Previous research has shown inconsistencies in the association of tree nut consumption with risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and metabolic syndrome (MetS).
To determine the association of tree nut consumption with risk factors for CVD and for MetS in adults.
NHANES 2005-2010 data were used to examine the associations of tree nut consumption with health risks in adults 19+ years (n = 14,386; 51 % males). Tree nuts were: almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, filberts [hazelnuts], macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts. Group definitions were non-consumers < ¼ ounce/day and consumers of ≥ ¼ ounce/day tree nuts using data from 24-h dietary recalls. Means and ANOVA (covariate adjusted) were determined using appropriate sample weights. Using logistic regression, odds ratios of being overweight (OW)/obese (OB) (body mass index [BMI] >25/<30 and ≥30, respectively) and having CVRF or MetS, were determined.
Tree nut consumption was associated with lower BMI (p = 0.004), waist circumference (WC) (p = 0.008), systolic blood pressure (BP) (p = 0.001), Homeostatic Model Assessment-Insulin Resistance (p = 0.043), and higher high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (p = 0.022), compared with no consumption, and a lower likelihood of OB (-25 %), OW/OB (-23 %), and elevated WC (-21 %).
Tree nut consumption was associated with better weight status and some CVRF and MetS components.