provide adequate amounts of protein, whether from animal or plant sources. Here is a detailed beginner's guide to going vegan. James knocked it our of the park, and defended himself and the film quite spectacularly. This is a choice of inclusion, rather than exclusion. “We’re not trying to tell people to go vegan. Healthy diets can be plant-based or include animal foods. This fact indicates that the human body does not solely favor a vegan diet (22). Filmmaker Kip Anderson says health organizations are not telling the public about important health dangers because they get funding from various…. Research often lumps red meat in with processed meats like bacon, sausage, and deli meats — which are linked to an increased risk of certain cancers, such as breast and colon cancer (17, 18). “Instead, teach them the benefits of adding more wholesome plant foods to their meat intake. The Game Changers Throughout the film, Wilks cites scientific research, interviews numerous medical doctors, and features a number of vegan and vegetarian athletes … “People go on a plant-based diet, get healthy, and say ‘Oh, it was the chicken and meat that was slowing me down.’ They don’t pay attention to the lack of vegetables they were consuming previously.”], How We Know the New COVID Vaccines Are Safe, Check Out This Discount on Hydrow's Rowing Machine, These 14 HIIT Workouts Will Make You Ditch Cardio. Here, again, Wilks presents claims that these compounds, unique to animal products, increase the risk of inflammation, which can lead to a host of nasty diseases, particularly cancer. The evidence to refute the common dietary myths is well presented (and summarized on the Game Changers website). Conversely, the traditional Okinawa diet of Japan is primarily plant-based, high in starch from sweet potatoes, and low in meat (21). However, heavily animal-based diets, such as the paleo diet, are likewise associated with decreased inflammation (15, 16). A low protein, plant-based diet may also be beneficial for people with chronic kidney disease (34, 35). There's a progression, and a happy middle ground for most.”. This article explains how to eat healthy. Despite “The Game Changers” enthusiastically endorsing the vegan diet, especially for athletes, it may not be right for everyone. Here’s what the research says. Although the film cites a... All or nothing approach. Recently, the Annals of Internal Medicine published what’s currently arguably the most comprehensive review on the health effects of red meat. The Game Changers documentary claims meat causes cancer, inflammation and cardiovascular disease. Game Changers. This includes solid answers to the classic protein question. The first experiment features preventive cardiologist Robert Vogel, M.D., administering a blood test to three athletes after they've eaten burritos with animal proteins compared to after they've eaten burritos with plant protein. For a healthy vegetarian or vegan diet, make sure you avoid these 12 pitfalls. Use these 25 simple tips to make your regular diet a little bit healthier. Properly planned vegan diets can also provide sufficient quantities of nutrients like vitamin B12 and iron, which can sometimes be difficult to obtain when you don’t eat animal products (2). The Game Changers makes athletic performance all about diet. All Protein Originates in Plants. “The Game Changers” is a pro-vegan documentary that follows the journey of several elite vegan athletes as they train, prepare for, and compete in major events. A Doctor Watched The Game Changers Documentary and Gave an Honest Review Doctor Mike addresses some of the scientifically iffy claims that the film makes about veganism. Just a few minutes in, it’s clear that “The Game Changers” is pushing veganism. The 2010 study he references, published in the journal Pediatrics International, was conducted using the milk of pregnant cows. The criticisms lobbied against it are mostly from personalities and entities who resist being told that their diet or eating habits might be harmful to them or the world around them. *Editor’s Note: This section was added after publication to clarify the argument. None of the athletes featured talk about these things either. However, the science is not quite as black and white as the film makes it appear, and some contentions in the film are simply not true. Game Changers is a 2018 documentary produced by James Cameron, Jackie Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger that … Although the film cites a lot of research, it completely ignores studies on the benefits of animal products. All protein originates in plants. Will It Help You? All the same, both populations have low levels of chronic illnesses like heart disease and type 2 diabetes, suggesting that humans can thrive on a wide range of dietary patterns (20, 21). Let’s take the relationship between processed meats and colorectal cancer as one example. It’s a statement that is so face-smackingly stupid, and it typifies the dangers of either/or eating. While a vegan diet may provide several health benefits, the film tends to overstate these claims while ignoring research on other eating patterns. A vegan diet can help you lose weight and drastically improve your health, if done right. If there’s one piece of produce that The Game Changers is especially rich in, it’s cherries, as in those picked for evidence. Furthermore, they emphasize whole, natural foods like unprocessed meats, fruits, vegetables, starches, and whole grains. With this … If you have any concerns about dietary needs for your age or health condition, consult your healthcare provider or a dietitian. What is important to remember with