Eating peanuts instead of rice bars as snacks improves MetS risk in adults
Replacing a refined-grain snack with peanuts in the habitual diet does not significantly change glycaemic or lipid parameters but improves overall metabolic syndrome (MetS) risk without inducing weight gain among adults at high risk of cardiometabolic diseases, according to a China study.
“Observational studies have suggested that intake of nuts is associated with lower risk of cardiometabolic diseases, whereas refined grain consumption has been linked to higher risk,” the authors said.
This parallel-arm randomized controlled trial sought to assess isocaloric substitution of peanuts for white rice bars as snacks on changes in fasting glucose, lipid profile, body weight, and changes in MetS status in Chinese adults.
A total of 224 participants either with MetS (according to the International Diabetes Federation criteria for Chinese adults; n=163) or at risk of MetS (central obesity plus 1 additional MetS risk factor; n=61) were included. They were then randomized to either the peanut arm (56 g/d as snacks; n=113) or the control arm (isocaloric white rice bars; n=111) for 12 weeks.
Of the participants, 209 (93.3 percent) completed the 12-week intervention with a compliance rate >85 percent. There were no between-group differences for improvements in fasting glucose, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, waist circumference, and body weight.
The MetS reversion rate (no longer meeting the MetS criteria after the 12-week trial) was significantly higher among participants in the peanut group than those in the control group (relative risk, 2.33, 95 percent confidence interval, 1.10–4.89; p=0.026).
“Further larger-scale trials are needed to confirm these findings and elucidate underlying biological mechanisms,” the authors said.