Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Nut consumption, body weight and insulin resistance


The beneficial effects of nuts on cardiovascular health are well known. However, since nuts provide a high caloric and fat content, some concern exists regarding a potential detrimental effect on body weight and insulin resistance. The current data available did not support such a negative effect of nut consumption on the short term or when nuts are included on diets that meet energy needs. Furthermore, there is some intriguing evidence that nuts can help to regulate body weight and protect against type II diabetes. This, however, still has to be proved and more research is needed to address the specific effects of nuts on satiety, energy balance, body weight and insulin resistance.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  • Albert CM, Gaziano JM, Willett WC & Manson JE (2002): Nut consumption and decreased risk of sudden cardiac death in the Physicians' Health Study. Arch. Intern. Med. 162, 1382–1387.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Almario RU, Vonghavaravat V, Wong R & Kasim-Karakas SE (2001): Effects of walnut consumption on plasma fatty acids and lipoproteins in combined hyperlipidemia. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 74, 72–79.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Alper CM & Mattes RD (2002): Effects of chronic peanut consumption on energy balance and hedonics. Int. J. Obes. Relat. Metab. Disord. 26, 1129–1137.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Curb JD, Wergowske G, Dobbs JC, Abbott RD & Huang B (2000): Serum lipid effects of a high-monounsaturated fat diet based on macadamia nuts. Arch. Intern. Med. 60, 1154–1158.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Edwards K, Kwaw I, Matud J & Kurtz I (1999): Effect of pistachio nuts on serum lipid levels in patients with moderate hypercholesterolemia. J. Am. Coll. Nutr. 18, 229–232.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Feldman EB (2002): LSRO report: the scientific evidence for a beneficial health relationship between walnuts and coronary heart disease. J. Nutr. 132 (Suppl), 1062S–1101S.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fraser GE & Shavlik DJ (1997): Risk factors for all-cause and coronary heart disease mortality in the oldest-old. The Adventist Health Study. Arch. Intern. Med. 157, 2249–2258.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Fraser GE, Bennett HW, Jaceldo KB & Sabate J (2002): Effect on body weight of a free 76 kilojoule (320 calorie) daily supplement of almonds for six months. J. Am. Coll. Nutr. 21, 275–283.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Garg A, Bantle JP, Henry RR, Coulston AM, Griver KA, Raatz SK, Brinkley L, Chen YD, Grundy SM, Huet BA & Reaven GM (1994): Effects of varying carbohydrate content of diet in patients with non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus. JAMA 271, 1421–1428.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Haddad EH & Sabate J (2000): Effect of pecan consumption on stool fat. FASEB J. 14, A294 (abstract).

