The Attack Against Nuts and Seeds—Getting Nuttier All The Time.

February 12, 2019 by Joel Fuhrman, MD

It is important to stand up to individuals who can hurt others with dangerous nutritional advice.  We usually see such arguments coming from the meat-promoting nutritional gurus, attempting to find some flaw in a study that demonstrates the dangers of too much animal products in the diet. The number of studies corroborating that more animal products in the diet contribute to the development of chronic disease and premature death is deafening and indisputable at this time.

However, a similar development is occurring in the denial of the harm that results from omitting nuts and seeds from the diet – and the attempt to bolster support for an extremely low-fat vegan diet, which is clearly dangerous. It has been brought to my attention that a series of videos has been posted and promoted on YouTube attempting to discredit the studies documenting the lifespan-extending properties of including nuts and seeds in one’s diet. The individuals represented here want to try to protect their legacy of promoting an extremely low-fat vegan diets (nut and seed exclusion); unfortunately, according to a preponderance of evidence, this outmoded and disproven stance does lead to premature death. Unable to shut down the avalanche of evidence, they attempt to discredit the studies. The facts are: extreme low-fat vegan dieters are at higher risk of depression and dementia, as well as premature mortality, from all causes, and the evidence increases every year. 

We give more credence to studies that involve thousands of participants and go on for decades, while looking at hard endpoints, like heart attacks and cardiovascular death. ALL such large studies show the same thing: Nut eating extends lifespan. Or, to put it another way: The lack of sufficient nuts or seeds in the diet increases premature death, particularly cardiovascular death as demonstrated in every long-term study examining this issue, such as:

  • The Adventist Health Study I and II1
  • The Iowa Women’s Health Study2
  • The Nurses’ Health Study3
  • The Physicians Health Study4

I reviewed the videos (as requested by many) and the main argument to discredit all the epidemiology on this issue was the claim that these studies have been funded by the nut industry, are biased, and therefore should be ignored.

But let’s be clear: Industry funding does not invalidate studies. True, industry is more likely to help fund research if they think will turn out in their favor. However, these studies must make it through peer review and meet the standards of scientific journals. The original study from 1992 that found the first evidence of a strong protective effect of nuts against heart disease was not funded by the nut industry. Once there was some observational evidence in favor of nuts, of course the nut industry wanted to help (partially) support additional research that would likely yield similar results.

Plus, the studies not at all supported by the nut industry show the same thing. For example, this study, funded by the National Cancer Institute included three large cohorts totaling about 200,000 participants followed for 5-12 years, and concluded that nut intake was associated with a lower risk of total mortality in all three cohorts.5

When a research institution gets a grant from the nut industry to aid their research, they cannot fabricate the findings that nut-avoiding, fat-phobic vegans were dying younger. And the results of the enormous Adventist Health Study II were consistent with prior studies and serious — a 39 percent decreased occurrence of cardiovascular mortality in those  eating nuts and seeds at least 5 times a week compared to less than once a week.6  These studies involve hundreds of researchers, and to claim that they are all in collusion faking results is not merely biased, but ridiculous, especially when other studies show similar results.

By the way, the increased heart attacks and increased mortality confirmed in the Adventist Study has been corroborated in a meta-analysis of 17 carefully vetted studies and every large-scale epidemiological trial, which essentially shows the same thing – avoidance of nuts/seeds increases risk of premature death.7 Plus, multiple other meta-analyses also performed dose-response analysis and reported dose-response associations between nut intake and a lower risk of all-cause mortality – meaning, the more nuts someone ate, the less likely they were to die during the follow-up periods of the studies.8

The next claim made was that all these epidemiology studies are wrong because those eating more nuts were healthier overall for other reasons, such as they ate more vegetables, ate less meat, were less likely to be overweight, and exercised more. This was evaluated in the study, and the researchers used modern statistical methods to control and evaluate for confounding factors. This is essentially saying that the highly trained researchers are incompetent – yet this individual with no training, research credentials or clinical experience caring for the medical issues that develop in long-term nut/seed-avoiding vegans, has better answers and explanations for the astonishing findings. 

Then it was falsely claimed the reduction in cholesterol is small and is just due to displacing meat and dairy. The Adventist Health Study refutes that, showing cumulative effects from the combination of several health behaviors. In vegetarian participants who exercised regularly, expected age at death was 7.8 years older in the group who ate nuts regularly vs. those who did not.9

Despite cholesterol-lowering effects described as small, pooled results of four large, early prospective studies (The Adventist Health Study, The Iowa Women's Health Study, The Nurses' Health Study, and the Physicians' Health Study) reported a 37 percent reduction in heart disease risk in participants eating nuts more than four times per week compared to those who never or rarely ate nuts. In this analysis, each weekly serving of nuts was associated with an 8.3 percent reduction in risk.10 This reduced risk of coronary heart disease seen in epidemiologic studies is supported by studies investigating potential cardio-protective mechanisms of nuts and seeds. In addition to cholesterol reduction, these studies suggest nuts and seeds reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, promote insulin sensitivity, and improve endothelial function; plus, there is strong evidence from human trials that seeds, flaxseed in particular, reduces systolic and diastolic blood pressure.11

They also attempted to debunk the original 1992 conclusions from the Adventist Health Study that reported a reduction in risk of CHD associated with nut consumption by twisting the findings. He says, “if you believe the results of this study, you should eat cheese too, because that was also associated with a lower risk” – he says the same for beef and bread. But if you look at the 95 percent confidence intervals in the table (shown in the video) you’d see these associations were not statistically significant. He says the opposite for legumes and fruit, that you should avoid them because they increased risk, but these were also nonsignificant results. The association with nuts, in contrast, was significant. The results on nuts were the ones the researchers highlighted because they were the only statistically significant finding.12  The Cochrane analysis was also misrepresented, which did not include long-term studies reporting on death or cardiovascular events.13 

