Dr. Oz is Clueless about REAL Nutrition

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

My son and I watched a few minutes of Dr. Oz’s TV show on overcoming obesity last night.   The show airs on Discovery Health.    For fun, we both decided to watch a few minutes of the show and see how many things Dr. Oz got wrong until the next commercial break.

It didn’t take long, I can assure you!

First of all, Dr. Oz seems obsessed with having overweight people work out every single day.   I realize that physical activity is an important part of losing weight, but unless you are eating the right foods to give you stable blood sugar and lasting energy, the fitness habit will just never happen.  The participants just get too worn out and quit their required workout routines very quickly.

Edamame is Not a Healthy Snack!

The next thing that made my son and I nearly fall off the couch was Dr. Oz teaching some poor gal in his own kitchen how to eat what he thought were “healthy foods”.    First, he gives her a bowl of fat free plain yogurt mixed with some blackberries and a plate of edamame (soy) to eat.

This guy can’t be that out of touch with reality, can he?   Evidently so.  

If someone fed me a bowl of fat free yogurt and a bunch of edamame, I would go and very quickly stick my entire head in a large bag of potato chips and I don’t even have a weight issue.   Can you imagine what feeding this unsatisfying fare to an obese person would do to his/her hunger cravings?

Remove the creamy, luscious fat from the top of a container of yogurt and you have a meal that will leave you scrounging for cookies, donuts, and chips in very short order.

Then, there’s the edamame.   Shame on Dr. Oz for not being up on the dangers of soy to the thyroid gland.   An obese person should be running for the hills away from soy, not eating it as a recommended snack!    Soy is a potent goitrogen (thyroid suppressor) and contributes greatly to hypothyroidism which an obese person would almost certainly suffer from.   Any doctor who advises an obese patient to be eating soy should have his head examined.

We turned the TV off at that point.   I couldn’t watch anymore and it had only been about 10 minutes.    Those poor folks trying to lose weight on that show don’t have a prayer of slimming down and maintaining it for any length of time.

As soon as the cameras stop rolling, they will be diving back into their processed food ways once again, I have no doubt.    Only Real Food that contains lots of natural, unprocessed animal fats like eggs (with the yolks!), whole milk, butter, cheese, cream, coconut oil, grassfed meats with all the fat will satisfy that hunger and stabilize the blood sugar enough to help them finally let go of the carb and sugar addiction that is the true cause of their obesity and ill health.

Until the truth of the nutritional paradox that whole, unprocessed fats do not make you fat actually goes mainstream, then America’s obesity epidemic will only get worse.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

* This post is shared at Fight Back Friday!


Comments (58)

  1. He is a HEART DOCTOR, not an expert on every medical subject. Thus, he should have a tv show solely based on everything to do with the heart -ONLY. Also, alot of the things he “prescribes” to do, condradict or counteract one another, making it close to IMPOSSIBLE to follow thru with everything he says. It’s astonishing how he’s made people believe he is an expert in every field, and that people actually get hypnotized into believing all of his advice and health claims. Listening to him talk is no joy either, you’d think that someone with years of schooling who hosts a tv show, would also have enough brains to get some speech therapy, or perhaps slow down while talking, to be more comprehendable.

  2. Can someone please tell me if Organic soy is just as bad, especially when its sprouted in breads. Im having hard time finding that information.

  3. Hi Sarah,

    After reading your article about Dr. Oz, I find myself agreeing with you for the most part. I have not been comfortable with A LOT that Dr. Oz has taught over the years! But, my opinions are merely intuitive. I have no real background in nutrition either. There are a lot of “HEALTH EXPERTS” out there touting a lot of conflicting things about what’s healthy and what’s not healthy. And, there’s no shortage of non-professionals making assertions (including some of the people blasting dr oz here) . How would you suggest one go about deciding what info is good vs bad???


  4. onceuponthekitchencounter September 25, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Hi Sarah,

    I totally agree when it comes to Dr. Oz. And when it comes to your comments about soy more specifically. Thanks for your thoughts as usual!


