Could eating lots of peanut butter really make your child allergic? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 07-02-2013, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Since I have gestational diabetes I have been eating a ton of peanut butter. Almond butter is not as palatable to me and I am sick of cheese. I also don't want to just eat meat all the dang time. Is there really a risk of creating a peanut allergy in my baby due to eating so much peanut butter? I admit, it's not organic, but it's "natural". What do you guys think?

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#2 of 13 Old 07-02-2013, 04:18 PM
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Actually I read that in Britain at one point told their mothers not to eat peanut butter and peanuts while pregnant because it could cause a peanut allergy and once they started that the peanut allergy rose. I don't think they tell moms to avoid it anymore. Many countries eat a lot of peanuts in their dishes and have a low allergy rate. I ate quite a lot of peanut butter and nuts with my first and she doesn't have an allergy. I think exposing them to it in utero keeps them from having an allergy. That's my opinion. There is definitely more to an allergy than that. The health of the baby's gut flora for one. Genetics, etc.
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#3 of 13 Old 07-02-2013, 05:05 PM
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I've always eaten lots of peanut butter while pregnant (and not) none of mine have been allergic

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#4 of 13 Old 07-02-2013, 10:18 PM
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I've heard that, but I don't believe it's true. It doesn't make much sense to me. Peanut butter was one of my cravings for most of the first trimester, why would my body want it so bad if I shouldn't? (Or that's my excuse...)

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#5 of 13 Old 07-03-2013, 02:35 AM
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It is true...the risk goes up. It is higher when allergies already run in the family. Variation is the key. Any nut can be turned into a butter. Sesame and hemp butter taste good.  A body craves what it knows. Figure out the main nutrition value of peanut butter and try other things that have the same nutrients in it. That will usually stave the cravings.  I had gestational diabetes last pregnancy...hoping not to get it this pregnancy, but I am eating as if I did. This has some good info on vegan protien sources.

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#6 of 13 Old 07-03-2013, 02:14 PM
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You can't just create an allergy just by eating something over and over.  There has to be an underlying issue that triggers the allergy: ie gut health.  In most food allergies, there is an unhealthy gut environment and when you introduce foods that have high risk of allergy (for various reasons) the larger particles are absorbed into the blood stream through holes in the gut and that triggers an allergic response.   Could start off mild and turn anaphylactic with successive exposure.  But in utero you aren't going to create an allergy.  There's also a major diff between an allergy and a sensitivity.  My 19mo DD has a major sensitivity to oats - gluten free or not, she breaks out in hives and turns red head to toe - but does NOT produce antibodies against the oats.  So no, eating copious amounts of peanut butter in pregnancy will not create a food allergy.

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#7 of 13 Old 07-03-2013, 02:24 PM
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I wondered about that, but it seems far fetched. Perhaps there are other factors involved, besides just consumption of the allergen...since so many do not have that issue. Family history of asthma and allergies, environmental factors, etc. 

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#8 of 13 Old 07-03-2013, 04:57 PM
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I talked to a nutritionist about this, because I eat a lot of nut butters, normally. She told me that the risk of giving a child a peanut allergy increases if one or both parents already have allergies (not necessarily peanut allergies, just allergies in general). If the parents aren't allergic people, the risk of giving a peanut allergy doesn't increase.

I cut out peanut butter, but I have had days where all I eat is sunbutter.

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#9 of 13 Old 07-03-2013, 08:09 PM
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Peanuts contain aflatoxin. A toxic mold. Google it and you may choose to eliminate it from you and your family's diet. People who crave peanut butter typically have a protein deficiency. Whey protein can help get through the cravings and also support a healthy pregnancy. Whey protein is also very good for the breast feeding mother and supports hormonal balance after birth. Don't take my word on any of this. Google or wikipedia Aflatoxin. Good luck!

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#10 of 13 Old 07-04-2013, 07:13 AM
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I have eaten lots of peanut butter with my last two pregnancies and my girls are perfectly fine. Eating a lot this pregnancy too with no worries.

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#11 of 13 Old 07-04-2013, 07:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your input! I confess I am addicted to these dark chocolate peanut butter cups *bag over head*! They don't raise my blood sugar. In fact, if I put peanut butter on just about anything it will prevent my numbers from getting too high. I have cut back a lot, though. :-)

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#12 of 13 Old 07-05-2013, 09:09 AM
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Craving peanut butter when you are low on protein isn't a pathology-- it's just as natural as craving ANY high protein food when you are low on protein, or craving sweets when you have low blood sugar. Don't buy into this fear-mongering business about aflatoxin. I did look it up, and it looks like it require large amounts to create acute symptoms, and most humans are highly tolerant. 


My feelings are that if you go down the road of eliminating and avoiding everything that *might* hurt you, I can't imagine that results would be a life worth living. I focus on the Big Toxins that we KNOW are harmful, and leave it at that. 


As for me, peanut butter, apples and yogurt were the only wholesome foods I could regularly stomach in the first trimester, and my caregivers have been pleased to hear these remain staples of my diet. 

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#13 of 13 Old 07-05-2013, 09:34 AM
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I find it hard to believe that the presence of other non-peanut allergies would create a higher likelihood for peanut allergies. I would want to see a scientific citation for that and not just hear it anecdotally. My mother is allergice to tree nuts (NOT peanuts) so she has always used peanuts as a go-to protein snack. So there is someone who is an "allergic" person, eating lots of peanuts. But neither my sister nor I have a peanut allergy as a result.

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