Emerging research indicates that nuts are a source of health-promoting compounds demonstrating cardioprotective benefits. However, most studies have assessed the effect of single nuts rather than a nut mixture. The objective of this study was, therefore, to examine the effect of mixed-nut consumption on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in overweight and obese adults. In a randomized, parallel-arm, controlled trial, 48 participants consumed isocaloric (250 kcal) amounts of pretzels or mixed-nuts. Body weight (BW) (p = 0.024), BMI (p = 0.043), and insulin levels (p = 0.032) were significantly lower in the nut group compared to the pretzel group. Mixed-nut consumption also significantly reduced glucose (p = 0.04) and insulin (p = 0.032) levels after 4 and 8 weeks compared to baseline, respectively. Lactate dehydrogenase of the nut group was significantly lower than the pretzel group (p = 0.002). No significant differences were detected between groups for triglycerides, LDL-C, and HDL-C. However, pretzel consumption increased triglycerides (p = 0.048) from 4 weeks to 8 weeks. Moreover, LDL-C increased (p = 0.038) while HDL-C transiently decreased (p = 0.044) from baseline to 4 weeks. No significant lipid changes were detected within the nut group. Our results suggest that supplementing the diet with mixed-nuts could improve CVD risk factors by improving BW and glucose regulation in comparison to a common carbohydrate-rich snack without promoting the negative effects on lipids detected with pretzels.
Keywords: cholesterol; glucose; insulin; mixed nuts; randomized controlled trial.