Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Are Peanuts Bad For You?

Two peanuts were walking down the street and one was a salted.
This had me descending into laughter which caused me to ponder the old adage, do small things amuse small minds? Another thing I have been pondering lately -  are peanuts bad for you?
It seems peanuts and offspring, peanut butter, are copping some flak from the ‘clean eating/paleo’ world. I like peanuts and I LOVE peanut butter so I would be mighty concerned if they were proven beyond reasonable doubt to be unhealthy.
As per usual when a food gets the ‘good’ or ‘bad’ tag the reality of the situation is neither so gloomy nor so rosy.

Here are the issues
1.     Usually roasted and salted
2.     Commercial peanut butters are full of all kinds of nasties
3.     Peanuts often have high levels of Alfa toxins (mould) which are carcinogenic (cancer causing). This has a lot to do with sanitation of crops and manufacturing processes.
4.     Peanuts are high in Omega 6 fatty acids but contain minuscule amounts of Omega 3 (remember the ratio is important when we are talking about inflammation and disease?).

The Good News
1.     Decent source of Thiamine, Niacin, Folate and Magnesium
2.     A good source of CoQ10
3.     Tasty
4.     Versatile

Some Perspective

Peanuts (like many nuts) are tasty and nutritionally dense meaning you don’t need many to reap their benefits. Problem is they are the type of food that is easily over-consumed. Nuts are convenient and tasty so we can eat far too many without effort or thought. Peanuts are not bad for you in the same way a donut is but should probably be considered a sometimes food rather than a diet staple.

What do you think?

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