Are peanuts safe to eat during pregnancy?

Peanuts, peanut butter, Snickers bars, satay sauce - are any of them safe to eat when pregnant?

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In a nutshell

Yes – peanuts are safe for pregnant women unless you have an actual peanut allergy yourself. 

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The expert view

Unless you are currently allergic to peanuts, it is fine to go ahead and indulge in them, or food containing peanuts (such as peanut butter) during pregnancy. 

“Peanuts and other nuts and seeds are generally rich in protein, healthy fats and micronutrients, such as calcium in almonds or selenium in brazil nuts,” explains nutritionist Dr Rana Conway. “Most women could improve their overall nutrient intake by adding a few nuts and seeds to their diet. But avoid those that are roasted and salted or you’ll be adding extra fat and salt too.”

The Government previously advised that women might want to avoid eating peanuts if there was a history of allergy (such as asthma, eczema, hay fever, food allergy or other types of allergy) in their child’s immediate family.

This advice was changed in 2009 because the latest research has shown that there is no clear evidence that eating peanuts during pregnancy affects the chances of your baby developing a peanut allergy.

In fact, a US study of 8,000 children published in 2013 showed that they might be less likely to develop an allergy if their mum ate peanuts.

Mums on our forum say

“I craved peanuts [during pregnancy] – especially chicken satay and Snickers bars. Had to get the hubby to go to a takeaway one night as I was like ‘need chicken satay now!’.” Dawn27

“With peanuts there appears to be a risk if you avoid them as much as if you eat them so it is very hard to know what to for the best. Personally, I feel that if there are no apparent risk factors, a little of what you fancy won’t do any harm.” Nicolette

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