We Are Sad NowYou may recall that a few weeks ago I said that if you wanted to make That Nice Boy I Married sad, you would throw away egg yolks. I'm afraid something else has come to my attention that makes him and me sad, both, and will likely sadden you as well: Apparently peanuts are atherogenic. In other words, cause plaques in arteries. It is to weep.
There is some debate on what, exactly, in peanuts causes arterial lesions. Some researchers blame it on the fats in peanut oil. This article starts with the chilling words, The atherogenicity of peanut oil is well established... In an interesting side note, in this study, a comparison of the atherogenic effects of olive oil and peanut oil in rabbits, olive oil-fed rabbits had higher levels of fat in the blood and liver, but less arterial damage, another arrow pointing away from blood cholesterol as the cause of heart disease.
However, the chief suspect is lectins , toxic substances found in many plant foods. Apparently the lectin in peanut oil attacks the arteries. I am reminded, unhappily, of a comment made by Kurt Harris MD, of the wonderful PaleoNu blog, that he preferred to eat animals rather than plants, because animals stopped fighting back once you'd killed them. Plant toxins, on the other hand, while some can to be reduced by various cooking and processing techniques, tend to persist.
Anyway, this is very sad news, especially for That Nice Boy I Married, who is deeply, deeply devoted to peanut butter. I only hope I can get him to shift his affections over to almond butter; we'll see. I doubt we'll stop eating peanuts entirely, but our consumption will definitely drop, and I'll be far less likely to use peanuts or peanut butter in recipes.
And now I need to try making Cocoa-Almond Porkies.