Almonds vs. carbohydrate snacks in an energy-restricted diet: Weight and cardiometabolic outcomes from a randomized trial

Sharayah Carter, Alison M. Hill, Lauren C. Mead, Hoi Y. Wong, Catherine Yandell, Jonathan D. Buckley, Sze Yen Tan, Geraint B. Rogers, Francois Fraysse, Alison M. Coates

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Abstract

Objective: This study evaluated weight and cardiometabolic outcomes after a 3-month energy-restricted diet (−30%) containing almonds (almond-enriched diet [AED]) or containing carbohydrate-rich snacks (nut-free control diet [NFD]) (Phase 1), followed by 6 months of weight maintenance (Phase 2). 

Methods: Participants (25–65 years old) with overweight or obesity (BMI 27.5–34.9 kg/m2) were randomly allocated to AED (n = 68) or NFD (n = 72). 

Results: Both groups lost weight during Phase 1 (p < 0.001) (mean [SE], −7.0 [0.5] kg AED vs. −7.0 [0.5] kg NFD, p = 0.858) and Phase 2 (p = 0.009) (−1.1 [0.5] kg AED vs. −1.3 [0.6] NFD, p = 0.756), with improvements in percentage lean mass after Phase 2 (4.8% [0.3%], p < 0.001). Reductions occurred in fasting glucose (−0.2 [0.07] mmol/L, p = 0.003), insulin (−8.1 [4.0] pmol/L, p = 0.036), blood pressure (−4.9 [0.8] mm Hg systolic, −5.0 [0.5] mm Hg diastolic, p < 0.001), total cholesterol (−0.3 [0.1] mmol/L), low-density lipoprotein (LDL) (−0.2 [0.1] mmol/L), very low-density lipoprotein (−0.1 [0.03] mmol/L), and triglycerides (−0.3 [0.06] mmol/L) (all p < 0.001), and high-density lipoprotein increased (0.1 [0.02] mmol/L, p = 0.011) by the end of Phase 2 in both groups. There were group by time interactions for lipoprotein particle concentrations: very small triglyceride-rich (−31.0 [7.7] nmol/L AED vs. −4.8 [7.9] nmol/L NFD, p = 0.007), small LDL (−109.3 [40.5] nmol/L AED vs. −20.7 [41.6] nmol/L NFD, p = 0.017), and medium LDL (−24.4 [43.4] nmol/L AED vs. −130.5 [44.4] nmol/L NFD, p = 0.045). 

Conclusions: An energy-restricted AED resulted in weight loss and weight loss maintenance comparable to an energy-restricted NFD, and both diets supported cardiometabolic health. The AED resulted in greater improvements in some lipoprotein subfractions, which may enhance reductions in cardiovascular risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2467-2481
Number of pages15
JournalObesity
Volume31
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

Keywords

  • Almonds
  • Carbohydrates
  • energy-restricted diet
  • weight outcomes
  • cardiometabolic outcomes
  • Randomized trials

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