I am really not sold on negative effects of peanuts.
First off I agree that spoiled moldy foods are bad
and you shouldn't eat them. Aspergillus is particularly bad as people mentioned because of aflatoxins
, and you don't really see it with the naked eye.
But you would always easily know whether it's there or not. If you buy peanuts in an industrialized country, they are mold free, the container they are in is sealed to prevent moisture from getting in.
If however you open them, then don't eat them within the first couple of weeks, and then leave peanuts in a dark and humid place for a long time, and later find them again, just throw them away, don't risk it. If it was a bunch of apples or oranges they would all be moldy by now, and you should assume the same possibly happened to those peanuts.
Follow this, and you can consume as many peanuts as you want and never worry about aflatoxins or other mycotoxins.
The next thing is the link to someone getting indigestion from suddenly eating half a jar of 'organic' peanut butter
, which is supposed to somehow prove that they must be bad for you.
My first thought was, half a jar of peanut butter in one sitting? You should be getting sick, I mean especially if you were coming from a low-fat diet, your body only produces enough lipase and other enzymes as you usually need. That's like a person on a normal diet suddenly eating 5 sticks of butter, and then wondering why they have indigestion and why most of that fat is passing through their digestive system undigested and giving them the ol' Olestra effect...
Never assume that if you have trouble digesting something you are not used to it must mean that it was bad for you. It may or may not regardless of that. People rescued from concentration camps couldn't tolerate more than the most miniscule amounts of food, any food, because of the prolonged starvation. That doesn't mean that all food is bad for you. It just means that you need to produce various enzymes in sufficient quantities to properly digest various foods, and making sudden changes has that type of side-effect.
The final thing is whether fats in peanuts can give you atherosclerosis
. This is based mostly on peanut oil (not whole peanuts), but people care a lot about peanut oil because it's apparently very commonly used in asian and developing countries. But the evidence is still mixed, for example, look at
Alderson LJ, Hayes KC, Nicolasi RJ. Peanut oil reduces diet-induced atherosclerosis in cynomolgus monkeys
. Atherosclerosis 1986;6:465-474.
Pearson TA, Etherton TD, Moriarty K, Reed R, Kris-Etherton PM. High-MUFA diets with peanuts-peanut butter or peanut oil lower total cholesterol and LDL
-C identically to a Step 2 Diet but
eliminate the triglyceride increase. Presented at the Experimental Biology Meeting, 1998.
and the more recent 2006 journal articleEffects of peanut oil load on energy expenditure, body composition, lipid profile, and appetite in lean and overweight adults.
Basically in all these studies the 'bad' cholesterol lipoprotein was lowered, and diet-induced atherosclerosis was -reduced-, not increased.
I would say whole peanuts are better than peanut oil (they actually reduce your appetite/cravings and can actually help people -lose- weight), plus I tend to prefer different types of oil for cooking, like extra virgin olive oil, although I guess peanut oil can handle a lot higher temperatures so it's probably easier to cook with it, I am not an expert on cooking.
I imagine part of the difference people might observe is based on difference between well-regulated or at least self-regulated consumption vs forced administration, so while it's interesting that rabbits get different types of leasions with peanut oil vs other vegetable oils (fibromuscular vs fatty lesions respectively), I don't know that this translates to anything bad about peanut oil, for example it could just mean that it's so good at avoiding fatty plaque lesions (which you get from overfeeding with other oils) that you see the other possible outcome.
The bottom line however is, you shouldn't overfeed so much on ANY type of oil anyways, who cares if a rabbit develops ARTErosclerosis (from any other oil) or ATHErosclerosis (from peanut oil). Monkeys are more similar to people than rabbits anyways so it might also be a rabbit-specific thing (like how crazy is it that dogs don't get to eat chocolate).
Comments? Thoughts? Feedback?