01_dr-anderson-picture.jpgJames W. Anderson, MD

Professor of Medicine and Clinical Nutrition, Emeritus 

at the University of Kentucky  

Jim Anderson, a native of Hinton, West Virginia, graduated from West Virginia University and Northwestern Medical School. He completed training in internal medicine and endocrinology at the Mayo Clinic and served in the United States Army as a research physician. Beginning his academic career at the University of California in San Francisco, he moved to the University of Kentucky (UK) in Lexington in 1973. Currently, he is Professor of Medicine and Clinical Nutrition. He directs the UK Health Management Resources Weight Management Program and is Founder and President of the Obesity Research Network, a network of leading experts who perform clinical research in the area of obesity. 

Dr. Anderson divides his time between research, teaching, private practice and administration. His research interests relate to diabetes, blood lipid disorders, obesity, and nutrition. He pioneered use of high fiber diets for treatment of diabetes and launched the “oat bran craze.”  Currently, he is investigating novel ways to reduce blood cholesterol, use of soy protein in diabetes, and new treatments for obesity.  An active writer, Dr. Anderson has published over 220 research articles and over 190 book chapters, education articles and books. His publications have appeared in New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of American Medical Association, Journal of American Dietetic Association, Archives of Internal Medicine, and American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. He serves on the Editorial Board of several journals, Prevention Magazine and Veggie Life. He has published six popular books with the most recent being The Simple Diet, Berkley Books. 

As an educator, he teaches undergraduates, medical students, nutrition graduate students, medical residents and fellows, and practicing physicians. He also supervises the training of Masters and Ph.D. students. With an interest in travel, Dr. Anderson has been able to visit most of the United States and lecture in Australia, China, Europe, India, Israel, Japan, Korea, Latin America, Russia, South Africa and other countries. To disseminate educational material, he founded the HCF Nutrition Research Foundation in 1979, and serves as President and Chairman of the Board.

Jim has been married to Gay for 54 years. They have two children, Kathy and Steven, and five granddaughters. He was active at Calvary Baptist Church, where he has serves as deacon and Sunday School teacher. He is on the Board of Trustees for Georgetown College in KY and has served as Chair for 3 years. Recently Gay and Jim moved to Hermitage, TN to be closer to daughter and family.


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47 Responses to “About”

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Hi Doc!!! I’m John, and was diagnosed with type 1 at age fifty. I still have a very little of my own insulin, but it’s a struggle to control with just diet and exercise. The biggest struggle is maintaining my weight without going to synthetic insulin. My BMI is always around 19, which leaves no room for error. I’m heathy, but I’d like to add weight, and maintaining 2500 or 3000 calories a day is tough because my stomach has shrunk. I’ve also read that a gluten free diet would benefit me because I am blood type O. What do you think? John

Hi John,
When people get diabetes at age 50 and are slender, they my have what is called Type 1.5 diabetes. There are clinical research trials providing special opportunities for this type of diabetes. I do not have websites or contracts but this is probably available on the internet.
I don’t know of any specific research that supports bthe use of a gluten free diet for your diabetes.
To gain weight and muscle you need at least 60 grams of protein; I recommend chicken, turkey and fish “white meats.” Soy foods are good choices for diabetes. Starchy vegetables such as potatoes and beans bring good nutrition and energy as do whole grain cereals and breads. Fruits and vegetables also are good choices. Low fat milk or soy milk also can be recommended.
Good luck and best wishes, Nut Doc

My BMI is 19 on a good day. I don’t have trouble getting enough protein considering the low carb shakes and nutrition bars, not to mention free range eggs/cheese and the several lbs. a week almond/walnut habit I have. My problem is trying to get enough calories without the carbs. I need to get 3000 to get up to the weight everyone thinks I should be at. Then, try to maintain a 2500 calorie a day habit. I’m 6’2″ 150 after a big meal. Thing is, I’m not hungry enough to do that. Is the protein I get from the bars and shakes and nuts, etc. different from the protein from chicken, turkey and fish? Or, since I’m basically the same weight as high school, should I just ignore everyone who thinks I need a sandwich or two? Thanks for your reply. I only saw type 1 1/2 Diabetes studies overseas.