  5. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist September 25, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Headmistress, I had another thought .. Okinawa is probably the most Americanized place in Japan because of the huge US military base there. It would make sense for the modern, unhealthy use of soy to have made its first appearance there as opposed to places less affected by Westernization such as Kyoto, Gifu and Takayama where I primarily spent my time. I know that soy milk is all over the place there now and this is not a traditional food either but it has still been marketed effectively there.

  6. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist September 24, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    Hi Headmistress, not sure what to say to your comment. I stayed in Japanese homes the entire time I traveled there and never frequented places for Westerners but instead totally immersed myself in their culture. I never saw edamame. Perhaps the fact that you were in Okinawa and I was on the big island where Tokyo, Okinawa, Kyoto are located is why our experiences were a bit different?

  7. Headmistress, zookeeper September 24, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    Sarah, we lived in Okinawa in the late 80s, from 1987 to 1992. I saw edamame eaten regularly. However, it was generally served as an appetizer- people ate it (salted and oiled in the pod, and they'd pop the peas out and discard the pods) while waiting for their meals at restaurants or pubs. I saw it in the grocery stores, too. I saw tofu in the grocery stores and in restaurants, too- and I am talking Japanese stores, not places that catered to Americans.
    So I am a little confused.

    • I lived in China ’99-’02 and it was the first time I’d ever tried edamame. It was served as an appetizer in the larger cities (the smaller cities and villages did not have as much access to varied fresh produce as the larger cities). Rice and wheat were staples, animal protein was used sparingly, and tofu was absolutely everywhere in myriad forms (including fermented, but I’d guess that made up around 15% of tofu sold. “Stinky Tofu” is what it was called).

      I personally can’t eat soy nor gluten but I think yogurt, berries, and edamame sounds like the kind of snack I’d want after working out or on a hot day. I see nothing wrong with it if you are not diagnosed with thyroid disease or estrogen-related breast or ovarian cancers.

  8. I used to eat soy and, in my experience, soy did no good at all to my body. I am now soy-free and have not felt better- amazing what years can do, thankfully the body does regenerate & heal when given nutrient dense foods.

    I say to my clients, if it is advertised on TV on't buy it, I guess the same could be said for some advice perchance?

  9. I Sharp, those "top scientists" are bought and paid for by the soy industry. did you know that "top scientists" used to tout the benefits of tobacco, back in the day?

    Juat because somebody has a science degree does not mean they are honest or ethical. The slimiest company can buy as many "top scientists" as they want to say whatever they want.

    Everything you believe about the benefits of soy is wrong – You were lied to.

    I am going to give you some of the most important advice you will ever get –
    Stop drinking the soy poison that is slowly destroying your body and learn about real food, before it is too late for you. This blog is an excellent place to start./

  10. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist September 24, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    Hi Jill, unprocessed soy is still extremely bad which is why the Asians always fermented it for months into natto, tempeh, and miso. I traveled extensively in Japan back in the 1980's and never saw endamame anywhere. It is not a traditional food and as such should be avoided. Endamame is still highly goitrogenic too so it is simply insane for an overweight person to even consider eating it.

  11. I HATE Dr. OZ. He's an idiot. I watched one episode where he told women it's ok to shave their faces and the assertion that the hair grows back course is a myth.

    However, I don't agree with your comment about edamame being an unhealthy snack. Edamame is the young form of green soy beans. They are not processed and because they are young plants, they have lower amounts of enzyme inhibitors like protease, trypsin as well as lower amounts of phytates.

    I have no issue with whole edamame as a snack alternative to other salty, processed, fake foods.

  12. I have been eating this way for about 1 1/2 months now and I do not have hot flashes anymore and no pain in my fingers (joints) and i love cooking now..Yes welcome to the other side –the right side.. the way God intended us to eat..I can not read enough about this subject and thank you Sarah for akk your videos. they have helped me greatly, the kombucha tea is wonderful!!!!Teresa

  13. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist September 24, 2010 at 1:00 am

    Hi Jubilee, the most important post I have written to get you started on the right path of nutritional truth is the post called "Five Fats You MUST Have in Your Kitchen". If you look to the right of this post under "Most Popular Posts" you will see the link to go to it. I would also suggest you peruse the free cooking e-class section also to the right that will show you in video and written form how to properly prepare many types of healthy foods in a traditional manner. Good luck and welcome to the other side!