Remember, Dr. Esselstyn’s and Dr. Ornish’s studies, demonstrating improvement in cardiovascular disease, do not prove that avoiding nuts is safe or that people with heart disease should avoid nuts and seeds.  First of all, Dr. Ornish’s group used high-dose fish oil with a near-vegan diet.  So, he cannot be included here, as he was not advocating severe fat avoidance since his patients were using lots of fish oils – and he also now includes some nuts and seeds in his heart disease program (as a result of all this increasing evidence on their importance).  They claimed there are no studies on vegan with heart disease using nuts, conveniently avoiding my paper published In the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine documenting impressive cardiovascular reversal results (while including nuts and seeds) and reporting more dramatic sustained weight loss.14 The outcomes with my hundreds of advanced heart patients using nuts and seeds over the last 30 years has been remarkable.

To assume the safety of radically excluding fats with heart patients would require a larger population and a longer follow-up period – like the epidemiology studies mentioned above that all showed excluding nuts and seeds to be dangerous. Erring on the side of caution, radically excluding fat (and DHA supplementation) from the diet of sick people, with no evidence and experience documenting safety, and so much evidence demonstrating danger, should not be the default position when large randomized controlled trials are lacking. 

The other issue is that I have 30 years of clinical experience caring for this community of damaged vegans, who can and do develop anxiety, severe depression, post-partum depression and dementia as a result of such irresponsible advice to ignore the need for fatty acid adequacy (including DHA) promoted by this community.  And, anyone like me that stands up to this wrong and harmful information gets attacked and slandered by these anti-nut nuts.

As a busy primary care physician caring for this community of vegans and health seekers, I have cared for hundreds that have gotten in trouble with such improper dietary advice that did not suit their individual physiology.  Additionally, I have seen lots of otherwise healthy elderly vegan patients with memory loss and dementia from long-standing DHA deficiencies.  

I don’t think there are many physicians who have had such a busy medical practice for three decades, caring for this community, many who needed to seek me out after being hurt by following the extremely low-fat advice. It is a matter of ethical consciousness and importance to call this out and state that I consider these videos – that promote these discredited dietary positions – irresponsible, as people are encouraged to place their lives at higher risk and ignore these important scientific and clinical findings.

By the way, there are many mechanisms via which nuts and seeds are lifespan-promoting including the enhancement of not merely 700 different carotenoids, but the absorption of an entire class of lifespan-lengthening (fat-soluble) phytonutrients, whose absorption is enhanced with increased fat in the meal, including phytosterols, terpenes, diterpenes, saponins, as well as numerous vitamin E fragments (tocopherols and tocotrienols).15 There is large genetic variation in absorption and bioavailability from person to person, as well as a variety of testing methods used in such studies, so the precise effects on each person may vary. 

The bottom line is, these videos do not contain responsible nutritional information, though we can expect such attacks to continue because the legacy of wrong information and ego are powerful forces that cause intellectual blindness.



1 Fraser GE, Sabate J, Beeson WL, Strahan TM. A possible protective effect of nut consumption on risk of coronary heart disease. The Adventist Health Study. Arch Intern Med 1992, 152:1416-1424. Sabate J. Nut consumption, vegetarian diets, ischemic heart disease risk, and all-cause mortality: evidence from epidemiologic studies. Am J Clin Nutr 1999, 70:500S-503S.

Fraser GE, Shavlik DJ. Ten years of life: Is it a matter of choice? Arch Intern Med 2001, 161:1645-1652. Tharrey M, Mariotti F, Mashchak A, et al. Patterns of plant and animal protein intake are strongly associated with cardiovascular mortality: the Adventist Health Study-2 cohort. Int J Epidemiol 2018.

2 Ellsworth JL, Kushi LH, Folsom AR. Frequent nut intake and risk of death from coronary heart disease and all causes in postmenopausal women: the Iowa Women's Health Study. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2001, 11:372-377.

3 Baer HJ, Glynn RJ, Hu FB, et al. Risk factors for mortality in the nurses' health study: a competing risks analysis. Am J Epidemiol 2011, 173:319-329. Bao Y, Han J, Hu FB, et al. Association of nut consumption with total and cause-specific mortality. N Engl J Med 2013, 369:2001-2011.

4 Bao Y, Han J, Hu FB, et al. Association of nut consumption with total and cause-specific mortality. N Engl J Med 2013, 369:2001-2011.

5 Luu HN, Blot WJ, Xiang YB et al. Prospective Evaluation of the Association of Nut/Peanut Consumption With Total and Cause-Specific Mortality. JAMA Intern Med 2015;175(5):755-766.

6 Fraser GE, Shavlik DJ. Risk factors for all-cause and coronary heart disease mortality in the oldest-old. The Adventist Health Study. Arch Intern Med 1997, 157:2249-2258.

7 Grosso G, Yang J, Marventano S, et al. Nut consumption on all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis of epidemiologic studies. Am J Clin Nutr 2015;101(4):783-93.

8 Grosso G, Yang J, Marventano S, et al. Nut consumption on all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis of epidemiologic studies. Am J Clin Nutr 2015, 101:783-793. Aune D, Keum N, Giovannucci E, et al. Nut consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer, all-cause and cause-specific mortality: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. BMC Med 2016, 14:207.

van den Brandt PA, Schouten LJ. Relationship of tree nut, peanut and peanut butter intake with total and cause-specific mortality: a cohort study and meta-analysis. Int J Epidemiol 2015.