I am writing to tell you that I really like your blog site. I too am an advocate for obesity and nutrition awareness and I wanted to say great job. I alos have my own website and was interested in listing your blog as a resource for people to use. Hopefully we can talk about some sort of partnership in this matter. My email is lindsay.ferrigno@gmail.com please email me so we can talk further. Thank you very much.


Hi Lindsay,
Thanks for your comment. Please give me information about your blog. I have had some recent training about blogs and hope to have a more reader-friendly and interactive blog.
Happy New Year,

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

The National Fiber Council was a group of health professionals with expertise in dietary fiber who were assembled about 2004 to disseminate information about dietary fiber to consumers, health professionals and the media. It was supported by Procter & Gamble. It has not been active for the last year because of lack of funding.

Hi Dr. Anderson,

With all modesty, I think that I have a very attractive hypothesis that describes the one all-important causation factor of type II diabetes, and explains exactly why a high fiber diet is curative on a biochemical level. My hypothesis is admittedly partly intuitive and deductive, but is well underpinned by my scientific understanding, I hope.

If you interested in having me explain what I believe to be the case, it would be most convenient for me to impart this information to you over the phone, as the subject is rather involved, and I want to be as thorough as possible in my presentation.

By the way, I mentioned your early published work curing lean insulin-dependent diabetics in a hospital setting, regressing them back through hypoglycemia, using diet alone (and not too extreme a diet at that), to Jeff Hilb, who I met through a mutual hiking buddy, and he said that he knew you. I was shocked and saddened to learn of his death a few months ago.

Brent Lewis

Hi Brent,
Thanks. Sorry I am so slow– have been crazy busy with moving, travel, etc. Please give me your phone number and I’ll call you.
Best regards, Jim

Dr. Anderson,

Kirk Hamilton here. I wanted to send you a copy of my book, “Staying Healthy in the Fast Lane”. I interviewed you for my Staying Healthy Today show April 30, 2009. Please let me know a mailing address where I can send you the book. http://www.prescription2000.com/ https://secure.mybookorders.com/order/kirkhamilton

Hi Kirk,
Congratulations and thanks very much. I would love to have a copy of your book. You can send it to Jim Anderson, 506 Knapp Farm Drive, Hermitage, TN 37076

i am confused when someone uses the words red meat, dont know why they have not splt the word so that people realize there are better so called red meats then others. i raise yaks here in colorado and their meat is high in omega 3 and low in omega 6 and low in colesterol and fat, eating ground yak as protein should be much healthier then store bought junk????? i am asking why no mention of grass finished beef or bison or even yak are ever mentioned as sources of much better health related foods, i would love to talk further out the yak ground as a good source, not sure why it would not help in the fight against fat and so called too much red meat, thanks

Hi Jeff,
Thanks for your comment. Many Americans think of red meat as well-marbled beef and tasty pork. Of course, range fed cattle and other lean sources of protein can be good nutrition choices. The saturated fat content of meat is the major health concern and, secondly, the cholesterol content. Pork tenderloin is called the other white meat because it is low in saturated fat and calories compared to popular pork and beef choices. My new book, The Simple Dietm available late next month provides a Greeen Light Calorie Guide that helps you select good animal sources of protein.
Best wishes,

do you know the difference between grass fed and grass finished????? the scientific results are amazing, people are being duped when meat is called grass fed, it is not healthy unless they grass finish the animal. check out the low cholestrol and fat content if GRASS FINISHED NOT JUST GRASS FED. i think it is better then salmon and chicken for the good things and less of the bad things. it is important to let people know the difference, jeff smith

Are you leading any current weight-loss studies for women over 40 in the Lexington area? I participated in one of your studies over 7 years ago, and found that the guidance of you & your staff was most helpful! However, after the program ended, I had an accident, herniating my L-4 & L-5 that took me on a long journey with very limited exercise. I became depressed & now find myself heavier than ever. I would love some feeback on what programs I can access at this point. Thank you for your research! I listened to a digital interview with you commenting on carbohydrates, fat & diabetes & found it most helpful!

