Introduction: Previous research has shown inconsistencies in the association of tree nut consumption with risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and metabolic syndrome (MetS).
Objective: To determine the association of tree nut consumption with risk factors for CVD and for MetS in adults.
Methods: 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.
Results: 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%).
Conclusions: Tree nut consumption was associated with better weight status and some CVRF and MetS components.