9 Fraser GE, Shavlik DJ. Ten years of life: Is it a matter of choice? Arch Intern Med 2001, 161:1645-1652.

10 Kelly JH, Jr., Sabate J. Nuts and coronary heart disease: an epidemiological perspective. Br J Nutr 2006, 96 Suppl 2:S61-67.

11 Kris-Etherton PM, Hu FB, Ros E, Sabate J. The role of tree nuts and peanuts in the prevention of coronary heart disease: multiple potential mechanisms. J Nutr 2008, 138:1746S-1751S.

Katz DL, Davidhi A, Ma Y, et al. Effects of walnuts on endothelial function in overweight adults with visceral obesity: a randomized, controlled, crossover trial. J Am Coll Nutr 2012, 31:415-423. Kris-Etherton PM. Walnuts decrease risk of cardiovascular disease: a summary of efficacy and biologic mechanisms. J Nutr 2014, 144:547S-554S. Bullo M, Juanola-Falgarona M, Hernandez-Alonso P, Salas-Salvado J. Nutrition attributes and health effects of pistachio nuts. Br J Nutr 2015, 113 Suppl 2:S79-93. Rajaram S, Sabate J. Nuts, body weight and insulin resistance. Br J Nutr 2006, 96 Suppl 2:S79-86. Khalesi S, Irwin C, Schubert M. Flaxseed consumption may reduce blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled trials. J Nutr 2015, 145:758-765.

12 Fraser GE, Sabate J, Beeson WL, Strahan TM. A possible protective effect of nut consumption on risk of coronary heart disease. The Adventist Health Study. Arch Intern Med 1992, 152:1416-1424.

13 Martin N, Germanò R, Hartley L, Adler AJ, Rees K. Nut consumption for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2015, Issue 9. Art. No.: CD011583.

14 Fuhrman J, Singer M. Improved Cardiovascular Parameters with a Nutrient-Dense, Plant-Rich Diet-Style: A Patient Survey With Illustrative Cases.  American Journal of Lifestyle Med.

 October 15, 2015 doi:10.1177/1559827615611024.

15 van Het Hof KH, West CE, Weststrate JA, Hautvast JG. Dietary factors that affect the bioavailability of carotenoids. J Nutr 2000, 130:503-506. Gorel P, Desmarchelier C. Bioavailability of Fat-Soluble Vitamins and Phytochemicals in Humans: Effects of Genetic Variation. Annual Review of Nutrition  2018;38:69-96. 

Joel Fuhrman, M.D. is a board-certified family physician, seven-time New York Times bestselling author and internationally recognized expert on nutrition and natural healing, who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional methods. Dr. Fuhrman coined the term “Nutritarian” to describe his longevity-promoting, nutrient dense, plant-rich eating style.
For over 30 years, Dr. Fuhrman has shown that it is possible to achieve sustainable weight loss and reverse heart disease, diabetes and many other illnesses using smart nutrition. In his medical practice, and through his books and PBS television specials, he continues to bring this life-saving message to hundreds of thousands of people around the world.


Comments (0):



02/13/2019 05:24 PM

Hi Dr.Fuhrman ! Thank you so much for standing up to criticism and providing your followers scienced-based information to help them make the best choice for their long-term health ! It is rare to see professionals like you responding to Youtube drama and for that I thank you ! The community is strong there, so the information that person is sharing can HARM other people ! Truly unresponsible.

jdep replies:

02/13/2019 10:24 PM

I too, extend my sincere thanks.. 


maryska replies:

02/14/2019 11:10 AM

Thanks from me too. I know that several spoons of tahini, for eg, are a quick, filling and easy snack which provides energy and a clear mind.

BlushingTomato replies:

05/01/2019 04:38 PM

I’ll add my voice in sincerely thanking Dr. Fuhrman, too. Jeff Nelson is a crybaby who can only get followers by attacking the true giants in promoting scientific health news such as Dr. Fuhrman snd Dr. Greger. He needs drama to get anyone to listen to him. I’m glad Iknow where to find the real truth about Health! 

This reply was last edited on 05/01/2019 04:37 PM


02/13/2019 05:27 PM

Dr. Fuhrman, thank you for this excellent post. As a way to ensure getting plenty of nuts and seeds in my diet, I now make a variety of salad dressings using cashews and/or almonds, and zucchini-based breakfast bars using flax seed meal. My husband and I eat these delicious foods daily.

It never ceases to amaze me how far corporations will go to prop up their disease machines which are slow-killing human beings. My husband and I are SO GRATEFUL to have found you, your books, your videos, the Women's Nutritarian Health Study, and your website with hundreds of fabulous recipes!💖


02/13/2019 05:27 PM

Dr. Fuhrman, do you feel it safe for a patient with Type 2 diabetes to consume, say, 1/2 to 1 cup (or more?) of nuts per day?

Theresa Anderson replies:

02/13/2019 06:38 PM

I know you asked Dr. Fuhrman..I am a certified NET; Let me offer some help.  If you are at your optimal weight...have your blood sugars running normal with no medication and a favorable A1C ...I would still not recommend a whole cup. If you need to lose any weight 1 oz of raw nuts and seeds is sufficient.  I would also have 1 TB of ground flax seed on top of that.  As you get down to your ideal weight and fitness you can of course have more.  I recommend that if you are measuring by the cup, no more than 1/4 cup of nuts and seeds.  I hope this helps.  


02/13/2019 05:53 PM

Excellent post Dr. Fuhrman! Thank you for setting it straight, it’s unfortunate that misinformation is put up on social media with so many people believing it. I’m glad you stand up to it and help so many people. I unfortunately went very low fat for a few years before I discovered your work and definitely wasn’t thriving. Now that I’ve been following your advice I feel better than ever and will never change. Thanks again😁💕


02/13/2019 06:02 PM

Hi Dr. Fuhrman,

I love you! 

