Do nuts have an effect on blood pressure?
Despite the favourable effects that nuts have on heart health, it appears that they don’t have much of an impact on blood pressure. That being said, there is no evidence to suggest that they increase blood pressure, so enjoy a healthy handful every day.
An interesting area of research is the impact of salted nuts on blood pressure. A study comparing the effects of salted, roasted nuts with raw nuts on heart health indicators including blood pressure, found that the addition of salt did not affect blood pressure . In fact, the results showed that both the salted, roasted nuts and the raw nuts significantly reduced blood pressure. It’s likely all the nutrients in nuts work together to generate positive outcomes just as all foods in healthy diets work together to generate positive outcomes. However, until there is more research, it’s probably best to enjoy salted nuts on special occasion as healthier party foods.
Whilst the evidence for nuts on blood pressure is somewhat lacking, the evidence for nuts and heart health is abundant. Nuts are associated with a 24% reduced relative risk of coronary heart disease and a 19% reduced relative risk of cardiovascular disease . A causal relationship between nut intake and heart health indicators, including reductions in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and LDL:HDL cholesterol ratio has also been established .
- Tey, S.L., et al., Do dry roasting, lightly salting nuts affect their cardioprotective properties and acceptability? Eur J Nutr, 2017. 56(3): p. 1025-1036.
- Aune, D., et al., Nut consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer, all-cause and cause-specific mortality: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. BMC Med, 2016. 14(1): p. 207.
- Neale, E., et al., The effect of nut consumption on heart health: an updated systematic review of the literature. 2018. Nuts for Life, unpublished.