This one was actually pretty good. But like a lot of “conventional wisdom” surrounding diet and nutrition, there was a rather glaring half-truth that needs to be pointed out.
First of all, I really liked how the post started out:
While nuts were once thought of as a dieter’s high-fat nightmare, they are now viewed as a healthy component of any diet. From lowering cholesterol to protecting against heart disease and certain cancers, research continues to show that many health benefits can be obtained from eating nuts.
The author then went on to highlight the many benefits of nuts such as the cardioprotective effects of consuming the unsaturated fats contained therein. I automatically thought of walnuts, which are not only very heart healthy but also help preserve bone density.
So imagine my surprise when the first thing the author talked about was peanuts – which she herself admitted isn’t even a nut:
Although commonly thought of as a nut, peanuts are actually legumes and belong in the same family as the bean and pea. However, since they are nutritionally similar to nuts, they are often referred to as “groundnuts”. Peanuts actually contain more protein, fiber, and vitamin E than any other nut.
Not only are peanuts not nuts, but they’re actually quite unhealthy to humans. In addition to being a lethally toxic allergen to many people, peanuts also contain aflatoxins which have proven to be carcinogenic.
Bottom line, peanuts are not healthy sources of proteins and unsaturated fats.
The key is to recognize that the health, fitness, and endurance sports industries have a peculiar love affair with peanuts and peanut butter. This causes them to not only miscategorize these legumes as nuts but to also heavily promote them as healthy food products.
So any time you hear one of these “experts” talk about eating peanuts or peanut products, just remember to substitute walnuts instead. Your body will love you for it.