If you're looking to take control of your health and adopt a better diet, there's few better ways to learn than watching a doco. They're inspiring, usually well researched and they take less than two hours to consume.
I love recommending these to family and friends as a launching pad.
Number two on this list changed my life back in 2011. Completely altered my diet from the moment I stopped watching, and led me down the path of opening a health food cafe and starting this website.
If documentaries can do that for me, I'm hoping that can have similar impacts on everyone else.
So flick on Netflix, make yourself some healthy popcorn and let the education begin...
Top 10 Life-Changing Docos You Have To See
10. Super Size Me
It might be a little dated to bash McDonald's. We all know Ronald is selling sugar and sickness. But this internationally acclaimed doco changed the game. Both the film game and the food game.
Morgan Spurlock showed the world just how bad fast food is for our health. And in doing so he started this wave of health conscious documentaries. I bet some of the movies on this list wouldn't even exist if it wasn't for Spurlock releasing this in 2004.
Super Size Me is on Amazon.
9. May I Be Frank
Big Frank from Brooklyn heads to California to have his life changed by the guys from Cafe Gratitude.
What makes this overweight and sick transition so enjoyable is that Frank is hilarious and raw. The film is emotional, educational and entertaining. Great behind the scenes footage of someone changing their life through food.
May I Be Frank is on Amazon.
8. Hungry For Change
"We are not eating food any more. We are eating food like products."
This documentary, shot by the same Australian team that made Food Matters (#5 on the list), looks at the diet industry, our sugar consumption and the insincere marketing of food. Dieting is unsuccessful for a reason. Watch this movie to learn lifestyle habits that will help you lose weight and become sustainably healthier.
7. Fed Up
This film shows the influence that big businesses have on government and how that trickles down to what foods are available.
Even Michelle Obama does a strange backflip after trying to take on the big food companies. She's goes from trying to change the food culture in schools to preaching the usual saviour "exercise more".
I didn't used to be a big business cynic but documentaries like this open your eyes to how powerful the 1% are. Simply, food companies like Nestle are as powerful as any institution you'll find.
So this movie is as much anti-fast food as it is anti-government. Check out our full review on Katie Couric's bone rattler.
Fed Up is on Netflix or Amazon.
6. Forks Over Knives
Diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer are all growing at an alarming rate because of our western diet. Processed foods and excessive animal protein are why we are sick. These poor choices cost the world billions of dollars in medical bills.
The solution is shockingly simple. Eat a plant based diet. Prevent and reverse disease. Take responsibility for your health.
Forks Over Knives is on Netflix or Amazon.
5. Food Matters
"We're poisoning ourselves with highly processed, nutrient depleted foods."
Before Forks Over Knives was Food Matters. This Australian produced movie brilliantly shows the connection between diet and sickness. We can't rely on pharmaceutical companies or magic bullets. Your health is directly controlled by what you put in your mouth. You can absolutely prevent, and even reverse, chronic disease by eating healthily. Food matters.
As the title suggests, this movie addresses the global beef and dairy industry. Specifically, what impact all these four legged animals have on our planet. This film brings serious awareness to the sustainability crisis that we're not even aware of. Famous non-profit organisations are also exposed for not bringing this to our attention.
You'll want to go vegan after this but don't be scared by the challenge. Cowspiracy is an absolute must watch.
Read our full review of Cowspiracy.
Cowspiracy is on Netflix or bought off Amazon.
3. Food, Inc.
One of the most famous on this list. And for good reason. Another absolute game-changing documentary featuring all of the biggest names in the industry, including our favourite, Michael Pollan.
This 2008 film connects the dots between big business and government, farmers and consumers, convenience eating and sickness. Food, Inc. is confronting but also inspirational. We have the power, as consumers, to see better food choices.
Food Inc. is on Amazon.
2. Fat Sick & Nearly Dead
Joe Cross' documentary has changed lives, especially ours. We give him a lot of the credit for the cold pressed juice wave that has taken over every major city in the world. However, more than that, his documentary shows the simple power of vegetables. They cure sickness. The human body runs on colourful plants. It does. If you don't like their taste, cold press them into a juice or blend them into a smoothie. Eventually the good will overtake the bad and you'll be eating greens every day.
You won't be sick, you'll look younger and you'll have the energy to make sh*t happen. At least that has been our experience. Joe Cross' documentary led us to opening our own organic food and juice shop. We went from $1 slice pizzas, PBRs and huge bowls of cheap cereal to putting our life savings into an organic food and juice shop.
Please watch these films if you haven't already. And please show them to friends of yours that are less nutritionally educated. These 90 minute documentaries are some of the best education tools we have.
Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead is on Netflix or bought off Amazon.
1. What The Health
I'm hesitate to give What The Health (WTH) the top spot because it's the most recent film on this list. Recency bias could be in full effect.
However, after Joe Cross, this film has had the biggest impact on me. It took my plant-based game to the next level.
I'm convinced that are predominately vegan diet is what we are biologically supposed to eat. As the film shows, do we have sharp fangs and short digestive tracks like carnivorous animals? No. Can we sustainably source grass fed / organic proteins? No. Just because we can eat animals with the tap of our credit card doesn't mean we're supposed to eat it with every meal. Or even every day.
This film is the future. It might take 50 years for government recommendations to mirror this movie, but it eventually will. However, I'm not waiting. And you shouldn't either.
WTH is on Netflix or bought off Amazon.
Until then, set 90 minute aside to watch those authors, and others experts, speak on these documentaries. They'll educate you, entertain you and inspire you.
Any time my diet is going off track I re-watch one of these. My knowledge and determination goes through the roof and I become the healthiest version of myself.