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:
Posted by Mark Simon, March 8, 2014 at 01:24 PM
Posted by Mark Simon, March 8, 2014 at 09:08 AM
Posted by Mark Simon, March 6, 2014 at 05:00 AM
Posted by Mark Simon, March 4, 2014 at 11:25 AM
What Dr. Fuhrman and the persons commenting seem to have missed is that there is a vast difference between grass-fed animals and those fed grains and injected with growth hormones and then antibiotics to correct the bad effects of the hormones. Dr. Al Sears, the anti-aging expert, says grass-fed beef is very healthy and the other stuff is very unhealthy. And all but one of the many leading alternative doctors I am familiar with think a vegetarian diet results in a shorter life span. They also promote saturated fats as healthy. The eminent research physician Dr. Uffe Ravnskov of Denmark is one of the biggest proponents of saturated fats, having even written more than one book about it. Bariatric Drs. Michael and Mary Dan Eades, authors of a dozen or so books, use a diet high in saturated fats to take weight off their patients. In February 2010, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published the findings of the Children's Hospital Oakland Research Center in California, which pooled data from 21 studies that included a total of almost 348,000 adults. Participants were questioned about their dietary habits and then tracked for between five and 23 years. Of the 348,000, 11,000 developed heart disease or suffered a stroke. The researchers found no difference in the incidence of heart disease and stroke between those with the lowest and highest intakes of saturated fat. The renowned lipid biochemist Mary Enig, Ph.D., writes that saturated fats play many important roles in the body chemistry." She listed them as: (1) they give cells their necessary stiffness and integrity; (2) they are vital to the health of our bones, effectively incorporating calcium; (3) they lower Lp(a) (lipoprotein (a), a substance in the blood that indicates susceptibility to heart disease, and protect the liver from toxins; (4) they enhance the immune system; (5) elongated omega-3 fatty acids are better retained in the tissues when the diet is rich in saturated fats; (6) saturated 18-carbon stearic acid and 16-carbon palmitic acid are the preferred foods for the heart; and (7) saturated fatty acids of short and medium chain protect us from harmful microorganisms in the digestive tract.
The Drs. Eades echo Enig and add to her assessment:
• The only means for lowering Lp(a), which "strongly correlates with heart disease," is by eating saturated fats, because there are no medications for it. Also, saturated fats raise the level of HDL, the so-called good cholesterol. And research has shown that dieting women with the highest percentage of saturated fat in their diets lose the most weight.
• Medical research has shown that saturated fat encourages the liver cells to eliminate their fat content, the critical first step to halting middle-body fat storage. Not only does saturated fat protect the liver from toxins, but it can even reverse damage. Polyunsaturated vegetable fats (including canola oil) do not afford this protection.
• To function properly, air spaces of the lungs must be coated with a thin layer of "lung surfactant," the fat content of which is 100 percent saturated fatty acids. Replacement of these fats with other fats potentially causes breathing difficulties, and has been associated with problems among infants and children.
• The brain is made mainly of fat and cholesterol, and most of the fatty acids are saturated. Hence, one's diet needs saturated fats for an optimally functioning brain.
• Certain saturated fats – particularly those in butter, lard, coconut oil and palm oil – act as nerve signals that influence the metabolism, performing such critical jobs as the appropriate release of insulin.
• Loss of sufficient saturated fatty acids in the white blood cells weakens the immune system, hampering its ability to destroy foreign invaders such as viruses, bacteria and fungi.
Enig cautioned, however, that both fats and cholesterol can be oxidized, or damaged, by exposure to heat and oxygen, and in this form can be harmful to the cells of arteries, where they may form plaque buildup. Powdered milk, which is added to reduced-fat milk for body, contains damaged cholesterol, as do meats and fats heated to high temperature.
i know I'm coming to the discussion a bit late, but i appreciate tedoymisojos observation that Denise came at this (as does everyone) with a personal goal (bias) of solving her own health problem. i find it hard to argue with someone who doesn't feel good and works diligently to understand their own health issues. If we can compassionately look at the common ground between all these so called different diet approaches we can likely help each other on those topics we all agree on. Denise actually eats mostly vegan, and probably healthier than most vegans and vegetarians... despite a few bites of animal protein... no one really knows if she'll get cancer or heart disease, but if she feels better eating 10% meat, there's gotta be more to the holistic approach of health that Campbell has devoted his life to. I would love to see the two of them find common ground even if they disagree on 10-20%. i feel like they're 80% on the same page in terms of what they actually choose to eat.
Imagine if the Vegans, Vegetarians, Paleo's, Compassionate Omnivores, etc came together and worked for real change in the world - We all agree on getting rid of factory farms, big GMO/Pesticide Agriculture, getting rid of political corruption that promotes processed and harmful foods to kids (and adults) and lobbies for misleading marketing, big pharma's manipulation of the public into relying on drugs over holistic health and nutrition.
Maybe I'm just a dreamer, but i would drop my insistence on a 100% Whole Food Plant based diet to work together with Denise and others on the issues we DO agree on and make some real change!!!
One thing that you have to remember is that meat eaters are as addicted to meat as those who use heroin are to their drug.
Try to tell a heroin user, they should stop. They may find out once it is too late, but until then, they will stand firm in the idea that heroin is not damaging their health.
I have also learned to let people see the results by changes in me, then let them ask questions.
Eades is a freaking quack atkins v2.0
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