Going Nuts?

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Going Nuts?

Postby JeffN » Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:13 am

I just did an experiment that I think some of you may be interested in.

I analyzed a diet that is similar to the Okinawan diet but McDougall style with a little Novick influence. You can call it the merging of McDougalls Medicine & Novicks Nutrition :)

I am taking a diet based in McDougall principles, but using sweet potatoes as the main source of calories which is similar to the 1949 Okinawan Diet.

It included:

8 Cups Sweet Potato
1 Cup Cooked Collard
1 Cup Cooked Kale
1 Cup Adzuki Beans
1/2 Cup Blueberries
1/2 Cup Mango
1 oz Nut/Seeds (4 tsp flax/1 tsp brazil/1tsp sunflower)

At 2000 calories it surpasses every single vitamin, mineral, carotenoid, etc known that we have a DRI/RDA for except for B12. It is 8% fat.

(all numbers based on the USDA SR20 as accessed thru the CRON-O-Meter, version 0.9.3)

The Omega 6 is 5.7
The Omega 3 is 2.8

This is a 2:1 ratio

Now, what happens if I add in 4 oz of Cashews to the above diet

The Calories go to 2700, and it is now 22% fat

The Omega 6 is now 14.6
The Omega 3 is now 2.9

The Ratio is now 5:1

If I don't "add" in but "substitute" the 4 oz of cashews for the equal calories of sweet potato, it is now 2000 calories and 29% fat and we get

The amount of Omega 6 is 14.1
The amount of Omega 3 is 2.9

The ratio of omega 6 to 3 is 4.86:1

In relation to essential fatty acids, out of the 3 options, which do you think is best?

Now lets redo the experiment with almonds as they are supposed to be healthier.

So, what happens if I add in 4 oz of Almonds to the above original diet

The Calories go to 2737, and it is now 24% fat

The Omega 6 is now 19.4
The Omega 3 is now 2.8

The Ratio is now 7:1

If I don't "add" in but "substitute" the 4 oz of almonds for the equal calories of sweet potato, it is now 2000 calories and 31% fat and we get

The amount of Omega 6 is 18.9
The amount of Omega 3 is 2.8

The ratio of omega 6 to 3 is 6.75:1

In relation to essential fatty acids, out of all the above options, which do you think is best?

In Health
Jeff Novick, MS, RD
Last edited by JeffN on Thu Mar 20, 2008 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Jaggu » Thu Mar 20, 2008 12:02 pm

When you replace equivalent calories of almond or Cashew by sweet potato, don't know how the overall fat % goes up( I know how but doesn't make sense). That's why wouldn't % of fat as a daily calorie requirement be a better indication whether diet is better or worse?
Jaggu
 

Postby JeffN » Thu Mar 20, 2008 12:12 pm

Jaggu wrote:When you replace equivalent calories of almond or Cashew by sweet potato, don't know how the overall fat % goes up( I know how but doesn't make sense).


I didn't do that.

I replaced equal calories of sweet potato (low fat) with either almonds or cashews (both high fat) so the percentage of fat in each instance, went up.

Jaggu wrote:That's why wouldn't % of fat as a daily calorie requirement be a better indication whether diet is better or worse?


Percentage of fat is important but only one issue. You can have unhealthy low fat diets. Type of fat is also an issue. But,it is not one of the other. You want both lower fat, and no bad fats.

The fats you do need come along with the package of the lower fat natural foods.

In Health
Jeff Novick, MS, RD
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What about walnuts?

Postby Purdy » Thu Mar 20, 2008 12:48 pm

Your examples use 4 ounces.
My understanding is that a full cup of "pieces & halves" mixture of walnuts for example is about 4 ounces wt.

Now from what I've seen, regarding walnuts, most people are only suggesting a quarter cup, or about 1 ounce.
I know if I'm aiming for 1 ounce (1/4 cup) I may often use 1/3 (cup) or even a bit more, but never close to a full 4 ounces (1.0 cup)

Seems like a unfair comparison. Obviously a full cup measurement (4 ounce wt) of walnuts would be excessive.

Am I mixing up fluid ounce cup measurements and net wt ounces measurements?

BTW in the 1949 Okinawan diet, what was their use of fish?
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Postby Quiet Heather » Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:12 pm

I could eat a cup of nuts over the course of a day, no problem. But that most certainly would not be as filling and satisfying as the sweet potatoes.
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Re: What about walnuts?

Postby JeffN » Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:14 pm

Hi Purdy,

Purdy wrote:Your examples use 4 ounces.
My understanding is that a full cup of "pieces & halves" mixture of walnuts for example is about 4 ounces wt.


A cup of walnut pieces is 785 calories. A 1/2 cup of walnuts pieces is 392 calories.

