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Products: Tree Nuts
Subject: Cardiovascular

Association of Tree Nut Consumption with Cardiovascular Disease and Cardiometabolic Risk Factors and Health Outcomes in US Adults: NHANES 2011-2018

Authors: Lopez-Neyman, S. M., Zohoori, N., Broughton, K. S., & Miketinas, D. C.
  • Journals: Current Developments in Nutrition
  • Pages: 102007
  • Volume: 7(10)
  • Year: 2023
Background: Tree nuts are nutrient dense, and their consumption has been associated with improvements in health outcomes. Objective: To estimate the usual tree nut intake and examine the association between tree nut consumption and cardiometabolic (CM) health outcomes in a nationally representative sample of US adults. Methods: Cross-sectional data were analyzed from a sample of 18,150 adults aged ≥ 20y who provided at least one reliable 24-h dietary recall and had complete data for the variables of interest in the NHANES 2011–2018. Tree nut consumers were defined as those consuming ≥ ¼ ounce/d (7.09 g). The National Cancer Institute Method was used to estimate the usual tree nut intake among consumers. Measurement error calibrated regression models were used to assess the association between tree nut consumption and each health outcome of interest. Results: Approximately 8% of all participants (n = 1238) consumed tree nuts and had a mean ± SE usual intake of 39.5 ± 1.8 g/d. Tree nut consumers were less likely to have obesity (31% vs. 40%, P < 0.001) and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (22% vs. 30%, P < 0.001) compared with nonconsumers. Moreover, tree nut consumers had a lower mean waist circumference (WC) (97.1 ± 0.7 vs. 100.5 ± 0.3 cm, P < 0.001) and apolipoprotein B (87.5 ± 1.2 vs. 91.8 ± 0.5 mg/dL, P = 0.004) than nonconsumers. After adjusting models for demographics and lifestyle covariates, the difference in WC between average intake (33.7 g/d) and low threshold intake (7.09/g) of tree nuts was -1.42 ± 0.58 cm (P = 0.005). Conclusions: Most US adults do not consume tree nuts, yet modest consumption was associated with decreased prevalence of cardiovascular disease and CM risk factors and improvement for some health outcome measures.