Topical Area: Medical Nutrition, Nutrition Translation
Objectives : To evaluate the effect of consuming ¾ cup/day of mixed dried fruits versus a calorie- and carbohydrate-matched snack, on vascular health in adults at risk for cardiometabolic disease.
Methods : Men and women (n=55) with overweight or obesity and at least one additional risk factor for cardiometabolic disease were enrolled in a 2-period single-blind randomized crossover trial. Participants received the following treatments for 4 weeks (separated by a 2-4 week washout): 1) ¾ cup mixed unsweetened dried fruits (equal parts raisins, dried plums, figs, and dates); 2) a calorie- and carbohydrate-matched processed snack. Endpoints were assessed at baseline, and the end of each treatment. Participants were advised to consume 1 serving/day of fresh fruit and incorporate study foods into their usual diets. The SphygmoCor XCEL was used to evaluate brachial and central blood pressure (BP), augmentation index, and carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV).
Results : At baseline, participants (47% female) had a mean BMI of 28.5±2.7 kg/m2 and mean BP was 111±9/77±8 mmHg. More than half the subjects (56%) had a normal BP (< 120/< 80 mmHg) at baseline. End-of-treatment mean body weights were not different (P=0.57). There was no difference in end-of-treatment mean values for brachial and central BP, augmentation index, augmentation pressure, or PWV (all P >0.05). There was a significant difference in mean central pulse pressure (PP) following the dried fruit treatment versus control (1.6±0.8 mmHg, P=0.048). This was likely driven by a trend toward lower central diastolic BP (-1.2±0.7 mmHg; P=0.12) after the fruit, versus control.
Conclusions : Daily consumption of 1.5 cup-equivalents of mixed dried fruits for 4 weeks did not affect systolic BP or measures of arterial stiffness versus an isocaloric carbohydrate-matched snack in adults at increased risk of cardiometabolic disease. A significant difference in end-of-treatment mean central PP merits further study.
Funding Sources : International Nut & Dried Fruit Council; the California Dried Plum Board; National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, NIH.