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Fat Burning Via Flavonoids

Flavonoid phytonutrients (found concentrated in citrus, berries, red onions, beans, green tea, grapes, and cocoa) may boost metabolism enough to significantly slim one’s waistline.

August 27, 2012 |
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Acknowledgements

Images thanks toTodd Coleman, fortinbras, and paul goyett.

Transcript

What accounts for the thermogenic effect of nuts, their purported ability to boost metabolism such that one could potentially burn more fat just sitting around or sleeping. An explanation for this rise of resting energy expenditure is not obvious.” The Texas A&M folks thought it was the arginine; but others recently suggested it may be a function of the flavonoid phytonutrients in nuts. Based on what kind of evidence? Studies like this

The effects of concord grape juice on appetite, diet, and body weight.” Just like nuts are calorically dense yet don’t seem to cause weight gain, Welch’s was keeping their fingers crossed that the same would be found for purple grape juice.

The had people guzzle down 2 cups a day for three months. Now you got to understand, Welch’s grape juice has more sugar than coca cola. Two cups of purple grape juice contains the equivalent of 20 spoonfuls of sugar. The control group was basically given grape coolaid—a “substitute grape-flavored drink,” exact same number of calories, exact same amount of sugar, but just no detectable phytonutrients.

So at two cups a day they were giving hundreds of extra calories a day to these people, surely after 3 months they’d gain a couple pounds. What do you think they found?

The grape flavored sugar water group did indeed gain a significant amount of weight—how could they not with all that extra sugar in their diet. But the grape juice people didn’t. In fact, are you ready for this? Their waist circumference significantly shrunk. They appeared to burn away significantly more tummy fat—by drinking grape juice! So maybe there is something to the theory put forth by the nut and green tea people that flavonoid phytonutrients are capable of “increasing thermogenesis—heat generation--and fat oxidation.” If true, then it’s just one more reason to eat nuts and drink… green tea, not grape juice. Instead, eat concord grapes.

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 Kerry Skinner.

To help out on the site please email volunteer@nutritionfacts.org

Dr. Michael Greger

Doctor's Note

This completes the seven-part video series on the fascinating phenomenon of Solving the Mystery of the Missing Calories. I started out reviewing the balance of evidence of why nuts don't tend to contribute to weight gain in Nuts and Obesity: The Weight of Evidenceintroduced two theories on Monday, both of which were put to the test in a study on peanut butter Testing the Pistachio Principle. Then came an elegant study using walnut smoothies, followed by the big reveal in Testing the Fat Burning Theory. But why might nuts help you burn more fat? Arginine is one possibility (see Friday's video-of-the-dayFat Burning Via Arginine) and today's flavonoids are another. For more on flavonoid phytonutrients, see my video Phytochemicals: The Nutrition Facts Missing From the Label. For a comparison between fruit juices, see Best Fruit Juice along with a video on putting that knowledge into practice, Pink Juice With Green Foam. Which beverage has the most antioxidants, though? See Better Than Green Tea. And what about juiced vegetables such as carrots and beets? See Benzene in Carrot Juice and an entire series starting with Doping With Beet Juice. And for more on the wonders of concord grapes (yum!), see Repairing DNA Damage and Plant-Based Diets and Cellular Stress Defenses. If you haven't yet, please feel free to subscribe for free to my videos by clicking here.

For some context, please check out my associated blog posts: Nuts Don’t Cause Expected Weight GainIs Caffeinated Tea Really Dehydrating?Burning Fat With FlavonoidsDo Vegans Get More Cavities?, and Flaxseeds for Diabetes

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    This completes the seven-part video series on the fascinating phenomenon of Solving the Mystery of the Missing Calories. I started our reviewing the balance of evidence of why nuts don’t tend to contribute to weight gain in Nuts and Obesity: The Weight of Evidence, introduced two theories on Monday, both of which were put to the test in a study on peanut butter Testing the Pistachio Principle. Then came an elegant study using walnut smoothies, followed by the big reveal in Testing the Fat Burning Theory. But why might nuts help you burn more fat? Arginine is one possibility (see Friday’s video-of-the-day Fat Burning Via Arginine) and today’s flavonoids are another. For more on flavonoid phytonutrients, see my video Phytochemicals: The Nutrition Facts Missing From the Label. For a comparison between fruit juices, see Best Fruit Juice along with a video on putting that knowledge into practice, Pink Juice With Green Foam. Which beverage has the most antioxidants, though? See Better Than Green Tea. And what about juiced vegetables such as carrots and beets? See Benzene in Carrot Juice and an entire series starting with Doping With Beet Juice. And for more on the wonders of concord grapes (yum!), see Repairing DNA Damage and 
    Plant-Based Diets and Cellular Stress Defenses. If you haven’t yet, please feel free to subscribe for free to my videos by clicking here.

    • HemoDynamic, M.D.

      Peel me a grape, crush me some ice,
      Skin me a peach, save the fuzz for my pillow.
      Talk to me nice, talk to me nice,
      You’ve got to wine me and dine me!

      Don’t try to fool me, bejewel me!
      Either amuse me or lose me,
      I’m gettin’ hungry, peel me a grape!

      Lyrics by Dave Frishberg 
      rec by Anita O’Day  ’62

      They knew the power of plants in 1962! Although they should have eaten the skin.
      ;-}

  • LKSkinner

     This is great news. I love it when regular foods, like green tea, grapes and nuts are the heroes of nutrition, not expensive, manufactured pills.
    This must drive the health food manufacturers crazy, or, should I say nuts?

  • http://poxacuatl.wordpress.com/ Strix

    Nice one! This series sort of reminds me of the coconut folks who claim the fat-burning of coconut  oil. I understand coconuts aren’t the most nutrient-dense of fats, and, certainly, the oil isn’t healthful to consume; however, I do think there may be some truth to at least parts of the claims.

    Love the picture of the concords. Those are the best tasting grapes! Gotta go look for some now. Loving all the fruits this month — FIGS too!

    Great series, Dr. G.! Thanks a million ;^)

    • Elvin

      Strix: I wonder if you would be so good as to give a
      direct
      answer to the question asked of you once by April Lillie
      and then by myself on
      page ‘The Best Way to Boost Serotonin’.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nordicrox1822 Rita Butler

    Basically, eating foods that are dark purple, deep red, and deep green (tea) is the key.

    • Valnaples

      “deep green”…=DINO KALE(such a dark green, it’s almost black)?? “deep red”….=cranberries?  just throwing other possibilities in there.  thank ya!

  • Spam Guard

    This is spam

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/ Michael Greger M.D.

      Thank you Spam Guard–removed!

  • Taranis

    The latest fat burning food appears to be green coffee. Is there any truth to this? If so could it also be due to flavonoids?

  • Real World Vegan

    your concord grape juice link appears to be broken dr greger. every study ive reviewed that shows statistically significant benefit to plant pigments was from highly concentrated supplements & not whole food. [i dont find any whole food studies with this video either]. & tho it cant be dismissed altogether without review, the study was funded by welches and appears to be the only study of its kind showing benefit which makes it even more questionable.

    i luv nuts but the argument is a little specious considering theyre so high in fat. fat is great at producing satiety since the stomach has to wait for the bile action before it can fully empty.