Does Benecol spread help with cholesterol.  It makes that claim. It claims stanols in it.  Can it be harmful to you?  It definitely tastes great!  Looks and taste just like butter.



This comment was last edited on 02/13/2019 06:04 PM


02/13/2019 06:04 PM

Excellent information, thank you!

Having been vegan for over 35 years and raising a family

on this lifestyle, it is important to know

that nuts and seeds are a crucial part of the vegan diet.


02/13/2019 06:26 PM

Thank you so much, Dr. Furhman! Grateful to have the nut issue resolved with good solid science. Your program enabled me to lose over 60 pounds 5 1/2 years ago. I kept off the weight and was able to get optimal blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol. I have many of your books and your recipes are delicious. Your work has made such a positive difference in my life. Thank you!

Theresa Anderson

02/13/2019 06:33 PM

Dr. Joel Fuhrman has been the voice of reason since I knew of him in 2004.  I travel the world he describes above among other vegan podcasts etc. and can attest to what he says above.  Thank you for your honesty and clarity.  I eat nuts and seeds daily.  Thanks to Dr. Furhman's excellent analysis of the scientific facts that populate ALL of his books, I know I am doing the right thing. 


02/13/2019 06:39 PM

Get em Doc! - The Minister of Wellness 


02/13/2019 07:01 PM

Dr. Fuhrman,

I too would like to thank you for taking the time to respond to the anti-nut hype by some vegans.  My wife and I are whole food vegans and had been eating quite a lot of starchy vegetables and grains.  It turned out that as my wife increased the starchier foods, she became prediabetic (even with a low BMI).  We have since adopted a strict Nutritarian diet with beans as the primary carb along with plenty of nuts/seeds as you recommend, and this has drastically reduced her postprandial blood sugar spikes.  It was your work/recommendations that has allowed her to keep healthy.  

mjbg replies:

02/14/2019 10:25 AM

My pre-DM sounds similar to your wife's experience. Would like to hear more about how she turned things around. 



02/13/2019 07:09 PM

I have been plant based since 1973. I always include nuts and seeds every day.  We are talking about 1 to 1.5 oz per day for goodness sakes.  If you look at the vegsource site their content has really diminished in past years. I think Jeff is promoting this agenda to boost his site.

Robert S

02/13/2019 07:33 PM

I have been trying to sort through this issue since my heart attack. Dr Caldwell Esselstyn's program disallows nuts, seeds, avocados . Other doctors say it okay to include them. I was on a plant base lifestyle prior to my heart attack and still am. I didn't use any oils of any kind and no margarine and no junk food. I wasn't over weight and exercised daily walking.  This issue is very confusing and yet I feel it is vital I get it right so I can avoid a repeat heart attack.

ShiraSongbird9 replies:

05/01/2019 03:27 PM

Hello Robert..I wonder if you ever received any responses to your question. I also followed a plant based diet but still needed a bypass operation on one vessel. It was discouraging. And it discouraged others from trying a plant passed diet. I am 78 years old. 


02/13/2019 07:35 PM

Thank you, Dr. Fuhrman, for your willingness to stand up to the "nuts" and state clearly and unequivocally the actual findings in peer-reviewed studies. So nice to have a voice of reason on nutrition!

Mark G.

02/13/2019 08:15 PM

Thank you Dr. Fuhrman for breaking to pieces the nonsense by people who are not willing to accept that their way may not be the best way.  If the results of their stubbornness only affected them, I wouldn’t worry about it, but the fact that they are surely convincing others to make some bad choices, just to boost their egos, is sad.  That you for taking the time to set the record straight by highlighting the flaws in their approach.


02/13/2019 08:48 PM

Well said! Thank you for setting the record straight on this misleading advice. I appreciate your standing up to refute these false claims with the facts so people will have the correct information they need to lead a healthy life. You’re performing a valuable public service by responding with the facts here. Our lives and our health depend on it. Thank you very much.


02/13/2019 09:11 PM

Way to go Dr. Fuhrman the world needs people like you.  We are so grateful for your information, your courage, your professional posture, and who you are. We are grateful to Dr. Vetrano, who encouraged us to include nuts and seeds in our daily diet. We have done so since 1981. God bless you and yours.

With respec:t Dr. Gerard  and Susan MacPhee . Canada


02/13/2019 09:28 PM

Well stated, Dr. Fuhrman! I totally agree!


I have been WFPB since 1978 when, as a 19-year-old athelete, I cured my diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia by following the Pritikin Reversal Diet (80-10-10 vegan.) I know what you're thinking but please keep reading. After achieving fairly remarkable results with the Reversal Diet, I went on the Maintanenace diet which added back in some low fat animal products but forbade any high fat plants, like nuts, seeds, avocados, etc. The goal was to mainatin 80-10-10. But, as a lean and very active athelete, I struggled to maintain an adequate body weight and I struggled with constant hunger. I had to eat every few hours and I had to eat HUGE amounts of food (which eventually streched out my LES and caused LPR but that's another story).


Then, in 1982, I went "McDougall". Then, in 1990, I went "Ornish". I also did some experimentation with Atkins and with S. Boyd Eaton's Paleolithic Presecription but both resulted in bad bloodwork. So, back to Ornish. In any case, throughout that whole time, I did my OWN research and was constantly measuring my own blood in response to different diets and tweaking my diet as a result.


