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Researchers Say Tree Nuts Are Okay for Pregnant Women

A new study is supporting the recent theory that it's okay for pregnant women to eat tree nuts.

Researchers, who published their findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association, say there was no increase in peanut allergies in children born to mothers who ate nuts when they were pregnant. 

Dr. Loralei Thornburg, an obstetrician specializing in high risk-pregnancy at the University of Rochester Medical Center, says nuts can be a great part of a balanced diet for expectant mothers. “They certainly are a better choice than empty sugar or empty carbohydrate calories. If you think of somebody who’s having hard time eating large volumes of food, (comparing) a handful of cookies versus a handful of almonds, a handful of almonds is going to be a much better choice.”

Thornburg says while it's not known what has caused the prevalence of childhood peanut allergies, it's possible that exposure to nuts through the mother's diet while pregnant could desensitize the child's immune system to them.

Beth Adams joined WXXI as host of Morning Edition in 2012 after a more than two-decade radio career. She was the longtime host of the WHAM Morning News in Rochester. Her career also took her from radio stations in Elmira, New York, to Miami, Florida.