Hi Joy,
Thanks for you comment and you nice words. In June I retired from UK and moved to Nashville so I will not be conducting any more research or clinical activities in Lexington. My new book, The Simple Diet, will be published next month. It integrates all my research and clinical experience into a weight loss and health maintenance plan. It is listed on Amazon.com.
Best wishes and have a Happy Thanksgiving.

I am a thinking person. This article makes a lot of sense as well as igniting great thought. You are a writer with a knack for making your content interesting.

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I was very pleased to find this web-site. I wanted to thanks for your time for this glorious read! !I positively enjoying every little bit of it and I’ve you bookmarked to check out new stuff you blog post….

Hi there, I found your web site by the use of Google even as looking for a related topic, your site came up, it looks great. I have added to my favourites|added to my bookmarks.

Hi Dr Anderson
I saw your diet in the Womans World magazine. Seemed like something I could do since I do like frozen meals.
I have now been on the diet for 4 days and not seen one ounce gone. In fact today it actually said increase of 5 ounces.
When would I start to see some weight loss on this diet. At this rate it surely would not ” Shake off 50lbs by Spring” according to the article. Not that I want 50lbs but something to keep me going.

Hi CJ, thanks for your comment. Four days is not very long. Have you read our book? You may not be following all of the guidelines. Hundreds of people are reporting nice weight losses on the Simple Diet so I would continue using three shakes and two entrees that meet the nutrition guidelines and, also, consuming five servings of fruits or vegetables. You may want to look at portion sizes on fruits and vegetables and choose from the lower calorie ones. Best of luck, Nutdoc.

Dear Dr. Anderson:

I am so pleased to find this weblog! As far as I can determine, your research has provided the best, if not only, measurements of soluble fiber in foods. I’m trying to increase the soluble fiber in my diet as I am normal to low weight and have a super high HDL at 110, but my NMR is no longer indicating my actual LDL are few and large. To improve my diet, I’d like as much data on soluble fiber in foods as possible. Most information says: oats, oat bran, barley, flax, legumes, psyllium, chia seeds, and that’s it.

My nutritionist did provide me a document adapted from your Plant Fiber in Foods, 1990 called Fiber Content of Foods in Common Portions http://huhs.harvard.edu/assets/File/OurServices/Service_Nutrition_Fiber.pdf

Although better than any other source I’ve found, I’d love to see the complete list. The best I can do without spending $150-$200 on the 1990 book was to borrow Plant Fiber in Foods, 1986 from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. I’ve compared lists and converted values to serving size amounts to be consistent with the Harvard list and found some values are quite different, e.g., pinto beans aren’t so great at 1.4 per ½ cup in the linked list vs. a significantly better source at 2.1 in your 1986 work. Did the methodology change in the time period? Is there somewhere I can get the best full data? So many peas and beans, so little data!!

The USDA Nutrient Database does not break out type of fiber in its immense food database. A sad omission. As you know, soluble fiber is SO important. If I can concentrate on best sources, my diet will be that much improved. I’m enjoying increasing my fiber, variety of foods and number of cruciferous vegetables in the past month. My weight has stayed the same, something I was worried about with all the legumes I’m eating. Hopefully my numbers will improve when I test in 6 months.

Thanks for any help you can provide! Pam

Hi there, I’m Tanya, 41 and about 55 pounds overweight. I saw your diet in women’s world and thought wow this diet looks easy to do, why not try. Well it was easy and I thought I would be hungry but instead I found I could not always finish everything you recommended to eat. I started monday at 196 and by Saturday morning I weighed 190! I followed your diet and didn’t cheat. I ate 3 snack bars this week , just like you recommend when I felt really snacky.

Bravo for giving us a diet where we can still eat pasta and other goodies in our frozen dinners, it makes it so much easier. Thank you and I’m excited to continue on with this diet and also share it with some people.

Thanks again!