Many ads say add in a "1 oz handful." THAT is misleading. One ounce is a very small handful. How many people do you know who hear this and add in a small handful? Most think this means a full handful and of course, if something is good, more is better, so make a really full handful.

Now, depending on the nuts, we can be talking 350 or 400 calories or more. A 1/2 cup of macadamia nuts is almost 500 calories.

Purdy wrote:Now from what I've seen, regarding walnuts, most people are only suggesting a quarter cup, or about 1 ounce.
I know if I'm aiming for 1 ounce (1/4 cup) I may often use 1/3 (cup) or even a bit more, but never close to a full 4 ounces (1.0 cup)

Seems like a unfair comparison. Obviously a full cup measurement (4 ounce wt) of walnuts would be excessive.

Am I mixing up fluid ounce cup measurements and net wt ounces measurements?.


This is why it is important to be specific and most of these specific issues were covered in the other threads.

If you have been following the threads here, I have shown that adding 1-2 oz of nuts is no problem and does not make a low fat diet, high fat. The first diet above that is 8% fat includes 1 ox of nuts. :)

And, you are correct in regard to national recommendations. As I stated in the other thread, the official health claim approved by the FDA is for 1.5 ounces a day. And, in most studies on nuts, consumption was between two to five 1 oz servings per week.

However, it is a fair comparison as this post is in response to what had been posted by the members in this forum. Many here have posted that they have been recommended to consume 3-4 oz a day, and some even more.

My own personal experience over the last decade is that many people are either being told or perceiving they are being told, that they should include a "good sized" handful everyday. A good sized handful is at least 1/2 cup, which as you can see can be 2.5 to 3 oz or more. This is above the national recommendations. Some have come to me and are consuming closer to a cup a day based on what they are hearing or being recommended

Sorry for the misunderstanding.

So, which do you think is the healthiest of the diets above?

In Health
Jeff Novick, MS, RD

(PS, If I redo the above comparisons and add in only 2 oz, which do you think would be better?)
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Re: What about walnuts?

Postby JeffN » Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:20 pm

Purdy wrote:BTW in the 1949 Okinawan diet, what was their use of fish?


http://www.drmcdougall.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=6117
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Re: Going Nuts?

Postby Jaggu » Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:27 pm

JeffN wrote:It included:

8 Cups Sweet Potato
1 Cup Cooked Collard
1 Cup Cooked Kale
1 Cup Adzuki Beans
1/2 Cup Blueberries
1/2 Cup Mango
1 oz Nut/Seeds (4 tsp flax/1 tsp brazil/1tsp sunflower)

At 2000 calories it surpasses every single vitamin, mineral, carotenoid, etc known that we have a DRI/RDA for except for B12. It is 8% fat.

In Health
Jeff Novick, MS, RD



Doesn't McD diet caution against using nuts and seeds as they are high in fat, calorie dense food, weight gain etc ? Was wondering how the vitamin, mineral, nutrition balance would look like without nuts/seeds if that is(nuts and seeds) not encouraged.

If McD/Novick diet is OK with nuts and seeds, then how can the 10% fat from calories be maintained. In your example, I know it is 8 % , but real world is different and we have to leave some room for today's reality in which every food is processed in some ways. For e.g. most breads will have some amount of oil .
Jaggu
 

Re: Going Nuts?

Postby JeffN » Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:44 pm

Hi Jaggu

Jaggu wrote:Doesn't McD diet caution against using nuts and seeds as they are high in fat, calorie dense food, weight gain etc ?


Yes. So do I.

A yellow light at an intersection is a caution light, but it does not mean that you cant ever go through the intersection. It just means proceed with caution.

Have you read this newsletter?

http://www.drmcdougall.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=6034

Jaggu wrote:Was wondering how the vitamin, mineral, nutrition balance would look like without nuts/seeds if that is(nuts and seeds) not encouraged.


Flax seeds are served on the buffets at the Mcdougall program.

I think you are confusing separate issues here.

Jaggu wrote: If McD/Novick diet is OK with nuts and seeds, then how can the 10% fat from calories be maintained. In your example, I know it is 8 % ,


You answered your own question. ;) It is very easy to include a small amount of nuts/seeds and still maintain a diet that is no more than 10% fat.

Jaggu wrote: but real world is different and we have to leave some room for today's reality in which every food is processed in some ways. For e.g. most breads will have some amount of oil


I think we live in different realities. :)

The real world also eats lots of meat, dairy, eggs, cheese, chocolate, etc etc etc. indulges in alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, is in debt, has no savings, and engages in many other unhealthy behaviors.

Todays reality has made Americans the fattest people on Earth, has causes a global obesity epidemic, and has the potential to shorten the expected lifespan of children born today.

