I know many of my Busy Moms and Working Women out there love to use Peanut Butter as a "go to" for a quick snack or meal. But here is some important information you need to know about Peanut Butter and Peanuts.
I’ve been doing a lot of research and reading on the hazards of peanuts and peanut butter. All these articles I’ve read, roughly give, the same exact reasons as to why we should stay away from peanuts and peanut butter or, at the very least, buy high quality, organic peanuts or peanut butter and eat it in small doses.
1) Peanuts Contain Dangerous Toxins
First, we need to clarify one major thing about peanuts – they are not nuts. They are legumes. They belong to the same family as beans. Compared to nuts, peanuts have a very soft outer shell and they grow underground which make them very susceptible to toxins. One of the main toxins is aflatoxin. Aflatoxin, a natural toxin produced by certain strains of the mold Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus that grow on peanuts stored in warm, humid silos. Aflatoxin is a known carcinogen associated with liver cancer. It’s also associated with growth and development impairment in children
2) Peanuts contain anti-nutrient lectins
Legumes such as peanuts contain anti-nutrient lectins. These are sticky proteins which are almost impossible to digest. Lectins have been shown to strip away mucous from the small intestine, which is one of the main culprits and cause of many autoimmune diseases like IBS, Crohn’s, Colitis, Thyroiditis, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Arthritis. Now, it is true that most foods contain lectins, however certain foods have a high concentration of this substance (such as legumes and grains). Legumes also cause “Leaky Gut” which leads to increased inflammation in your gut.
BUT………..this is in rare cases, legumes are healthy for us if eaten in moderation and especially if you buy organic.
3) Peanuts are Strong Allergens
The peanut allergy epidemic is everywhere. Almost every other child is allergic to peanuts. This is because peanuts are also listed as one of the most common food allergies for humans. They contain several proteins not found in most other foods. So when a person’s immune system identifies these certain proteins contained in peanuts as a potential threat it produces antibodies to counter the perceived danger to the body. The second issue is that most peanuts are grown on the ground. They get very moist, and a lot of them contain mycotoxins or mold. We already know that toxic mold causes depression, but mold also leads to other health issues. Mold is one of the big reasons why so many kids today have food allergies or inflammatory immune reactions when they get around peanuts. In fact, a lot of schools have laws or restrictions against peanuts because so many children suffer immune reactions from foods like peanuts.
4) Peanuts Cause Inflammation
Peanuts are loaded with omega-6 fats that disrupt our omega 3:6 ratio. About 30% of the fatty acids in peanut butter are Omega-6 fatty acid linoleic acid. Excessive intake of Omega-6 fatty acids leads to inflammation and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Omega-6 is only beneficial for our bodies if the ratio of Omega-6 and Omega-3 is 3 to 1.
Also, peanuts are one of the most pesticide-contaminated crops. If you do choose to eat peanut butter, this is the reason to buy organic.
Bottom line, if you are going to eat peanut butter try to buy Organic. Make sure that you eat it in moderation and that your daily consumption of food has enough foods that contain Omega 3 to balance out the Omega 6 you are getting from the peanut butter.
We generally get too much Omega 6 in our diets, which can cause inflammation, where Omega 3 helps to reduce inflammation. 9 times out of 10 most people who are eating peanut butter are NOT getting in enough Omega 3 in their daily diet and they are NOT buying a high quality, organic peanut butter.