Is Groundnut Good for Cholesterol? Let’s Find Out
May 26, 2023
May 26, 2023
Groundnuts, part of the pea family and incredibly rich in protein, are a nutritional force to be reckoned with. These tasty nuts provide nourishment for not only humans but also animals. Furthermore, groundnuts are a great source of healthy fats, making them suitable for heart health.
Groundnuts are mainly grown in hot and humid climates, so the botanist Carl Linnaeus named them “hypogaea”, meaning “under the earth”.
Groundnuts or popularly known as peanuts are frequently used in pantries and are a delightful roasted snack. Additionally, groundnuts are the main ingredient in peanut butter, peanut oil, peanut flour, and protein powder.
Groundnuts are tasty and full of protein, fibre, and other essential nutrients. But can they help reduce cholesterol levels?
To answer this question, this article will dive deeper into the study of groundnuts and cholesterol.
Groundnuts come in three main varieties: Bambara, Peanut and Hausa. Indians typically consume Peanuts.
There are numerous ways to enjoy them, such as raw, roasted, peanut butter, or groundnut oil, and one can also add them to foods such as flour. Depending on the consumption method, the nutritional value of groundnuts varies.
According to USDA, 100 grams of raw (unroasted) peanuts provide the following nutrients.
The nutritional value of groundnuts can vary depending on how one eats them. Raw groundnuts are typically the most nutrient-dense, as they have not been heated or processed.
On the other hand, peanut butter is made by crushing groundnuts into a paste. Therefore, it usually contains more calories and fat than the whole groundnut. It may also have added sugar and other chemicals, which could lower the amount of nutrients it contains.
Cholesterol is a type of fat in the bloodstream and our body’s cells. The body requires it for proper functioning. However, having too much cholesterol can result in health issues, such as heart disease. The two primary forms of cholesterol are LDL, or ‘bad’ cholesterol, and HDL, or ‘good’ cholesterol.
HDL cholesterol helps to eliminate excess LDL cholesterol from the body, while LDL cholesterol can build up in the arteries, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. Thus having high HDL cholesterol and low LDL levels is ideal.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that a 10% lower cholesterol can reduce the risk of heart disease by 30%. Hence, for those with high cholesterol levels, it is imperative to reduce their cholesterol levels.
Groundnuts are a source of healthy unsaturated fats, including polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. In addition, they contain protein, fibre, and minerals like magnesium, folate, thiamin, and vitamin B6.
These nutrients are all essential for maintaining heart health. Furthermore, research shows that monounsaturated fats, considered “good” fats, can help lower cholesterol levels, i.e. reduce LDL levels and increase HDL.
Groundnuts are rich in resveratrol, a potent antioxidant that protects against heart problems by reducing cellular damage and inflammation in the body. Furthermore, it inhibits the damage to blood vessels caused by angiotensin.
In addition, a meta-analysis showed that taking resveratrol supplements had a noticeable effect on decreasing total cholesterol levels.
Groundnuts are also a good source of plant sterols, compounds found in plants that are similar in structure to cholesterol. Research shows that plant sterols can help block cholesterol absorption from the digestive tract, lowering cholesterol levels.
Groundnuts also contain flavonoids like catechin, epicatechin, luteolin, and apigenin. As per studies, dietary flavonoids can help reduce bad (LDL) cholesterol levels significantly.
There are many ways to enjoy groundnuts. These include:
It is essential to consume groundnuts in moderation. That is because they are high in calories and fat. Hence, overconsumption can contribute to unhealthy cholesterol levels.
Lowering cholesterol levels is essential to maintain healthy heart health. Therefore, eating healthy and being aware of portion sizes is vital. You should talk to a nutritionist to help modify your diet if you have high or borderline high cholesterol levels.
In addition, you can speak with a registered nutritionist at HealthifyMe to create a customized plan for you and suggest ways to reduce LDL and total cholesterol levels.
Groundnut is an excellent addition to your diet due to its cholesterol-lowering property. It is because of the presence of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats (PUFA and MUFA). Furthermore, the flavonoids, plant sterols and antioxidants in groundnuts make them healthy for cholesterol management. However, it is essential to remember to consume them in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
To summarise, groundnuts can be a wholesome snack for lowering cholesterol and providing other health benefits. However, it is essential to remember that groundnuts are high in calories and should be eaten in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Furthermore, it is best to opt for unsalted groundnuts, as added salt can raise blood pressure and affects heart health.
Nutrient-wise, groundnuts are a great source of protein, fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These antioxidants can help protect cells from damage and reduce the risk of certain health conditions.
Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is just to disperse knowledge and raise awareness. It does not intend to replace medical advice from professionals. For further information please contact our certified nutritionists Here
Yes, groundnuts can help regulate cholesterol levels if eaten the right way and in moderation. They contain heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
You can consume a handful or 8-10 groundnuts daily as a part of a heart-healthy diet.
Yes, in addition to helping improve cholesterol levels, groundnuts have been associated with other heart-healthy benefits, such as reducing inflammation, improving blood sugar control, and lowering blood pressure.
A: Yes, consuming too many groundnuts can be harmful to cholesterol levels and overall health, as they are high in calories and fat. It is important to consume them in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
1. The U S Department of Agriculture
2. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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