Hi Tanya, Thanks for your comments.Keep up the good work! Nutdoc

Hi Dr. Anderson:

I got all excited that I got notification about activity on this blog. Went to my question and alas, my question was skipped. All my fiber buddies are excitedly waiting to hear what I learn as well. I hope you can help. Thanks. Pam

Hi Pam, I have to do a little research to answer your question. With company, a cold slowing me down, I have not gotten it done. Sorry. It’s on my to-do list. Best, Nutdoc

Dr. Anderson: Thanks so much. No hurry, I’m enjoying my new food friends. It would just be great to know the most reliable source for soluble fiber data. I saw something on the internet the other day that said tofu is high in soluble fiber. (Given packaging says 0 g. fiber, seems highly unlikely.) Avocados too. Hmmmm.

Take care and enjoy your semi-retirement!

Dr. Anderson;
I have just Read “The Simple Diet”. I am really excited about the results I am already seeing and feeling.
I started the Diet on Friday; and have lost 1 1/2 lbs.so far. I know you lose weight usually fast at first, but am going to stick with this. I need to lose about 85 lbs. so I know it will take me a while.

I find it difficult to eat all the food that you have listed on the program. If I am full, and not hungry, do I need to drink the third Shake? I don’t want to mess around and not lose the weight I should with what you have designed on this diet. Would it be okay to miss a shake occasionally if I am already full?


Hi Kate, Thanks, glad you are doing well. Gettin in all your shakes and entrees is important for success. The low calorie fruits and vegetables are very filling. You could try having a full banana (which represents 2 fruit servings) or a half cup of beans instead of carrots. This would be less filling. Good luck. Nutdoc

Thanks Dr. Anderson, I’ll try that.

Hi Dr. Anderson,
My wife and I are buying all the things we need to begin your Simple Diet plan. We are both retired and eager to begin. However, I still have one reservation that I hope you can address: sodium intake. Over the last few years I’ve tried to limit my sodium to help control my high blood pressure (along with taking doctor-prescribed meds) and am doing fairly well with this. I’m worried that the addition of pre-fixed meals like Lean Cuisine and Smart Ones will result in too much sodium intake. We’ve tried to pick out the meals with the lowest sodium per serving (usually 400 to 500 milligrams or so), but this still seems high to me. Is this something I need to worry about?

Dear Russell,
Thank you for your question. I have treated over 1500 people with the Simple Diet, including people with congestive heart failure and many with high blood pressure. The usual American diet is high in sodium. The Simple Diet is much lower in sodium than the average American diet. In addition to the lower sodium, losing weight lowers blood pressure. You should discuss this with your doctor. Usually when we start the Simple Diet we stop diuretics like hydrochlorothiazide because the blood prsssure tends to decrease by 10-30 points systolic and 10-20 points diastolic. Continue to choose entrees and shakes that are lower in sodium. It is a good idea to measure your blood pressure at home or at a pharmacy or supermarket. But, check with your doctor. In my experienc you will do fine. Best of luck. Nutdoc

Hi Doc.
I too, read the article in Women’s World and decided to give it a try. My daughter decided to join me on this journey. I purchased the Simple Diet book and began the best “diet” in years! I have been following faithfully for almost three weeks and have lost 10lbs.!! My daughter lost 10lbs. in the first week alone. I am simply thrilled with the results. Thank you for making this available to so many! ~Blessings

I am trying to reach the good doctor to have him try a new drink, with beta glucan. I have found a person that was able to bottle the goodness of the active ingredient of the oat bran in a flavored drink. It is 40 calories per 12 oz serving, refreshing and popular with those who try it. I want to have the chance to share it with Dr. Anderson and see if he can suggest ways to study the effects of this drink on blood cholesterol. Thanks

Hi Kathy, thanks for the update. Recently my e-mail acct was hijacked so I do not post it here. If you go to my website anderesonsimplediet.com it will direct me to my facebook acct. I could reply to your message on facebook if you could send me on as a facebook message. I continue to do research with beta-glucan and would be very interested in your product. Best, Nutdoc

