Structured Dietary Advice Incorporating Walnuts Achieves Optimal Fat and Energy Balance in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Smart Foods Centre, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
Journal of the American Dietetic Association (Impact Factor: 3.92). 07/2005; 105(7):1087-96. DOI: 10.1016/j.jada.2005.04.007
Source: PubMed


A cardioprotective dietary fat profile is recommended for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The clinical feasibility of advice strategies targeting specific fatty acid intakes and the extent to which they can be achieved by free-living populations needs to be tested. Walnuts, with high n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) content, may help optimize fatty acid intakes, but regular consumption might increase total fat and energy intakes. This study examined whether advice that refers to a total dietary pattern inclusive of walnuts would result in low-fat energy-controlled diets with optimal dietary fat proportions for patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
A parallel-design, controlled trial was completed by 55 free-living men and women with established type 2 diabetes mellitus. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: low-fat (general advice), modified low-fat (total diet advice using exchange lists to differentiate PUFA-rich foods), walnut-specific (modified low fat including 30 g walnuts/day). Dietary intakes and clinical outcomes were measured at baseline, and at 3 and 6 months. Dietary goals were: less than 10% of energy from saturated fat, 7% to 10% of energy from PUFA, adequate n-3 PUFA (>or=2.22 g alpha-linolenic acid, >or=0.65 g eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA]+docosahexaenoic acid [DHA]) and n-6 to n-3 ratio less than 10. The proportion of subjects achieving dietary goals and major food sources of fat were determined.
At baseline, dietary intakes were not significantly different between groups. No group and few individuals (10%) were consuming adequate PUFA, with meat the main source of dietary fat (22% total dietary fat). At 3 and 6 months, energy and macronutrient intakes were similar among groups. The walnut group, however, was the only group to achieve all fatty acid intake targets (P <.01), and had the greatest proportion of subjects achieving targets ( P <.05). Walnuts were the main source of dietary fat (31%) and n-3 PUFA (50%), while 350 g oily fish/day provided a further 17% n-3 PUFA consumed by this group.
Specific advice for the regular inclusion of walnuts in the context of the total diet helps achieve optimal fat intake proportions without adverse effects on total fat or energy intakes in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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Available from: Lynda J Ross, Dec 13, 2013
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    • "One reason for this might be the “optimal” 4:1 ratio of n-6/n-3 PUFA and additionally the high content of tocopherols (mainly γ-tocopherol), phytosterols, polyphenolic antioxidants (ellagitannins) and fiber [25, 26]. With regard to a significant bioactivity, recent investigations have shown that a walnut-rich diet improved hyperlipidemia [26–30], type 2 diabetes [31, 32], cardiovascular disease [33–35], ameliorated the antioxidative status [36, 37] and provided general parenchyma-protecting effects in the liver [30, 38]. However, to our best knowledge, no data are published regarding bioactivity of walnut on NAFLD mainly focusing on the initial step of liver steatosis. "
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    ABSTRACT: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the hepatic manifestation of the metabolic syndrome. We aimed to clarify the impact of dietary walnut oil versus animal fat on hepatic steatosis, representing the initial step of multistage pathogenesis of NAFLD, in Zucker obese rats. Zucker lean ad libitum (a.l.), Zucker obese a.l. or Zucker obese pair fed (p.f.) to the lean received isocaloric diets containing 8 % walnut oil (W8), W14 or 14 % lard (L14) (n = 10/group). Body weight, clinical serology, liver weight, lipid content and fatty acid composition and hepatic lipid metabolism-related transcripts were evaluated. Compared to lean, Zucker obese a.l. and p.f. showed hepatic triacylglyceride (TAG) accumulation. In Zucker obese p.f., W14 compared to W8 and L14 reduced liver lipids, TAG as well as hepatic omega-6 (n-6)/n-3 ratio and SCD activity index [(C18:0 + C18:1)/C18:0 ratio] paralleled by decreased lipoprotein lipase mRNA in obese p.f. and elevated microsomal triglyceride transfer protein mRNA in lean and obese. Further, W14 elevated the fasting blood TAG and reduced cholesterol levels in obese. In our model, consumption of W14 inhibited hepatic lipid accumulation along with modulated hepatic gene expression implicated in hepatic fatty acid influx or lipoprotein assembly. These results provide first indication that dietary lipids from walnut oil are modulators of hepatic steatosis as the initial step of progressive NAFLD pathogenesis.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · European Journal of Nutrition
