Peanut Butter Diet
Written by Holly McCord, the Peanut Butter Diet (2001) is an ingenious blend of populist diet and scientific evidence. After all, any diet which includes regular helpings of peanut butter (one of America's favorite comfort foods) is likely to leave dieters feeling less deprived and more willing to achieve their weight loss goals. The Peanut Butter Diet permits two (tablespoon-size) servings twice a day of peanut butter. Men are allotted six tablespoons of peanut butter a day.
How Much Weight Do You Lose on the Peanut Butter Diet
According to McCord, the diet takes off about half a pound a week, for a total of 25 pounds a year. The calorie allowance is 1,500 calories a day for women, and 2,200 calories a day for men.
Peanut Butter Diet - Notes
Peanut Butter Diet - Too High in Fat for Good Health?
The peanut butter diet delivers a higher proportion of its calories as fat than other conventional diets. So is this kind of higher-fat diet healthy? Time will tell, but two initial studies are promising.
Penn State Weight Loss Diet Study
Researchers at Pennsylvania State University made an across-the-board comparison of three diets: the American Heart Association's "Step II" diet (25 percent fat), a diet high in monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) (34-36 percent fat), and the average American diet (34 percent fat). The high MUFA diets decreased cardiovascular risk by an average of 20.6 percent, versus a 12 percent reduction in risk for the Step II diet.
The high-MUFA diet goes against the conventional wisdom of heart disease prevention in that it is even higher in fat than the average American diet. Instead of replacing lost dietary fats with carbohydrates, the high MUFA diet makes up the "fat equation" with increased amounts of several different monounsaturated fats. In order to expand the choices available to heart-healthy consumers, the researchers set out to test the efficacy of other sources of MUFAs than olive oils - with focus on peanut butter and peanut oil.
Of the 22 subjects who completed the study, those with the highest initial LDL concentrations achieved the greatest reductions in cardiovascular risk on the high MUFA diet, ranging from16 percent to 25 percent . The added advantage of the high MUFA diet over the Step II diet was that it brought down LDL cholesterol while not affecting HDL cholesterol. The Step II diet tends to bring down both LDL and HDL cholesterol concentrations, thus negating some of its own beneficial effects.
Subjects on high MUFA regimens who consumed the "peanut butter diet" attained nearly the same health benefits as those who consumed the "olive oil diet", or a 21 percent reduction in cardiovascular risk vs. 26 percent for olive oil.
Harvard Weight Loss Diet Study
The Harvard study looked at 101 people who weighed about 200 pounds each, and divided them into two groups. One group was put on a traditional low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet; the other got fattier food - the so-called peanut butter diet - that gave them 35 percent of their calories from fat, 50 percent from carbohydrates and 15 percent from protein.
Researchers found that the first thing that people in the moderate fat group wanted to choose was peanut butter. Over the first six months, both groups lost an average of 11 pounds. But after 18 months, three times as many people on the higher unsaturated-fat diet had stuck with the program and kept the weight off. People in the low-fat diet regained an average of five pounds each.
Typical Menu on Peanut Butter Diet
Benefits of Peanut Butter Diet
Calling it the "Peanut Butter Diet" is obviously a masterstroke. In a nutshell it's no more than a slow weight-loss plan, with a few extra calories and regular servings of peanut butter. But let's face it, any diet which has both taste and feelgood is bound to make weight loss easier and more enjoyable - never mind the improved health which the Peanut Butter Diet appears to offer. We like it!
Sources include: Kris-Etherton, P M et al. High-monounsaturated fatty acid diets lower both plasma cholesterol and triacyglycerol concentrations. Am J Clin Nutr 1999; 70:1009-15.
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