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Dr. Oz: Odd behaviors, diet soda warnings and best nut butters for weight loss

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Normal or nuts? If you've ever asked yourself that question about something you do or think, Dr. Mehmet Oz's Friday talk show just might hold the answer. Plus: Find out about using nut butter for weight loss, watch out for sugar-free soda and become aware of diet supplement scams.

One of the keys to determining if a behavior is normal: How often you repeat it. For example, if you have a song stuck in your head, that's normal.

In contrast, if you repeatedly pick at scabs or your skin, it can cause problems, warns Dr. Oz. Seek other ways to distract yourself.

If you frequently drink diet soda, it might seem normal. But you're damaging your bones, according to Dr. Oz.

The dangerous ingredient in diet soda is phosphoric acid. Dr. Oz recommends weaning yourself from diet soda by gradually diluting it with plain soda water.

On the same episode, Dr. Oz dished up tips on buying the best nut butter for weight loss and health. Limit your portion to two tablespoons a day, and look for brands without added sugar or salt.

For weight loss, almond butter is the winner. Almond butter is high in fiber, low in calories and curbs cravings. Try it in a smoothie with milk, banana, frozen berries and ice.

Use cashew nut butter for your bones. And for a healthy heart, go for walnuts, says Dr. Oz. Peanut butter boosts energy and provides you with heart-healthy fats.

In addition to nut butter, try using nuts as snacks, said Dr. Oz in an interview Friday with the Sault Star News. He advocates taking them with you to nibble on throughout the day.

"Always carry nuts with you, no matter what," he said. "You can take them through airport security and they satiate you."

As for the debate over whether exercise or diet helps more weight loss, Dr. Oz emphasizes diet trumps fitness. "If you want to lose weight, focus on the food," he advised.

"You will not lose weight on exercise alone," he added. "You will lose weight with food alone."

While these recommendations emphasize the use of food for weight loss and health, Dr. Oz recently got grilled for his frequent recommendations of weight loss supplements, reported the Times Live on Friday. A Senate subcommittee on consumer protection accused him of encouraging diet product scams.

"When you call a product a miracle, and it's something you can buy and it's something that gives people false hope, I just don't understand why you need to go there," said Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, chairwoman of the committee. She expressed her belief that he doesn't believe in weight loss supplements such as green coffee extract but features them only to get viewers.

Dr. Oz, however, defended himself. "I actually do personally believe in the items that I talk about on the show," said the cardiac surgeon/talk show host.

Moreover, he claimed that he gives his own family the products that he touts. "I would give my audience the same advice I give my family, and I have given my family these products," Dr. Oz insisted.

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