Background: Dietary strategies that help patients adhere to a weight reduction diet may increase the likelihood of weight loss maintenance and improved long-term health outcomes. Regular nut consumption has been associated with better weight management and less adiposity. The objective of this study was to compare the effects of a walnut-enriched reduced-energy diet to a standard reduced-energy-density diet on weight, cardiovascular disease risk factors, and satiety.
Methods: Overweight and obese men and women (n = 100) were randomly assigned to a standard reduced-energy-density diet or a walnut-enriched (15% of energy) reduced-energy diet in the context of a behavioral weight loss intervention. Measurements were obtained at baseline and 3- and 6-month clinic visits. Participants rated hunger, fullness and anticipated prospective consumption at 3 time points during the intervention. Body measurements, blood pressure, physical activity, lipids, tocopherols and fatty acids were analyzed using repeated measures mixed models.
Results: Both study groups reduced body weight, body mass index and waist circumference (time effect p < 0.001 for each). Change in weight was -9.4 (0.9)% vs. -8.9 (0.7)% (mean [SE]), for the standard vs. walnut-enriched diet groups, respectively. Systolic blood pressure decreased in both groups at 3 months, but only the walnut-enriched diet group maintained a lower systolic blood pressure at 6 months. The walnut-enriched diet group, but not the standard reduced-energy-density diet group, reduced total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) at 6 months, from 203 to 194 mg/dL and 121 to 112 mg/dL, respectively (p < 0.05). Self-reported satiety was similar in the groups.
Conclusions: These findings provide further evidence that a walnut-enriched reduced-energy diet can promote weight loss that is comparable to a standard reduced-energy-density diet in the context of a behavioral weight loss intervention. Although weight loss in response to both dietary strategies was associated with improvements in cardiovascular disease risk factors, the walnut-enriched diet promoted more favorable effects on LDL-C and systolic blood pressure.
Trial registration: The trial is registered at ( NCT02501889 ).
Keywords: Blood pressure; Cardiovascular disease risk factors; Nuts; Satiety; Weight loss.