The purpose of this study was to determine if the mixed evidence of almond consumption on HbA1c stems from testing people with different body fat distributions (BFD) associated with different risks of glucose intolerance. A 6-month randomised controlled trial in 134 adults was conducted. Participants were randomly assigned to the almond (A) or control (C) group based on their BFD. Those in the almond group consumed 1·5 oz of almonds with their breakfast and as their afternoon snack daily. Those in the control group continued their habitual breakfast and afternoon snack routines. Body weight and composition were measured and blood samples were collected for determination of HbA1c, glycaemia and lipaemia at 0 and 6 months. Appetite ratings, energy intake and diet quality were collected at 0, 2, 4 and 6 months. Participants consuming almonds ingested 816 (sem 364) kJ/d more than participants in the control group (P = 0·03), but this did not result in any differences in body weight (A: –0·3 (sem 0·4), C: –0·4 (sem 0·4); P > 0·3). Participants in the almond, high android subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) group had a greater reduction in android fat mass percentage (A: –1·0 (sem 0·6), C: 1·1 (sem 0·6); P = 0·04), preserved android lean mass percentage (A: 0·9 (sem 0·6), C: –1 (sem 0·6); P = 0·04) and tended to decrease android visceral adipose tissue mass (A: –13 (sem 53) g, C: 127 (sem 53) g; P = 0·08) compared with those in the control, high SAT group. There were no differences in HbA1c between groups (A: 5·4 (sem 0·04), C: 5·5 (sem 0·04); P > 0·05). Thus, BFD may not explain the mixed evidence on almond consumption and HbA1c. Long-term almond consumption has limited ability to improve cardiometabolic health in those who are overweight and obese but otherwise healthy.