Objective: To determine whether the daily intake of 2,092 kJ (500 kcal) from peanuts will improve the lipid profiles and diet quality of healthy Ghanaians.
Design: A 30-week, randomized, cross-over trial study was conducted with healthy adults.
Method: There were three treatment arms: Treatment 1 (T1), subjects were provided 2,092 kJ/day (500 kcal/day) peanuts to incorporate into their daily diet for 8 weeks at any time and in any form they chose; Treatment 2 (T2), subjects were provided 2,092 kJ/day (500 kcal/day) peanuts and were instructed to consume them in addition to their customary daily diet for 3 weeks; Treatment 3 (T3), substitution of 2,092 kJ/day fat, with energy from peanuts. Total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol and triglyceride were measured at baseline, week 4 and week 8 (T1 and T3) or at baseline and week 3 (T2). Three-day dietary intake records were kept during each treatment.
Results: There was significant decrease in total cholesterol (7.2%) and triacylglycerol (20.0%) after T1. However, individually, high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels did not change significantly. Total fat intake increased by 9%, due to elevations of monounsaturated fatty acid of 60% and polyunsaturated fatty acid of 50%. Similar non-significant trends were observed during T2 and T3.
Conclusion: The results suggest that regular consumption of peanuts lowers the total cholesterol and triacylglycerol concentrations among healthy Ghanaians. Regular consumption of peanuts should therefore be encouraged.