Nutrition
10 Surprising Disadvantages of Peanuts

10 Surprising Disadvantages of Peanuts

Peanuts are technically classified as legumes and areas such related to beans. It is, therefore, no surprise that peanuts major nutrient component is protein.

Peanuts also contain high healthy fat, protein, fibre, phosphorous, magnesium and B vitamins content. As a result, they are a rich source of energy.

However, for all their benefits, there are also disadvantages of peanuts. This is as a result of an imbalanced intake of said peanuts.

DISADVANTAGES OF PEANUTS

10 Surprising Disadvantages of Peanuts

Some of the disadvantages of peanuts include:

1. LEADS TO WEIGHT GAIN

One of the biggest disadvantages of peanuts is their high-calorie content. As such, you are required to consume them in specific amounts. A skill that not everyone has.

According to the USDA (about 28 peanuts), a single serving of peanuts amounts to about 161 calories. This, therefore, means that for every serving of peanuts, you consume 161 calories.

According to nutritionists, a daily intake of 1600 to 2400 calories is recommended for adults.

Put this up against your peanuts servings, and you find that one serving could amount to about 10% of your daily calorie intake.

The fact that peanuts are pretty addictive doesn’t really help. The fat content in the peanuts instigates the production of dopamine.

This is a pleasure motivation hormone that is produced in the brain. As a result, it builds a craving for more and more peanuts. It thus makes it very easy to exceed the recommended calorie intake.

Without proper guidance, peanuts could, therefore, throw your calorie deficit out of whack.

2.  INHIBITS MINERAL ABSORPTION

Despite all the benefits that peanuts provide, they also contain anti-nutrients. Anti-nutrients refer to plant compounds that reduce the body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients.

Anti-nutrients are often negligible. However, over time they contribute to mineral deficiencies.

As mentioned above, peanuts are high in phosphorous content. However, this phosphorous content is stored in phytate form. Phytates are mostly found in seeds, grains and legumes.

They are anto-nutrients and, as such, facilitate disruption in the mineral absorption process. Phytates particularly inhibit the absorption of iron, zinc, calcium and manganese.

Having any of these mineral deficiencies could lead to anaemia and cause hair loss and growth retardation symptoms.

Children are, therefore, the most susceptible to these effects. It is thus crucial that you curate a balanced diet that includes all food groups.

3. INCREASES SODIUM CONTENT

For every 100-gram salted serving of peanuts, there are 18 milligrams (mg) of sodium. According to nutritionists, the recommended intake of sodium stands at 500 mg.

This means that when put up against each other, a 100-gram serving of peanuts contributes to about 3% of your sodium intake.

Eating too many peanuts, therefore leads to high sodium consumption.

Consuming high sodium content increases your blood pressure. As a result, this could lead to high blood pressure, heart disease and even stroke.

4. IMBALANCE OF OMEGA FATTY ACIDS 

Omega fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats that provide the body with heart-healthy fat alternatives. Fatty acids include omega-6 and omega-3, all of which are found in peanuts.

Omega-6 is primarily used to produce energy in your body, and omega-3 is used in various processes. Some of these processes include regulation of blood clotting, production of hormones and inflammation.

However, for maximum utilization within the body, there should be a balance. This isn’t the case with peanuts.

Whilst there might be a relatively healthy amount of omega-3 content in peanuts, it is nothing compared to the omega-6 content.

When compared, a 100-gram serving of peanuts omega-6 content is five thousand times more than omega-3 content.

As such, this imbalance impairs the roles of these fatty acids in the body.

5. AFLATOXIN POISONING

Aflatoxin refers to poisonous substances produced naturally by certain kinds of fungi. This happens due to the contamination of crops by the species of mould known as Aspergillus flavus.

When these species of mould contaminate plants such as peanuts, it can lead to aflatoxin poisoning. This is, however, dependent on how the peanuts are stored.

Peanuts stored in warm and humid conditions are more susceptible compared to those in cooler regions.

Aflatoxin poisoning leads to damage to the liver causing liver failure, which can be fatal.

Some of the symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning include loss of appetite and yellow discolouration of the eye (jaundice).

You are therefore required to store your peanuts under dry, low-temperature conditions.

6. UNBALANCED DIET

The nutrient content found in peanuts is often very high. However, despite these nutrients being so high, the disadvantages of peanuts are that they lack balance.

For instance, peanuts contain high amounts of vitamin E but lack vitamin C completely.

A good diet is often composed of foods that, even on their own, provide a healthy balance of everything. Foods such as peanuts, however, require you to supplement other essential nutrients.

7. ADDITIVES

Not everyone has access to natural peanuts; it is, therefore, common for you to buy peanuts from the store. Store-bought peanuts, on the other hand, are more often than not filled with additives.

Some of these additives include sugar syrup and excessive salt. As a result, these additives water down the effect you would get from eating a nut or, in this case, nut-like food.

8. ALLERGIES

One of the biggest disadvantages of peanuts is how severe their allergies are. A peanut allergy refers to when your body mistakenly identifies peanuts as a threat to the body.

As such, the immune system reacts in a manner that can be life-threatening. Some of the symptoms include a runny nose, impaired breathing, skin reactions and digestive problems.

9. GALL BLADDER PROBLEMS

Peanut oil is commonly used in cooking. This is due to its health benefits similar to those acquired from eating peanuts.

However, just like there are disadvantages of peanuts, there are drawbacks to using this oil.

Foods fried in peanut oil can be difficult to break down during digestion, leading to gall bladder problems.

These issues arise due to the blockage of the bile ducts due to the failure of the breakdown of the fatty foods.

Some of the symptoms include gas and nausea.

10. INHIBITS BLOOD CLOTTING

Peanuts contain resveratrol which inhibits blood clotting. Blood clotting is a process that primarily prevents excessive bleeding when a blood vessel is injured.

This component of peanuts can thus lead to consistent nosebleeds, easy bruising and heavy menstrual cycles.

HOW MANY PEANUTS SHOULD YOU EAT IN A DAY?

When eaten in the right proportions, peanuts are an extremely healthy component of your diet. The general rule of thumb states that 1-2 ounces of peanuts should be enough.

WHY MUST WE BOIL SHELLED PEANUTS BEFORE EATING THEM?

Boiled peanuts give a rounder taste to your peanuts. They also boost the disease-fighting compounds in the peanuts by almost four times than when eaten plainly.

It also reduces the saturated fat content making it that much healthier for the heart.

To do this:

Wash the peanuts thoroughly and soak in water for 1 hour

Take 200 ml of water and add 1 teaspoon of salt to it.

Add a handful of peanuts and let it boil for 1 hour.

CONCLUSION

Despite the multiple disadvantages of peanuts, it all comes down to balance and proportion. Peanuts are easily accessible, affordable and versatile.

As such, you should take your time to find what works for you.

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