Can eating rancid peanuts harm you?

Posted by gwgliss @gwgliss, Jun 11 7:36am

I have read eating rancid peanuts (or nuts in general) can be harmful to your intestines, or not good for you, in general? But other web sites say simply NO, they are not harmful, only taste "old" or not good. Which is it? And why? Thanks for any help. We eat a lot of nuts in our home.

Not immediately. Rancid oils – either bottled, or in food like peanuts or flour, are breaking down – generally making them unappealing due to the "off" odor – kind of like paint.

In a large enough quantity, rancid foods can cause a stomach ache or intestinal upset. The real danger is from eating a lot of rancid food over time – the aging process causes food to lose vitamins, and the oils to release molecules known as free radicals. Free radicals are inflammatory, carcinogenic and unhealthy.

Preservative free and minimally processed foods have a very short (under one year) shelf life. To avoid having them become rancid, but them as fresh as possible (ie not close to the "sell by" date), only as much as you can eat in a reasonable time, and store in tightly sealed containers. We extend shelf life of nuts by storing them in the freezer and only taking out what we will eat up in a few weeks. We also store flour, hemp seeds, and other grains in the refrigerator or freezer in sealed freezer bags.

Sue

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