Peanut Butter Diet

Did you ever think you could lose weight while eating peanut butter? You have to admit it? Australians are crazy about the stuff. But until now, eating peanut butter has been a pleasure that you try not to indulge in too often. Strangely enough if you are trying to lose weight you will not touch the stuff. You hide that smooth or crunchy behind the low-fat milk and yoghurt because you are scared of the 16g of fat in every 2 tablespoons. However there is great news as recent research now proves that peanut butter is actually very, very good for you. Its healthy monounsaturated fat (eaten as the main fat in a sensible diet) can actually lower your risks of heart disease and diabetes and sit down for this one help you lose weight. Of course this doesn’t mean you start going overboard with the amount of peanut butter you start consuming.

In the US the new thing is The Peanut Butter Diet which is a 5-day eating plan that lets you indulge in 4 to 6 tablespoons of peanut butter every day. Nutritionists do say that you have to remember any food over-eaten is bad for you and that a well-balanced and nutritious diet is better for you than a strict eating plan that will only make you eat more when you finish the diet.

The key to The Peanut Butter Diet is that women get two peanut butter servings everyday while men are able to enjoy three. The plan is very simple. You work peanut butter into your meals and snacks. You may be wondering how on earth two tablespoons of this stuff is good for you everyday? Well in a study at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, researcher Kathy McManus, RD, divided 101 overweight people into two groups. One group limited fat to a very low 20 percent of calories. While the other group ate monounsaturated fat foods such as peanut butter, nuts, olive oil and avocados which in turn boosted their fat total to 30 percent of calories. Both groups got the same calories: 1,200 for women and 1,500 for men. The results? Surprisingly both groups lost 5 kilos in the first six weeks. And while you can imagine if peanut butter is your craving you will stick to this diet more so the peanut butter dieters actually maintained their weight for 18 months after the trial the other dieters didn’t. They had double the drop-outs and the ones who stayed on the diet actually regained about 2 kilos of weight. Why do you ask? Well McManus confirms, “People want taste first. They have to enjoy what they eat to stick to a diet”.

December 1, 2002

Peanut Butter Diet (cont’d)

Nutritionists do worry that once you start eating something like peanut butter or chocolate you won’t be able to stop? But one nutritionist stressed that addicts have to maintain a well-balanced diet and move peanut butter from the ‘no’ list to the ‘it’s okay’ list. Like anyone who has tried to give something up you may find that your cravings will only hit occasionally and when they do, try a day or two of the Peanut Butter Diet to help curb those cravings and gaining any undue weight.A recent study at Pennsylvania State University in the US proved last year that diets high in peanuts and rich in monounsaturated fat were just as good at lowering total cholesterol as very low fat diets. But frighteningly a low fat diet raised heart threatening triglycerides by 11 percent while the peanut butter diet lowered them by 13 percent. This one is very surprising because the Peanut Butter Diet actually lowered heart disease risk by a huge 21 percent while the very low fat diet lowered the risk by only 12 percent. One of the lead researchers from this study says, ” Our study shows that people can eat some of their favourite foods, such as peanuts and peanut butter and achieve even better results than with a low-fat diet.”

An example of The Peanut Butter Diet


In a blender, whip together 1 cup fat-free milk, 1 small ripe banana, 2 tbsps toasted wheat germ and 2 tablespoons peanut butter.


A mixed green salad with ? cup kidney beans and a small chopped pear with 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil, 2 tsp balsamic vinegar, ? tsp dried basil, and a sprinkle of garlic powder. 1 slice of multi-grain bread.


Stir-fry 2 oz lean pork tenderloin with ? cup each snow peas, broccoli and slievered red bell peppers in 1 tsp peanut oil. Season with 1 Tbsp low-fat soy sauce and 1 tsp Asian five spice powder. Serve with ? cup brown rice.

Snacks you can have with peanut butter

  • Celery stuffed with 2 tbsp of peanut butter.
  • Fill large dates with peanut butter.
  • Toast a whole-wheat muffin with peanut butter.
December 1, 2002