Doctor's Note

Note: I updated the video on August 25, 2012. I am indebted to Jeff Nelson for pointing out my mischaracterization of the 2007 Natoli & McCoy review. I've not only corrected the video, but expanded it (by 8 minutes!) to cover all of the studies published in the 5 years since. The evidence is stronger than ever that the consumption of nuts does not lead to the weight gain one would expect.

How is it possible that adding all those calories to one's diet doesn't lead to weight gain? Doesn't this violate some pesky law of physical universe (the first law of thermodynamics)? That's the subject of Monday's video-of-the-day Solving the Mystery of the Missing Calories. There definitely are foods linked to weight gain, see Does Eating Obesity Cause Obesity? and Waistline Expanding Food, for example. I give a summary of obesity in the diabetes section of my full-lengthUprooting the Leading Causes of Death as well. For more insight from the Harvard Nurses Health Study see What Women Should Eat to Live LongerSkim Milk and AcneHarvard's Meat and Mortality Studies, and Meat Hormones & Female Infertility.

For some more context, please check out my associated blog posts: Nuts Don’t Cause Expected Weight GainPlant-Based Diets for Rheumatoid ArthritisGo Nuts for Breast Cancer Prevention, and The Best Nutrition Bar

If you haven't yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

 

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    How is it possible that adding all those calories to one’s diet doesn’t lead to weight gain? Doesn’t this violate some pesky law of physical universe (the first law of thermodynamics)? That’s the subject of Monday’s video-of-the-day Solving the Mystery of the Missing Calories. There definitely are foods linked to weight gain, see Does Eating Obesity Cause Obesity? and Waistline Expanding Food, for example. I give a summary of obesity in the diabetes section of my full-length Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death as well. For more insight from the Harvard Nurses Health Study see What Women Should Eat to Live Longer, Skim Milk and Acne, Harvard’s Meat and Mortality Studies, and Meat Hormones & Female Infertility. If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

    • SJ M.D.

      Michael,
      If you keep making these very great, informative, scientific and eloquent videos, I imagine you will be met with a public demand to post a video every day! 7 days a week. 365 days a year. :-)

    • Elderberry

      Dr. Greger, thank you for referencing one of your previous videos, “Does Eating Obesity Cause Obesity.” This has to be one of the most fascinating studies I’ve ever seen. Researchers at the Institute of Brain Chemistry link the consumption of (organically raised) chickens to the rise of brain disorders and human mental illness. I’m passing it on to my chicken eating friends who are convinced they are eating healthy. Many thanks for everything you do. 

    • Veganrunner

      You deserve a raise! I am speechless.

    • WholeFoodChomper

      Thank you for up-dating the video!  I’m so happy that I/we have NF to turn to for reliable and accurate nutrition information. Knowing that you will make the additional effort to up-date the information in the videos when (serious) discrepancies in the data exist, really makes me feel confident in NF as a top-notch nutrition source. I’m grateful everyday for my daily (minus weekends) dose of NF.

  • April Lillie

    I gotta wait for Monday to find out!! Not fair!

    • WholeFoodChomper

      I agree. It’s nut fair! ;-)

      • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

        Hehe

  • Speaktothewind

    Sure, people will lose weight by consuming nuts, but i’m guessing only when they trade something else out of their diet.  Those who already consume an excellent diet, would not reap the same weight loss, or cholesterol lowering effects.
    I’m looking forward to tomorrows vid.

    • Shelly C

       I couldn’t agree with you more. In fact, nuts might even cause a weight gain, as they did in my case.

      • Nita

        In my case,, weight gain as well. When I became mostly vegan 6 weeks ago, I increased my nut consumption and gained 2 pounds so far. I started cutting them back yesterday.

  • Elderberry

    Love these weekend cliffhangers! My experience also is that eating small amounts of seeds and nuts regularly helps to maintain ideal body weight and balance. I eat seeds and nuts with nearly every meal (very healthy vegan, no processed oils or sugar), both because it helps me to absorb nutrients from all the vegetables I eat and because it makes salads and vegetables taste even better. It helps me to absorb nutrients, to stay slim while eating my full of delicious food, and it certainly got the sugar monkey or off my back once and for all. Wish I had an explanation for how seeds and nuts apparently help to stop sugar cravings and maintain hormonal balance. 

    • Thea

       Elderberry:  Thanks for sharing your experience. 

      I have a question for you concerning “no processed … sugar”.  I wonder how far you take it.  For example, last night I made myself a wonderful Orange Glaze Tofu dish.  The dish called for .25 cups of orange marmalade.  Of course, orange marmalade has lots and lots of sugar in it.  In fact, sugar was the first and third ingredients in the product I bought.  That amount of marmalade and thus sugar in the dish doesn’t bother me too much as I was getting lots of great food: tofu, mushrooms, broccoli and beans.  I also skipped the oil saute in favor of water saute.  There was no processed oil in the dish.

      The point is: I’m curious if when you say that you eat no processed sugar if it means that you would not make the Orange Glaze Tofu dish.  I’m wondering what people really mean when they say “healthy vegan”.  I consider myself to be a marginally healthy vegan, but a million times healthier compared most Americans.  I wonder how much farther I should take it.  Just looking for one more opinion.