By the late 90s, based on studies published throughout that decade and experimentation with my own bloodwork, I was substantially following the same dietary pattern that you now recommend! This wide-ranging, nutrient dense, moderate fat WFPB diet produced the best results with my own bloodwork and blood pressure. Total CHOL stayed below 150 mg/dl but TRIG and GLU dropped well below 100 mg/dl, HDL went up from the high 20s to low 40s, LDL dropped below 80 mg/dl, non-HDL-C dropped below 100 mg/dl, APO-B dropped below 80 mg/dl, etc. And, my constant hunger was gone! I became a Nutrtarian all on my own without ever realizing it! LOL. But, you cannot imagine the relief I felt when I discovered a few years ago that a real professional in this field with decades of clinical experience validated my approach! THANK YOU!


Oh, and I have also indepdendently come to the same conclusions as you regarding supplements for this Nutritarian diet. In fact, in order to consolidate my supplements and not have to deal with so many pills, I am now taking your Men's Multi! Genius! FINALLY, I have most of what I need - and nothing that's dangerous - in 2 capsules/day! THANK YOU! I do also take Nordic Naturals omega-3, Meriva and Cosamine DS to prevent knee pain that I've had since I was a teenager. 


So, as I finish up my breakfast-for-dinner tonight (oats, flax seed, Edensoy unsweetened, blueberries and a tiny dash of maple syrup - all organic), I want to thank you again for your remarkable work helping your fellow human beings to achieve optimal health. I will continue to closely follow your research!


Dave C.

This comment was last edited on 02/19/2019 11:14 PM


02/13/2019 09:42 PM

Experience matters and you have probably the most experience in the world on this topic. Thanks for sharing it with the community. Hopefully the majority of vegans reading your critique can see it for what it is.....the best evidence based advice currently available. 


02/13/2019 10:01 PM

Dr. Fuhrman 

Thank you for taking the time to write this review.  The timing is perfect as I transition to a Nutritarian way of eating and am bombarded so much new information. 

Much appreciated. 



02/14/2019 12:41 AM

Do you have suggestions for those of us with diverticulosus whose physician has told us to avoid eating nuts and seeds, and for those of us who are following Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) dietary guildelines?

This comment was last edited on 02/14/2019 12:42 AM

Dr. Ferreri replies:

02/14/2019 10:34 AM

The Action Plan and Ask the Doctor tabs here will probably help clarify:


02/14/2019 02:05 AM

I have also been seeing lots of youtube posts promoting very low-fat vegan diets, very worrying, 


02/14/2019 05:26 AM

Thank you for setting these people straight dr fuhrman. For anyone reading these comments who still trust the low fat advocates, they will not tolerate any disagreement. The person posting these anti nut videos on his youtube account does not tolerate anybody who does not agree with everything he says. On both his instagram and his youtube he has blocked me for simply disagreeing with some things he says, very polite non confrontational i was and yet still blocked. Quite ironic he is bemoaning  that he has been removed from commenting, what a shame sir. Laughable how he invites dr fuhrman to debate him yet he spends his days silencing people on his platform. He is just an unqualified mouthpiece for certain gurus who refuse to change their dangerous ways. There he stands in his videos with his daughters new book in view, a book that focuses on avoiding every gram of fat you can, obviously wanting more sales. Very dangerous. You cannot trust these people, with your money and your health. They are best avoided. Dr fuhrman knows his stuff.


02/14/2019 10:46 AM

I can't add to what has already been said. I just want to thank you, Dr. Fuhrman, I really appreciate your response!



02/14/2019 11:12 AM

Wow! What a response. Thank you.


02/14/2019 02:35 PM


I skimmed Joel’s statement above where he is reacting to my video series. In another video on Plant Based News, Joel stated my video series was aimed at him. This is not true. I don’t know why he believes this. My series is directed at Dr Michael Greger, whose face is on each of the thumbnails. I never mentioned Joel’s name at any point, but mentioned Dr Greger repeatedly.

I would like to take this chance to ask Dr Fuhrman to provide his list of 100 or so studies studies showing that nuts extend life and are "dangerous" for people who don't eat them. I didn’t realize he was in possession of so many studies until he made this video with a plant Based News. I would like to go through each one. Obviously I want to be fair, and Joel referred a few times to a hundred studies or hundreds of studies when being interviewed by Klaus. 

In case someone reading Joel's response here doesn't know what he is responding to, it is a 5-part video series on nuts and commercial science which starts here:

If you've watched my series, you know Joel is misrepresenting some facts here. He is apparently saying that I tell people "don't eat nuts." I wonder why he's saying this. People who've seen my videos know that I've never said that but that I have in fact said in all the videos that I do eat nuts.

In a quick glance at Joel’s statement here, I'm seeing a number of the studies he cites in his essay are among several I've already debunked, but he's not acknowledged points I've made about them. For example, he talks about association studies not funded by the nut industry that find an association between nuts and mortality, and he cites a Chinese study. He asserts that these association studies show a dose response - but omits the fact that the Chinese study he cites himself shows no such dose response, and the authors admit that this makes them much less confident about their own work and whether the association is even valid.  I've pointed to association studies by non-nut industry-funded researchers who found virtually no association between nuts and heart disease, once they adjusted for the superior health of those in the nut group. This makes me wonder again whether Joel has actually watched my series, or is perhaps relying on someone telling him about my series. 

Joel also refers in his article to "the findings that nut-avoiding, fat-phobic vegans were dying younger" but doesn't provide a cite for any such study. Is there a class of individuals that researchers are studying - "Fat-phobic vegans?" That's fascinating, and I would most definitely be interested in seeing such a study. Where could I find it?

