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06 Feb, 2024

Our takeaway from Netflix's doc: You are What You Eat

If you haven’t heard of the new cutting edge Netflix doc ‘You Are What You Eat’, here’s a little rundown. The doc captures the experiment that evaluates the health outcomes related to the diets of identical twins over 8 weeks. One twin is assigned an omnivorous diet and the other twin is assigned a vegan diet. For the first 4 weeks, the twins are offered prepared meals and for the last 4, they are required to cook for themselves keeping to their assigned diets.


Key findings:

  1. After 8 weeks, the twin on the vegan diet lost an average of 4.2 more pounds than their omnivorous partner and their LDL cholesterol levels were significantly lower by the first 4 weeks.
  2. The vegan twin proved that their fasting insulin levels dropped 20%, providing a much lower risk in developing diabetes.
  3. The vegan twin’s microbiome was in much better shape (specifically, they had more of the beneficial gut bacteria, Bifidobacterium).
  4. The vegan twin’s visceral fat - that dangerous fat that surrounds our vital organs - was significantly less.
  5. At the end of the study the vegan twin was 'biologically younger' than their counterpart, providing evidence that plants can reverse cellular aging. The food we consume can influence our genetic expression, either activating genes related to longevity or suppressing genes related to disease.

Verdict: A healthy plant-based diet has ‘significant protective cardiometabolic advantage compared with a healthy omnivorous diet’.

Yes to plants:

Why plants are the powerhouses to optimum health:

  • Abundant in fibre and polyphenols crucial for optimal gut health, digestion, enhanced mood, metabolism, overall wellbeing
  • Fibre and antioxidants can target and shrink visceral fat deposits leading to healthier organs and less inflammation
  • Rich in beneficial nutrients that prioritise superior genes associated with longevity

Disclaimer: The experiment was a very small and imbalanced sample size and therefore will not be representative of the global population. It was also created by the same people that made 'Game Changers', with an existing bias towards plant-based diets. Furthermore, there hasn't seemed to be a follow-up. It's important to view shows such as this with a critical lens.

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We are on a mission to show how easy and enjoyable plant-based eating can be. Whether you want to cut out meat, reduce meat or simply increase your plant intake, our Plant Plan is a good place to start.

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