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Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  5,725 Ratings  ·  391 Reviews
The #1 New York Times bestseller answers: What if one simple change could save you from heart disease, diabetes, and cancer?

For decades, that question has fascinated a small circle of impassioned doctors and researchers—and now, their life-changing research is making headlines in the hit documentary Forks Over Knives. Their answer? Eat a whole-foods, plant-based diet—it c
Paperback, 214 pages
Published June 28th 2011 by The Experiment (first published June 7th 2011)
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Jun 15, 2012 rated it liked it
THIS IS ONE OCCASION IN WHICH THE MOVIE IS BETTER THAN THE BOOK!!! PLEASE WATCH IT!! The book is pretty good for recipes but it basically is just a summary of the movie. The movie, on the other hand, was totally mind blowing. I am a registered nurse and I see first-hand what obesity & poor diet do to people.

I have been a lacto-ovo vegetarian for 15 years but started to eat seafood on occasion because of convenience. Anyway, I started to see myself suddenly gain weight & thought it was
Sarah Long
Feb 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
So much controversy over this book...
Jones and I saw the movie on the recommendation of a friend. We thought it was worth trying, mainly because we have become aware over the years of how adulterated our food supply has become and how drastically our food choices affect how we feel. For years we have slowly been moving in this direction...away from processed crap foods, sugar, fried foods, etc and towards clean, organic foods. Our goals have been an improved quality of life and management of Jon
Jun 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this is the only time in my life that I will ever say to just watch the movie.
Jul 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
I get it. Eat plants not animals. At the basic level it all makes sense, it seems so damn simple. This book is not only bias but also reads of peta like propaganda. I do agree the way we treat animals is wrong, and at times down right criminal, I do not agree that human beings are made herbivores. We are omnivores, canine teeth and all. The problem is the way in which the masses get their food, they way we abuse our power of being the earths caretaker.
This book give a LOT of information but not
Jan 21, 2012 rated it liked it
If you've read any other vegan book in your life you won't learn anything new here. It's rehash. It's good information, but rehash to seasoned vegans nonetheless.

And, I really hate to say this, but I actually think Forks Over Knives might ultimately turn more people off than create new converts.

Don't get me wrong. I agree with what they are saying, and their philosophy on how to live is in line with what most of us vegans believe in. But what this book recommends is an extreme form of the lifes
Kristle Dayton
Mar 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I netflixed the documentary and and I just had to order the book....The next time someone asks me why I'm a vegetarian/aspiring vegan, I'm just going to tell them to read this book.....fascinating statistics of how animal products are ruining our health and the environment....good stuff =D And you should def check out the documentary too.
Crystal Starr Light
Bullet Review:

I watched the documentary; I thought it was brilliant. I read this; I think I am brilliant.

Where is the science? Where is the bibliography, the facts, more than just two scientists' opinion about this way of life? (And MacDougall - really? The dude profits off his program!)

This felt like having Jehovah's Witnesses or Mormons coming to my door telling me how wonderful their life is and how if I JUST accepted their elixir, all my cures would go away. Or those people JP Sears jokes a
Jul 04, 2012 rated it liked it
I am changing my review today because I've spent the last four years studying the science of a whole-food plant based diet. My original review defended continuing to eat a little meat, but I know now, based on thousands of studies, that this view is incorrect. Meat (in all its forms, including dairy, eggs, fish, fowl, and mammals), and chemical-filled processed foods, cause most of the problems of our modern American poor health, including high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, s ...more
Ivonne Rovira
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ivonne by: Amazon Daily Deal
Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr. takes the credit for pioneering the movement to embrace a vegan diet of whole, plant-based foods in the mid-2000s. I rather think that the real credit should go to the Moosewood collective (especially Mollie Katzen) and its delicious Moosewood Restaurant cookbook series, the first of which, The Moosewood Cookbook: Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant, Ithaca, New York, first appeared in 1977. (In fairness, Katzen and crew did allow dairy products and eggs.)

