Peanut consumption with meal benefits vascular health

Washington, Mar 31 (ANI): A new study has shed light on consumption of peanuts observing that including them as a part of a high fat meal improves the post-meal triglyceride response and preserved endothelial function.

Lead researcher Xiaoran Liu, a graduate student in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at The Pennsylvania State University, said that peanuts were a healthy snack when eaten as part of a healthy diet.

The purpose of this research was to evaluate vascular function after a high fat meal challenge. Overweight males (n = 15) were randomized to either a peanut meal containing 3 oz. of ground peanuts (as a shake) or a control meal (a shake without peanuts) that were matched for energy and macronutrients.

The lipid profile, glucose and insulin were measured five times after each meal. Flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) was measured to assess vascular function. This non-invasive method required a cuff at the forearm to restrain blood flow, which was then released to assess dilation of the brachial artery. The control meal decreased FMD by 1.2 percent compared to baseline. In contrast, there was no decrease in FMD after the peanut meal. These results demonstrate that the peanut meal maintained normal vascular function whereas the high fat-matched control meal impaired vascular function acutely.

Liu continued that previous studies have shown that individuals who consume peanuts more than 2 times a week have a lower risk of coronary heart disease and this study indicates that the protective effect of peanut consumption could be due, in part, to its beneficial effect on artery health.

Peanuts are nutrient dense and energy dense, so Liu noted the importance of being aware of their calorie content when incorporating them in the diet. Thus, peanuts must replace other food sources of calories when included in the diet. For example, peanuts can be substituted for high fat, nutrient-poor foods in the diet that contain solid fats. (ANI)