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Whole almond consumption is associated with better diet quality and cardiovascular disease risk factors in the UK adult population: National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) 2008–2017.

Dikariyanto, V., S.E. Berry, L. Francis, L. Smith, W.L. Hall, 2020. Whole almond consumption is associated with better diet quality and cardiovascular disease risk factors in the UK adult population: National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) 2008–2017. Eur J Nutr. 60(2):643-654.

Purpose: This work aimed to estimate whole almond consumption in a nationally representative UK survey population and examine associations with diet quality and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. Methods: Four-day food record data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) 2008–2017 (n = 6802, age≥19 year) were analyzed to investigate associations between whole almond consumption and diet quality, measured by the modified Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS) and modified Healthy Diet Score (HDS), and CVD risk markers, using survey-adjusted multivariable linear regression. Results: Whole almond consumption was reported in 7.6% of the population. Median intake in whole almond consumers was 5.0 g/day (IQR 9.3). Consumers had higher diet quality scores relative to non-consumers; higher intakes of protein, total fat, monounsaturated, n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fats, fiber, folate, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron; and lower intakes of trans-fatty acids, total carbohydrate, sugar, and sodium. BMI and WC were lower in whole almond consumers compared to non-consumers: 25.5 kg/m2 (95% CI 24.9, 26.2) vs 26.3 kg/m2 (25.9, 26.7), and 88.0 cm (86.2, 89.8) vs 90.1 cm (89.1, 91.2), respectively. However, there were no dose-related fully adjusted significant associations between increasing almond intake (g per 1000 kcal energy intake) and lower CVD risk markers. Conclusions: Almond intake is low in the UK population, but consumption was associated with better dietary quality and lower CVD risk factors. Habitual consumption of whole almonds should be encouraged as part of a healthy diet.