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New Study Suggests Australians Should Increase Their Nut Consumption

A view of Sydney, Australia from above.

(Photo by Dan Freeman, Unsplash)

March 11, 2020. A recent study, published in the journal Public Health Nutrition1, revealed that 40 percent of Australians were found to be “nut consumers,” but just 2 percent ate the recommended 30 grams of nuts a day (about a handful); the other 60 percent did not report eating any nuts. 

This study, carried out by the University of Wollongong, is the first to analyze nut consumption in Australia, including whole nuts and nuts incorporated into other foods. The study aimed to examine nut consumption in the 2011-12 National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (NNPAS) and to investigate associations between nut intake, nutrient intake, anthropometric and blood pressure measurements. The NNPAS collected data from 12,153 participants, who were representative of the Australian population of 21,526,456 at the time of the survey. 

Among participants, the average amount of nuts eaten was 4.6 grams per day; this increased to 11.75 grams of nuts a day when the analysis focused on “nut consumers.” Researchers found that higher nut consumption was associated with higher intakes of fiber, vitamin E, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. Eating nuts was not associated with higher body weight, body mass index (BMI) or waist circumference. 

These results suggest that substantial increases in nut consumption are required to reach the intake level associated with improved health outcomes, which is 30 grams a day. 

The University of Wollongong analysis was funded by Nuts for Life, Australia’s leading tree nut nutrition education body. The INC funded the Nuts for Life dissemination activities of the study through the Annual Call for Promotion and Dissemination Projects (2018). 

Find the full study here.

1. Nikodijevic, C., Probst, Y., Batterham, M., Tapsell, L., & Neale, E. (n.d.). Nut consumption in a representative survey of Australians: A secondary analysis of the 2011–2012 National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey. Public Health Nutrition, 1-11. doi:10.1017/S1368980019004117
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International Nut & Dried Fruit Council

The INC is the international umbrella organization for the nut and dried fruit industry. Its members include more than 850 nut and dried fruit sector companies from over 80 countries. INC  membership represents over 85% of the world’s commercial “farm gate” value of trade in nuts and dried fruits. The INC’s mission is to stimulate and facilitate sustainable growth in the global nut and dried fruit industry. It is the leading international organization on health, nutrition, statistics,  food safety, and international standards and regulations regarding nuts and dried fruits.