Nut Consumption Is Associated with a Healthy Dietary Pattern in Military Men


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.

Share and Cite:

P. Mullie and P. Clarys, "Nut Consumption Is Associated with a Healthy Dietary Pattern in Military Men," Food and Nutrition Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 8, 2012, pp. 1048-1054. doi: 10.4236/fns.2012.38139.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] J. Sabaté, K. Oda and E. Ros, “Nut Consumption and Blood Lipid Levels: A Pooled Analysis of 25 Intervention Trials,” Archives of Internal Medicine, Vol. 170, No. 9, 2010, pp. 821-827. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2010.79
[2] J. Sabaté, “Nut Consumption and Body Weight,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 78, No. 3, 2003, pp. 647S-650S.
[3] S. Schwerin, A. M. Riley, J. L. Stanton, E. Brett and L. Smith, “Food, Eating Habits, and Health : A Further Examination of the Relationship between Food Eating Patterns and Nutritional Health,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 35, 1982, pp. 1319-1325.
[4] F. B. Hu, “Dietary Pattern Analysis: A New Direction in Nutritional Epidemiology,” Current Opinion in Lipidology, Vol. 13, No. 1, 2002, pp. 3-9. doi:10.1097/00041433-200202000-00002
[5] K. Hoffmann, “Application of a New Statistical Method to Derive Dietary Patterns in Nutritional Epidemiology,” American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 159, No. 10, 2004, pp. 935-944. doi:10.1093/aje/kwh134
[6] E. T. Kennedy, J. Ohls, S. Carlson and K. Fleming, “The Healthy Eating Index: Design and Applications,” Journal of American Dietetic Association, Vol. 95, No. 10, 1995, pp. 1103-1108. doi:10.1016/S0002-8223(95)00300-2
[7] F. Sofi, F. Cesari, R. Abbate, G. F. Gensini and A. Casini, “Adherence to Mediterranean Diet and Health Status: Meta-Analysis,” British Medical Journal, Vol. 337, 2008, Article No. a1344. doi:10.1136/bmj.a1344
[8] P. Mullie, P. Clarys, M. Hulens and G. Vansant, “Reproducibility and Validity of a Semiquantitative Food Frequency Questionnaire among Military Men,” Military Medicine, Vol. 174, No. 8, 2009, pp. 852-856.
[9] P. Autier, G. Vansant, N. Paquot, E. Muls, P. Mullie and A. Grivegnée, “The Impact of Reimbursement Criteria on the Appropriateness of ‘Statin’ Prescribing,” European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention Rehabilitation, Vol. 10, No. 6, 2003, pp. 456-462. doi:10.1097/01.hjr.0000103276.02552.57
[10] D. Trichopoulos, “Adherence to a Mediterranean Diet and Survival in a Greek Population,” New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 348, No. 26, 2003, pp. 2599-2608. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa025039
[11] F. B. Hu, M. J. Stampfer, J. E. Manson, E. B. Rimm, G. A. Colditz, B. A. Rosner, F. E. Speizer, C. H. Hennekens and W. C. Willett, “Frequent Nut Consumption and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women: Prospective Cohort Study,” British Medical Journal, Vol. 317, No. 7169, 1998, pp. 1341-1345. doi:10.1136/bmj.317.7169.1341
[12] G. E. Fraser, J. Sabate, W. L. Beeson and T. M. Strahan, “A Possible Protective Effect of Nut Consumption on Risk of Coronary Heart Disease: The Adventist Health Study,” Archives of Internal Medicine, Vol. 152, No. 7, 1992, pp. 1416-1424. doi:10.1001/archinte.1992.00400190054010
[13] L. H. Kushi, A. R. Folsom, R. J. Prineas, P. J. Mink, Y. Wu and R. M. Bostick, “Dietary Antioxidant Vitamins and Death from Coronary Heart Disease in Postmenopausal Women,” New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 334, No. 18, 1996, pp. 1156-1162. doi:10.1056/NEJM199605023341803
[14] C. M. Albert, J. M. Gaziano, W. C. Willett and J. E. Manson, “Nut Consumption and Decreased Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death in the Physicians’ Health Study,” Archives of Internal Medicine, Vol. 162, No. 12, 2002, pp. 1382- 1387. doi:10.1001/archinte.162.12.1382
[15] M. Jenab, J. Sabaté, N. Slimani, P. Ferrari, M. Mazuir, C. Casagrande, et al., “Consumption and Portion Sizes of Tree Nuts, Peanuts and Seeds in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) Cohorts from 10 European Countries,” British Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 96, Suppl. 2, 2006, pp. 12-23. doi:10.1017/BJN20061859
[16] US Food and Drug Administration, “Qualified Health Claims: Letter of Enforcement Discretion: Nuts and Coronary Heart Disease,” US Food and Drug Administration, Rockville, 2003.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.