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Join Dr. McDougall along with fellow McDougallers in lively discussions and share your opinions.
Mark Simon wrote:Hey vegan vegan:
What you're posting (from Dr. Fuhrman) makes no sense. I don't understand how Dr. Fuhrman is trying to use these studies in relation to AJ. I have read all these nut studies over the past 10 years and this is not rocket science. There is a very good review on nuts that just went up on vegsource, see:
http://www.vegsource.com/news/2012/07/c ... -nuts.html
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Nowhere in this study does it say, as Dr. Fuhrman claims, anything like, â€śThe reason the first study did not show as much continued weight benefits [in the nut-eating group] is the nature of the unhealthy diet they gave them overall, and the snacking of the nuts and lack of compliance as the study went on.â€ť
What? He posts a study, it disproves his point, and he's claiming that it somehow is the fault of the diet that both of the groups were fed, so it doesn't count? Give me a break. His response makes no sense and he references something not even in the study, as you can see for yourself. If in fact the researchers felt the study was a failure because the participants didn't comply, why would they even publish it?
â€¨If Dr. Fuhrman is pointing to that first study, he is correct in the sense that this study helps explain why AJ lost weight when she stopped eating nuts for a period â€“ because nuts can promote weight gain, as the study data clearly shows. They do in just about every study out there, not just the ones that the nut industry pays for. You can read several other nut studies. Most of the nut industry-funded studies on nuts and weight loss are garbage, but unfortunately some researchers like Dr. Fuhrman and Dr. Greger seem to only read the abstracts and don't look at the details.
(And in fact, if you look at the studies and the data tables, you will see that the non-nut-eaters end up with lower cholesterol and better biomarkers for heart disease than those eating the nuts.)
As for Dr. Fuhrman writing: ""Nuts induce weight loss, especially when substituted for high carb calories like white potato. It is fascinating that they increase the absorption of micronutrients and phytonutrients from other foods while at the same time decreasing the absorption of macronutrients from other foods."
Dr. Fuhrman is making up the fact that substituting nuts for potatoes produces weight loss, unless he means French fries. But not whole potatoes, just another thing he is making up. There's a study that showed that diabetic numbers were slightly improved when nuts were substituted for a junky muffin, that's the only "carbohydrate" that's been tested.
The second study Dr. Fuhrman mentions is something already well known. We don't absorb all the calories in nuts. That is true and it's in a number of studies. This second study talks about eating whole nuts, but if you process nuts into salad dressing or nut butter, then the absorption increases and you do get some more calories. The authors of that second study state this as well.
In the many â€śnuts might be good for weight lossâ€ť studies done, the authors all note in the studies that the nut-eaters do not gain AS MUCH weight as would be expected based on the calories from the nuts, but they do gain weight, even in calorie-restricted diets.
â€¨Here is someone with Loma Linda (where a lot of the nut research is done) talking about this in her own blog:
Quoting from her page:
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"When participants replaced a food item and ate a serving of nuts each day while maintaining the same caloric intake, weight did not change"
"Then, when participants were simply asked to add nuts to their regular food intake, there was weight gain, but less than expected (only 0.6 kg instead of 3.6 kg)."
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So it's well known that all the calories in whole nuts aren't absorbed. That's nothing new. But rather than gaining 8 pounds in six months based on nut consumption in that study the blogger is citing, participants only gained 1.5 pounds. So from the review she's citing, nuts add around 3 pounds a year on average when added to your diet, unless you're controlling for calories or exercising a lot. And that's what the Loma Linda nut research experts found.
(You see the same phenomena when someone switches to a low-fat, high fiber diet, about 15% of calories they would be expected to absorb using the Atwater calorie estimating system, are not actually absorbed, see: http://www.ajcn.org/content/86/6/1649.full )
So now here is what is new and not part of any study: Dr. Fuhrman seems to have a personal theory that goes like this: If you eat nuts (which contain fat), since fat helps absorb nutrients, and since with nuts you are not absorbing all the calories, only maybe 60 to 70% of them, by eating nuts you are increasing your absorption of nutrients without increasing net calories (and that's assuming you control your hunger and not eat to satiety as in the McDougall diet).
Now, Dr. Fuhrman's theory continues, vegans are probably lacking in absorption of adequate nutrients. Huh? Says who? Healthy vegans are eating nothing but nutrient-rich plant foods, and are eating as much or more than what the longest-lived populations around the world have eaten. How would they be lacking in nutrients? What is the evidence? (Dr. Fuhrman has none.)
And then Dr. Fuhrman makes another leap, that if there is an alleged â€ślack of absorptionâ€ť in the vegan diet, this lack must inevitably contribute to some potential ill health of vegans, down the road. (Again, he's just making that up, no evidence for it.)
To put Dr. Fuhrman's theory another way, a way he might see as most effective: â€śYou won't absorb enough nutrients on a McDougall diet, so you will end up dying prematurely as a result! And the solution is to eat my particular brand of diet, buy my books, buy my supplements, add nuts, follow all my instructions, and then you will absorb more nutrients and live longer!â€ťâ€¨â€¨
The only problem with that is that, as I said, there is zero evidence for it. It's something someone might make up to try to compete in the marketplace, and convince possible customers who don't actually check the studies you post, that you are a Diet Guru who has The Truth, and all others should be ignored.
Isnâ€™t that Dr. Fuhrman's message? He keeps talking about all his patients that he has helped but the only study on weight he's gotten published was very poorly done, and of no real value. Dr. Colin Campbell actually REMOVED his name from Dr. Fuhrman's weight loss study in a retraction published this winter in the same scientific journal Dr. Campbell got it published in.
Dr. Campbell's reason for â€śdisassociatingâ€ť himself from Dr. Fuhrman's study was that the study contains â€śmajor errors that discredit the otherwise impressive health benefits of a whole food plant-based dietary lifestyle,â€ť
Got that? So if Dr. Campbell is running away from Dr. Fuhrman's â€śscienceâ€ť as fast as he can, are the rest of us all supposed to just believe Dr. Fuhrman when he comes up with these kooky, self-serving theories?
But again, there's no science behind Dr. Fuhrman's theory. And in fact, there is science showing that if you add nuts to your diet, you will have higher cholesterol and other increases in biomarkers associated with heart disease, and one of the nut studies showed higher glucose levels, which is bad for diabetics. This is in the data tables in those studies.
Nuts are okay in moderation, if you don't need to lose weight. But the theories that you're hearing from Dr. Fuhrman on this aren't grounded in any science, at least no science that he's cited publicly at this point.
If you have to choose, stick with McDougall. He doesn't make stuff up to try to make his diet look better than someone else's. He doesn't have to.
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