Listverse's article 10 Unhealthy Foods You Think are Healthy claims:

Nuts are generally healthy. Most sorts come packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and lots of goodies for your body to enjoy. Peanuts is not a horrible exception, but it might not be as good as other kinds of nuts. The majority of peanuts sold as snacks come packed with salt, and they are often roasted and come coated in unhealthy fats. But the nuts themselves are healthy, you say? Well, maybe. Of course they have the before mentioned benefits of containing a lot of vitamins and minerals, but they contain A LOT of the kind of unsaturated fatty acids known as omega-6 fatty acids. You might have heard about it before, along with the omega-3 acids.

It is a scientific fact that a food intake with a too distorted omega 6:omega 3 ratio (in favor of the omega 6 version), increases the risk for many common diseases, like diabetes and Alzheimer’s. The ratio SHOULD be 1:1, but the American diet ranges between 1:20 and 1:50, in favor of the omega 6. Maybe I shouldn’t go as far as to say peanuts are bad for you, but they should be consumed in a limited quantity, and they should be eaten as nature made them – raw and without added salt.


1 Answer 1


First of all, peanuts are not actually nuts, they're legumes, so they're related to beans, not walnuts, hazelnuts, and other types of "real" nuts.

Over the last decade, the number of peanut allergies has doubled. The reason for that isn't clear, but there's something going on.

Most peanuts contain aflatoxin, created by mold that forms when crops like peanuts are stored in large masses. It’s one of the most carcinogenic substances known. Besides the fact that it could cause cancer if enough of it is ingested, there’s also growing suspicion that aflatoxin could be causing an immune system reaction – an allergy.

Peanut oil contains a moderate amount of monounsaturated fat (46.8% of the total amount of fatty acids present in the peanut oil are monounsaturated fats). However, the oil also contains fairly high levels of PUFAs (about 33% omega-6 linoleic acid).

Healthy fats supplied by peanuts support cardiac function and minimize the risk of cardiovascular ailments. But, at the same time, the high concentration of atherogenic fats may also increase the risk of atherosclerosis and may lead to ischemic heart disease and stroke.

Peanuts also contain lectin, a glycoprotein substance able to bind with the gut wall and alter its permeability to enter the bloodstream. Lectins found in peanuts may, therefore, be associated with gastrointestinal problems such as Crohn's disease, celiac disease, colitis and irritable bowel syndrome, as well as allergies and autoimmune diseases. Washing your peanuts before eating them might help you to reduce the amount of lectin they contain.


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