The #1 Snack to Buy at Trader Joe's for Better Blood Pressure, According to a Dietitian
According to the CDC, it's estimated that half of American adults have high blood pressure. This means that a huge proportion of the U.S. population is at increased risk of other health problems like heart disease, heart attack and stroke. And while it is true that developing these cardiac conditions may be due to factors entirely out of your control, like genetics and age, your dietary and lifestyle choices can profoundly impact your blood pressure.
If you are trying to manage your blood pressure, you may already know some tried and true ways to accomplish this goal, like limiting your intake of added salt and eating more potassium-containing foods. But if you are a snacker, choosing the best noshes for your diet may not be as cut and dry. In popular stores like Trader Joe's, while the snack selections are plenty, finding options low in sodium and packed with nutrients to help maintain blood pressure isn't always easy. But with a little know-how, you can enjoy some snacks that Trader Joe's offers while still keeping your blood pressure in check.
What to Look for in a Blood Pressure-Friendly Snack
Snacking has gotten a bad rap over the years, as some people think this simple act will cause weight gain and other unsavory health effects. But with the right choices, including snacks in your diet can help fill nutritional gaps and support a healthy lifestyle. And when you include certain snacks in your diet, eating them may also help you manage your blood pressure naturally.
To pick the best snacks for healthy blood pressure, your best bet is to stick to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet (aka DASH diet). This diet emphasizes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, beans and nuts. Additionally, this diet limits a person's intake of foods high in saturated fat, added sugars and added salt. Magnesium, calcium and potassium, three minerals that positively impact blood pressure, are also a big part of the DASH diet. Focusing on healthy fats, like omega-3 fatty acids, may also help support healthy blood pressure.
The Best Snack at Trader Joe's for Blood Pressure
So, now you know that following the DASH diet guidelines can help you find the best snack at any store, including the ultra-popular Trader Joe's. But among the frozen treats, the overflowing crunchy snack aisle and the fun seasonal options available in this nautical-inspired store, there is a versatile snack time gem that checks every DASH diet box and is absolutely delicious.
Trader Joe's Raw California Premium Walnut Halves are the #1 best snack for blood pressure at Trader Joe's for a slew of reasons. Between the nutrients they provide to the sodium that they do not, it is no wonder why these little morsels top the list.
In fact, a 2020 study published in Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases found that people who consumed walnuts had lower diastolic blood pressure than those who did not. The study population was predominantly younger, with a mean age of 45. A normal diastolic function can protect you from heart failure.
Walnuts are a natural source of the three minerals emphasized in the DASH diet: calcium, magnesium and potassium. They are also a source of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), including α‐linolenic acid (ALA) omega-3 fatty acid. According to a 2022 article published in Frontiers in Nutrition, omega-3 fatty acids have positive effects on cardiovascular disease. And since walnuts are the only tree nut that is an excellent source of the essential omega-3 ALA (2.5 g/oz), it is no wonder why including these tasty nuts in your diet can impact your blood pressure.
Sure, walnuts can be enjoyed straight out of the bag when a mid-day boost is needed. But including walnuts in your snack rotation can be done in some unique ways too. From whipping up a Roasted Cauliflower and Walnut Dip to putting together Greek Yogurt with Fruit and Nuts, the ways to include Trader Joe's California walnuts are limited only by your imagination.