Sorry to burst your bubble, but I view veganhealth.org as an animal rights site giving health advice. Nothing wrong with that but with all due respect, their dietitians are the last ones I would seek health info from, and yes I mean Ginny Messina. She has written that she prefers not to recommend the vegan diets that produce optimal health because she rejects the work of McDougall, Campbell, Fuhrman, Esselstyn and the rest -- but most importantly she feels their diets are too "restrictive" and simply going vegan is restrictive enough. She wants as many people to go vegan to save animals, and she has written expressing her concerns that the diets of these health experts are harder to stick to and could lead to fewer people remaining vegan, and thus fewer animals saved. She's actually written that. Messina appears to have very different objectives than the actual health experts here (not to mention she fails on the "walk your talk" side of healthy diet if you look at her hubby...).
I prefer taking health advice from health and nutrition professionals who have a long proven record of using diet to reverse serious disease and get people off meds -- which no one associated with veganhealth.org has any experience with. Their long suit is saving animals and increasing the number of vegans, which is fine but not the same thing at all.
The "nuts don't cause weight gain" mantra is actually not so simple. There are good studies showing nuts DO cause weight gain, in addition to population studies suggesting nuts are associated with weight loss.
But a few facts to remember: there is a calorie compensation when you eat nuts so you do absorb fewer calories from nuts than they contain, and in many studies people merely gained LESS weight than would have been expected from the added calories from nut, but they still gained. Most importantly those studies showing nuts may not be associated with weight gain deal with very limited amounts, like an ounce of nuts a few times a week, and not unlimited. It's pretty clear from many posts here and elsewhere responding to AJ's article that this is the crux of the problem -- people are reading veganhealth.org or other sites with the notion that nuts are super foods or necessary for adequate absorption (they're not), and then they chow down on nuts or nut butters regularly, and then wonder why they can't lose those last 10 or 15 pounds. They aren't eating 2 oz of nuts a week, as Dr. Greger advises, they are eating 20 oz or something, along with a bunch of avocado and other high fat foods.
So thank you to AJ for sharing your story here. I expect those who follow her lead are also going to shed pounds and run faster and have less joint and other issues that extra weight can cause, not to mention it feels good when you find a way to effortlessly drop pounds you may have wanted to shed.
Sorry but you have been buying into several myths here, Stevie.
First, nuts are not nutrient dense. That is a myth. Look at the ANDI scale, it's a very problematic scale that I wouldn't actually rely on, but it still makes the point about nuts. If you look at Dr. Fuhrman's new scale, see: http://www.drfuhrman.com/library/article17.aspx you will see that nuts are only slightly more nutrient dense than milk or fish. They are in last place as an unprocessed plant-based source of nutrition. So are you also recommending fish and milk, since they are very close in "nutrient density" with nuts? Get real...
Of course many people are allergic to nuts. It is one of the leading food allergies out there, and they live quite well without them. What are all these nut allergy people doing to offset their nut deficiency? Nothing, because there's no such thing.
Next, nuts are only a tiny part of several of the long lived plant-based populations. In Okinawa, for example, they are less than 1% of the calories.
I don't see AJ saying that excess fat was more fattening. She said fat is easier to overeat on and that it is stored more easily for less energy cost. And that is true. The energy cost of storing fat is 0-3%, for carbs about 15-20% and protein around 20-25%. That means fat is stored as fat way more efficiently than carbs or protein can be. Hence "the fat you eat is the fat you wear" is true.
In addition, because carbs are harder to store, excess carbs/sugar are often burned off as heat first. You have to really overeat carbs to push it to store it as fat. But fat is stored as fat period. So, its a little tricky and complicated but AJ is right.
Because you seem in need of nutritional education, Steve, check out a little way down this page:
This is a pretty decent summation. The body can turn sugar and carb into fat, especially if it is a continued excess. And for the record, sugar consumption has been steadily going down per person since 1999, and yet obesity continues to rise. It's not the sugar.
Now on your final point, that losing a pound a week is bad practice, I am not familiar with anything in the scientific literature that supports your claim. So please produce the studies you can reference that confirm that. And don't provide me some "expert's" opinion on the matter, just the studies that show fast weight loss is a bad practice.
The only risk I'm aware of that has been documented relating to speedy weight loss is gallstones. See James W Anderson, Shannon B Conley, and Amy S Nicholas. One hundred-pound weight losses with an intensive behavioral program: changes in risk factors in 118 patients with long-term follow-up. Am J Clin Nutr 2007 86: 301-7
In other words, AJ is right on and the article isn't troubling in any way.
I have posted on Dr. McDougall's site a detailed piece about the nut question and in response to a nut-pushing piece by Dr. Greger.
You can review it at:
Jeff Novick has four degrees in health:
No posts published so far.
In general I do not. Once in a blue moon I have a green smoothie as a treat, but in general no. When I do, I make my own.
Thank you! I've just been informed I am being invited back to Marshall next year to speak and be the Emcee of their now annual New Year, New You fest.
If nuts and seeds stop heart attacks, why is heart disease still the number one killer of all Americans?
And if someone still has fat on their body and they give up nuts as an experiment for 3 weeks, I seriously doubt they will have a heart attack. Excess weight, on the other hand, carries great risks.
Chef AJ looks good in whatever she chooses to wear. Lighten up folks.
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