That said, l
Feb 07, 2012 rated it did not like it
I understand where the authors and propnants of eating plant based diets are coming from. However, I found this book (2/3 of which are recipes) to be fanatical in their position and less than objective. I do agree that plant-based foods belong in one's diet; and I do agree foods we eat can *contribute* to disease and illness. I also believe in a well balanced diet. I take offense that the authors and supporters take the position that I caused the cancer that invaded my body. I read the studies t ...more
Jan 06, 2013 rated it liked it
I think this book deserves a read for three reasons: the sake of one's health, the sake of animal health, and the sake of our environment.

First, the editor shows how incidences of heart disease and cancer fall upon adoption of a plant-based whole foods diet. I have been eating copious amounts of dairy products - particularly milk, cheese, and yogurt - for much of my life and did not know that casein can lead to cancer and will, henceforth, attempt to reduce my casein intake to the extent possib
Lisa Vegan
May 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone, but especially those open to plant based eating and new vegans
This book is the companion book for the film: Forks Over Knives; it works fine as a standalone book. The film is specifically mentioned in a paragraph at the end of the book and it's clear from the beginning of the book that a documentary film exists. I haven’t seen the film yet, but I do want to see it. I knew about the film long before I knew about this book.

This is an excellent mish mash of various people’s stories of how they came to eat a plant based diet, which I think is very helpful for
May 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is the book that is the companion to the documentary Forks over Knives (available at Netflix). The book did not get 5 stars because it isn't pretty and at points it seems to draw criticism unlike the movie which everyone notes is far better than the book. Still, I liked it and found it interesting. This gives you the research behind why meat has been reported to cause cancer. I didn't believe this when it first came out in the news but after reading the research, I have changed my mind. Mor ...more
Mar 05, 2012 rated it did not like it
I was watching the documentary by the same name. Wow! I was really looking forward to this and thought it would be great to share with my A & P classes. Wow! Yeah, not at all. Thirteen minutes in to the documentary (and I use that term here very loosely), the narrator is discussing that evil molecule: cholesterol. He goes on to say that cholesterol is found in all animals even humans. In humans, it plays a very important role in out cells' walls. WTH!!!! Seriously? Anyone who has paid remote ...more
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I haven’t watched the movie yet, but the book was a fast read with interesting facts and lots of recipes I’m excited to try. It’s probably more helpful for someone new to a plant based diet, but still had information new to me!
Zen Nana
Sep 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've decided to stop reading fiction for a while. I have a pile of books on health and wellness (of the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual kind) patiently waiting for me to read them, so I will. The first one is Forks Over Knives: The How-To Companion to the Feature Documentary Forks Over Knives. I've seen the film. but first I saw Stone on Bill Maher's show, where he made a very convincing case for the vegan life. When Maher asked him to explain the title, his answer was the kind of gran ...more
Miroku Nemeth
Feb 17, 2012 rated it liked it
A companion book to the excellent documentary, the majority of the book is comprised of vegan recipes, though it also contains compelling information on the healthy benefits of a vegan diet and the dangers of the Standard American Diet. I have been following a vegan diet for six or seven months--inspired by my mother's veganism and the veganism of friends as well as reading "The China Study" and viewing "Forks Over Knives." I was raised a vegetarian (ate no meat until I was sixteen), though I at ...more
Mar 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Forks Over Knives companion book does a good job of laying out the argument that the sicknesses that plague modern society stem from our diet laden with process foods and animal products. The book added upon the foundation of the documentary without a lot of repetition, which was nice. Most of my complaints about the book would be critiques of the wholesale claim that humans should never eat any animal products. For example, even the famous casein rat study fluctuated the intake of casein (a ...more
Jamie Roberts
Sep 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is pretty good but the movie is much more detailed. I HIGHLY recommend every American watch the movie or get the digest version from this book. From my personal experience, I can honestly say this theory works 100%. It will save lives and make you a healthier person.

