Friday, July 27, 2012

The nuts issue continued

Here's an article from Jeff Nelson on on his recent research on nuts.  This was motivated by the article about Chef AJ a few weeks ago where she lost weight by cutting down the nuts.

I think the people most affected by this issue are older women because we have the lowest calorie intake needs.  When we eat an ounce of nuts a day, it is a significant source of fat in our diet, and it squeezes out more satiating foods such as potatoes.  And with our lower calories needs, do we really need a full oz?  I prefer 1/2 oz or even lower.


Darryl said...

Hi Barb,

Please check out Dr. Greger's sequence of online videos, starting with August 17:

He is a more credible scientist than Jeff Nelson.

Your new more starch-oriented approach is essentially the nutritarian diet I have eaten for a number of years. Dr. Furhman's recommendation--- his version, not the caricature that Jeff Novick promulgates--- has always been to meet your micronutrient needs with fruits, vegetables, beans, and at least one ounce of seeds and nuts, then meet your additional caloric needs by more of these foods and/or healthy starches, according to your preference. I enjoy starches and enjoy a wide variety of them.

I'm glad it's working for you. Just be careful not to go too low-fat--- fats are important for maintaining nerve tissue and a number of other needs.

kneecap said...

HI Darryl,

I appreciate your posting. Thanks so much. I did check out those videos and then read discussion about it on the McDougall forums and I'm still confused. I don't know who Jeff Nelson is so it is worth being cautious but he sure does contradict everything Dr. Gregor has cited.

I do agree that I should eat some high omega 3 nuts and seeds for insurance. But I also think 1/2 oz is sufficient for me. Or I should say I don't understand well enough why 1 oz is a magical number for all people. Shouldn't smaller people or those with lower metabolisms require less?

Darryl said...

Hi Barb,

Jeff Nelson is one of the heirs to the Armour meat fortune. Years ago his wife Sabrina developed a life-threatening autoimmune condition, relapsing polychondritis, which was completely reversed when (after reading one of Dr. McDougall's books) she stopped eating animal protein and dairy. This inspired the Nelsons to establish the VegSource website and to organize (and no doubt support personally)
the annual Healthy Lifestyle Expo in LA. Both Dr. Fuhrman and Dr. McDougall have given presentations at this event for a number of years. Laurie and I have attended several of them, in fact that was where we first heard Dr. Furhman speak, in 2003.

The Nelsons have done wonderful work and certainly have enabled many people to improve their health. The VegSource site has some very good information, although it is overly focused on "vegan" and overly influenced by lighter-weight intellects such as Jeff Novick. Now Jeff Nelson has waded into a scientific controversy for which he has no training or expertise. This is certainly a mistake, and as someone who likes and admires him I'm sorry to see that happen.

Probably no one really knows whether 1/2 oz of nuts is still adequate for you--- my guess is that it is sufficient for some people and perhaps not for others. I wouldn't worry about it too much--- 1/2 oz will give you some good nutrients even if it is suboptimal. What concerns me more about the McDougall-Novick approach is its fat phobia. As you know, artery disease comes from inflammation, not because you eat a high-fat diet and somehow it so permeates your system that it condenses on your artery walls. Dr. Furhman says there is no evidence that a nutrient-rich low fat diet is better than a nutrient-rich high fat diet, and I find this very plausible. The body needs both unsaturated and saturated fat for many important functions, and there is a real danger that a super-lowfat diet could be harmful.

Having followed your blog for quite a while, I sometimes wonder whether you are eating too few calories. I am convinced that caloric inadequacy can lead to failure to thrive, and also trigger cravings. I you eat both 1 oz of nuts *and* the starches you want, does it really results in a lot of weight gain? I would guess you would gain only a few pounds (if any), and you might feel better and be healthier. Just an unsolicited suggestion from a friend.