Donal O’Neill takes on the ‘Cereal Killers’

April 7, 2014

Newry man Donal O’Neill is carving out a name for himself in diet and nutrition circles following the release of his groundbreaking documentary film, ‘Cereal Killers’, which premiered in London last month.

The film, which has been seen by worldwide audiences following sell-out tours of Australia, America and South Africa, challenges conventional nutritional advice on lowering fat intake by providing evidence claiming to prove a diet rich in fat is good for your heart.

In 2010 Donal, who is the son of Down GAA All-Ireland winner Kevin O’Neill and nephew of sporting icon, Sean O’Neill, embarked on a personal quest to understand how his fit, healthy and teetotal father could suffer a heart attack and how his sporting legend uncle could be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

The film is the result of three years of research done by the Newry man, who now lives in Cape Town, and it shows the ex-athlete and founder of the GAA Players’ Association turning conventional advice on its head by following a 70% fat diet to explore the relationship between fat intake and metabolic syndrome.

During the one-month challenge to cut out carbohydrates in the form of wheat and sugar, Donal  consumed around 20 to 25 eggs a day and 100,000 calories in total. His secret weapon during the diet was Macadamia nuts, which are 80% fat and accounted for 30% of his diet.  He also got through 500g of meat per day.

The diet was carried out under the medical supervision of South African sports scientist and professor at Cape Town University, Dr Tim Noakes and at the end of the month long fat diet O’Neill not only lost weight, but he also enjoyed increased energy levels and the diet improved his overall athletic performance. One of the key findings was the rise in his “good” cholesterol which helps reduce inflammation, another risk factor of chronic heart disease.

O’Neill’s vindication of a high fat diet has won him many supporters and medical backing worldwide. He believes the benefits of reducing carbs and sugar cannot be more clear from the documentary and pledges to take his fight to the big cereal businesses in an effort to expose the “shocking” amount of hidden sugar in popular cereals touted as healthy and nutritious.

The documentary premieres in India next and Donal admits that, as the medical field in his native country seem reluctant to support his message, there are no plans for an Irish screening anytime soon. To check out the movie for yourself visit

To show your support for Donal’s nutritional campaign, follow him on twitter – @CerealKillers13 or on facebook CerealKillersMovie.