    Google Scholar 

  • Hyson DA, Schneeman BO & Davis PA (2002): Almonds and almond oil have similar effects on plasma lipids and LDL oxidation in healthy men and women. J. Nutr. 132, 703–707.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Iwamoto M, Imaizumi K, Sato M, Hirooka Y, Sakai K, Takeshita A & Kono M (2002): Serum lipid profiles in Japanese women and men during consumption of walnuts . Eur. J. Clin. Nutr. 56, 629–637.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Jenkins DJ, Popovich DG, Kendall CW, Vidgen E, Tariq N, Ransom TP, Wolever TM, Vuksan V, Mehling CC, Boctor DL, Bolognesi C, Huang J & Patten R (1997): Effect of a diet high in vegetables, fruit, and nuts on serum lipids. Metabolism 46, 530–537.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Marchie A, Parker TL, Connelly PW, Qian W, Haight JS, Faulkner D, Vidgen E, Lapsley KG & Spiller GA (2002): Dose response of almonds on coronary heart disease risk factors: blood lipids, oxidized low-density lipoproteins, lipoprotein(a), homocysteine, and pulmonary nitric oxide: a randomized, controlled, crossover trial. Circulation 106, 1327–1332.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Jiang R, Manson JE, Stampfer MJ, Willet WC & Hu FB (2002): Nut and peanut butter consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes in women. JAMA 288, 2554–2560.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jones PJ, Ridgen JE, Phang PT & Birmingham CL (1992): Influence of dietary fat polyunsaturated to saturated ratio on energy substrate utilization in obesity. Metabolism 41, 396–401.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Levine AS & Silvis SE (1980): Absorption of whole peanuts, peanut oil, & peanut butter. New Engl. J. Med. 303, 917–918.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Lovejoy JC, Most MM, Lefevre M, Greenway FL & Rood JC (2002): Effect of diets enriched in almonds on insulin action and serum lipids in adults with normal glucose tolerance or type 2 diabetes. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 76, 1000–1006.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Marlett JA, McBurney MI & Slavin JL (2002): American Dietetic Association. Position of the American Dietetic Association: health implications of dietary fiber . J. Am. Diet. Assoc. 102, 993–1000.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mayer-Davis EJ, Monaco JH, Hoen HM, Carmichael S, Vitolins MZ, Rewers MJ, Haffner SM, Ayad MF, Bergman RN & Karter AJ (1997): Dietary fat and insulin sensitivity in a triethnic population: the role of obesity. The Insulin Resistance Atherosclerosis Study (IRAS). Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 65, 79–87.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Meyer KA, Kushi LH, Jacobs DR & Folsom AR (2001): Dietary fat and incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus in older Iowa women. Diabetes Care 24, 1528–1535.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • McManus K, Antinoro L & Sacks F (2001): A randomized controlled trial of a moderate-fat, low-energy diet compared with a low fat, low-energy diet for weight loss in overweight adults. Int. J. Obes. Relat. Metab. Disord. 25, 1503–1511.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Morgan WA & Clayshulte BJ (2000): Pecans lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in people with normal lipid levels. J. Am. Diet. Assoc. 100, 312–318.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Morgan JM, Horton K, Reese D, Carey C, Walker K & Capuzzi DM (2002): Effects of walnut consumption as part of a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet on serum cardiovascular risk factors. Int. J. Vitam. Nutr. Res. 72, 341–347.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Soriguer FJ, Gonzalez-Romero S, Esteva I, Garcia-Arnes JA, Tinahones F, Ruiz de Adana MS, Olveira G, Mancha I & Vazques F (1995): Does the intake of nuts and seeds alter the appearance of menarche? Acta. Obstet. Gynecol. Scand. 74, 455–461.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Spiller GA, Jenkins DA, Bosello O, Gates JE, Cragen LN & Bruce B (1998): Nuts and plasma lipids: an almond-based diet lowers LDL-C while preserving HDL-C. J. Am. Coll. Nutr. 17, 285–290.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Takeuchi H, Matsuo T, Tokuyama K, Shimomura Y & Suzuki M (1995): Diet-induced thermogenesis is lower in rats fed a lard diet than in those fed a high oleic acid safflower oil diet, a safflower oil diet or a linseed oil diet. J. Nutr. 125, 920–925.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Zambon D, Sabate J, Munoz S, Campero B, Casals E, Merlos M, Laguna JC & Ros E (2000): Substituting walnuts for monounsaturated fat improves the serum lipid profile of hypercholesterolemic men and women. A randomized crossover trial. Ann. Intern. Med. 132, 538–546.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references


Isabel Megias is in receipt of a fellowship from the Fundación IRCIS.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



Guarantor: J Salas-Salvadó.

Contributors: All authors contributed equally to the planning and documentation of the manuscript. P G-L wrote the report under the direction of J S-S who also reviewed the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to J Salas-Salvadó.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

García-Lorda, P., Megias Rangil, I. & Salas-Salvadó, J. Nut consumption, body weight and insulin resistance. Eur J Clin Nutr 57 (Suppl 1), S8–S11 (2003).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • nuts
  • body weight
  • insulin resistance
  • glucose metobolism
  • obesity

This article is cited by


Quick links