  14. This is the first post of yours that I have read. Suddenly I feel overwhelmed and am questioning everything I thought I knew about food and weight loss.
    Which of your posts do you recommend I start with to get an overview "tutorial"? I am on an extremely tight budget for groceries, but want to make the most of it in a healthy way. I am ready to be educated. Please help!

  15. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist September 24, 2010 at 12:32 am

    Hi Carolpie, if I remember right, soy lecithin is the waste product (basically sludge) from the manufacturing process of crushing the soybean to make soy oil. It is not a great food to eat, but in small amounts won't hurt most people. GMO soy lecithin is better at least. I try not to eat it at all as it seems to be in all the processed foods even at the healthfood store. Berlin Bakery makes a very nice sprouted spelt bread. You can ask your healthfood store to order it for you.

  16. I've tried to watch Dr. Oz in the past but I feel like all his show does is create a feeling of fear. For me I found nothing helpful or optimistic about the show….just fear mongering!!! No thank you!! I have better things to do with my time!!!

  17. Tiffany @ The Coconut Mama September 23, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    I never watch his show, but I'm constantly battling with him via my friends. They think I'm crazy and will say "but Dr.Oz says….". Its frustrating.

    I do agree with pp, he is a little more open minded than many other doctors.

  18. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist September 23, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    ha,ha, point taken Clair.

    Chanelle, yes traditionally fermented soy sauce is fine. Thank you for catching that omission. I have some in fridge as I type this.

  19. Sarah, you didn't mention fermented soy sauce on your list of healthy soy… That is another good one, right?
    BTW, K sharp–Sarah may not be a scientist, but many scientists agree about the dangers of soy.

  20. Unrelated to todays article, ( I read every day and enjoy and agree with most posts :-) ) Is there a danger in stopping vaccinating after already receiving some? My children have been vaccinated completely so far, the oldest is 8 so she has all her shots through K, the second child is going in for her 5 year check up and they will want to give her her K shots, and the baby is 2 and needs shots every appt too. I no longer want to vaccinate them, but I wonder if there is a health risk for them being 1/2 vaccinated, none of the followup booster shots.

  21. K Sharp, the soy in your shake and found so readily in the West is NOT the soy they eat in the East. Have you ever spoken to a doctor of Chinese Medicine trained in the East? They won't eat the GMO, non-fermented soy found here. Won't touch it, either. Comparing the soy consumption between the modern West and the traditional East can't be done beyond the name soy.

  22. Wow, I have thought the very same thing when I have occasionally wathced his program. I remember him saying once that taking birth control for many, many years would have no affect on fertility. I thouhgt that was WAY off.

  23. K SHARP – I taught ESL in Korea for 1.5 yrs. There I ate lots of fish, lots of fermented seaweed, lots of kimchi, beef, pork, veggies and bean flour pasties. There was one soup that had a couple pieces of tofu in it. I aslo traveled to four other Asian countries where the people ate similiar diets. Soy IS NOT a stable in Asia.

    Top scientists from Ivy League colleges believe that GMO corn and soy are safe, too.


  24. Dr. Oz and Dr. Dean Ornish have the same low-fat views on diet for heart disease. As someone wrote above, he is so misinformed about nutrition.

  25. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist September 23, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    Oh, and the fermented soy would be miso, tempeh and natto. THAT IS IT! Even tofu is a horrible thing to ever put in your mouth.

  26. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist September 23, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    Hi K Sharp, the only soy that is safe to consume in small amounts is fermented soy as the Asians have been doing for many centuries. Soy as included in modern processed foods is all bad, unfortunately.

  27. He promotes the flu shot & even received one on his show…this is probably why he is starting to talk with "marbles" in his mouth. He is vaccine injured. I also can't stand dr. Lisa. Have you seen the footage of her debating with ricki lake & homebirths. Dr Lisa is so ignorant about birth it is maddening to think that their audience trusts their advice. :-(

  28. Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama September 23, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    But Sarah…fat is bad for you. It will make you fatter and give you a heart attack. :) You know, like all those people who eat bacon and eggs for breakfast and cream or butter in everything…like me. Oh, I just have a huge weight problem (125 and 5'3")! ha.

