Despite the caloric density of both nuts and dried fruit, they do not appear to lead to the expected weight gain.
Dried fruits are calorically dense. Should we be concerned that eating dried fruit may make us fat? You may have noticed in the conclusion of the fig study I covered that adding 14 figs to people's daily diets did not lead to significant weight gain. Wait a second. That's 300 calories of figs a day. Over 5 weeks that's 10,000 calories. Did they disappear into thin air, no, figs are so packed with fiber and satiating, that even without trying people just ended up eating less of other foods throughout the day. I get full just thinking about eating 14 figs a day. Was this just a fluke, though? Let's look at those other new studies. What about adding three quarters of a cup of dried apples to your diet every day for a year? 200 extra calories a day, but no significant change in weight. 200 extra calories of prunes a day for a year? No significant change in weight and same thing with a month of a daily 300 calorie load of dates. In general, the 5-10% of Americans that average a tablespoon or more of dried fruit a day tends to be less overweight, less obese, have a slimmer waist and less abdominal obesity. They tended to eat more, but weighed less. Similar findings were found for those that eat nuts and nut butters, lower body mass index, slimmer waist and significantly less overweight and obesity. I've already explored the potential mechanisms, nuts are filling, many boost metabolism, and we may end up flushing down some of their fat. What if you put them both together? What would be the effect of adding daily fruit and nut bars on top of one's regular diet for two months? Took about a hundred folks who were overweight, randomized into two groups. Half ate their regular diet, and the other half ate their regular diet plus two fruit and nut bars a day, totally an extra 340 calories. But these weren't candy calories; these were largely whole plant food calories, dried fruits and nuts. Two daily fruit and nut bars for two months did not cause weight gain. And they had added sugar in them. Maybe that's why cholesterol didn't get better despite the nuts, which should have helped. Recipes with less sugar might be expected to improve lipid profiles. So I'd recommend these kinds of brands instead. Or, even cheaper, just eat some dried fruits and nuts on their own.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Jonathan Hodgson.
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The video documenting similar findings in nuts and nut butters is here: Nuts and Obesity: The Weight of Evidence and the mechanisms are summarized in Solving the Mystery of the Missing Calories and explored further in:
What's the problem with eating added sugars? Besides all the empty calories, it can lead to the formation of excess uric acid in the body (Flesh and Fructose).
If you missed my last two videos on dried fruit, check out Dried Apples, Dates, Figs or Prunes for Cholesterol? and Prunes vs. Metamucil vs. Vegan Diet. One more coming up, Raisins vs. Jelly Beans for Athletic Performance.
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