…. SOMETIMES YOU DON’T.
Peanut Butter Lover’s Day (01 March)
The humble peanut and its products, peanut butter or peanut oil, has grown in popularity since George Washington Carver pioneered its utility. Now, billion dollar industry ranging from its raw form of a nut to more delicious concoctions of peanut butter ice cream and cakes or peanut soup – a staple in Ghana.
Peanuts are a great alternative source for animal-based protein like beef or chicken for those who try to limit their saturated fat intake or may not have access to a fresh market. The macronutrients content of peanuts are similar when compared to beef if your focus is (only) protein. Compare cholesterol of the beef steak to peanuts, 92 g and 0 g respectively. For people who are concerned with a high cholesterol diet and/or on medication to reduce cholesterol, this is a major factor to consider. Fat is always a concern for those who want to limit intake. To clarify the amount of fat found in 100 g peanuts v sirloin steak is 50 g and 14 g, respectively. At first glance, peanuts have 2.5x the amount, BUT think about the type of fat. The amount of saturated v unsaturated or even the mono-, poly- unsaturated types of fats because each type of fat (Think butter v olive oil or avocado) is processed in the body differently. The breakdown of types of fat in peanut is mostly mono-unsaturated fatty acids similarly found in olive oil. Whereas, the majority of fat in a steak is…. saturated from the animal fat aka: tallow. Don’t forget about dietary fiber… we all need it! [Men >35 g ; Women >25 g / day]
|*Peanut- roasted, unsalted||*Beef- sirloin steak||Hamburger- McDonald’s (1 sandwich)|
|Dietary Fiber (g)||8||0||1|
*per 100g (1)
With the rise in uses and popularity, there is also a rise in allergic reaction to peanuts (2). Though, good news from a recent comprehensive study led by Lack and colleagues (3) indicates that by introducing a small amount of peanut product to infants, under the supervision of a medical doctor, may lower the risk of a peanut allergen. This is counter to the medical profession’s recommendation of strict avoidance of peanuts to lactating mothers and feeding toddlers up to two years old.
2. Sicherer SH, Munoz-Furlong A, Godbold JH, Sampson HA. US prevalence of self-reported peanut, tree nut, and sesame allergy: 11-year follow-up. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2010;125:1322-1326
3. Du Toit et. al. Randomized Trial of Peanut Consumption in Infants at Risk for Peanut Allergy. N Engl J Med. 2015 Feb 23