Pregnancy rumors surface when Kate Middleton refuses to eat peanuts

Nov 4, 2011 at 4:55 p.m. ET

During a recent royal appearance, The Duchess of Cambridge sparked pregnancy rumors by declining the opportunity to eat a well-known food while her royal companions indulged. Could Kate Middleton be allergic or does it mean she is with child?

Kate Middleton and Prince William in Denmark at Unicef event

Is a royal heir on the way?

Earlier this week, while raising awareness for the drought and subsequent famine in East Africa, Prince William and Kate helped stuff packages filled with supplies for UNICEF. Along with the Danish Crown Prince and his wife, the royals were offered the opportunity to try the protein-packed peanut paste that is a staple in every package. Kate's refusal to try the paste along with a supposed telling glance between she and Prince William was met with instant scrutiny as the others enjoyed a sampling.

Instead of wondering if Kate was allergic or simply doesn't like to lick peanut paste off her fingers under watchful eyes, reports surfaced that she may be pregnant. Kate doesn't need to do more than wear a loose blouse for speculators to consider her with child, so it's no surprise that her disdain for peanut paste is deemed a sign of an heir on the way. Apparently there is some logic in the claim due to the fact that doctors often urge pregnant mothers to avoid peanuts.

To eat or not to eat

Besides the common items on the "Do Not Eat" list for expectant mothers like fish, deli meat and soft cheeses, some doctors suggest that mothers-to-be stay away from peanuts to avoid potential allergic reactions. Three million Americans currently suffer from a peanut allergy with symptoms ranging from a slight rash to more severe allergies that could result in death. With little information on how and why certain people develop allergies, some doctors don't think that mothers should take the chance of their fetus having an allergy.

On the contrary, other studies have determined that as long as the mother doesn't have a problem with peanuts, there is no harm in the snack during pregnancy. Proteins are a good source of protein and folate, which are two essential nutrients during pregnancy. Folate or the natural form of folic acid has long been known to prevent birth defects in children.

You be the judge

Essentially it's a toss-up and mothers should discuss any concerns with their doctor. Kate's spokesman has released a statement that said she has no nut allergy of any form but that doesn't mean she enjoys eating them. Does a polite decline of peanut paste suggest Kate has a bun in the oven? Only time will tell.

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Photo credit: Photo Pool/Anwar Hussein Collection/