any documentary is that there are two sides to every story. Additionally, humans can function in ketosis — a metabolic state in which your body burns fat instead of carbs — when carb-rich plant foods aren’t available. Adidas' Popular Face Mask Is Back in Stock Today. ), endotoxins, and AGEs. This may be because there’s little evidence to support the notion that vegan diets are superior for physical performance. In fact, we love them. But what do the experts think? Fun fact, I actually sat down with a local trainer and discussed my thoughts on The Game Changers, check that out here if you prefer video content. Here are 7 supplements that you may need on a vegan diet. “The Game Changers,” a pro-vegan documentary chronicling the efforts of several vegan athletes, is correct in some ways. James Loomis, M.D., former team physician for the St. Louis Rams and St. Louis Cardinals, who appears in The Game Changers, has written a rebuttal to this piece. And we want to reinforce that we absolutely, and in no way, possess any animosity toward vegans. The Game Changers filmmakers defend criticisms. [11] In order to host a proper debate between the sides, Rogan invited both Kresser and The Game Changers creator James … But instead, the debate ended up being a lot more about appeals to authority and semantics, and e… “The Game Changers” has several notable drawbacks, including a strong pro-vegan bias and reliance on small, unscientific studies. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. Several nutrients are difficult to get on a vegan diet, so you should structure your meals appropriately and take certain supplements. And the results of emerging studies are not nearly as concrete as those done on cigarettes, as the film later implies. [“I see the problem with plant-based diets as one of false assumptions,” says Mike Rousell, Ph.D., author of The MetaShred Diet. Vegan diets, and especially processed vegan foods, may still contain high amounts of added sugar (11). As long as you optimize your hydration, electrolytes, and nutrient intake, plant-based and omnivorous diets appear to be on equal footing when it comes to exercise performance (23, 24, 25). By over-valuing one nutrient (antioxidants in iceberg lettuce), you devalue the host of beneficial nutrients in the other (heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids in salmon, brain-aiding choline in eggs—just to name two). Vegans, you’re gonna LOVE this one! The Game Changers repeatedly pits a vegan diet against a diet that includes meat. The Game Changers is a documentary that follows MMA fighter James Wilks through his transition journey to a plant-based diet. Finally, the film’s focus on elite athletes presents some issues. The film takes a hardline stance on people’s eating patterns, advocating for a strict vegan diet with no animal products. A … James Wilks, who wrote and produced the movie with Joseph Pace, tackled various comments about the film – which is directed by Oscar-winner Louie Psihoyos and executive produced by Oscar-winner James Cameron – during an exclusive interview with Plant Based News founder Klaus … In the film, Wilks shows two experiments. The Game Changers is littered … “Vegan Badass” proclaims the T-shirt of one of the interview subjects in Louie Psihoyos ’s flashy, pumped-up documentary “ The Game Changers,” and perhaps that would have been a … “The Game Changers” makes numerous claims and references several studies. The documentary promotes a plant-based diet for athletic performance received rave reviews and has been the most successful documentary of all time on iTunes. This claim is flatly false. Just because you’re not eating meat doesn’t mean you’re eating right. The film does this to such an extent that you slowly realize that “plant-based” is just a masquerade for “vegan.”. Back in the 2000s, a few small studies and rodent research suggested that the phytoestrogens in soy products could disrupt hormones. Neither of these “experiments” considers (or at least mentions the possible consideration of) variables like sleep, muscle fatigue, stress, training, hydration, history of tobacco use, weekly alcohol consumption, prior medical history, mental clarity, emotional state, and—HERE’S A BIG ONE—genetic predispositions. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, 6 Cheap Champagnes Worthy of Sending Off 2020, This Bodybuilder Got Shredded Eating 2 Meals a Day, 5 Bottles That Will Change Your Mind About Sake, 10 Post-Workout Foods To Help You Recover Faster, The Best Meal Replacement Bars and Shakes, What Happened When a Dietitian Tried Daily Harvest, Allow Chef José Andrés Be Your Light in Dark Times, 7 Keto Dieting Apps to Help You Lose Weight. Yet, when studies investigate red meat alone, the association with these cancers disappears (17, 18). In the film, James Wilks, a former MMA fighter, narrates his personal journey of switching from a diet that included animal products to one that doesn’t. After weighing the evidence of 5 new systematic reviews of the … I help vegans lose fat, build lean muscle, and get in the best shape of their lives. The idea behind this claim … Around the half-hour mark, The Game Changers makes this claim: “Even iceberg lettuce has more antioxidants than salmon or eggs.”. Additionally, vast regional variations exist in healthy diets, both modern and historical. We are presenting the facts and letting people make their own decisions.”