I will review Joel's response in more detail when I have a chance, and expand on my reaction in the future. But as an aside, I'm not even remotely interested in protecting some sort of perceived legacy of some other person. I'm not sure what that means or who Joel thinks I'm protecting. Joel's article looks heavy on personal insults and light on facts, which I find this disappointing. I will expand on this in a future video.

Thank you.

Jeff Nelson

ThomasUK replies:

02/14/2019 03:33 PM

Moan all you want about being censored, what you do on your channel is way worse. As soon as someone makes a point against you that you have no argument against, you block them. You are pathetic. You are a mouthpiece for mcdougall and esselstyn. You are also trying to sell your daughters book. All you care about is money, not truth. You are panicking because this has backfired on you. Your latest video is heavily thumbed down and rightly so. Granted, esselstyn doesn't appear to be in bad health in his old age, but mcdougall looks close to death and is 14 years younger than esselstyn! You will go the same way following the poor advice you are advocating. Dinosaurs will die.

Mia Calabria replies:

02/14/2019 08:22 PM

Jeff, what nerve you have! So what you are saying is that you are not giving up on hurting people’s health and accelerating their death because of your stubborn stupidity.  You have no argument and are defending a dead horse.  I think this subject is over and you did enough already to damage your reputation.  

dcharneski replies:

02/19/2019 11:32 PM

I have been studying nutrition and experimenting on my own body and measuring the results in detail for over 41 years. The addition of nuts, seeds and even their extracted oils to a strict McDougall diet (which I had been following since 1982) dramatically improved ALL my biomarkers, energy levels and athletic performance in accordance with all of the studies on the subject that I have read, including non-industry-funded, randomized, placebo-controlled, double blind studies, one of which is included in the two linked below.

Randi Carbone replies:

05/14/2019 01:21 PM

WE DO NOT censor posts. To be clear, this was not your fourth attempt to post. 

sewingmom3 replies:

05/20/2019 02:17 PM

I am grateful that the plant based doctors I have read agree on 90%. Jeff, take what works for you from each, leave the rest and lose the drama. Dr. Fuhrman himself has said to tweak any plan for yourself. I do. No need to bad mouth. I resonate the most with Dr. Fuhrman. I also take what works for me from other plant based Doctors. Negativity just causes stress. Frankly I love the taste of nuts and will continue to consume them in limited amounts. It is a healthy treat for me. Definitely heallthier than potato chips. BTW -  My numbers were great at my last visit. 


02/14/2019 04:40 PM

Thank you, Dr. Fuhrman, for always clearing up the facts.  I think there are many people wanting to be healthy who are misled by incorrect diet information.  I found your books at cardiac rehab after surviving a SCAD coronary artery event.  I have learned a lot and am so thankful to you, and the exercise physiologist at cardiac rehab that told me about you.  I lost 10 lbs & am still trying to lose.  I appreciate your solid research and communication to the public about health and nutrition.  God bless you!


02/14/2019 09:45 PM

Can you please help me understand then why I still have high cholesterol on a plant-based diet? The huts are the on,y thing left I can think to cut out to reduce my cholesterol further. Currently, 179 at age 31. 

dcharneski replies:

02/19/2019 11:37 PM

What is your non-HDL-C, LDL, APO-B and triglycerides? You may not be in the bad shape you think are! Also, please give us an example of what you eat and drink in a typical day, including any added sauces, etc. Do you drink alcohol? I can double my 115-130 mg/dL total-C in 5-7 days if I drink every day. 


02/15/2019 03:51 AM

I will be quick here, I just love the man. Thanks!


02/15/2019 04:49 AM

All I can say is, " you rock!!"❤


02/15/2019 08:34 AM

I agree, do not expell nuts and seeds from one's diet. Use of nuts and seeds help to balance out life more to the g=Good and less to the Bad.


02/15/2019 02:30 PM

As always, so complete with great advice. You have never failed me on diet. - Any ideas on adding nuts to diet if sensitive to nuts -  stuffy sinus etc.


02/17/2019 06:45 PM

Dr. Fuhrman, Thank you for taking the time to write this post.  It is timely AND you truly are the voice of reason. I finally chose to unsubscribe from vegsource . com - out of sheer lack of respect for the validity of their content.  I have been learning from you since your first book was published in 1995. I sincerely thank you for my health, the health of my family, and that of my clients.


02/21/2019 12:17 AM

Dr. Fuhrman, my husband and I both have that orangey-peachy colored skin, which we really attribute to several years of carotenoid absorption thanks to the raw nuts and seeds we love. I am 60, he is 65, and we are both doing very well. Your dietary advice has cleared up allergies, resolved epilepsy and has never failed us. Thank you for saying what needed to be said !

This comment was last edited on 02/21/2019 12:22 AM


02/23/2019 10:19 AM

Thank you Dr. Fuhrman!  Since I first met you in Princeton, NJ, in 1995 I have always known that I could always rely on you to provide me with help, support and correct information.  Thank you again!!


