Eat Peanuts Daily, Decrease Blood Pressure and Cholesterol

  • Peanut flavoring – salted, spicy, honey-roasted, or unsalted – did not impact positive health benefits of peanuts, according to a new study.
  • Daily peanut consumption reduced blood pressure in all participants during the first two weeks, even in those with high blood pressure.
  • Total cholesterol and triglyceride levels decreased for daily peanut-eaters who had high levels at the start.

Daily Peanut Consumption Decreases Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Regardless of Flavoring, According to New Study

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that even different flavors of peanuts result in positive health benefits.

In fact, they found that peanut consumption offered significant benefits to participants with elevated serum lipids and blood pressure, regardless of whether the peanuts were flavored.

Their study, “A Randomized Trial on the Effects of Flavorings on the Health Benefits of Daily Peanut Consumption,” aimed to determine whether peanut flavorings affected health benefits. Results showed that all varieties of peanuts significantly decreased mean diastolic blood pressure in all participants. For participants with high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, total serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels decreased after daily peanut intake.

Peanuts continue to be the most popular nut, and for good reason. Not only because they are the most affordable, but also because they contain complex nutrients that are good for your health and for preventing disease.

Ounce for ounce, peanuts are the most nutrient-dense nut and contain more protein and arginine than any other nut. They consist of eight essential nutrients, are an excellent source of niacin and manganese, and are a good source of fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, folate, copper and phosphorus. Peanuts also have potassium, phytosterols, resveratrol and healthy fats, all of which may benefit health and help prevent chronic disease.

About the Study

The study, conducted at Purdue University, Indiana, included a total of 151 men and women who were of normal weight, had no diagnosis of diabetes or hypertension, and had no history of gastrointestinal disease.

Participants incorporated peanuts into their daily diet for 12 weeks. They were randomly assigned to eat three 0.5-ounce portions of three peanut flavors or just 1.5 ounces of one flavor, and they were eaten as a snack or as part of a meal. Researchers took blood samples every four weeks and other health measurements every two weeks.

Salted and Roasted Peanuts & Blood Pressure

Results showed a significant decrease in mean diastolic blood pressure in all participants. For those who had high blood pressure, the changes were greatest over the first two weeks, and were sustained throughout the study. Interestingly, the findings were similar for salted and unsalted peanuts. While all participants decreased their blood pressure, slightly greater decreases were observed among the salted or unsalted peanut-eaters compared to the spicy or honey-roasted peanut-eaters.

The paper explains that these results may be due to the arginine found in peanuts, “which promotes the production of nitric oxide – a vasodilator that potentially leads to a decrease in blood pressure.” USDA data show that peanuts contain more arginine than any other whole food, and in fact, more than any other nut.


Additional findings include reduced total serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels in participants who had high levels at the beginning of the study. These results have also been shown in previous studies.1,2

This study was supported by a grant from the US Agency for International Development Peanut Collaborative Research Support Program Prime Award.

So, What Does This All Mean?

Are peanuts good for high blood pressure?

Peanuts can be a beneficial addition to a diet for individuals with high blood pressure. While they contain some sodium, the overall nutrient profile of peanuts makes them a favorable choice. Peanuts are a good source of monounsaturated fats, which have been linked to reducing blood pressure levels. Additionally, they are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, all of which contribute to cardiovascular health. However, it is important to consume peanuts in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

When considering cholesterol, it’s important to note that while salted peanuts may not be the optimal choice, there are healthier alternatives available. Salted peanuts tend to have higher sodium content, which could potentially impact both blood pressure and cholesterol levels negatively. Excessive sodium intake can interfere with the body’s cholesterol regulation mechanisms and potentially lead to elevated cholesterol levels. However, it’s worth highlighting that for individuals without high blood pressure concerns, peanuts can still be a fantastic snack option. Opting for unsalted or lightly salted peanuts allows you to enjoy the nutritional benefits without the added sodium. Peanuts contain beneficial unsaturated fats that can contribute to better cholesterol profiles, and their fiber content can help manage LDL cholesterol levels. So, for those without high blood pressure, unsalted or lightly salted peanuts can be a delicious and heart-healthy snack choice.

Are peanuts good for cholesterol?

Peanuts, in general, can be beneficial for cholesterol management. They contain unsaturated fats, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which have been associated with improving cholesterol profiles. These fats can help raise levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, often referred to as “good” cholesterol, while reducing low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, often referred to as “bad” cholesterol. The fiber content in peanuts can also aid in lowering LDL cholesterol levels.

Regarding roasted peanuts, they can still be a suitable option for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. The roasting process does not significantly alter the beneficial properties of peanuts. However, it’s worth noting that the roasting process may involve the addition of oils or salt, which could affect the overall health benefits. Therefore, it is advisable to choose dry-roasted or lightly roasted peanuts without excessive oil or salt.

  1. Kris-Etherton PM, Pearson TA, Wan Y, et al. High-monounsaturated fatty acid diets lower both plasma cholesterol and triacylglycerol concentrations. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999;70(6):1009–1015.
  2. Lokko P, Lartey A, Armar-Klemesu M, Mattes RD. Regular peanut consumption improves plasma lipid levels in healthy Ghanaians. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2007;58(3):190–200. doi:10.1080/09637480701198067.