Doctor's Note

My video documenting similar findings with regard to nuts and nut butters is Nuts and Obesity: The Weight of Evidence. The mechanisms involved are summarized in Solving the Mystery of the Missing Calories, and explored further in:

What’s the problem with eating added sugar? Besides all the empty calories, it can lead to the formation of excess uric acid in the body (see 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. I have one more coming up: Raisins vs. Jelly Beans for Athletic Performance.

For further context, refer to these associated blog posts: Best Dried Fruit For CholesterolThe Best Nutrition Bar; and Raisins vs. Energy Gels for Athletic Performance.

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  • Howdy Dr,

    Love your videos, I recently heard about soaking/sproating nuts and seeds to increase the bio-availability of their nutrients and also decrease their natural anti nutrients. Have you come across many studies on this topic?
    would love to hear your thoughts :)

  • Diane McLean

    Thank you for the daily nutrition update. I truly appreciate your assistance in helping improve my health while advocating a plant-based diet.

  • dimqua

    Dr. Greger,

    Are there any foods that you would recommend for healthy weight gain?

    • Jordan Bray

      Ditto that! Since going vegan 2+ years ago, I feel great. But a bit too ‘delicate’ and ‘boney’ compared to my meat-eating self. Only a small problem to have in exchange for good health? Or can I gain some weight back on plant foods and still be really healthy?

      • Rafal

        Beans are a great way to gain weight, lots of protein and calories. Sweet potaotes as well or any kind of potatoes

    • The easiest way to gain weight on any diet is to simply eat too many calories. I am a 26 year old male, became vegan one year ago. I weighed 132lbs and really didn’t want to go lower than that. I did though, 6 months in I was 128lbs and was having a really hard time putting any of it back on. One month ago I started using to track my caloric intake. You get a feel really fast as to which foods are contributing the most calories and even without putting in any thought, you naturally start choosing more of the dense foods over the light ones if that’s your goal. You learn to eat e bit more even if you’re not really hungry and your body slowly gets used to it. The goal is to try to add an extra 250 calories per day in order to gain half a pound per week. Easy peasy.

      I am now 135lbs and feeling really confident about being able to keep this up. I also exercise about 20 minutes each morning and ride my bike everywhere. You don’t want all those extra calories ending up in belly fat :)

  • This is really interesting to me. I’m curious if more studies would continue to support this idea. Certainly dried fruits and nuts are healthy calorie-dense foods but it seems unlikely that the high calorie content wouldn’t have any effect on weight somewhere along the line.

  • Tom

    I am curious about the details of this study. I recall one of the nut studies Jeff Nelson let us know that the subjects were calorie restricted and that is why the addition of the nuts did not cause weight gain. They just kept modifying calorie intake to maintain weight. So Im curious who funded this study? (Larabar?) Who wrote up the article (corporation vs researcher)? And what was the diet and calorie content of the subjects?

    • Thea

      Tom: check out the “sources sited” section. It is collapsed by default. But if you click on the words to open the section, you will see that Dr. Greger gives you links so that you can follow up on details about studies that he references.

  • chrystea

    But does it inhibit weight/fat loss?

  • Vegan Heart Surgeon
    • dorange

      Second one is very intriguing… really!

      • Wilma Laura Wiggins

        The reason for the lack of health (cvd) results in that study is most likely due to the fat component being too high. Even though they reduced fat to 20%, that is about twice as high as it should be.

  • Junes

    Hello Dr Greger, The apricots on you photo is orange

    Dried apricots have actually 3 types:

    Sulphured dried apricots (Orange color)

    Natural dried apricots (Dark brown color)

    Most common type of dried apricots are sulphur treated ones, which is applied before sun drying so it keeps the fresh color. The more you apply sulphur, dried apricots get brighter. Treating apricots with sulphur increase the shelf life, while making it’s taste worse (in my own opinion).

    Sulphur usage rate on dried apricots for Europe Union countries are 2000 ppm and for United States it is limited to 3000 ppm (brighter).

    Many people don’t know about that, but if you just lay apricots under the sun for drying without sulphur, color will get dark.

    Natural Dried Apricots are sweeter and have better taste because you don’t get the sulphur taste.

