Subject: Cardiovascular · Cognitive function
Long term nut consumption is associated with reduced risk of coronary heart disease and better cognitive function. This study examined supplementing habitual diets with almonds or carbohydrate-rich snack foods (providing 15% energy) on biomarkers of cardiovascular and metabolic health, mood and cognitive performance. Participants (overweight/obese, 50–80 years) were randomised to an almond-enriched diet (AED) or isocaloric nut-free diet (NFD) for 12 weeks. Body weight, blood lipids, glucose, insulin, blood pressure (BP), arterial stiffness, cell adhesions molecules, C reactive protein (CRP), mood, and cognitive performance (working memory primary outcome), dietary profiles and energy intake/expenditure were measured at baseline and Week 12 in 128 participants (n = 63 AED, n = 65 NFD). Compared with NFD, AED was associated with altered macro and micronutrient profiles, but no differences in energy intake or expenditure. The AED significantly reduced triglycerides and SBP but there were no other changes in cardiometabolic biomarkers, mood, or cognitive performance. The inclusion of almonds in the diet improves aspects of cardiometabolic health without affecting cognitive performance or mood in overweight/obese adults.