      Thanks in advance if you have time to clarify.

      • Veganrunner

        Hi Thea,

        Hope you dont mind more input. I don’t use any sugar so no I would not have used the marmalade. But maybe I am a bit obsessive?

        • Thea

           Veganrunner:  I appreciate your input too.  I find the various diets people choose to be very interesting.  Thanks.

          • SJ M.D.

            Thea,

            Very good question. My opinion is, that if you really want to be healthy, and reduce your risk as much as possible to get sick from stroke, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, inflammatory disease etc, the solution is a low fat (meaning no processed oils), vegan diet (whole foods, plant based), no processed s..t and no refined sugar.

            Problem: You gotta be “hardcore” to do this – I think Veganrunner is! (respect!) –  but your diet (I have followed you for several months on this site) sounds 10000 times better than the SAD (and european), so if it is impossible to get rid of the little bit of refined suger or fats, I think you are ralative “safe”.

            In my opinion – if heart disease is an issue – fat is the culprit – stay well below 20% (energy).

          • Thea

             SJ M.D.: Your answer is really helpful! 

            I was thinking about it some more too.  I followed the recipe for making the tofu, but then I combined it with all those other foods.  By the time I was done, I had 6 generous portions.  So, that .25 cup of marmalade is spread out quite a bit, and the dish was delish!  So, while the marmalade may not be ideal, it doesn’t seem so bad to me either.  Sounds like you pretty much agree.

            I also want to brag and tell people that I followed Dr. Greger’s recommendation on letting the chopped broccoli sit for 40 minutes before cooking it.  If someone hasn’t seen NutritionFacts’ series on broccoli, I recommend checking it out.  So, so interesting!

            FYI: I have been following your comments too.  You are such a great addition to this site.

          • SJ M.D.

            Agree.

          • Veganrunner

            Well thank you Dr SJ, I registered finally on the website so I thought I would get serious with my user name! :-) anyhow I am the one with two new eardrums (autoimmune disease) so i am motivated. On my birthday I have cloudless chocolate cake. Yum!

          • Veganrunner

            Flourless

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

             I like the sound of cloudless better ;^)

          • Ursula2007

            Aw, darn! I was looking forward to your recipe for cloudless chocolate cake!

        • SJ M.D.

          Veganrunner,

          You are not obsessive – you are just a health conscious person (can you say that in english?).

          Do you rember when someone tried to invent the term “orthorexia”, to invent a disease, describing a person who eat very healthy (probably aiming at low fat, whole foods, plant based diet), combined with exercise, probably hoping to invent a pill (or therapy) to cure this terrible disease of not eating the way real americans (and europeans) do.

          Bottom line: It was nearly a disease NOT to get a stroke or a heart attack – the world is crazy….

          • Veganrunner

            I went to my ear surgeon last month. He said they are “the best they have ever looked.”.

            Food heals!

          • SJ M.D.

            Yes – low fat, whole foods, plant based diet heals and prevents many diseases – and you are a living proof – thanks for sharing.

          • http://www.nutrientrich.com/ Jam

             Great point SJ. Eating a whole foods plant based nutrient rich diet, is a whole new level for anyone eating the SAD, for weight loss only, or a half baked healthier diet.

            A healthy eating style is so far out side the realm of most people because they eat so nutrient poor. But you are likely right on, she is not obsessive, and is just conscious.

            Nutritional research like this is helping us healthy eaters tweak the way we eat and validate the way we eat, but it’s hardly obsessive. ;-) like your posts. 

          • SJ M.D.

            Jam,
            and the first question you get, when you say that you don`t eat meat, is – from where do you get your protein?

            To judge from your picture – you don`t have a protein deficiency ;-)

      • LynnCS

        Sooo!  The term, “No Processed?”  What exactly does it mean?  If you squeeze an olive into EVOO, is that processed?  I am thinking that the best way to eat a healthy (most healthiest? if that’s a word) is the food as directly of the vine, tree, etc as possible.  Where do nuts fall in that catagory?  I guess just picking a fruit is the beginning of being refined/processed. Nuts are pretty unprocessed, but does that make them necessarily good for me.  I am going to err on the side of not eating them for now.  Plain, raw fruits and vegis for now.  Someone can educate me further on this, but the best examples of healthy people I find are eating as close to fresh picked as possible.  When I do or have bought nuts, I have found suppliers who guarantee that they are freshly picked and not pasturized or sprayed.  Then I feel that I can have an ok relationship with my nuts.  Almonds for example from guitaristbwall@yahoo:disqus .com. 

        One of my goals was to make yogurt, but it never came out good so for now I have given up.  I see a lot of examples on Youtube, but I couldn’t duplicate it.  For now I have stopped buying the almonds, because I just want to eat them as long as they are there.  I certainly don’t lose weight that way.  Hope to get more info on the next NutritionFacts post.  For now, as Vicki says, I’ll just abstain.

      • BPCveg

        Hi Thea,

        I hope you don’t mind more opinions on this. I like your question and thought I would try to make a contribution.

        It is hard for me to define “healthy vegan” and perhaps easier to define “healthiest vegan” as the person who eats in such a manner as to minimize the risk of health-related problems.