  • Ilana

    What is your response to the other well-known vegan drs like McDougall and Essylstein who arduously advocate against all fat – even nuts and avocado. They have science, you have science – what do you think?

  • John Weissman

    What does all that sugar do to insulin level? Fiber isn’t always, if it ever is, the saving grace regarding insulin.

  • bluecat

    What’s up with his weird speech pattern? The veeerrrryyyyyy strange way he draaaaaaws out words in an extremely annoying waaaaaay in a halting & unusually odd style????

    • pretzel

      I like it!

    • ann

      glad to know i am not the only one bothered by this weird speech pattern delivery…aactually makes it hard to follow and understand! thanks for voicing your thoughts.

  • zandyzalper

    1:30 says “fried fruit”

  • Daniel

    Doctor, is it okay to consume large quantities of dried fruit as I could fresh fruit? If not so well, then what is the problem/issue, and how may I prepare dried fruit to consume it similarly?

    • It is easier to eat more calories of dried fruit than fresh fruit as they are more calorie dense. Generally eating fruits is not a problem. They contain fiber, phytonutrients, sugar, fructose and glucose. Some folks will experience a rise in triglycerides and/or cholesterol when consuming alot of fruit. So some caution is in order. It depends on what your goals are and how you react to the amount of dried fruit plus other lifestyle habits such as exercise… progressive weight training vs. aerobic. In general restricting fruit intake to about 4-5 servings per day is well tolerated. Some patients need to cut back others can get away with more. I don’t think there is a “right” answer to your question. Working with your health care provider who is knowledgeable about plant based nutrition might be something you should consider. d

  • Annette

    What about dehydrated and/or freeze-dried fruit and veggies? I’m curious about the nutritional profile of these foods and I can’t find a video on your site that covers these topics. Thanks! LOVE LOVE LOVE this website.

  • Velk

    Dr. I am a vegan and occasionally I have a Quest bar (protein bar). The company claims that these are high fiber/high protein bars with very little sugar. Have you heard anything regarding these bars as I somtimes need to supplement when I am too busy.

  • This is the wrong model.

    You need to add ad libitum of these foods, and check the results.

  • Sergiu

    Is there any known study regarding what would be the best fat:carbohidrate ratio per 100g of product to promote maximum weight gain in humans? I would assume farmers already know these ratios for different animals.

    • Wade Patton

      Farmers load the animals full of antibiotics as a method of promoting weight gain, and also to offset horrid conditions. The “Hungry for Change” movie asserts that lab mice/rats are made fat by feeding them MSG.

      As far as humans go- who needs a study? Just follow the thunderous herd to the nearest dipped-in-oil-and-coated-with-sugar-meaty-mishmash of junk sold to us with smiles and slogans and coupons from every nook and corner of society. Also get a diet soda in a cup the size of a waste basket. Analyze it.

  • Wade Patton

    Those Kind bars are so absolutely awesome for a cellophane wrapped product, but I they don’t fit my current budget at all. Nuts!

    • Wade Patton

      Hey anybody have a good roll-your-own fruit and nut bar recipe? I’m about to experiment with dates, rolled oats, flaxseed, walnuts, pepitas, and spices. Have super-blender, but also want to keep some chunkiness to them. Won’t use oil or sugar.

      • Wilma Laura Wiggins

        I am not such a big fan of reinventing the wheel. Look for recipes on the web before tweaking to suit yourself.

    • S Slavin

      Some of the flavors are something like $14 per box of 12 on Amazon which works out to not so bad if you can get free shipping.

      • Wade Patton

        Thankfully the convenience markets have picked up the line around here. I never thought that would happen, so I buy one or two each week to help them stay on the shelves. I’d LOVE to develop my own recipe for making them at home. Anybody get me started?

  • Science Based Diet

    Sorry, but this a load of crap! 330kcal of dry fruits sound a lot , especially when Dr michael greger says it with his dramatic voice,and i quote “Wait a minute that 330kcal/day”, so what? it less than 100g dry fruits! not even 100g! it’s not a lot at all!

    Considering the fact, that calorie dense food are addictive, especially sweet food like dry fruits, many can’t control themselves and eats much much more than lame amount of 100g dry fruits. So don’t tell me that dry fruits or nuts don’t contributes to weight gain because this is nonsense.