Nuts and seeds – a scoping review for Nordic Nutrition Recommendations 2023

Year Published: 2024


Food Nutr Res


Lars T Fadnes 1 2 , Rajiv Balakrishna 1


Background: Nuts and seeds have been part of diets in most of the world for millenniums, and they have also been consumed in the Nordic and Baltic countries for centuries. Consumption of nuts and seeds is linked with various health outcomes. Therefore, when updating the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations (NNR), summarizing the best evidence on key health outcomes from the consumption of nuts and seeds is essential. Objectives: This study aims to evaluate the updated evidence on the consumption of nuts and seeds and health outcomes regarded relevant for the Nordic and Baltic countries, as well as their dose-response relationship presented in updated systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Method: The scoping review is built on a de novo systematic review and an umbrella review published in 2022 on the consumption of nuts and seeds and its various health outcomes, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Key Findings

Key Findings: Results: Intake of nuts and seeds is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases, with evidence assessed as probable. This conclusion is mirrored by evidence from trials on biomarkers for chronic diseases. An intake of a serving of nuts of 28-30 g/day compared to not eating nuts is estimated to translate into approximately 20% relative reduction in the risks of cardiovascular disease and premature deaths. For cancers, consumption of a serving of nuts is inversely associated with cancer mortality. However, for type 2 diabetes, there are mixed and inconclusive results. Additionally, there are inverse associations between nut consumption and respiratory and infectious disease mortality. Allergies for nuts are seen among 1-2% of the population. Conclusion: Overall, the current evidence supports dietary recommendations to increase nut consumption to a serving of nuts and seeds per day for people without allergies to these foods.