It turns out salted nuts are not as ‘salty’ as some other common foods. If you’ve avoided nuts due to their salt content, it’s worth giving a daily handful of these nutrient-packed snacks another shot!
How much salt should we eat?
We need a small amount of sodium for good health: around 460-920mg/day of sodium (or 1-2g of salt) for adults.
Research suggests that if population sodium intake levels were to reduce from the current average of about 3,600mg (roughly 9 grams, or 1 ½ teaspoons salt) to 2,000mg/day (roughly 6g salt), we’d see a vast improvement in average blood pressure levels among Australians, which in turn would help prevent chronic disease.
A recent study found the risk of cardiovascular disease increased up to 6% for every one gram increase in dietary sodium intake.
How much salt is in salted nuts?
In 2020, Nuts for Life conducted an audit to compare the sodium content of commonly-available ‘salted’ nuts. This found that, on average, a 30g serve of mixed salted nuts contains 95mg of sodium (or 317mg/100g).
The Heart Foundation classes foods with less than 400mg sodium per 100g as moderately-salted foods that are ‘ok options’.
Nuts for heart health
A large analysis of international studies, collectively involving more than 350,000 people, found that around 30g (a handful) of nuts a day helped reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by 20 per cent and coronary heart disease by nearly 30 per cent.
The benefits of nuts are likely due to the unique nutrients and bioactive compounds they contain.
A randomised controlled trial, involving 72 people, found that lightly salting nuts did not cancel out the heart health benefits of eating raw nuts.
For more information, check out the article by Nuts for Life: “Are salted nuts bad for you?”.