This study aimed to assess the association of various types of nut per se, and total nut consumption with the incidence of metabolic syndrome (MetS). A 6.2 ± 0.7-year population-based prospective study was conducted among 1265 adults, aged 19–74 years, participants of the Tehran Lipid and Glucose Study. A 168-item semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire was used to collect information on nut consumption. MetS was defined according to the Joint Interim Statement guidelines and 276 new cases of MetS were identified. Median ± interquartile range of nut consumption was 2.08 (0.88–5.68) servings/week. After adjusting for family history of diabetes, age, gender, smoking, physical activity, fasting serum glucose at baseline, serum high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) at baseline, energy intake, fiber, macronutrients, cholesterol intake, fruit, vegetables, dairy products and body mass index (BMI), a statistically significant decrease was observed in MetS in the third (≥5 servings/week) tertile of nuts (odds ratio: 0.68, 95% CI: 0.44–0.91, p
trend: 0.03) compared with the lowest (≤1 serving/week). Walnut consumption showed a significant, inverse association with MetS risk; associations for other nut varieties were not significant. For each additional serving/week of walnuts consumed, incidence of MetS decreased by 3% (ORs: 0.97 CI: 0.93–0.99), after adjusting for confounding factors. Total nut consumption, especially walnuts, reduces the risk of MetS.
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