Diet quality, total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and endothelial function were significantly improved after a 6 month walnut-inclusive diet, according to Dr. Valentine Yanchou Njike and his associates.
The 97 participants who completed the study were split into four groups: two groups that received a diet including 56 g of walnuts daily and two groups that did not. In each set, one group had caloric intake controlled and one group did not. Regardless of caloric intake, diet quality was improved in the walnut-inclusive groups. From baseline, the calorie-control group improved its Healthy Eating Index 2010 score by 7.02 points, while HEI-2010 scores in the nonwalnut calorie-control group dropped by 5.92 points. In the non–calorie control groups, the score improved by 9.14 points in the walnut-inclusive group and increased by 0.40 points in the nonwalnut group.
LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol were both significantly improved in the walnut-inclusive calorie-control group, compared with the nonwalnut calorie-control group, with decreases of 14.52 mg/dL and 16.04 mg/dL, respectively, versus 9.79 mg/dL and 9.42 mg/dL in the nonwalnut group. No difference in the non–calorie control groups was seen. Endothelial function also was improved only in the walnut-inclusive calorie-control group.
Walnut-inclusive diets did not substantially affect body mass index, fasting glucose, glycated hemoglobin, or blood pressure. “Waist circumference significantly improved from baseline for the walnut-included diet for 6 months with dietary counseling to adjust caloric intake as well as in the walnut-excluded diet,” the investigators noted.
Find the full study in BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care (doi: 10.1136/bmjdrc-2015-000115).