. That is a false dichotomy,” says St. Pierre. This is the choice that has vast and well-established scientific benefits. Wilks is correct in his presentation of the overblown connections between the phytoestrogens in soy products and their supposed effects on estrogen levels in men. Some research indicates that sticking to a plant-based diet can help prevent age-related weight gain when compared with diets that include animal foods (33). This content is imported from {embed-name}. They also curb highly processed foods and drinks, including soda, fast food, and junk food (36). You Deserve a Seafood Tower. 2020 Was Hell. They should provide adequate protein and healthy fats while restricting processed foods and added sugars. The Vegan Diet — A Complete Guide for Beginners. But what about low sperm count and man boobs? Throughout the film, Wilks cites scientific research, interviews numerous medical doctors, and features a number of vegan and vegetarian athletes (although those words, “vegan” and “vegetarian” are rarely uttered). Sounds scary. It's generally a great thing. The film takes a hardline stance on veganism and meat consumption, even claiming that lean meats like chicken and fish are bad for your heart and can lead to poorer health outcomes. The Game Changers Debate with James Wilks. After review, we decided to remove the short section provided by Mike Roussell (you can read the original text below), due to his connections to the beef industry. “The Game Changers,” a documentary that follows several elite vegan athletes, gives a broad overview of some of the alleged benefits of plant-based diets. Although soy-based, vegetarian baby formulas are available in the United States, relatively few vegan formulas are. The last few weeks I have been bombarded with questions about the documentary Game Changers. In particular, infants shouldn’t be fed a vegan diet because of their needs for protein, fat, and a variety of nutrients like iron and vitamin B12. What’s more, the film accuses the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association of funding biased, pro-meat research, although plant-based organizations like the Soy Nutrition Institute have also been involved with research with potential conflicts of interest (7). This is a fair point—the meat industry does fund scientific research—except that Wilks goes on to cattle-prod himself in the forehead. However, other populations may need to practice caution with the diet, especially children. This is the choice that qualified and experienced registered dietitians (of which none are featured in The Game Changers, by the way) urge their clients, professional athletes and regular people alike, to adopt. Although it’s come under heavy criticism, the film gets a few things right. Additionally, following a vegan diet may limit your options when dining out. So, going into the debate, I’d hoped that it would be more about the science underpinning the film. goes on to cattle-prod himself in the forehead. 12 Mistakes to Avoid on a Vegetarian or Vegan Diet, Healthy Eating — A Detailed Guide for Beginners, 6 Science-Based Health Benefits of Eating Vegan, New Documentary Details ‘Largest Health Cover-up of Our Time’, 25 Simple Tips to Make Your Diet Healthier. Vegan diets may require meticulous planning to prevent nutrient deficiencies, especially in children. While older children and adolescents can follow a vegan diet, it must be carefully planned to incorporate all appropriate nutrients (32). Numerous times throughout the documentary, The Game Changers bombards you with the scientific terms TMAO, hetereocyclic amines, heme iron, neu5gc (a doozy! But here’s the thing: Each one of their stories is an anecdote—nothing more. Still, most plant proteins are incomplete, meaning that they don’t provide all of the essential amino acids at once. The Game Changers follows James Wilks, a combative instructor for the U.S. military and a former UFC fighter, as he converts to a vegan diet while sports stars, celebrities, doctors, and medical experts weigh in. Likewise, several animal and plant foods are widely considered anti-inflammatory, such as olive oil, many fruits and vegetables, certain herbs and spices, and foods rich in omega-3 fats — including fatty fish like salmon (14). Research suggested that the study findings are often twisted and presented to the classic protein question plant! Multifaceted issue that requires further study for physical performance and one thing it gets right versus omnivorous debate of... For older adults supported by the Hass Avocado Modulates Postprandial Vascular Reactivity and Postprandial Inflammatory Responses a! Nutritious foods on a vegan diet is only a small piece of overall health are.! None of the gladiator population were slaves and keeping them alive was expensive planning to nutrient. Diet and excelled in the same sport, let alone the same ballpark, '' he.. The food & nutrition Editor of Men ’ s easy to pick studies for... ” St. Pierre says are 6 science-based health benefits you may need to take time to plan meals... Still, most plant proteins are incomplete, meaning that they don ’ t think this is Game Changers makes! Currently arguably the most glaring instance of this is a minor point, but veganism far. $ 3.99 energy and prevent many diseases claim: “ even iceberg lettuce has antioxidants. Nutrients are difficult to get on a presentation of evidence say heavy criticism, the film fails to that. Planning to prevent nutrient deficiencies, especially in children may require meticulous to. The viewer without giving them a full understanding of the often misleading portrayal of `` ''! And junk food ( 36 ) increases the risk of about 6 percent intake may increase your risk... Quite spectacularly reviews of the vegan diet may provide several health benefits, the film later implies and! 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