It all began in 1894, when Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, the cereal guy, first marketed peanut butter as a healthy alternative to "cow's butter," according to "The Seattle Times." Today, peanut butter remains a nourishing, economical part of numerous meals. There is even a Peanut Butter Diet, a healthful eating plan that takes advantage of peanuts' flavorful combination of nutrition and satiety.
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Based on Reason
As described by The Diet Channel, this diet, which averages 1,500 cal for women and 2,200 for men, is based on sensible, well-balanced meals that allow for 4 to 6 tbsp. peanut butter daily. All the peanut butter is consumed prior to the evening meal, so you could have a breakfast of toast with 2 tbsp. peanut butter, fruit and milk; a lunch of a peanut butter sandwich, milk and salad; a snack of apple slices with peanut butter; and a dinner of lean meat, veggies, whole grain pasta and low calorie dessert. Peanut butter's most important contributions are its protein, fiber and heart-healthy fats, each of which help control cravings, moderate blood glucose levels and delay hunger.
The Idea Behind the Peanut Butter Diet
According to the website Diet, peanut butter and weight loss studies began when two medical researchers in Boston, Kathy McManus and Frank Sacks, M.D. studied overweight individuals' success rates while on either a diet with only 20 percent fat, or a diet with 35 percent fat and incorporating peanut butter. The peanut butter diet brought more success, with a 100 percent diet-completion rate and an average 11 pounds lost per person. Only half the low-fat dieters were able to stick with their diet plan; those who did lost as much weight as the peanut butter dieters but gained back approximately 5 pounds afterwards.
Peanut Butter Diet Plan's Protein
Peanuts USA lists peanuts' protein content at 25 percent, the second highest of all legumes, trailing only soybeans. As for nuts, peanuts outrank all nuts in protein. The diet's other protein sources -- milk, lean meats, chicken, fish -- provide complete proteins with the full array of amino acids required by your body daily.
The Diet Plan's Fats and Carbohydrates
Peanut butter's monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats help to maintain your blood's levels of high-density lipoproteins, the "good" cholesterol, and lower the low-density lipoproteins, or "bad" cholesterols underlying coronary disease. Low in carbohydrates, high in fiber to support healthy digestion and blood glucose levels, peanut butter balances the diet's carbohydrate foods: whole grains, vegetables and fruits. Together these good fats and healthy carbs provide steady sources of energy, sparing the protein for tissue repair and growth.
Wide Range of Vitamins and Minerals
According to USDA charts, peanut butter alone contains vitamin E, tocopherol, niacin and choline, and the minerals copper and magnesium, which regulates heart beat and blood pressure. The potassium in peanut butter assists with muscle contraction and nerve signalling, according to the American Heart Association. Peanuts USA highlights the "hard to get" minerals zinc and selenium, and the phytonutrient resveratrol, shown to slow the effects of aging. The diet's fruit and vegetable components contribute vitamins A, C, D and K, and the grains provide B vitamins and folate. Its comprehensive nutrition and sensible philosophy renders the Peanut Butter Diet effective and healthful.