03/03/2019 12:17 AM

Dr. Fuhrman, please refer Jeff Nelson to some of those studies.

veggie momma

03/11/2019 12:54 AM

  I have a medical background and have done extensive research regarding the benefits and shortcomings of eating a plant-centered diet.   My family and I began eating a low-fat (starch-based) WFPB diet 35 years ago but have gradually transitioned to Dr. Fuhrman's nutrient-rich, (vegetable-based) diet that includes more fat in the form of avocados nuts/seeds and some organic tofu.  We also began supplementing with algae-based DHA, iodine, and zinc after I started  experiencing some neurological symptoms like tremors, and other strange episodes. (These have resolved after making these changes.)  When my elderly father was diagnosed with coronary heart disease 7 years ago (one artery was blocked 100%, and 3 others at 75%) his cardiologist insisted that he have quadruple heart bypass surgery, and without it,  he would die.  Because I was certain that diet alone could reverse his heart disease,  I told my father to refuse the surgery, and I helped him change his diet.  Since I had followed a low-fat WFPB diet for so many years (that restricts nuts especially for heart patients),  I had to make the hard decision of whether or not my father should eat nuts and avocados.  Because my father was already very thin, I was concerned seeing him lose weight after switching his diet.  I spent weeks digging into the scientific research and found close to 100 studies reporting the benefits of nuts, especially in those with heart disease.  So I told my dad to include these.  I was really worried at first, knowing that my advice (including nuts and avocados)  could possibly kill him.  But he thrived, he even ate peanut butter several times a week.  He's 88 now, is still thin, is very active tending to his 5 acre property, has no symptoms of heart disease, doesn't take any medication, and his bio-markers are those of a youngster!  My dad has always been my hero :)  


This comment was last edited on 03/12/2019 12:20 PM

hudawi replies:

04/17/2019 12:35 PM


juliepete replies:

04/25/2019 01:39 PM

Thank you so much for sharing your story!  My husband had a heart attack 6 year ago and after one year on WFPB, no meat etc. he was taken off all medication after 1 year so he's doing well.  But I've been struggling with the issue of fat from nuts, seeds and avocado.  



03/29/2019 06:41 PM

Dr. Fuhrman: The categorical assertion that very-low-fat whole-food plant-based eating is dangerous is false. I know that you are personal friends with Robby Barbaro of Mastering Diabetes, but are you aware of his fatty acid status?

As you know, Robby has eaten very low-fat raw vegan (well below 10% of calories), with the VAST majority of his calories coming from fruit, for more than a dozen years. And I believe he still eats zero nuts, seeds, oils, avocados, or coconut (I know this was the case for several years before he tested at the tip-top of the reference range for ALA, EPA, DPA, and DHA, back in 2010).

In late 2018, Robby again underwent a Dried Bloodspot Fatty Acid Profile. Here are his superb EFA results:

- Omega-3 fatty acids = 9.28% (in the 87th percentile)
- EPA = 2.19%
- DHA = 3.92%

Robby's colleague and Mastering Diabetes cofounder Cyrus Khambatta tested similarly. And plenty of others following the 80/10/10 program fare as well. The reason Robby's numbers are so excellent is that, despite getting well over 90% of his calories from fruit, he eats a huge amount of green leafy vegetables (mostly romaine). And with his omega-6 intake so low, his enzymes are easily able to convert the small but adequate amount of ALA in romaine and other fruits and veggies to EPA and DHA.

Thanks for listening ... I'm very interested in your thoughts.

Laurie Masters, editor of The 80/10/10 Diet

This comment was last edited on 03/29/2019 06:48 PM

Heidi P replies:

04/29/2019 07:50 PM

Here is a response to your comment from Dr. Fuhrman..

Hi Laurie,  

Robbie is a good friend of mine and his program seems to be working for him in the short run, but I still cannot recommend it, due to my 30 years of working with many people on such a diets and seeing deterioration in later years and increased risk of infections and frailty.  People seem to do okay when they are young on such a diet, but as they age and their ability to absorb protein decreases, these high fruit diets invariable get them in trouble.  Furthermore in our study of 166 vegans and my vast experience testing hundreds of patients, the diet is not as large a factor compared to generic variation in conversion enzymes in determine DHA adequacy.  I am sure Robbie, Cyrus and I will discuss more in the future as I respect their inquisitive and fair evaluation of the evidence and my experience. 



05/09/2019 10:06 AM

Dear Friends:  I am asking as many of us a possible rally together to combat the harmful campaign of bad information being promoted by VegSource, and it’s front man Jeff Nelson.


There are two main reasons why we need to reply to the unscientific claims Nelson and the VegSource camp are making.  Most important is the fact that the misleading advice poses a significant health risk to the public.  To advise those of us consuming a nutratarian diet we don’t need a source of DHA/EPA and the majority of vegans don’t need supplementation of essential fats put us at risk for the development of serious diseases.  The second reason is because of the disgusting personal attacks levied against Dr. Fuhrman.  Nelson and VegSource continue to ramp up the ad hominem vitriol.  They can’t support their position with credible science and good data so they attempt to personally deride Dr. Fuhrman, a practicing physician, researcher and thought leader that proves them wrong.  This is beyond bad form and is unacceptable.


Below are some links to YouTube videos.  I strongly encourage all of us that have a few minutes to post a comment(s) in opposition to both their message and their tact please do so.  We are the torchbearers of good science, truth and civility.


Thanks everyone.


05/16/2019 12:52 AM

I’m so sad that this is dividing the WFPB world. I prefer the recommendations of Dr Fuhrman and Dr Greger but I’m sure others prefer other WFPB doctors. I have seen some of the videos posted by Jeff Nelson and did not like his combative approach. I’m concerned that if we all start to comment on his utube videos that he will actually gain from it financially or it it will improve his visibility. I’m all for ignoring him so it is sensationalised no more. Has Dr Greger respond to this vitriole? I would also be interested in any comment Brenda Davis has about this... I think she has a very balanced view and extensive experience.. Doctors Fuhrman and rock! I just hope one day to travel from Oz to see you both speak.




08/20/2019 08:30 PM

Dr. Fuhrman, thank you for clearing up the misinformation out there from the "anti-nut nuts" like Jeff Nelson.  I can't stand that man!.  I love the vegan diet but I have always believed that nuts and seeds are essential to sustain a long life of good mental health, and physical mobility.  I have read "Eat to live" and am currently cooking all the recipes in your cookbook, and I have never felt better!  


