How Peanuts Help Lower Blood Pressure & Shed Weight
If you’re trying to find the right foods for weight loss and lowering blood pressure, we have good news: not only can peanuts help you fight cravings by helping you feel fuller for longer, they might add extra benefits for your health! Including some that could help save your life.
The Obesity Epidemic and Its Effects
In the most recent estimate by the World Health Organization, more than 1.9 billion adults ages 18 and over were overweight (39% of the population), with 650 million adults classified as obese (13% of the population). And in the U.S., those numbers are climbing.
Unfortunately, being in the overweight or obese category puts us at an increased risk for developing serious conditions, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. These conditions are two of the leading causes of death in the United States. To help lower our risks for these conditions, proper diet and exercise are essential — but as a recent study from the University of South Australia has found, some food choices could be even more beneficial.
Researchers studied two groups of adults, all at moderate or high risk of type 2 diabetes, and placed them on 6-month diets designed for weight loss. This included a “Control Group,” which was instructed not to eat any nuts or nut butters, and a “Peanut Group.” The Peanut Group consumed 35g of lightly-salted, dry-roasted peanuts twice per day before meals (70 grams, or 2.5 ounces total, each day). Otherwise, their weight loss tactics were identical. So, what did they find out?
After 6 months, researchers re-examined the participants in both groups and saw some pretty surprising results:
- Weight Loss – Even with the 70g/day addition of lightly salted, dry-roasted peanuts in the Peanut Group, both groups succeeded in losing weight .
- Blood Sugar Management – Both groups saw improved fasting glucose and insulin control, as well as improved HbA1c, which is a measure of long-term blood sugar control.
- Lower Blood Pressure – Greater systolic blood pressure reductions were seen in the Peanut Group versus the Control Group.
Can Peanuts Lower High Blood Pressure?
Even though the peanuts were lightly salted, participants still saw improved systolic blood pressure compared to those in the control group. But when you look at the facts, it’s easy to see why:
- Many people may not know that lightly salted peanuts are naturally a low-sodium food, usually containing between 90-100mg per serving.
- Peanuts contain one of the highest levels of arginine, an amino acid that helps to dilate blood vessels and lower blood pressure.
- Peanuts are also an excellent source of magnesium, which is a mineral well known to help regulate blood pressure.
Peanuts Let You Treat Yourself Without Cheating On Your Diet
What impressed researchers the most about the findings was that the addition of peanuts to the Peanut Group’s diet improved the effectiveness of the diet. So, if you find it hard to stick to your weight loss goals, peanuts could be just what the doctor ordered!
Thanks to their unique combination of protein, fiber, heart-healthy fats and more, peanuts provide hunger-satisfaction that won’t impede your progress.
And, with the added bonus of lowering your cardiovascular disease risk (as well as a host of other health benefits like lowering blood pressure), it’s one snack that always has your back.
More Benefits to Chew On
- Obesity and overweight. World Health Organization. (2021, June 9). Retrieved June 1, 2022, from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/obesity-and-overweight
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- Ligthart S, van Herpt TT, Leening MJ, Kavousi M, Hofman A, Stricker BH, van Hoek M, Sijbrands EJ, Franco OH, Dehghan A. Lifetime risk of developing impaired glucose metabolism and eventual progression from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes: a prospective cohort study. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2016 Jan;4(1):44-51. doi: 10.1016/S2213-8587(15)00362-9. Epub 2015 Nov 11. PMID: 26575606.
- Khan SS, Ning H, Wilkins JT, Allen N, Carnethon M, Berry JD, Sweis RN, Lloyd-Jones DM. Association of Body Mass Index With Lifetime Risk of Cardiovascular Disease and Compression of Morbidity. JAMA Cardiol. 2018 Apr 1;3(4):280-287. doi: 10.1001/jamacardio.2018.0022. PMID: 29490333; PMCID: PMC5875319.
- Leading Causes of Death. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, July 26). Retrieved June 1, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/leading-causes-of-death.htm#publications k
6. Petersen KS, Murphy J, Whitbread J, Clifton PM, Keogh JB. The Effect of a Peanut-Enriched Weight Loss Diet Compared to a Low-Fat Weight Loss Diet on Body Weight, Blood Pressure, and Glycemic Control: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients. 2022; 14(14):2986. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14142986