The Fourth Nut

The skeptical cardiologist has given out the entire first batch of Dr. P’s Heart Nuts to his patients.
This precisely constructed mixture of hazelnuts, almonds and walnuts designed to maximize heart healthiness has been warmly received and hopefully enthusiastically consumed.
To some extent I feel like I may be preaching to the choir as many of the Heart Nuts recipients told me they were already avid nut fans and consumers.
However, I plan to press on with my mission to increase the amount of nut snacking in the world.
To this end, I have reorganized my blog and created a page devoted to Nuts and Drupes. You can find it here and I’ll reproduce it below.
Furthermore, I have decided to add a fourth nut to the mixture. At this time, I am intensely researching pistachio nuts and macadamia nuts to be the honored nut.
Please feel free to suggest other candidates to be  the Fourth Nut (along with appropriate justification) in the comments below and vote in the poll.
Macadamiamaniacaly Yours,

From The Nuts Page

Nuts, despite containing a lot of fat, are a fantastic heart-healthy snack.
I’ve started handing out my special Dr. P’s Heart Nuts to patients along with the following:

You have received a packet of cardiovascular disease-busting Dr. P’s Heart Nuts!
One packet 15 grams of almonds, 15 grams of hazelnuts and 30 grams of walnuts.
There is very good scientific evidence that consuming 1/2 packet of these per day will reduce your risk of dying from heart attacks, strokes, and cancer.
The exact components are based on the landmark randomized trial of the Mediterranean diet, enhanced by either extra-virgin olive oil or nuts (PREDIMED, in which participants in the two Mediterranean-diet groups received either extra-virgin olive oil (approximately 1 liter per week) or 30g of mixed nuts per day
In other observational studies it has been found that for every 28 grams/ day increase in nut intake, risk was reduced by:
29% for coronary heart disease 7% for stroke
21% for cardiovascular disease 15% for cancer
22% for all-cause mortality
Surprisingly, death from diseases, other than heart disease or cancer, were also significantly reduced:
52% for respiratory disease
35% for neurodenerative disease
75% for infectious disease
74% for kidney disease
So when you are considering snacking, snack on nuts not processed food! Dr. Pearson

Posts About Nuts

Posts relevant to nuts and prevention of heart disease on my blog are
Nuts, Drupes, Legumes and Mortality
Kind Bars versus Nuts: Choose Just Plain Nuts
Although Nutella contains some hazelnuts it is full of sugar and other processed ingredients: why not eat hazelnuts instead?
Nutty Due Diligence
I spent a lot of time sourcing the nuts for my Dr. P’s Heart Nuts and discovered some disturbing things about almonds.
First, almost all almonds sold in the US have been gassed with proplyene oxide.
Second, roasting almonds can lead to an increase in toxic chemicals.
After finding out the first two facts about almonds I ended up getting raw, organic almonds from Spain. Unfortunately, about 1 in 10 of these were extremely bitter. It turns out these bitter almonds have significant amounts of cyanide.  So I wrote “Beware The Bitter Almond.”

I switched my raw, organic almond source to and with their almonds I very rarely encounter the bitter almond.
The other nuts in the mixture are raw and organic and obtained from


14 thoughts on “The Fourth Nut”

  1. Why has the Brazil nut been overlooked? They need to be consumed in relative moderation to avoid possible excess selenium, but nutritionally they are dynamite. And for those of us restricting carbs they are quite a bit less problematic than macadamias or pistachios.

  2. I began eating raw almonds daily as part of my consumption of nuts for health reasons. At my next dental visit my dentist was alarmed that there was severe erosion of my molar tooth enamel. I concluded that crunching on the hard raw almonds were responsible (possibly coupled with eating fruit before the almonds, where the fruit acids softened the enamel). I am now cautious when eating almonds and prefer to eat them first before any potentially acidic food. Walnuts, peanuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts are much softer than almonds. So for a fourth nut I would recommend removing almond and adding pistachio and macadamia. And I prefer unsalted (helps with not being tempted to overindulge).

  3. I was not one of the lucky patients to get Dr. P’s nuts at my last visit with him. Hopefully you will have more at my next visit. I also love nuts!

  4. Hi Dr P!
    My go to (and only nut) is Macadamia. This is the only nut with just saturated and monounsaturated fats. All other nuts have lots of polyunsaturated fats but that must not be something you consider problematic.
    Philip Thackray
    Renfrew, PA USA

  5. I’m one of those who’ve long considered almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts an essential foodgroup unto themselves.
    Pistachios and macadamias, however, are irresistible. Candy!? Bet I can’t eat just one! Finishing a bag of pistachios, I feel fine – if just a bit guilty. Finishing the same amount of macadamias leaves me uncomfortably full for hours – and just a bit guilty.
    Is there a difference in digestibility of the various nut fats?

    • Jeff,
      I tend to agree with you on the irresistibility of pistachios and macadamia nuts.
      I came across a study that showed that people eat less pistachios when they are shelled. Perhaps the shells serve as a marker of how many have been consumed and prevent over consumption?
      If I go with pistachios I have to decide:shelled or in shell.
      Interestingly, the macadamia nuts from aren’t nearly as tasty and irresistible as the ones I get from Whole Foods. My daughter speculates this is because they are unsalted.


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