        With that definition in mind, I don’t see any reason why the “healthiest vegan”, whoever that is, would include refined sugar products in their diet. Thus, I think the answer to your question of whether to eat the orange marmalade depends on your own goals and your risk coefficient.

        That being said, you strike me as a creative person…I am still enjoying your recipe for chocolate oatmeal. And I hope that this message will inspire you to provide us all with a sugar-free Orange Glazed Tofu dish.  

        • WholeFoodChomper

          Could you either share or direct us to Thea’s chocolate oatmeal recipe?  

          As for the orange marmalade, I’m wondering if one could whip up their own sugar free marmalade using either date sugar (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-healthiest-sweetener/), date syrup (dates & water blended together), or erithritol (
          http://nutritionfacts.org/video/a-harmless-artificial-sweetener/ ) in lieu of sugar.

          • Thea

             WholeFoodChomper:  Oh no, the pressure is on for a sugar-free marmalade!  Here is the latest version of my greatest (and only) culinary achievement:

            ·       
            2.75 cups water

            ·       
            2-3 bananas (depending
            on size and your tastes)

            ·       
            1 T vanilla (as
            desired)

            ·       
            ~6 T (to taste)
            unsweetened fair trade* cocoa powder

            ·       
            1.5 cups steel
            cut oatmeal

             

            Optional Add-Ins

            ·       
            amla powder

            ·       
            dates (which I find is especially needed if I add the amla, which I usually do)

            ·       
            spices (cinnamon,
            pumpkin pie, cloves, cardamom etc.)

             

            Directions

            >
            Add all ingredients except the oatmeal to a blender.   Include optional add-ins if using.  Mix it all up good.

             

            >
            Poor blender mixture into a GIANT microwave safe bowl.  (With a good 2 or so inches space on
            top. 

             

            >
            Stir in oatmeal.

             

            >
            Microwave 6 minutes.  Stir well.

            >
            Microwave 5 minutes. 

            >
            Let it sit in the microwave over-night to finish cooking.

             

            Makes 5 day’s worth of
            breakfast for one person.  Serve topped with lot of flax seed, optional dried fruit, and plenty of almond milk.

          • Thea

             Ugh!!!  My apologies on the formatting.  It didn’t look like that when I put the text into the window.  Yuck.  Let’s try this:

            Ingredients
            •    2.75 cups water
            •    2-3 bananas (depending on size and your tastes)
            •    1 T vanilla (as desired)
            •    ~6-10 T (to taste) unsweetened fair trade* cocoa powder
            •    1.5 cups steel cut oatmeal

            Optional Add-Ins
            •    amla powder
            •    dates
            •    spices (cinnamon, pumpkin pie, cloves, etc.)

            Directions
            > Add all ingredients except the oatmeal to a blender.   Include optional add-ins if using.  Mix it all up good.

            > Poor blender mixture into a GIANT microwave safe bowl.  (With a good 2 or so inches space on top. 

            > Stir in oatmeal.

            > Microwave 6 minutes.  Stir well.
            > Microwave 5 minutes. 
            > Let it sit in the microwave over-night to finish cooking.

            Makes 5 day’s worth of breakfast for one person.  Serve topped with lot of flax seed, optional dried fruit, and plenty of almond milk.

          • WholeFoodChomper

            This looks like a winner. I will add it to my recipe repertoire. You say this makes enough for 5 day’s worth of eating.  So, this keeps well in the fridge that long? If so, that is another bonus.  

            Thanks for sharing!

          • Thea

             Yes!  It keeps very well in the fridge.  I eat this stuff most mornings as it tastes so decadent, but also gives me the oatmeal, flax seed, and calcium from the almond milk, all foods I would struggle to get in my diet otherwise.  However, there have been some mornings where I eat other foods.  I find that the chocolate oatmeal keeps great in the fridge for at least a week.

            Also note that this has been a big hit at parties.  Instead of dishing it up out of the microwave bowl, I poor the recently cooked stuff into a 9×13 pan to cool – usually with a parchment paper cradle to easily lift it out.  The next morning, I lift it out and cut it into bars.  People eat it with their fingers.  It is that thick!  When I serve it to newbies like this, I definitely leave out the amla and usually add plenty of dates (or sometimes a touch of maple syrup) so that they will like it.  Shhh.  Don’t tell anyone that it is healthy and easy.

        • Thea

           BPCveg:  I particularly welcome your reply as I enjoy your perspective.  I was mostly interested in what other people consider to be “adding sugar” and what they think is worth worrying about or not. 

          I like the idea of coming up with a mythical healthiest person and working your way out from there.  But I guess my favorite reply so far is from S.J M.D. — probably because it matches my current approach.

          But my diet is always evolving – generally toward healthier and healthier.  Where will it stop?  Who knows, maybe with coming up with a future sugar-free Orange Glazed Tofu dish.

          • BPCveg

            Thanks, Thea. My diet is also always evolving. It is great that we have this forum for exchanging ideas with like-minded people.

