Teen girls who regularly ate peanut butter (or peanuts, or other nuts as fat) were 39% less likely to develop breast cancer later in life—that’s a big number!
But don’t worry peanut allergy sufferers. There’s some less studied evidence that other legumes may have the same benefit.
I want to add an addendum, however. The study doesn’t seem like it controlled other health factors that well. Someone who has a lot of nuts like peanut butter in their diet is probably eating less fat (think peanut butter and jelly sandwich vs. meat and mayo, handful of nuts vs. handful of m & ms).
Weight (and exercise) have a similarly big impact on cancer risk.
So the takeaway might be this: nuts can be a part of a healthy diet that supports a healthy weight. They’re a good source of protein, and many nuts also provide Omega-3 fatty acids. One or two handfuls is a good snack—especially in the afternoon, when the protein can help pick up your energy levels!
What do you think? Is there a correlation between peanuts and breast cancer risk, or do you think the study picked up on a larger lifestyle trend?