This week I wanted to return to the fats and oils tip of the month. The statistics on peanut allergies in the United States is astonishing. There are 21 million people with allergies, and peanuts are considered one of the most common allergens. In fact, peanut is the most prevalent food allergen leading to death, and children are the most reactive to them.
So why is this? It turns out that other countries boil or even fry their peanuts, which reduces the likelihood of causing a peanut allergy. In the U.S. we roast them. Roasting peanuts utilizes higher temperatures and these high temperatures cause damage to the peanut proteins making them more allergenic. High temperatures are also linked to inhibiting the enzyme trypsin, which would normally help peanut digestion. Lastly, there seems to be a link between consuming GMO soy products and the development of a peanut allergy.
Here are a few suggestions on how to reduce the chances of developing peanut and peanut oil allergies . Avoid roasted peanuts and consume only raw or boiled peanuts. Rather than consuming peanut butter, which is roasted peanuts, try eating cashew butter or almond butter instead. Avoid all soy products unless they are organic. And finally, you or your children might want to consider being desensitized to nuts.