  • http://www.facebook.com/debra.sunshine.75 Debra Sunshine

    This is pleasantly surprising! So glad to learn about these clinical trials! http://veganamericanprincess.com

  • Doratorres

    Hi, Dr Michael, I’ve been consuming nuts everyday for about a year. I think they are fantastic food but I have read so many things about the risks of consuming nuts contaminated by aflatoxin, a well known carcinogen, that I am getting very worried. By the way, you have no post about aflatoxin and it is a relevant topic for us vegetarians who consume lots of grains, seeds and nuts
    a hug from Brazil
    Dora

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GDMMYU4IJWIJKMEA3GQTC45N44 Paul

     

     

    Jeff Nelson from VegSource has tried to do a hatchet job on nuts & weight
    loss in favor of a Mc Dougall bias.   http://www.vegsource.com/news/2012/07/cant-lose-the-weight-it-could-be-the-nuts.html  
    Have you read his piece?   Do you have an opinion?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-Thomas/1295089349 Steven Thomas

    Anyone who has ever eaten a big old pile of nuts knows EXACTLY where those calories go.
     

  • Janice

    Hi Dr Greger
    Can you discuss the problem with phytic acid in nuts, is it a big problem?

    • Toxins

      Cooking deactivates these anti-nutrients which include lectins, phytic acid, trypsin and α-amylase inhibitors. Not all nuts are high sources of phytic acid. Even so, phytic acid is a powerful antioxidant.

      • LynnCS

        Cooking? I won’t be cooking them, but what about soaking and rinsing which is recommended no matter how you use them?

  • AlexanderBerenyi

     I’d bet blood sugar regulation.

  • Chef Jannequin

     You show a peanut in the video, but don’t these studies focus on tree nuts? Aren’t peanuts in a different class – a legume?

  • Veganrunner
  • Chris

    All nuts are highly enriched in omega-6 fatty acids which promote systematic inflammation.  They also competitively bind with receptor sites that facilitate the conversion of short chain omega-3 fatty acids into the more biological protective long chain omega-3 fatty acids (DHA, EPA).  This conversion is critical for vegans and vegetarians since DHA and EPA come from animal based products.  While there do seem to be many benefits to consuming nuts, I wish these benefits would be compared to these less desirable effects. 

    • LynnCS

      Guess I’ll stick with having the Chia seeds in my morning green smoothie.  There is more to consider than the weight issue.  Not sure I followed your post entirely but, I get it that I need to encourage omega 3s on my vegan diet.  Thanks for the post. 

  • Shelly C

    In a recent video, The Nuts and Bolts of Cholesterol Lowering, you pointed out that the majority of studies cited were corporately sponsored and suffered from conflict of interest. One study even proclaimed that almonds lowered oxidative stress- when compared to pork.Of the clinical trials you mention in this video, I have to wonder, how many of them are in the same category? Did the studies here show more weight loss using nuts, compared to pig fat? Although many people may think eating nuts is the greatest diet aid since the great potato famine in Ireland in 1846, I’ve found your advice in a video a few years back to eat a diet “chalked full of nuts” to result, in my case anyway, to result in a modest weight gain. Perhaps it works for some, but for others, I think such blanket advice is ill-advised.

  • LynnCS

    My problem is that I love nuts so much that if they are in the house I will go for them throughout the day.  Pretty compulsive, I know.  I am like that about a lot of foods.  Hard to get past it.  I try to eat fruit first, so I am not hungry.  Besides, I have heard that eating fatty foods with fruit/etc. prevents the insulin from escorting the sugar from the foods we eat to the cell receptors resulting in insulin resistance, high blood sugar, and eventually diabetes. Perhaps you have already spoken to this, but it keeps me confused because I see so many other reports that say to use a bit of nuts/seeds/avocado/ or olive oil each day.  Dr Esselstyn says NO OIL!  Is Olive Oil one of the “processed oils” some of you are talking about?  Anyone? I would love to understand this issue once and for all. Thanks. Lynn

    • Vicky

       It sounds to me that you have the same relationship to nuts that I have to chocolate. Unless I keep it out of the house I can’t stop and I eat it all. That’s the solution to overeating a food that I use- don’t buy it in the first place.

      • LynnCS

        Shucks,  No magical answer, I guess.  

    • Toxins

       Oil is indeed unhealthy

      Dr. Vogel conducted a study that compared different fats and oils (olive
      oil, canola oil, and salmon) and how they impaired our endothelial
      cells. Our endothelial cells are within our blood vessels lining their
      walls. They keep clots from forming and keep our blood running smoothly.
      It also helps our blood vessels dilate and contract when needed. The
      participants of the study ate a meal containing 3.5 tablespoons of olive
      oil and the examiners measured their arterial damage after 3 hours.
      “Contrary to part of our hypothesis, our study found that omega-9 (oleic
      acid)-rich olive oil impairs endothelial function postprandially.” They
      also make note that “In terms of their postprandial effect on
      endothelial function, the beneficial components of the Mediterranean and
      Lyon Diet Heart Study diets appear to be antioxidant-rich foods,
      including vegetables [and] fruits”
      http://content.onlinejacc.org/cgi/content/full/36/5/1455

      It
      was even noted that “In a clinical study, olive oil was shown to
      activate coagulation factor VII to the same extent as does butter. Thus,
      olive oil does not have a clearly beneficial effect on vascular
      function.”
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9409274

