Mullie, M., P. Clarys, 2012. Nut consumption is associated with a healthy dietary pattern in military men. Food and Nutrition Sciences. 3:1048-1054.
The objective of the research was to determine the relation between nut consumption and dietary patterns described by Healthy Eating Index, Mediterranean Diet Score and principal component analysis. In a cross-sectional study, 1852 military men were contacted by mail. Using food-frequency questionnaires, nut consumption was recorded and stratified in weekly versus less than weekly. Three dietary indices were calculated and stratified in quintiles. For principal component analysis, the healthiest dietary pattern rich in fruits and vegetables was selected as Healthy Dietary Pattern. The highest quintiles of Healthy Eating Index, Mediterranean Diet Score and Healthy Dietary Pattern were systematically associated with the highest weekly consumption of nuts. The highest quintiles were also associated with the lowest intake of saturated fat, i.e. between 10 and 12 energy-percent compared with 17 to 19 energy-percent for the lowest quintiles. The mean daily nut consumption was less than 6 g a day, which is beneath the recommended quantity for cardiovascular protection. Nut consumption was associated with the healthiest dietary pattern, independently of the used method to determine the dietary pattern. Regular nut consumption seems to be a component of a cluster of several healthy behaviors.