The #1 Snack to Buy at Costco for Better Blood Pressure, According to a Dietitian
If you are a Costco shopper, you already know that this superstore has aisles chock-full of a wide variety of snacks. From freshly-baked muffins to fun trail mixes and everything in between, Costco can be a dream come true if you are a snacker.
But if you are one of the 116 million Americans who have hypertension, or high blood pressure, some snack options at Costco may not be the best choice for you if you are trying to get your blood pressure under control (we're looking at you, salty snacks!).
How To Pick A Healthy Blood Pressure-Friendly Snack
If you are trying to have a healthy blood pressure level, there are certain things you need to look out for when you are picking your mid-day nosh.
Sticking to the guidelines of the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet, or the DASH diet, when you pick your snacks may help you achieve healthy blood pressure. Since the early 1990s, people have been following this diet, and data has shown fantastic results in the blood pressure department. Plus, several studies have shown that the DASH diet helps lower blood glucose levels, triglycerides, LDL-C, and insulin resistance—factors that are undoubtedly positive when it comes to supporting our overall health.
Those who follow the DASH Diet eat a diet that contains fruit, vegetables, low-fat dairy, lean meats, nuts, legumes, seeds, healthy fats, and whole grains. Plant-based proteins are a focus when following this diet.
The DASH diet also emphasizes including certain foods rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium as these nutrients prevent artery dysfunction and promote smooth muscle relaxation in the heart. Added sugars and saturated fat are limited when following this diet. The standard DASH diet limits sodium to 2,300 mg a day.
So, when shopping for your best snack, keeping these guidelines in mind can help you pick the best choice to help combat or prevent hypertension.
The Best Snack For High Blood Pressure at Costco
If you take the time to read food labels and evaluate the ingredients that make up your snack choices, you will see plenty of healthy blood pressure-friendly options for you at your local Costco.
Among the sea of choices available, one option that tops the list if you have hypertension is KIND Bars (variety pack). One box of these bars will help you fill your pantry with 20 delicious bars that are a mixture of Salted Caramel and Dark Chocolate Almond and Dark Chocolate Almond and Sea Salt flavors. Each bar checks many DASH diet boxes, including being low in added sugars, only containing 140 mg of sodium, and packed with plant-based protein and healthy fats.
These bars are made with almonds and peanuts, two foods that have been particularly impactful for people trying to maintain healthy blood pressure.
A meta-analysis evaluating 16 studies shows that almond intake can reduce diastolic blood pressure (which is the bottom number in a blood pressure reading). And when it comes to peanuts, data published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that peanut consumption significantly decreased mean diastolic blood pressure.
Both peanuts and almonds contain potassium, calcium, and magnesium, the three minerals emphasized on the DASH diet.
These bars also contain cocoa, which gives the bars a chocolatey flavor. Flavanols found in cocoa increase the formation of nitric oxide, which promotes vasodilation and, therefore, can result in blood pressure reduction.
Finally, the addition of chicory root fiber gives these bars some staying power (so you don't feel your stomach grumbling shortly after snacktime) and helps support a healthy gut microbiome. Since there is evidence to suggest that the gut microbiome plays an important role in developing hypertension, taking steps to keep your gut health in check is a wise choice when trying to stay ahead of experiencing high blood pressure.
These bars have zero grams of trans fats, are gluten and GMO-free, kosher, and have a low glycemic index. Bottom line? Kind bars are the best snack to toss into your Costco cart if you support healthy blood pressure. They are made with quality ingredients that support heart health, are perfectly portable, and are totally satisfying. And perhaps most importantly, they are delish!