      Another
      study looked at different oils (olive, soybean and palm oils). They had
      their patients eat a potato soup. The soup either had 3 tablespoons of
      each oil OR they fried the potatoes in the oil. They too examined the
      extent of damage on the volunteers’ arteries. this is what they found
      “All the vegetable oils, fresh and deep-fried, produced an increase in
      the triglyceride plasma levels in healthy subjects.”
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17174226

      This
      2 year study looked at coronary artery lesions of the heart after
      consuming different types of fat. Polyunsaturated fat (omega 3 type of
      fat) Monounsaturated fat (75% of which makes up olive oil) and Saturated
      fat (the kind found in mostly animal products). They looked at
      angiograms a year apart after intervening with increasing one type of
      fat in each group. All 3 fats were associated with a significant
      increase in new atherosclerosis lesions. Most importantly, the growth of
      these lesions did not stop when polyunsaturated fats and
      monounsaturated fats were substituted for saturated fats. Only by
      decreasing all fat intake including the polyunsaturated and
      monounsaturated fats did the lesions stop growing.
      http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/263/12/1646.abstract?sid=47d1d016-3c15-43f4-a013-0d10144ef8e3

  • Hunniliz

    Toward the end of the video, there is a picture
    of a peanut with measuring tape around it.  Do peanuts have the same nutritional
    value as tree nuts?

    • Toxins

       Yes, peanuts have a very similar nutritional profile compared with other tree nuts. Similarly, quinoa is a seed but has a similar nutrition profile to grains and is considered as such.

  • Michael Taylor
    • Michael Greger M.D.

      Thanks for posting! Please see my new note above:

      “Note: I updated the video on August 25, 2012. I am indebted to Jeff Nelson for pointing out my mischaracterization of the 2007 Natoli & McCoy review. I’ve not only corrected the video, but expanded it (by 8 minutes!) to cover all of the studies published in the 5 years since. The evidence is stronger than ever that the consumption of nuts does not lead to the weight gain one would expect.”

      • ashley

        It doesn’t seem as if you are responding the points that the vegsource article makes though, you still site some of the studies that they debunk by showing how the researchers changed the diets of the nut-eating group to control their weight. This information is confusing.

  • Lin73ken

    Is this what you’re going to speak about? http://www.vegsource.com/news/2012/08/nuts-weight-gain-its-worse-than-we-thought.html

    • Michael Greger M.D.

      Thanks for posting! Please see my new note above:

      “Note: I updated the video on August 25, 2012. I am indebted to Jeff Nelson for pointing out my mischaracterization of the 2007 Natoli & McCoy review. I’ve not only corrected the video, but expanded it (by 8 minutes!) to cover all of the studies published in the 5 years since. The evidence is stronger than ever that the consumption of nuts does not lead to the weight gain one would expect.”

  • Lhamlett

    Go to vegsource.com & see the research behind these studies.  I’m surprised you were “schnookered” in by these “studies.  You are usually VERY thorough on the studies’ sources.

    • Michael Greger M.D.

      Thanks for posting! Please see my new note above:

      “Note: I updated the video on August 25, 2012. I am indebted to Jeff Nelson for pointing out my mischaracterization of the 2007 Natoli & McCoy review. I’ve not only corrected the video, but expanded it (by 8 minutes!) to cover all of the studies published in the 5 years since. The evidence is stronger than ever that the consumption of nuts does not lead to the weight gain one would expect.”

      • Kate Scott

         Nice job, Michael Greger, in responding to Jeff Nelson’s article. His article and the bashing of your work (and Joel Furhman’s) on Vegsource and on the McDougall discussion boards have been very disappointing to me. People seem so fixed in their views they are no longer interested in the science. You have admirably refrained from personal or defensive responses in the face of considerable provocation!

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Thanks for posting! Please see my new note above:

    “Note: I updated the video on August 25, 2012. I am indebted to Jeff Nelson for pointing out my mischaracterization of the 2007 Natoli & McCoy
    review. I’ve not only corrected the video, but expanded it (by 8
    minutes!) to cover all of the studies published in the 5 years since.
    The evidence is stronger than ever that the consumption of nuts does not
    lead to the weight gain one would expect.”

  • Michael Greger M.D.

     Thanks for posting! Please see my new note above:

    “Note: I updated the video on August 25, 2012. I am indebted to Jeff Nelson for pointing out my mischaracterization of the 2007 Natoli & McCoy
    review. I’ve not only corrected the video, but expanded it (by 8
    minutes!) to cover all of the studies published in the 5 years since.
    The evidence is stronger than ever that the consumption of nuts does not
    lead to the weight gain one would expect.”

  • Michael Greger M.D.

     Thanks for posting!

  • Michael Greger M.D.

     Thanks for posting! Please see my new note above:

    “Note: I updated the video on August 25, 2012. I am indebted to Jeff Nelson for pointing out my mischaracterization of the 2007 Natoli & McCoy
    review. I’ve not only corrected the video, but expanded it (by 8
    minutes!) to cover all of the studies published in the 5 years since.
    The evidence is stronger than ever that the consumption of nuts does not
    lead to the weight gain one would expect.”

