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Abstract

Tree nuts are healthy foods with a favourable macro- and micronutrient profile. They are low in sat-urated fats and high in mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids. They are also good sources of vegeta-ble protein, fiber, phytosterols, polyphenols, vitamins and minerals. Because of this healthy nutrient profile, it has been postulated that tree nuts may play a significant role in health maintenance and disease prevention. The purpose of this paper is 1) to provide a brief overview of the current scien-tific evidence on the role of tree nuts in prevention and management of diabetes and heart disease and 2) to outline some of the key challenges for recommending nuts as part of a healthy diet to pa-tients with or at risk of diabetes or heart disease.

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