07/12/2020 03:40 AM

Non-Alcohol Fatty Liver Disease.  Dr. Fuhrman I recently joined your Gold Membership because of a very recent diagnosis of NAFLD.  I could not determine if this issue was ever addressed by you or your staff.  I'm male, two months from being 75, divorced, 7 years post-prostatectomy, 5' 9", 218 #s, an ultrasound was used to determine my condition which also included a dime size cyst on my L kidney.  The entire matter was occasioned by a non-VA hospital running routine labs and discovering my kidney function was at less than 50%. The ER doc "suggested" to my primary care VA doc that I should get the additional study as my kidney function had been decreasing for several years.  I'm not a doctor so I can't tell you what is specifically meant by "decreasing kidney function".  I became a member of your group because I have been reading your books on Diabetes and Inflammation.  Further, I believe in the adage that Food is Medicine--the best medicine.  I was diagnosed a Type II diabetic approximately 15 years ago. Metformin and Gabapentin became my lifelong friends from that time till today albeit my script was lowered to 500 mg from 1000 mg of Metformin.  I felt immensely and noticeably better after this reduction.  Also, I should add that the robotic team of doctors came to see me the morning after and advised me of two things: first, I had had the prostate cancer for many years and they were all puzzled by the fact that the disease wrapped itself around the prostate and had spread beyond the muscle controlling my bladder.  It became necessary to cut into this muscle to remove the diseased tissue which left me with no bladder control and hence I take Tamulosin to help control my urinary flow and require me to wear a Dependz.  In sum, my hope is that with your program I will be able to overcome the NAFLD if I can lose 60 #s.  My current weight is 216 down from 225 in the last month.  The good thing is I love salads but detest commercial dressings.  The bad is that I've enjoyed beef, especially a juicy med-rare ribeye, butter, bread, ice cream--the usual villains.  Plus I did drink alcohol but not more than 3-4 drinks per week, not counting a more regular glass of wine, red or otherwise.  I know losing weight will help improve my condition a great deal.  But is there an issue with the ingestion of nuts and the liver?  Other than weight loss and no consumption of sugar or alcohol, what else can or should I do to help me live a healthy life?  I'm sorry if this is not the proper forum to raise my issues but I could find no other way on your website to raise my issues.  Thank you, Dr. Fuhrman, I look forward to being able to shake your hand in person.  BernieP


11/16/2020 09:16 AM

I am grateful for this post because I have been confused about nuts and seeds, and avocados. I read Dr. Esselstyn's book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, as well as the China Study, and attended a talk with T. Colin Campbell. I thought I was in really good health because I eat a sensible diet, exercise almost every day, have never been overweight, never smoked, etc. I have always had very high cholesterol despite dietary changes (eating oatmeal, cutting out animal protein) and at age 58 suddenly learned that I had an oddly-shaped pool of plaque in one of my carotid arteries and have since learned of other plaque in my body. I know that Esselstyn and Campbell call for the elimination of seeds and nuts, as well as avocadoes, yet your diet allows them, and seeds and nuts like flax, chia, hemp and walnuts are suppose to be so good for lowering cholesterol, and I love them! Your diet also allows avocadoes, and because I don't have a weight problem, I use them every day. On your diet entirely during the pandemic, I have dropped more weight than I imagined I could or needed to (down from 132 to 118 - my weight in high school, I am 5'4) and I feel so great! My family and friends are amazed at how great I look and feel, and several are also now members on your website. I had a cholesterol test in September, after four months on your diet, and my cholesterol numbers did not budge even though my trygycerides improved (the number was already fine). I am now really going after the cholesterol-lowering foods/recipies and will take another cholesterol test in January. I am really hoping to bring the number down. Even with a fantastic diet and a 40mg statin, my cholesterol is above 200. I am a cholesterol making machine. I wish there was a shortage in the world and that I could donate some to those in need... 


Johnnyzen replies:

12/14/2020 11:19 PM

Is Esselstyn in a minority as far as vegan heart docs are concerned? I had heart issues a couple of years ago, but not congestive heart failure; stents.  Everything checks out now. I am thin, exercise daily, good BP...My cardiologist does not like Esselstyn. He advoctes some avocado, walnuts, flaxseeds, even olive oil, low sodium. I eat no added oil. I respect Esselstyn and Ornish, and now Ornish allows some nuts. What does Fuhrmann say about fats? What I mean is how much fat. Would he allow an avocado every day? My understanding is that his diet is not high fat but moderate, maybe 20 to 30 percent? Sodium is under 2000 mgs? Thanks

This reply was last edited on 12/14/2020 11:21 PM


03/08/2022 06:40 AM

Dr. Fuhrman, I wanted to thank you for your expansive post. I was on the Keto diet for 3 years...lost 30lbs and felt great until I had a medical incident while at Zumba class...found out I had cholesterol at 302 and LDL at 226...I switched my diet to vegan after some weeks of exploration and investigation. I read Dr.Ornish's book on the reversal of heart disease...he and his wife appeared very anti nut and against avocados. They also appeared to not allow any variance in their plan so that someone could include a very small amount of animal protein. I have remained strictly vegan for now. 

I thoroughly enjoyed your The End of Heart Disease Book as well as your Eat to Live Book. I refer back to both books often. I don't ever add any oil when cooking and eat a handful of walnuts or a Tablespoon of Flaxseed meal everyday.  As a reference to others, Dr. Ornish's book would have me consume about 25g of max fat a day based on my calorie intake...they don't specifically explain this in detail but there is a reference on how to calculate max fat allowed based on calorie intake. 

Dr.Fuhrmans book is the best!