  • Chris Ahmed

    Please show this video to nut-phobe Jeff Novick. He dedicates much of his time to demonizing and vilifying nuts. Hell, he even released a DVD telling people that eating nuts is a bad idea.

    I hope this video wakes him up to his fallacies

    • Veganrunner

      Hi Chris,

      I have the feeling the guys like Jeff are talking that way to one particular population–obese people who have heart disease.

      I have been trying to figure that whole thing out and that is the only thing that makes sense. . I really like the schooling of Dr. Furhmann. (although he tends to sell a bit too much stuff!) but what he talks about just makes sense. Eating the highest nutrient dense foods. I reread his take on nuts and he is a supporter like Dr. Greger. For obese people he recommends sticking to 1 ounce per day.

    • Toxins

      For healthy, trim and acive people, Jeff Novick allows for 4 ounces of nuts per day which comes down to over a cup of pecans. 

    • Ellen R

      I just watched the DVD on nuts by Jeff Novick and did not see anywhere where he said eating nuts is a bad idea. In fact, at the end of the DVD he recommends anywhere from 1-4 oz of nuts per day. I would not call that nut-phobic.

  • Aguccione

    Thank you, Dr. Greger, for your admirable commitment to educating the world! When do we get to hear about your biography? I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting to know about the “mad” scientist behind all these videos!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1836688212 Robert O. Harris

    In his video “Ah, Nuts! Dr. John McDougall Discusses Nuts” the good doctor gives nuts a bad wrap saying their just empty calories and they’ll make you fat. 

    Hasn’t he read the research?

    http://www.drmcdougall.com/video/mcdougalls_moments_nuts.html

  • Sharkstr

    Ok..i have a problem… I saw this video and jumped at the chance to have nuts included to my diet. My husband and I are new to healthy eating. in 6 months i have lost 35 lbs..and he  30. We added nuts to our diet about 2 weeks ago. The result has not been what you are saying. I gained 5 lbs..and hubby has gained 6. I dont get it..we havent changed anything..just added nuts. So whats up with that ???

    • Jeff R

       It didn’t work for me either. Each person has his own metabolism. Some seem to gain weight on just air. In addition, all nuts with the exception of walnuts contain too high a ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 oils. I eat only 2 walnuts a day- much more than that and I gain weight (I also have one tablespoon of flax seeds, ground, most days). People like me have to stick to high fiber foods like vegetables, fruit, grains and legumes and not much else.

      • Sharkstr

        I am removing them from our diets. I ALWAYS gain just looking at foods. it was very disheartening to gain when ive been doing everything right !!..so now we will see if it comes off again. back to veggies (which is very difficult for me as i HATE..no LOATH veggies..lol ) friuts i love so that isnt a problem. its is very very difficult to eat healthy..nothing processed..no white breads..etc etc etc. i am so limited to what i enjoy to eat that when i added nuts i was thrilled !! back to the drawing board !

    • Toxins

       My theory is if one is already consuming a low fat diet, then including calorically dense nuts into that diet may disturb the metabolism that has already been going on.

  • Chris Ahmed

    I include 2 large handfuls of cashews daily and I eat a 400g jar of organic Peanut Butter(no refined oils,sugars or salt just 100% peanuts) every week. I exercise moderately, eat a starch based vegan diet around potatoes and rice and still enjoy generous amounts of plant fat in nuts and seed butters. I have excellent lipid numbers and I weigh 165lbs with 7% body fat. I do not suscribe to the idea promoted by Jeff Novick of nuts being detrimental to health.

    I consider it an insult to Dr.Greger that Novick goes on and on about this also seeing as how Dr.Greger has backed Novick up on many occasions.

    • Ellen R

      I just watched the DVD on nuts by Jeff Novick and did not see anywhere
      where he said eating nuts was detrimental to health. As Dr Forrester said above, at the end of the
      DVD he recommends anywhere from 1-4 oz of nuts per day.

  • Ellen R

    I just watched the DVD’s you recommended and would have to agree with you as I thought it was the most thorough overview and balanced approach to nuts that I have seen. I don’t see how anyone can watch those DVD’s (or those talks) and say Jeff Novick is anti-nuts or nut-phobic. In the end, he recommended 1-4 oz per day depending on the person and their goals.

  • GERHARDT STEINKE

    VERY VERY FRUSTRATING NOT TO HAVE CLOSURE.

    Jeff Nelson does NOT agree that your correctional 25 August 2012 “update” completely counters issues laboriously presented in Novick’s recent DVDs.

    Are we to be left FOREVER with this presumed dispute unresolved? OUCH.

    There may be some “he sad he said” exchanges that I’m unaware of but there must be SOME way of summarizing merits of nuts that we all can AGREE on.

    Several months later, what progress (if any) has been made in “dispute.”

    NUTS !

  • http://www.facebook.com/lauren.r.ard Lauren Rae Layton Ard

    To anyone who sees this, I wanted to share my healthy “brownie” recipe. After seeing the videos about cocoa, dates, and nuts, I knew I had to give it a try, and they turned out AMAZING. You will not miss the old brownies after this! And, the best part is, you can eat as many as you want because every single ingredient is healthy!