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    • "For example, a Mediterranean-style diet was achieved in the PREvencion con DIeta MEDiterranean (PREDIMED) study by providing participants with regular amounts of palatable key high-fat foods [17], but its application may be difficult to replicate in free-living settings. In contrast, general approaches to advice, for example, choose low-fat (LF) foods and ad libitum fashion, do not appear to support significant changes to the macronutrient profile [18] [19]. Intervention trials can demonstrate adherence to dietary targets and expose the impact of consumption patterns and individual food choices under freeliving conditions. "
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    ABSTRACT: Dietary trials may link macronutrient intakes to health outcomes, but adherence to dietary targets requires advice based on an understanding of food composition and consumption patterns. Using data from a weight loss trial, we hypothesized that structured advice would be required for significant fat modification to occur. We compared participants' food choice patterns in response to advice based on a structured "whole-of-diet" model vs a general approach to healthy eating. Overweight participants (n = 122) were randomized to 2 advice arms (saturated fat [SFA] < 10% energy [E]): (1) general low fat (LF) control-(a) isoenergy, (b) -2000 kJ; and (2) structured LF high polyunsaturated fat (PUFA) (∼10% energy PUFA; PUFA to SFA ratio ≥1) (LF-PUFA)-(a) isoenergy, (b) -2000 kJ. Intakes of E and fat and fat from food groups (percentage of total fat intake) were compared at baseline, 3 months, P < .05. Baseline diets were similar, with most fat from high-SFA foods (59%): meat and milk-based staple meals and high-fat snacks. By 3 months, all groups reduced E and met the SFA target. Polyunsaturated fat targets were met by the LF-PUFA groups only (P < .001), enabling targeted between-group differences. In response to general advice, LF groups simply switched to LF alternatives of the same foods (P < .05). In comparison, LF-PUFA groups shifted fat intake to high-PUFA choices (54%), consuming more fat than controls from nuts (P < .001), whole grains (P < .001), and oils and spreads (P < .05). Significant reductions in E were achieved regardless of advice, but significant shifts in dietary fat profile relied on structured whole-of-diet advice on a range of meal and snack food sources of fat subtypes.
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    • "There are likely to be additional reasons why nuts, for example, have a place in weight management (Sabate, 2003). Likewise it is the total diet that has the effect, and here dietary modeling is important to control for confounding variables to match nutrient targets linked to mechanistic understandings (Gillen and Tapsell, 2005). This study exemplifies how food may deliver multiple compounds to multiple sites where the effects are subtle. "
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    ABSTRACT: Most dietary interventions have metabolic effects in the short term, but long-term effects may require dietary fat changes to influence body composition and insulin action. This study assessed the effect of sustained high polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) intake through walnut consumption on metabolic outcomes in type II diabetes. Fifty overweight adults with non-insulin-treated diabetes (mean age 54+/-8.7 years) were randomized to receive low-fat dietary advice +/-30 g per day walnuts targeting weight maintenance (around 2000 kcal, 30% fat) for 1 year. Differences between groups were assessed by changes in anthropometric values (body weight, body fat, visceral adipose tissue) and clinical indicators of diabetes over treatment time using the general linear model. The walnut group consumed significantly more PUFA than the control (P=0.035), an outcome attributed to walnut consumption (contributing 67% dietary PUFA at 12 months). Most of the effects were seen in the first 3 months. Despite being on weight maintenance diets, both groups sustained a 1-2 kg weight loss, with no difference between groups (P=0.680). Both groups showed improvements in all clinical parameters with significant time effects (P<0.004), bar triacylglycerol levels, but these were just above normal to begin with. The walnut group produced significantly greater reductions in fasting insulin levels (P=0.046), an effect seen largely in the first 3 months. Dietary fat can be manipulated with whole foods such as walnuts, producing reductions in fasting insulin levels. Long-term effects are also apparent but subject to fluctuations in dietary intake if not of the disease process.
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