According to an international research team, consuming foods that contain peanuts can help protect against cardiovascular diseases. In a study conducted by Pennsylvania State University in the USA, overweight and obese but otherwise healthy men were given a meal that was rich in fats and contained peanuts. As a result, they showed a lower increase in blood-fat levels.
“Arteries typically stiffen slightly after eating. But we were able to demonstrate that adding peanuts to a meal can help prevent this stiffening,” says Penny Kris-Etherton, professor for nutritional sciences at Pennsylvania State University. Over time, stiffened arteries may impair the blood flow throughout the body, forcing the heart to work harder, which in turn increases the risk of severe cardiovascular problems.
Fifteen healthy, overweight and obese men took part in the study. They consumed a shake that contained 85 grams of ground, unsalted peanuts. A control group was given a shake with a similar composition of nutrients but without the peanuts. The researchers took blood samples from the participants after 30, 60, 120 and 240 minutes. They additionally measured the participants’ blood flow using ultrasound. The result: One significant difference between the study and the control group was their levels of triglyceride, a type of fat found in the bloodstream. After consuming the peanuts, the values decreased by 32 % compared to the control group.
Normally, triglycerides increase after a meal, which causes the width of the arteries to reduce. Peanuts, however, prevent this strong increase in triglycerides after a meal. “This may explain why the elasticity of the arteries does not decrease,” says Kris-Etherton.
Liu X et al.: Acute Peanut Consumption Alters Postprandial Lipids and Vascular Responses in Healthy Overweight or Obese Men. J Nutr 2017
Penn State University: Eating peanuts may lead to supple arteries and healthy hearts: www.news.psu.edu/story/458500/2017/03/29/research/eating-peanuts-may-lead-supple-arteries-and-healthy-hearts. Jul 2019