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Walnut consumption in a weight reduction intervention: effects on body weight, biological measures, blood pressure and satiety

Rock DL, Flatt SW, Barkai HS, Pakiz B, Heath DD.
Nutr J. 2017; 16: 76. Published online 2017 Dec 4. doi: 10.1186/s12937-017-0304-z
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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: verweight 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 behavioural 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 analysed using repeated measures mixed models.

Results: th study groups reduced body weight, body mass index and waist circumference (time effect p at; 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 onths, but only the walnut-enriched diet group maintained a lower systolic blood pressure at 6 onths. 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 onths, from 203 to 194 g/dL and 121 to 112 g/dL, respectively (p < 0.05). Self-reported satiety was similar in the groups.

Conclusions: ese 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 behavioural 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 favourable effects on LDL-C and systolic blood pressure.