    1 c dates
    1 c walnuts (I’m sure any nuts will work though)
    1/4 c cocoa (or to taste – everyone likes different amounts)
    2 tsp vanilla extract

    Put all of this in a high-powered blender (like Vitamix) and blend to desired consistency. We like ours with chunks of walnut still intact, but you could also blend them perfectly smooth.

    • WholeFoodChomper

      This recipe sounds yummy and quick.

      Do you bake these? What is the serving size for this recipe?

      I don’t have one of those fancy shmancy Vitamix blenders (but, boy would I like one), I wonder if this would work in the food processor. Worth a try, right?

      • Thea

        WholeFoodChomper: I have made similar (almost identical) recipes in the past and been most successful using a food processor. In fact, I believe that for this particular type of recipe, the food processor works best as it does not as easily over-process the ingredients. I.e., I think you get a better texture with the food processor. Good luck.

      • Thea

        I forgot to answer your question: “Do you bake these?”

        Typically these types of recipes are for “raw” food. So, they are not based – just processed and pressed, maybe chilled or frozen.

        • WholeFoodChomper

          Thx, @b5b962c3ba1cd80724d48249a53ce1f1:disqus!

        • WholeFoodChomper

          Thx, @b5b962c3ba1cd80724d48249a53ce1f1:disqus!

    • Thea

      Lauren: It was very kind of you to share your recipe. I have made a very similar recipe for “chocolate cake” and it came out delicious. (See cookbook recomendation below.) It is nice to have the proportions already worked out for brownies. So, thanks for doing that.

      For anyone who is interested, I have made some delicious desserts from the cookbook: “Raw For Dessert” by Jennifer Cornbleet. Note that most of the recipes use lots of *nuts*. (and for those interested: I’m not sold on the benefits of a raw-only diet. It’s just that some of those recipes, especially desserts, work particularly well.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/WWDHealth James Marin

    GREAT Video! Thank you! Did any of the studies mention variations in the cooking of the nuts? (roasted, salted, raw)

  • Bruno

    Love this, thank you!!

  • MrPeanut

    Peanuts are nuts in name only (they belong to the legume family) and should not be part of any “nut” study. Epic Fail.

  • DuaneW

    Hi Dr. Greger, thanks for the site. Dr. John McDougall posted a commentary (http://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2013other/news/oil.htm) on a NEJM paper regarding oils and nuts and I was wondering if you could comment both on the paper and Dr. McDougall’s comments?

  • http://www.naturallifeenergy.com/ Aqiyl Henry

    I don’t agree with Jeff’s article that nuts cause weight gain and I responded to Jeff:
    I don’t agree with this article. I am 45 and I have been vegan for little over a year. During that time my weight dropped from 180lbs to 157-159lbs. Once my weight stabilized to 157-159lbs (I fluctuate between this weight) it has stayed there. During the initial stages of my conversion to a vegan diet I ate a lot of nuts. I ate from 3/4 to a 1 16oz bag of almonds a day. For months after my weight stabilized, I continued to eat the same amount of almonds. I now eat around a 1/2 16oz bag of almonds a day. I eat a lot more fruits (bananas and dates) which take the place of some of the almonds. My weight is stable which in an indication that I am eating enough calories so I don’t lose weight. In fact my diet is high in fat, and carbs, and meets my protein requirements. I eat plenty of sugar from dates, bananas, and apples, fats from the large amounts of nuts I eat, but I don’t gain weight. I also eat plenty of vegetables (mainly kale and cilantro), an not a lot of complex carbs. I mainly eat qunioa and sometimes garbanzo beans. I also eat all day. I snack throughout the day on homemade veggie juice, banana smoothies, dates, bananas, apples, and almonds, and I don’t gain weight. I feel I am at my optimal weight for my current activity level, and when I start cycling again I will probably lose 2 pounds.

  • Suzy

    Hi. Are nut butters (without added oils or sugars) as beneficial as pure nuts?

  • Merissa

    My only worry with adding more nuts into my diet is the added fat to my diet. I use to suffer from severe acne and have almost eliminated it with a plant base diet very low in fat. Do you know how adding more nuts will effect my complexion? I ask because in some studies you said they added three handfuls of nuts. That’s about 3 oz, with 1 oz at about 15 grams of fat. That would give me about 45 grams of fat from nuts a day. I try to keep my fat consumption below 40. I usually consume my fats from grains, vegetables, lite tofu, almond milk, and some fruit. I stay away from added oils. What’s your take on increasing nuts for weight loss but also keeping a healthy complexion?

  • Benjamin Grunewald

    There is a new report from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that supports Dr. Greger’s findings that nut consumption does not cause weight gain and may even have a modest slimming effect. I don’t know how to link to it but it was reported by Reuters and ended up on the Huffington Post.

