Peanuts are an excellent option for a healthy snack. They are rich in protein and fiber. But despite their undisputed health benefits, there are certain drawbacks of eating peanuts that you need to be aware of.
You should not eat peanuts (or at least be cautious about their consumption) if you have nut or peanut allergies, are trying to lose weight, have type-2 diabetes, or have digestive problems.
The rest of this article will explore instances when you should not eat peanuts and some of the risks associated with their consumption. I’ll also explain whether or not peanuts can make you gain weight.
Do Not Eat Peanuts if You Have a Nut Allergy
A person with a nut allergy cannot consume tree nuts like pecans, walnuts, cashew, chestnuts, etc. While peanuts are not tree nuts, it is best to avoid them too. If you have a nut allergy, consult your doctor on whether peanuts are safe for you to eat.
In addition to a nut allergy, some people specifically have a peanut allergy. 30% of people with peanut allergies also have tree nut allergies.
Food allergies develop over time, or people can be born with them too. Allergies occur when your immune system overreacts to certain foods and releases chemicals. These chemicals can impact various body tissues such as the nose, eyes, skin, lungs, and more.
According to Harvard Health, if you have a food allergy, you will usually see a reaction within 30 minutes of consuming the food.
What Happens if You Are Allergic to Peanuts and You Eat Them?
If you are allergic to peanuts and consume them, it can cause anaphylaxis. Food-induced anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction caused by consuming foods you’re allergic to. The condition can lead to death if not treated immediately.
The symptoms of a peanut allergy are:
- Itchy skin and itchiness in mouth or throat
- Swollen limbs
- Stomach cramps
- Runny nose
The allergic reaction should be considered a medical emergency, and the person experiencing it must immediately be taken to a hospital. You should call 911 or your local emergency number as soon as possible.
For severe reactions, epinephrine is given as it helps increase the flow of blood through the veins. The drug allows the muscles to relax and makes breathing easier, while also reducing the swelling that occurs in your throat.
Limit Your Peanuts if You Have Diabetes
As compared to other nuts, peanuts have more omega-6 fatty acids. A heavy intake of omega-6 fatty acids is associated with an increased risk of inflammation and obesity, which can lead to diabetes symptoms.
While peanuts can help a person with type-2 diabetes, there are some health risks because it has omega-6 fatty acids so limit to small snacks to be helpful.
Therefore, if you must eat peanuts and you have diabetes, it is advisable to eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. This includes foods like soya bean, flaxseed, and salmon. Striking a balance between the consumption of omega-6 and omega-3 foods.
Before making any changes to your diet, it’s best to consult your doctor, especially if you have an underlying medical condition. Your doctor will help come up with a meal plan that works best for you.
Do Not Eat Peanuts if You Have Digestive Issues
If you are intolerant to peanuts, your body might struggle with digestion due to their high fiber content. As a result, you should consult your doctor before consuming peanuts, especially if you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
If you struggle with digestive issues, you should steer away from peanuts as they can worsen your digestive problem. Fibers are difficult to digest as they contain sugar molecules that can be hard for digestive enzymes to break down.
Peanuts in the form of peanut butter are also associated with stomach problems. The trans fat in peanut butter can cause inflammation in the body, which often leads to bloating and gas.
Usually, peanut butter in moderation can aid digestion. However, when consumed in excess or if you have digestive problems, it can cause indigestion and even acid reflux.
While peanut butter generally does not cause acid reflux, you might develop a rare case as everyone’s body reacts differently.
In addition to digestive issues, the phosphorus content in peanut butter is extremely high. High phosphorus content can make it hard for your body to absorb minerals like iron and zinc.
Can Peanuts Make You Gain Weight?
Peanuts are high in calories and can make you gain weight if consumed in excessive amounts. If you are trying to lose weight, peanuts might not be the best snack option.
One ounce of peanut has 161 calories. It is easy to overeat peanuts when snacking on them. The general rule of thumb is you’ll gain weight if you eat more calories than you can burn.
Eating peanuts in the form of peanut butter can also cause weight gain as peanut butter is made when roasted ground peanuts are ground until they turn into a smooth paste. Two tablespoons of peanut butter have 190 calories.
Commercial peanut butter brands are loaded with sugar, vegetable oils, and trans fat. And if such peanut butter is consumed in large quantities, then it will almost certainly lead to weight gain.
If you eat peanuts or peanut butter in moderation, it won’t cause weight gain. Two tablespoons of peanut butter a few times per week is recommended for weight loss. This can be done by adding peanut butter to your oats or adding it to your smoothies and salads.
The key to losing weight is burning more calories than you consume.
You should be cautious when consuming peanuts if any of the following applies to you:
- If you have nut or peanut allergies: Consuming peanuts can result in a life-threatening allergic reaction for people with nut or peanut allergies.
- If you are trying to lose weight: Peanuts are high in calories and, when consumed in excess, can lead to weight gain.
- If you have type-2 diabetes: Peanuts are high in omega-6 fatty acids, increasing diabetes symptoms.
As such, you should always consult your doctor if in doubt about eating peanuts, more so if you have an underlying condition.