    Sorry, I can't resist. Most people still believe it but it really is ridiculous. I tried to explain it to a bunch of people on Tuesday and it went SO well that people who were wandering through the meeting (this was at a midwives' office) said they were not ready to go back for their appointments yet because they wanted to hear more! Yay for that! The word IS spreading…slowly.

  29. Stephanie B. Cornais September 23, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    You crack me up! You should write Oprah, or maybe Ellen since Oprah will off air soon. Or the Food Network. You should have your own show.

    It really is sad though, all these people trying to be healthy, listening to idiots on TV or magazines and they are just doing more harm to themselves.

  30. I disagree with Dr. Oz on a lot of things, too. However, I believe you have thrown the baby out with the bathwater. You have completely demonized soy protein. I drink a very healthy soy protein shake everyday for breakfast. I also drink one for lunch. I am very satisfied and very healthy. I have also very easily lost 2 1/2 pounds by following the rest of my inch loss plan. The way a plant is grown is very important. Some companies grow soy beans in a very healthy way.

    Have you ever looked at statistics for disease in Asian countries where their soy consumption is very high? Do you know that most of those Asian women rarely have hot flashes, and their men rarely have prostate problems? That's due to their soy consumption.

    You may be really knowledgeable about a lot of subjects….and you are correct on MANY fronts. But, you are not a scientist, are you? The products I use are clinically researched by TOP SCIENTISTS…over 75 of them to be exact…and have been independently tested in labs like Harvard, Yale and other prestigious ones to be effective and HEALTHY.

    I disagree COMPLETELY with you on the dangers of Soy. Not ALL soy is unhealthy. Can you please at least concede that?

    • Please read this: http://www.westonaprice.org/soy-alert.html
      It doesn’t come any more cogent than the way it’s explained in this article. There are other articles at that site regarding soy, too. The really good article has to do with the Chicago prison which changed over to soy and now all the prisoners are sick. Guess — just take a WAG — as to who gets to pay for their “doctoring”?

    • yes, there is some soy that is acceptable. Naturally fermented soy is ok, like soy sauce, tempeh and miso – anything that is fermented long and slow. Any ‘fresh’ soy, soybean oil or soy product/by-product is most definitely not safe and not healthy. Unfortunately it usually takes years for the effects to show and then permanent damage could be done.

      Please, don’t take the word of so-called experts, especially from the top medical schools……just look where the bulk of their research $$ comes from. Promoting soy and other cheap grains is VERY profitable for those universities as well as big food and big pharma. Hopefully you’ll clue in sooner, rather than later.

    • Give me a break K Sharp! Your ignorance is showing! If you hadn’t noticed, even your beloved “Harvard” doctors are reconsidering their stance on low-fat! Don’t be fooled by the fools. Listen to traditional wisdom based on centuries of proof!

  31. I would also add that while exercise is very important to over all health, it doesn't play as big of a role in losing weight as the "experts" will tell you. Just go to a triathlon and watch the people participating in it. YOU WILL BE SHOCKED! I would say a good 1/4 to 1/3 are obese. Can they swim, bike, and run…. yup… but their diets have got to be nothing but processed carbs and low quality foods.

  32. I love you. I do. This article you wrote is so good and it is true. I can't stand when people say soy is good for you. And they put it in everything. Try to find bread without it! I only have found a few.
    I have arthritis and do the low carb thing. And I do eat fat-but the good ones you listed. Eggs-we have our own chickens and I will not throw away the yoke! The fats you mention are good and we eat them, and I eat almonds, too. I feel so much better this way, stay slim, exercise a good 50 minutes every day, and have energy when I eat like this. I KNOW it is carbs and sugar that make me sick. As soon as I start going off this my weight balloons and I start having lots of pain-especially if I get sick enough that I cannot exercise.

