A new study has concluded that a moderate fat weight loss diet rich in peanuts, peanut butter and peanut oil is better for health than the typical low-fat diet.

The peanut-based diet resulted in a 14% reduction in cardiovascular risk compared to a 9% reduction for the low fat diet, according to a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The journal reported in its February issue that both diets helped overweight and obese men and women lose about 2lb a week, but those on the low fat diet experienced a drop in their "good" HDL cholesterol levels, whereas those on the diet rich in peanuts did not. 

Afterwards, in the important weight maintenance period, the low fat, high carbohydrate diet caused "bad" LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels to rise. Those on the peanut rich moderate fat diet continued to enjoy much lower levels of these heart disease risk factors. 

The research was supported by the Peanut Institute, an organisation that aims to expand knowledge about peanuts and peanut products.