  • Ronald Chavin

    Nuts are high in phytate, which is a powerful antioxidant that promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria by protecting them from reactive oxygen species (oxidative stress). Phytate also directly causes weight loss and directly prevents flatulence by blocking the absorption of half the calories from starch and blocking the absorption of half the calories from protein. Phytate also blocks the absorption of toxic heavy metals such as arsenic, mercury, lead, cadmium, and barium. Phytate also blocks the absorption of iron, which like copper, manganese, and aluminum, is a cancer-causing pro-oxidant. On the downside, phytate slightly reduces the absorption of both calcium and magnesium and reduces the absorption of zinc, a very beneficial antioxidant, by about 50%. Arginine is very plentiful in meats, which cause more weight gain than the calories would predict. The fat content of nuts causes weight gain. Therefore, obese people would be better off eating lower-fat, lower-starch sources of phytate such as wheat bran, fenugreek seeds, ground flaxseeds, green beans, defatted soybeans, soft tofu, and green vegetables, soluble fiber foods such as shirataki noodles, konnyaku cubes, and sukiyaki, or probiotic foods such as fat-free plain yogurt, soy yogurt, and natto. To block the absorption of half the calories from fats, eat soluble fiber foods or swallow psyllium capsules.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6650445
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3630965
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15303108
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19918248
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16424120
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6096282
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22863407
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15672113
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16711599
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18237583
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21824755
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/nuts-and-phytic-acid/#axzz2JhVUeoq6

  • Maria Jose Hummel

    SUPERB!! Dr. Greger.. you are the best!

  • Ben O’Loughlin

    Absolutely brilliant! Now I don’t feel guilty about the packet of almonds I bought the other day!

  • Samuel

    i’ve just got my annual blood test, my triglyceride levels are out of range as well as my bad cholesterol has gone up. will nuts help to fix this? I am also on the brink of obesity. i need someone to help me fix my diet up before its too late i want to be at a lower body fat percentage I hate being fat.

    • Thea

      Samuel: I’m not a doctor, but it is my understanding that adopting a whole plant food based diet can fix all of the problems you mentioned. It certainly can’t hurt to try.

      If you are not familiar with whole plant food based eating, the idea can be intimidating. Here are some ideas to get you started.

      1) Consider going through the free 21 Day Kickstart program by PCRM. They will hold your hand for 21 days, including meal plans, recipes, videos, inspirational messages, and a forum where you can ask questions.
      http://www.pcrm.org/kickstartHome/

      (Click the green “Register Now” button.)

      2) Dr. Forrester recommends Jeff Novick’s DVD, Calorie
      Density; Eat More, Weigh Less and Live Longer. Also check out Jeff’s DVDs in the Fast Food series. Great, affordable food that is easy to make. All of these are available on Amazon. Here is the first one:
      http://www.amazon.com/Calorie-Density-More-Weigh-Less/dp/B003ASP6JE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392424210&sr=8-1&keywords=calorie+density%3B+eat+more

      3) It might also help to check out a free lecture available on line by Dr. Lisle. It will really help you get your head straight:
      “How To Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind”
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAdqLB6bTuQ

      4) Consider getting some good, beginner whole plant food based cookbooks. Just leave out the oil if a recipe calls for it. Here are a couple ideas to get you started:
      Let Them Eat Vegan
      Vegan On The Cheap

      And/or get some books that start with good education information and then have recipes in the back part of the book. I would recommend:
      The Starch Solution (Dr. McDougall)
      Breaking The Food Seduction (Dr. Barnard)
      Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease (Dr. Esselstyn)
      Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes

      5) Here is part of an answer that Dr. Forrester gave to someone else in a similar situation that I thought might help you:

      “Dr. McDougall’s website is a valuable resource especially his newsletter article, The Fat Vegan, which was published in his December 2008 newsletter. You might also watch Dr. McDougall’s free online lecture, The Starch Solution, which goes along way to freeing folks from their misunderstanding about carbohydrates. His website also comes with many recipes from the unsung heroine of the McDougall team… his wife Mary. You can reasonably expect to lose 1/2 to 2# per week depending on your diet’s calorie density and exercise. … Truth in advertising… I have the pleasure of working with Dr. McDougall, Jeff Novick and Doug Lisle but honestly after 35 years as a Family Medicine doctor the science is in and just keeps reinforcing the best path. Good luck.”

      If you give it a try, let us know how it goes and which resources were the most help to you. I hope this helps.

  • tina stamatakis

    thanks for this series dr. g!!!!
    I LOVE NUTS!

  • Arun Mukherjee

    So what about Jeff Novick and Chef AJ? Also Dr. McDougall. They all disagree with these studies.

  • Josh

    Can you lease clarify the good and the bad about the phytic acid in nuts and seeds? Specifically, I’d like to know if soaking them before consumption is a necessity. Thank you for any information you may provide.

    • Josh

      *please*

    • Thea

      Josh: Check out the following videos on phytates:
      http://nutritionfacts.org/index.php?s=phytates

      You will have to make up your own mind about whether or not soaking is necessary. But after seeing those videos, I stopped worrying about it myself.

      • Josh

        Thank you very much!

  • Psych MD

    I wasn’t sure where to put this comment so I just searched obesity and this is as good a place as any. I started to watch a Dr. Greger video on Youtube from March of 2013, the topic of which was influenza and climate change. I had to do a double take when I saw how chubby he was. I’d say a good 15-20 lbs. overweight. I love Dr. Greger and no one likes to be called fat, but hey.

  • Psych MD

    Equally interesting, he delivered a lecture three months later entitled “Conscious Eating” and appeared slim and trim. Good to see he got over his slump.