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Peanut Butter

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    My son gets peanut butter cravings in the winter and we recently bought some. It seems he doesn’t do well on it though, often getting a phlegmy cough or looking kind of tired with dark circles whenever he eats it on a regular basis (once a day). My question is why does he crave it if it makes him sick, and what to do about it? Not sure if it’s an allergy or if peanuts are metabolism-lowering.

    The Real Amy

    He may be craving it because it’s fat. If he wasn’t getting enough fat, it’s a pretty easy source of fat for the body to crave.

    Doesn’t sound like it’s an allergy, exactly, but it could be an intolerance. There is a lot of aflatoxin in peanuts, so that could be the problem. Maybe try almond butter instead and see how he does?

    Some would say it’s due to the high amount of PUFAs, but I am skeptical that would be such an issue on one serving a day.


    I know this is a controversial topic especially on here but I do believe there’s some truth to it.
    It could be (bad) gutbacteria steering your son towards it because they need it to thrive on it,hence why he doesn’t look that healthy because of it.
    It could be the PUFAS in peanut,the starch,maybe molds…..specific kinds of gutcritters crave different kinds of foodsources.

    My guess is that it migth be the PUFAS. Josh Rubin has done an older video on it.


    Peanut butter contains phosphatidylcholine, which restores mitochondrial respiration.

    From Ray Peat’s article “Fats, functions, and malfunctions”:
    The crucial mitochondrial respiratory enzyme, cytochrome c oxidase, declines with aging (Paradies, et al., 1997). Some lipids, such as a phosphatidylcholine containing two myristic acid groups, can support the enzyme’s activity (Hoch, 1992). Supplementing old animals with hydrogenated peanut oil restores mitochondrial respiration to about 80% of normal (Bronnikov, et al., 2010).


    That’s interesting, artgor. He laid off with the peanut butter like two days ago or so, and amazingly he looks far healthier than he did before he went on his little pb spree. He’s got little bumps on his arms, whatever they’re called now, and they’ve been much less prominent when I last checked yesterday.

    As with refeeding in general, it’s possible to experience some adverse effects even when the new regimen is ‘good’ for you, correct? He says that whenever he gets a craving for peanut butter, it generally disappears after a certain, not too long, period of time.

    No, almond butter apparently doesn’t do it for him, quote ‘but peanut butter is just.. so good’. :)

    We get the butter freshly ground at the coop. Is there a way to ensure we get absolutely fresh peanuts?

    No, for sure it isn’t an allergy. My youngest has had an allergic reaction to it, so I know how that looks like.

    Not sure if he’s getting enough fat or not. He’s averse to butter and visible chunks of fat attached to meat, but has been eating full-fat yogurt regularly as of late. He frequently eats sausage and ground meat dishes, so he’s probably getting enough from that. His main source of calories is from white rice and wheat, which he eats in astronomical proportions. Pretty big on protein too.

    He’s going through some serious growth spurts; his grandma was shocked to see him over Thanksgiving though she had seen him only two months before that, and his cousin who’s the same age eyed him from the chest and up when they greeted each other, not sure who this new person was! Even I am actually seeing him grow. He’s also battled whooping cough, which has been lengthy though not serious, and is still having coughing fits several months later (which is supposed to be normal), likely leaving him a bit depleted.

    He seems to have a pretty healthy gut functioning. Never complains of stomach issues, and is very regular.

    He struggled with frequent hunger while he went to school for three years before I started homeschooling him last year again. I think it’s taking some time for him to start acting on his hunger signals, understanding that he can actually do something about it now that school staff doesn’t dictate when and what he can eat. He was pretty bad that last year, when school days got longer and he’d go hungry for hours at a time.


    your son may not be having an allergic reaction to the peanuts themselves, but to mold growing on the peanuts. this reaction wouldn’t be as violent as an actual peanut allergy. those big storage bins in co-ops are pretty notorious for housing moldy peanuts. also, if you are grinding it fresh, then the fat in the peanuts wouldn’t be hydrogenated like what peat is talking about, but unsaturated, which is bad in peatland.

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