A study published in the Public Health Nutrition journal, and funded by Nuts for Life, Australia’s leading tree nut education body, has revealed less than half (40 per cent) of Australians are nut consumers, with only 2 per cent of survey respondents found to consume the recommended daily intake of 30g.

The study, carried out by the University of Wollongong, is the first to analyse nut consumption in Australia, including whole nuts and nuts incorporated into other foods.

The aim of the study was to examine nut consumption in the 2011/12 national nutrition and physical activity survey (NNPAS), and to investigate the associations between nut intake, nutrient intake, anthropometric and blood pressure measurements.

Data was collected by NNPAS from 12,153 participants, who represented the entire Australian population at the time of the survey.

Survey participants consumed an average 4.6g of nuts per day, with self-identified ‘nut consumers’ found to consume 11.75g per day, about a third of the recommended daily intake.

Researchers found that a higher nut consumption was associated with higher intakes of fibre, vitamin E, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.

The results suggest that substantial increases in nut consumption to the recommended daily amount are required to reach the intake level associated with improved health outcomes.