Hi Dr. Anderson! My name is Gina. I live in Ohio. I am 44 years old, 5’3″ and 173lbs. I have been struggling with 40 to 50 pounds of extra weight for about 5 years. I saw the article in Woman’s Day and went out to buy your book. I am a school teacher and I am off this week for spring break. My husband and I went shopping last night for my meal replacements. I am very excited about your plan. I am 100% italian and grew up with food as the center of life. My dear mother died of heart disease at age 72 and my father is obese with diabetes and high blood pressure. I have failed so many times before that I get nervous trying something new. Do you have any tips for me as I embark on this new healthy journey? Also, thank you for your research and knowledge. After reading, The Simple Diet, I know this is exactly what I need. Sincerely, Gina

Hi Gina, thanks for your note. I share your weight history and have worked with many folks who have been in your situation. First, it is great that your husband is supportive. My wife and daughter are school teachers and I know how demanding and important this work is, especially in today’s environment. Choose entrees and shakes you enjoy and get in your minimum of fruits and vegetables. As you encounter challenges, share them with me and we can work thru them. Best, Dr. A.

Dr. Anderson, I have purchased your Simple Diet and am very eager to try it. I am prediabetic and wondered if it is necessary to keep track of carbohyrdates consumed through the meals, shakes, fruit and vegetables, and bars. Thank you for your help!

Hi Marge, Thanks for your question. Our Simple Diet is the ideal diet for persons with prediabetes and diabetes. I have had prediabetes in remission (my blood sugar now is normal) for 14 years following this diet. Your blood glucose will improve quickly on this diet and drop into the normal range. Best, Nutdoc

Thank you so much for your response, Dr. Anderson. I am looking forward to following your program!

Dear Dr Anderson,

I read an article by Oliver Gillie (Medical Correspondent) which advised you have written a book about Porridge for Diabetes published by Martin Dunitz. I have tried several internet searches but cannot seem to find this book. Could you please advise how I can purchase this book?

Eileen Byrne

Hi Eileen, thanks for your inquiry. In 1981 my first book, “Diabetes: A practical new guide to healthy living”, was published in the UK by Martin Dunitz, Ltd., London. Oliver Gillie wrote a front page article in the Sunday Times (London) entitled “The Porridge Cure for Diabetes.” Both of us remember that headline! This book may still be available is you search the internet. Since then two of my books have updated this diet plan and will serve as an excellent guide for the diet of someone with diabetes. These books are available from Amazon.com and are: Dr. Anderson’s High Fiber Fitness Plan (University Press, Lexington, KY, 1994) and The Simple Diet (Berkley Books, New York, 2011). These books, my scientific articles, and my blogs provide guidance to a high carbohydrate, high fiber, low fat diet for persons with diabetes. Best, Nutdoc

Are you fully appreciative of the role of manganese in carbohydrate metabolism, and the reasons why it is likely that manganese deficiency is at the root cause of type 2 diabetes? I am, and could sustain a substantive discussion underpinning my viewpoint, if you are interested.

Dr Anderson, I have just read “The Simple Diet” and have a basic question. Your recommendation is to eat “five servings of fruits and vegetables daily”. Do you mean 5 total servings of fruits and/or vegetables or do you mean five servings of fruits plus five servings of vegetables for a total of 10 servings daily? I’ve read fairly closely and I was not at all sure of what you meant. Also I’ve been using air popped pop corn as something I can “fill up” on with out major calories. On your listings it is a red light food. Could you explain please. If possible could you email me an answer as I rarely read blogs. Thank you, Nancy

Hi Nancy, thanks for your question. We recommend 5 five total servings of fruit or vegetables per day. We do not recommend popcorn. You may want to visit our website andersonsimplediet.com. Best wishes. nutdoc


Hi. This is “brother” John Anderson of Chapel Hill (UNC) with a question.

A colleague and I are writing a book called the Mediterranean Way of Eating, to be published by CRC Press in Boca Raton, FL. We would like to obtain permission from you to include your table on fiber, both soluble and insoluble, in various plant foods, in the same manner as the Harvard table on fiber that cites, presumably, your publication of Plant Fiber in Foods, 2nd ed., HCF Human Nutrition Foundation, Inc. I would very much appreciate your feedback regarding my query.

I am guessing that you are enjoying your retirement in Lexington very much! With best regards,


Hi “brother” John. Hope things are going well. I will send you an official positive response by e-mail. I would be pleased to have you cite my book in your publication.
Best, Jim

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