Energy compensation and nutrient displacement following regular consumption of hazelnuts and other energy-dense snack foods in non-obese individuals
Regular nut consumption reduces cardiovascular disease risk, partly from improvements to dietary quality. Examining how individuals make dietary changes when consuming nuts may reveal key behavioural eating patterns beneficial for the development of dietary interventions. We examined the effects of nuts in comparison with other energy-dense snacks on energy compensation, nutrient displacement, and food group patterns.
This was a 12-week randomised, controlled, parallel study with four arms: ~1100 kJ/day for each of hazelnuts (42 g), chocolate (50 g), potato crisps (50 g), or no added snack food. Diet records, body composition, and physical activity were measured at baseline and week 12, in 102 non-obese participants.
Significant improvements in diet quality were observed in the hazelnut group, particularly when consumed as snacks. Intakes of monounsaturated fat (MUFA) and vitamin E were significantly higher (all P < 0.05), whereas saturated fat and carbohydrate were significantly lower (both P ≤ 0.022) in the hazelnut group compared to the other groups. Partial energy compensation did not differ significantly between groups, but nutrient displacement values for MUFA and fibre differed significantly. Within the hazelnut group, there was nearly complete displacement for fibre, partial displacement for energy, protein, total fat, MUFA, PUFA, potassium, folate, and vitamin E, and overcompensation for carbohydrate and sugar.
Our results demonstrate that energy compensation occurs for all three intervention snacks in this non-obese population. Regular nut consumption significantly improves nutrient profiles compared to other snacks with changes occurring at the snack level.
KeywordsHazelnuts Nutrient intake Nutrient displacement Energy compensation Snack
The funding for the present study was provided by a University of Otago Research Grant. The authors would like to thank the participants for their commitment and enthusiasm in participating in this study.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
- 7.O’Neil CE, Keast DR, Fulgoni VL, Nicklas TA (2010) Tree nut consumption improves nutrient intake and diet quality in US adults: an analysis of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999–2004. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 19:142–150Google Scholar
- 10.Bolling BW, McKay DL, Blumberg JB (2010) The phytochemical composition and antioxidant actions of tree nuts. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 19:117–123Google Scholar
- 13.Sabate J (2003) Nut consumption and body weight. Am J Clin Nutr 78:S647–S650Google Scholar
- 22.Mattes RD (2008) The energetics of nut consumption. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 17:337–339Google Scholar
- 26.Tey SL, Brown R, Gray A, Chisholm A, Delahunty C (2011) Nuts improve diet quality compared to other energy-dense snacks while maintaining body weight. J Nutr Metab 2011:357350Google Scholar
- 27.Sivakumaran S, Huffman L (2014) The concise New Zealand food composition tables, 10th edn. The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited and Ministry of Health Palmerston North, Palmerston NorthGoogle Scholar
- 28.Chaplin K, Smith A (2011) Definitions and perceptions of snacking. Curr Top Nutraceuticals Res 9:53–60Google Scholar
- 35.Ello-Martin JA, Ledikwe JH, Rolls BJ (2005) The influence of food portion size and energy density on energy intake: implications for weight management. Am J Clin Nutr 82:236S–241SGoogle Scholar
- 38.Mattes RD, Kris-Etherton PM, Foster GD (2008) Impact of peanuts and tree nuts on body weight and healthy weight loss in adults. J Nutr 138:S1741–S1745Google Scholar