FYI - Forks over Knives the documentary is on Netflix. :)
Jul 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Just finished and after three days I'm beginning to realize just how hard it is to stay away from meat/animal products, since I've managed to eat it at pretty much every meal since finishing the book anyway. It's like I have to make an active, conscious decision to not eat meat 3x a day! So hoping it may help kick start some weight loss if I actually manage to make better eating decisions.
May 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food
It's been a while since I saw the film, so it was good to read a concise overview of the ideas. it's still compelling. The recipes look so tasty and simple that I'm excited about trying them.

I do like to cook and try new things.

Made my first dairy free smoothie today and it was great.
Elizabeth Merchant
Mar 09, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: our-library
Save it for the documentary. Note: The recipe section (most of the book) is a representation from well-known vegan cookbooks.
May 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
The recipes I have tried so far have been incredibly tasty - it makes veganism seem almost attainable (but I am a cheese-a-holic, so I don't see full veganism in the future).
Jul 19, 2017 rated it liked it
I can't realistically eat like this all the time, but I certainly can a good part of the time. Just add a number of vegan meals a week, maybe half or so of the time and I'm sure it will still positively impact health.

I'm looking forward to making thr hearty dal soup and wild rice stuffed squash.
Most of the back of the book is recipes. I also watched the documentary. Very informative!
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Eating more natural foods (i.e. Plant-based) is a healthy way of living, no one will argue that concept. Definitely "food for thought".
Stephanie Douglass
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm so happy there is a book out there with practical plant-based recipes. I knew when I wanted to go towards a vegan diet that I wanted my approach to be more whole-foods based. Reading the first part of this book helped convince me to go for it. I've been a lacto-ovo vegetarian for 11 and a half years and didn't make the switch because "it would be so inconvenient in social situations." Then when I found out my cholesterol was very high, at age 29, I knew that I had to change what I was doing ...more
Jan 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
i was hoping for a technical manual but it's really more like a long magazine article. if you have seen the documentary, you don't really need to see the book, unless you are interested in the recipes, which i am, so i'm only a little disappointed.
having said the above, i will say this; like any other book/movie/program about health and what we eat, there is something of a belief system involved. the fact is that very few "foods" are going to kill you on the spot and the evidence for the danger
Lynn Pribus
Mar 29, 2013 rated it really liked it

Recommended by a woman I met recently, but for me its preaching to the choir. It's about the physical and environmental benefits of becoming vegan. I've been vegan for probably ten years or so. Very strictly at first but now relaxing into just vegetarianaism when out to eat with friends or family.

Has some interesting recipes in the back and I'll probably try a couple, although the Internet is an excellent source for vegan recipes. My husband came home from the store with TWO five-pound bags of
May 21, 2012 rated it liked it
I first heard about this from a friend who said I needed to see the DVD. So I got the DVD and than also found the book at the library. Basically the same info in both.
I'm not one for a totally plant based diet but even for someone that doesn't want to fully cut out meat or diary there is a lot of great information in here. Some is basic stuff that I already know or have heard so it wasn't all that eye opening for me. I have not yet used any of the Recipes in the book, but I did look over them. A
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A graduate of Stanford and Harvard, Gene Stone is a former Peace Corps volunteer, journalist, and book, magazine, and newspaper editor. He has also written or ghost-written forty-five non-fiction books, including a dozen New York Times bestsellers, and a novel, The Awareness. His website is
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“Driving a hybrid car could save about one ton of carbon-dioxide emissions per year but adopting a plant-based diet would save nearly one and a half tons over a comparable period."

"If every American reduced chicken consumption by one meal per week, the carbon-dioxide savings would be equivalent to removing 500,000 cars form the road."

In a given year, "the number of animals killed to satisfy American palates is 8.6 billion, or 29 animals per average American meat eater. The total number of animals killed on land and sea was approximately 80 billion, or 270 per American meat and fish eater - making the average number of animals consumed in one American lifetime 21,000.”
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