Do you accept that you have to participate in this reality and the "real world" activities and behaviors that we know are unhealthy or highly toxic?

I like to think that we have the choice not do. To me, this is about taking charge of your health and life and becoming the master of your health/life.

If you go to the produce section, and farmers markets, most all the food is unprocessed.

I posted this as a specific question targeted at a specific issue that has been raised here many times. I understand there are different issues and different ways of looking at things.

So, in regard to Omega 3s, which do you think would be the best of the choices above?

In Health
Jeff Novick, MS, RD
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Re: What about walnuts?

Postby Purdy » Fri Mar 21, 2008 1:36 pm

JeffN wrote:
My own personal experience over the last decade is that many people are either being told or perceiving they are being told, that they should include a "good sized" handful everyday. A good sized handful is at least 1/2 cup, which as you can see can be 2.5 to 3 oz or more. This is above the national recommendations. Some have come to me and are consuming closer to a cup a day based on what they are hearing or being recommended

Sorry for the misunderstanding.

So, which do you think is the healthiest of the diets above?

In Health
Jeff Novick, MS, RD

(PS, If I redo the above comparisons and add in only 2 oz, which do you think would be better?)


Well, in the choices above I'd say your original diet, the first one listed, is the best. And while using 4 ounces as an example is a bit overboard, I do know that even I am probably exceeding my true 1 ounce portion when I eat my walnuts.
I'm going to have to re-evaluate my methods. Sometimes because of the bulky nature of walnuts I look at 1/4 cup and say to myself that I'm just making up for the empty spaces between walnuts when I use 1/3 or more in my meal. Perhaps I should invest in a small scale to be more accurate.
Tonight I'll pour out 4 typical servings and see how much it fills up a normal measuring cup. Keep myself honest. Now I have zero weight problem but I don't want to be actually eating 1/2 cup of walnuts when I'm thinking or fooling myself about it being only 1/4 cup.

More interesting was your link to the 1950 Okinawan diet.
Thats got me interested in sweet potatoes as opposed to true yams etc.
Next visit to my Asian produce store I'm gonna look at their selection of sweet potatoes. Seems the Okinawan sweet potatoes turn purple inside when cooked.
Always looking for another healthy carb to alternate with my regular whole wheat pasta (rotelle) and my whole wheat cous cous. As well as some Butternut squash.
I'm simply amazed how much of their caloric intake came from sweet potatoes compared to rice.
Purdy
 

Re: What about walnuts?

Postby JeffN » Fri Mar 21, 2008 3:48 pm

Hi Purdy

Purdy wrote:Well, in the choices above I'd say your original diet, the first one listed, is the best.


Thank you.

Purdy wrote: I do know that even I am probably exceeding my true 1 ounce portion when I eat my walnuts.


That is my point and one that several others have made. When a food is scarce, as nuts were in nature, it is difficult to overeat on them. But, when you live in a society where they are abundant and inexpensive and readily available, it is very easy to overdo it.

More than anything, this may be one of the biggest negatives about them.

Purdy wrote:I'm going to have to re-evaluate my methods. Sometimes because of the bulky nature of walnuts I look at 1/4 cup and say to myself that I'm just making up for the empty spaces between walnuts when I use 1/3 or more in my meal. Perhaps I should invest in a small scale to be more accurate. Tonight I'll pour out 4 typical servings and see how much it fills up a normal measuring cup. Keep myself honest. Now I have zero weight problem but I don't want to be actually eating 1/2 cup of walnuts when I'm thinking or fooling myself about it being only 1/4 cup.


Thanks. Let us know how it goes. While I am not recommending this to anyone, as it is not necessary, the only true way to "measure" food, in this regard is by weight. Tell 10 people to show you a "handful" or a "cup" or an "ounce", even if they have measuring cups, and will get 10 different amounts. However, if you ask people to give you 4 oz and they all have reliable scales, you are more likely to get to examples of 4 oz, though even this way can have some errors.

Purdy wrote:More interesting was your link to the 1950 Okinawan diet.
Thats got me interested in sweet potatoes as opposed to true yams etc.
Next visit to my Asian produce store I'm gonna look at their selection of sweet potatoes. Seems the Okinawan sweet potatoes turn purple inside when cooked.
Always looking for another healthy carb to alternate with my regular whole wheat pasta (rotelle) and my whole wheat cous cous. As well as some Butternut squash.
I'm simply amazed how much of their caloric intake came from sweet potatoes compared to rice.


Sweet potatoes, even the ones we get hear in America at the local grocery stores, are nutrition powerhouses.

Enjoy them

In Health
Jeff Novick, MS, RD
Last edited by JeffN on Fri Mar 21, 2008 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What about walnuts?

