Consumption and portion sizes of tree nuts, peanuts and seeds in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohorts from 10 European countries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Tree nuts, peanuts and seeds are nutrient dense foods whose intake has been shown to be associated with reduced risk of some chronic diseases. They are regularly consumed in European diets either as whole, in spreads or from hidden sources (e.g. commercial products). However, little is known about their intake profiles or differences in consumption between European countries or geographic regions. The objective of this study was to analyse the population mean intake and average portion sizes in subjects reporting intake of nuts and seeds consumed as whole, derived from hidden sources or from spreads. Data was obtained from standardised 24-hour dietary recalls collected from 36 994 subjects in 10 different countries that are part of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). Overall, for nuts and seeds consumed as whole, the percentage of subjects reporting intake on the day of the recall was: tree nuts=4 center dot 4%, peanuts=2 center dot 3 % and seeds=1 center dot 3 %. The data show a clear northern (Sweden: mean intake=0 center dot 15 g/d, average portion size=15 center dot 1 g/d) to southern (Spain: mean intake=2 center dot 99 g/d, average portion size=34 center dot 7 g/d) European gradient of whole tree nut intake. The three most popular tree nuts were walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts, respectively. In general, tree nuts were more widely consumed than peanuts or seeds. In subjects reporting intake, men consumed a significantly higher average portion size of tree nuts (28 center dot 5 v. 23 center dot 1 g/d, P < 0 center dot 01) and peanuts (46 center dot 1 v. 35 center dot 1 g/d, P < 0 center dot 01) per day than women. These data may be useful in devising research initiatives and health policy strategies based on the intake of this food group.


  • Mazda Jenab
  • Joan Sabate
  • Nadia Slimani
  • Pietro Ferrari
  • Mathieu Mazuir
  • Corinne Casagrande
  • Genevieve Deharveng
  • Anne Tjonneland
  • Anja Olsen
  • Kim Overvad
  • Marie-Christine Boutron-Ruault
  • Francoise Clavel-Chapelon
  • Heiner Boeing
  • Cornelia Weikert
  • Jakob Linseisen
  • Sabine Rohrmann
  • Antonia Trichopoulou
  • Androniki Naska
  • Domenico Palli
  • Carlotta Sacerdote
  • And 20 others
  • Rosario Tumino
  • Amalia Mattiello
  • Valeria Pala
  • H. Bas Bueno-de-Mesquita
  • Marga C. Ocke
  • Petra H. Peeters
  • Dagrun Engeset
  • Gurie Skeie
  • Paula Jakszyn
  • Eva Ardanaz
  • J. Ramon Quiros
  • Maria Dolores Chirlaque
  • Carmen Martinez
  • Pilar Amiano
  • Göran Berglund
  • Richard Palmqvist
  • Bethany van Guelpen
  • Sheila Bingham
  • Timothy Key
  • Elio Riboli
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Nutrition and Dietetics


  • intake, descriptive study, seeds, peanuts, EPIC, tree nuts, portion size
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S12-S23
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Publication categoryResearch