Spence, L.A., B. Henschel, R. Li, C.D. Tekwe, K. Thiagarajah, 2023. Adding walnuts to the usual diet can improve diet quality in the United States: diet modeling study based on NHANES 2015-2018. Nutrients. 15(2):258. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15020258
Background: The under-consumption of calcium, potassium, fiber, and vitamin D is considered a U.S. public health concern. Shifts in eating patterns that increase the consumption of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts/seeds, and dairy products can help achieve the recommended intakes of these nutrients, leading to healthier diets. Objective: We assessed the impact of adding 1 ounce (28.35 g) of walnuts to usual diets on diet quality and nutrients of concern, including magnesium, fiber, and potassium. Methods: We utilized 24 h dietary recalls obtained from the What We Eat in America, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and modeled the addition of 1 ounce (28.35 g) of walnuts to the usual diets of no-nut consumers. No-nut consumers aged _4 years (n = 7757) from the 2015–2018 NHANES study were included. Population percentages with intakes below the estimated average requirement (EAR) values for calcium, magnesium, folate, and vitamin E and above the adequate intake (AI) values for potassium and fiber were examined. Diet quality was assessed using the Healthy Eating Index-2015 (HEI-2015). The National Cancer Institute method was used to estimate the usual and modeled intakes. Significant differences between usual (current) and modeled intakes were determined using non-overlapping 95% confidence intervals. All analyses included sample weights to account for the NHANES survey design. Results: Adding 1 ounce (28.35 g) of walnuts to the usual diet resulted in significant reductions in the percentages of adults with intakes below the EAR for magnesium and folate (69.6% vs. 52.0%; 49.2% vs. 40.6%, respectively), and increased the percentage of adults above the AI for potassium (22.8% vs. 26.5%). A similar trend was observed among children (4–18 years). HEI scores improved significantly from 49.1 (95% CI: 48.0–50.4) to 58.5 (95% CI: 57.5–59.6) in children and from 52.4 (95% CI: 51.0–53.8) to 59.2 (95% CI: 58.0–60.5) in adults. Conclusions: Adding 1 ounce (28.35 g) of walnuts to the usual diet of no-nut consumers improved the diet quality and adequacy of some under-consumed nutrients.
previous abstractLong-term consumption of nuts (including peanuts, peanut butter, walnuts, and other nuts) in relation to risk of frailty in older women: evidence from a cohort study.