10 On-demand healthy documentaries to watch this weekend
We figure you're technically not a couch potato if what you're watching is informative, inspiring and can help to motivate you to make healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle. Whether you have an Amazon Instant Video or Netflix subscription, we've found 17 of the best shows, documentaries and films to watch if you want to find out what's really going on with your food or be inspired to change the way you live.
#1. Hungry for Change - 2012
Looking for a documentary which exposes the industry's secrets about diet and weight loss? Then check out Hungry for Change on Netflix. Uncovering industry secrets about healthy eating and what's really in your food - there's an interesting section on monosodium glutamate and what it can do to your brain - this documentary is packed with tips like reducing your red meat intake and staying away from highly processed foods; all sound advice.
#2. Forks Over Knives - 2011
This compelling documentary (available now on Netflix) looks at how we have come to rely heavily on processed foods as part of our daily diets. Two scientists examine how degenerative diseases such as obesity and diabetes can be controlled or reversed by avoiding these processed and animal-based foods. With heart disease, cancer and stroke the three leading causes of death, Forks Over Knives looks at groundbreaking studies by Dr T Colin Campbell and Dr Caldwell Esselstyn into the effect of a whole food, plant-based diet on degenerative diseases.
#3. Vegucated - 2010
Head to Netflix if you've ever tried a vegan diet, if the idea of avoiding animal-based products appeals to you, or if you've ever wondered, "How can people do that?" Vegucated follows the lives of three New Yorkers who are into their cheese and meat, as they adopt a vegan diet for 6 weeks. Inspiring, informative and who knows, it may make you try a vegan lifestyle for yourself - or it could leave you craving a burger.
#4. Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead - 2010
Check out this inspiring film on Netflix, which looks at the life of Joe Cross, a 41-year-old Australian suffering from a rare autoimmune disease, obesity and a host of other ailments. Joe decides to radically change his eating habits with a 60-day juice fast and documents his journey on film as he adopts a micro-nutrient based diet packed with plant products, in a country where processed foods are found everywhere. This is guaranteed to make you think about whether or not you should be eating that ready meal!
#5. Food, Inc - 2008
America's corporate controlled food industry can be a dark, frightening sector - extreme changes have taken place in the last 50 years. If you want a 'no-holds-barred' look at the production processes used globally today (and you have a strong stomach) to bring food to your table, check this out.
#6. Super Size Me - 2004
Streaming on Amazon Instant Video and Netflix, if you missed Morgan Spurlock's legendary documentary back in 2004, you can catch it now. This documentary finds out what happens when Morgan eats nothing but McDonald's for a month. It's pretty scary stuff to watch, and it could stop you reaching for a takeaway. If you get a burger craving, why not check out our cracking burger recipe instead?
#7. More Than Honey - 2012
If you're a fan of honey (who isn't?) or fascinated by bees, or are just looking for something compelling to watch, we recommend More Than Honey on Netflix. Why are the world's bees slowly disappearing? Did you know that one-third of the food we eat wouldn't even exist without bees? These are just a couple of the questions asked, and answered, by this award-winning documentary. Is there truth in the Albert Einstein quote, "If bees were to disappear from the globe, mankind would only have 4 years left to live"?
#8. Tapped - 2009
Do you drink bottled water regularly? Ever stop to think about its impact, not only on our health but on pollution and climate change? You will once you watch Tapped. You'll hear many different arguments as to why bottled water is bad, from chemical and plastic pollution to water privatisation issues. A fascinating weekend watch that will give you plenty to think about next time you reach for that vitamin water...
#9. The Genetic Chile - 2010
The debate about GM foods is still raging, and whether you believe they're harmful or are on the fence, this documentary is a must-see. New Mexico's iconic chile pepper has long been considered a sacred plant, so why did the State of New Mexico agree to controversially fund research to produce a GMO chile? Packed with information about the harmful effects of GMO technology and an interview with a genetic researcher at NMSU, this eye-opening film is definitely worth a watch and will leave you equipped with the knowledge to decide about GM crops for yourself.
#10. Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days - 2009
Can diabetes be reversed by diet? That's the question that this documentary sets out to answer. Holistic medical doctor Dr Gabriel Cousins challenges 6 Americans diagnosed with diabetes to adopt an organic, raw, vegan diet that's free from meat, dairy, alcohol, sugar and the processed food we have come to depend on. Prepare to find out the true impact that a healthy diet and clean eating can have on your body from the inside out - can a disease be cured using raw plant food?
These documentaries are guaranteed to leave you thinking and questioning your own shopping habits, diet and lifestyle - and that can only be a good thing. We believe that being informed is the first step to making changes to the way you eat, so check out some of these documentaries and the many others available on-demand and make your sofa-time educational this weekend!