    One thing I am confused about is soy lecithin. Is this also something I need to avoid? My son eats more liberally than I do and so I need some kind of snack for him. He is slim, 25, but does want something so I try to buy some stuff at our health food store but sometimes it still has this in it. So, confused on that.
    Also I would like to find sprouted bread for him but I cannot find any without soy so maybe I should make my own but do not know if that is possible.
    Thanks for this. Good info!

  33. Michelle (Health Food Lover) September 23, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    I'm doing a research assignment on hypothyroidism and for that condition it is so important to have fat in ones diet. Why? Well as you know we need fat to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, and one of the most important vitamin (apart from iodine) to help improve thyroid function is vitamin A which is fat-soluble!
    But horray for real foodies and butter and coconut oil and all other good foods out there!

  34. Yeah, that meal would have me sticking my head in a bag of potato chips, too! In fact, when I was big on conventional dieting a couple years ago, that's exactly what I was doing–eating sparse, fat-free meals all day and then binging on ice cream later that night! And I thought it was a willpower issue, lol.

    I tried to watch Dr. Oz once. I didn't even get to the first commercial break before I turned the TV off and had to go count to 10 so I could calm down and stop shouting at the television! (It didn't help that the show was about vegetarianism and how awful animal foods are for you!)

    Ah, yes, it's just one more powerful reminder of why I don't watch television in the traditional sense anymore!

  35. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist September 23, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Eleanor, that is so funny and you are right – he is hard to understand. He got his big break by being on Oprah and Oprah promoting him via her media empire same as what happened with Dr. Phil. I think he means well but he is extremely dangerous as he doesn't know what he REALLY DOESN"T KNOW and he has this huge platform to spread his misinformation.

  36. Eleanor @Make Friends With Food September 23, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Dr. Oz deserves credit for emphasizing the importance of healthy eating, unlike many mainstream physicians who are only interested in pharmaceutical solutions. Unfortunately, as you said, he's woefully misinformed about nutrition, and he's spreading this misinformation to his enormous (in every sense of the word) audience. Also: how did this guy ever get a career in broadcasting? He talks as if he has marbles in his mouth. Does anyone else have trouble understanding him?

    • I agree. He’s horrible to listen to and I’ve only heard him once. That was just recently when he had Dr. Joe Mercola on his program. It was a good segment and I think it’s on YouTube now. Dr. Oz tries to talk too fast and almost sounds as though he has a speech impediment or like his tongue won’t keep up with his brain or something. Weird guy.

      And, between you and me and the grand piano, I agree with Sarah that his trying to be on the side of alternatives but not really making the entire switch is more dangerous to his viewing audience than pushing pfarma pills. His listeners begin to think he might know what he’s talking about and he doesn’t know diddly. Thus he leads them down the garden path to a whole bunch of wrong conclusions.

    • “Marbles in house mouth” is exactly how I describe his speech! I have not cared for his advise since day one. He has his specialty and if he wants to speak about the heart fine. Stay away from all the other topics! Medicine is to broad to speak as an expert on everything.

  37. You're right, Mama G. Dr. Oz hits gets it right once in awhile (he is much more open to herbs and alternative medicine). The ones who make me sick are "The Doctors", especially Dr. Lisa Masterson. They are so drug oriented, fat fearful, and western med loving that I can't watch them for 5 minutes without blowing up!

  38. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist September 23, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Mama G, I agree that Dr. Oz is more open than most. I even saw him promote cod liver oil on Oprah years ago and I was very very briefly a fan of his until I found out his other nutritional teachings which are completely wrong. By being open on some things and clueless on the really important things, he lures people into an incorrect and dangerous way of eating. It is folks promoting partial truths that are the most dangerous, I think.

  39. You should watch the whole show. It's exactly what you think, whole wheat bread baked with soy oil and all. Despite that I will say for a conventionally educated medical doctor Dr. Oz is more open to true wellness (vs. just illness management) than most of his contemeporaries. Does he have a long way to go? Yes. But at least he is open to things considered alternative and encourages patients to take charge of their own health and health care decisions. This alone sets him apart from many of the doctors I've consulted with. Still, if you think the show was bad, try reading "You, Having a Baby".


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