Postby JeffN » Fri Mar 21, 2008 3:50 pm

Purdy wrote: And while using 4 ounces as an example is a bit overboard,.


Because I have invited you all to challenge my posts if you feel they are unfair or inaccurate, and your point is well taken, I will respond in kind.

:)

Here are the numbers, redone with 2 oz.

I just REdid an experiment that I think some of you may be interested in.

I analyzed a diet that is similar to the Okinawan diet but McDougall style with a little Novick influence. You can call it the merging of McDougalls Medicine & Novicks Nutrition :)

I am taking a diet based in McDougall principles, but using sweet potatoes as the main source of calories which is similar to the 1949 Okinawan Diet.

It included:

8 Cups Sweet Potato
1 Cup Cooked Collard
1 Cup Cooked Kale
1 Cup Adzuki Beans
1/2 Cup Blueberries
1/2 Cup Mango
1 oz Nut/Seeds (4 tsp flax/1 tsp brazil/1tsp sunflower)

At 2000 calories it surpasses every single vitamin, mineral, carotenoid, etc known that we have a DRI/RDA for except for B12. It is 8% fat.

(all numbers based on the USDA SR20 as accessed thru the CRON-O-Meter, version 0.9.3)

The Omega 6 is 5.7
The Omega 3 is 2.8

This is a 2:1 ratio

Now, what happens if I add in 2 oz of Cashews to the above diet

The Calories go to 2400, and it is now 16% fat

The Omega 6 is now 10.1
The Omega 3 is now 2.9

The Ratio is now 3.5:1

If I don't "add" in but "substitute" the 2 oz of cashews for the equal calories of sweet potato, it is now 2000 calories and 18% fat and we get

The amount of Omega 6 is 9.9
The amount of Omega 3 is 2.9

The ratio of omega 6 to 3 is 3.4:1

In relation to essential fatty acids, out of the 3 options, which do you think is best?

Now lets redo the experiment with almonds as they are supposed to be healthier.

So, what happens if I add in 2 oz of Almonds to the above original diet

The Calories go to 2411, and it is now 17% fat

The Omega 6 is now 12.6
The Omega 3 is now 2.8

The Ratio is now 4.5:1

If I don't "add" in but "substitute" the 2 oz of almonds for the equal calories of sweet potato, it is now 2000 calories and 20% fat and we get

The amount of Omega 6 is 12.3
The amount of Omega 3 is 2.8

The ratio of omega 6 to 3 is 4.39:1

In relation to essential fatty acids, out of all the above options, which do you think is best?

In Health
Jeff Novick, MS, RD
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Re: What about walnuts?

Postby Zena » Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:00 pm

Hi Jeff,

First I'd just like to thank you for taking the time to answer all the questions on this board. You are such a wonderful addition to the amazing McDougall program.

My vote still goes to the original diet that has the lowest amount of nuts/seeds (1 oz) for a very simple reason:

JeffN wrote:
At 2000 calories it surpasses every single vitamin, mineral, carotenoid, etc known that we have a DRI/RDA for except for B12. It is 8% fat.



Since this already surpasses the daily requirements, why would it be necessary to add all the extra fat and calories to surpass the requirements even more?

I think so many people today fall into the trap of thinking "if a little is good, then more must be better". But as you shown quite effectively, sometimes a little is more than enough.

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Postby Quiet Heather » Sat Mar 22, 2008 2:28 am

Not to mention that the omega 6 to omega 3 ratio in the first diet is much better than in any of the other examples. Isn't a 2:1 ratio ideal? I've read that the SAD diet is closer to 15:1 or even 20:1, is that correct?
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Postby JeffN » Sat Mar 22, 2008 8:52 am

Quiet Heather wrote:Not to mention that the omega 6 to omega 3 ratio in the first diet is much better than in any of the other examples. Isn't a 2:1 ratio ideal? I've read that the SAD diet is closer to 15:1 or even 20:1, is that correct?


We don't know what the "ideal" ratio is, but there is evidence that the current one if American is too high, with estimates of it being around 15:1 to 20:1 and that ideally it should be less than 4:1 or even less than 2:1, which they estimate to be what the ratio of our ancestors natural diet was.

There is some evidence that too high a level of Omega 6 (And too high a ratio of 6:3s) can be inflammatory and interfere with the synthesis of EPA and DHA.

So, yes, my recommendations are too keep total fat low, omega 3 adequate and omega 6 no more than a 4:1 ratio. This does not mean you can not consume somes foods that are higher in fat and/or higher in omega 6s, it just means the higher in fat and the higher in omega 6s these foods are, the less of them you can consume to keep your daily averages in line.

And, as we are all seeing, most nuts have a very high levels of omega 6s, and in excess can interfere with achieving what may be considered, optimal levels.

Don't go nuts over the nuts. :)

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