Peanuts and peanut butter are commonly consumed as a snack, meal component and ingredient in various commercial products. Their consumption is associated with reduced CVD risk and they pose little threat to positive energy balance. However, questions have arisen as to whether product form (e.g. whole nut v. butter) and processing properties (e.g. roasting and adding flavours) may compromise their positive health effects. The present study investigated the effects of peanut form and processing on two CVD risk factors: fasting plasma lipids and body weight. One hundred and eighteen adults (forty-seven males and seventy-one females; age 29·2 (sd 8·4) years; BMI 30·0 (sd 4·5) kg/m2) from Brazil, Ghana and the United States were randomised to consume 56 g of raw unsalted (n 23), roasted unsalted (n 24), roasted salted (n 23) or honey roasted (n 24) peanuts, or peanut butter (n 24) daily for 4 weeks. Peanut form and processing did not differentially affect body weight or fasting plasma lipid responses in the total sample. However, HDL-cholesterol increased significantly at the group level, and total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and TAG concentrations decreased significantly in individuals classified as having elevated fasting plasma lipids compared with those with normal fasting plasma lipids. These observations suggest that the processing attributes assessed in this trial do not compromise the lipid-lowering effects of peanuts, and do not negatively impact body weight. Further studies are warranted to determine the effects of form and processing on other health risk factors.
(Received August 10 2009)
(Revised January 20 2010)
(Accepted February 03 2010)
(Online publication May 11 2010)
Abbreviations: HDL-C, HDL-cholesterol; LDL-C, LDL-cholesterol