Peanut Oil: Effects on Body Composition

Peanuts became popular as a mainstream food when they were made into peanut butter for their protein content. The high protein content of peanuts, as well as the high fibre content common to all pulses suggest that peanuts may possess certain weight loss effects. However, peanuts contain high amounts of fat and as such are a rich source of energy. A number of studies have assessed the effect of peanut oil on body composition in humans. For example, in one study, researchers administered peanut oil hidden in a milkshake to a group of overweight participants for 6 weeks. The peanut oil made up around 30 % of their resting energy expenditure. The results of the study showed that the energy intake of the subjects increased significantly as would be expected from the extra food and this caused a significant increase in body weight. However, the high density lipoprotein component of the blood increased at the expense of the low density lipoprotein component suggesting a favourable cardioprotective shift in blood lipids. This suggests that peanut oil may have some health effects, but care must be taken not to overcome the oil. 

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Coelho, S.B., de Sales, R.L., Iyer, S.S., Bressan, J., Costa, N.M.B., Lokko, P. and Mattes, R. 2006. Effects of peanut oil load on energy expenditure, body composition, lipid profile, and appetite in lean and overweight adults. Nutrition. 22(6): 585-592

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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