Nuts — raw vs roasted. Are raw nuts really better for us than roasted?
I personally buy raw, unsalted nuts and store them in the refrigerator until I need them. This makes them last longer. I prefer to eat raw nuts, but I know some people who find roasted ones easier to digest.
Call me “NUTS” but do roasted nuts lose nutrients?
No, nuts do not lose their heart-healthy monounsaturated fat during the roasting process. However, roasting may alter and damage the polyunsaturated fats that nuts also contain and that are more vulnerable to oxidation.
Rancid oils are pro-inflammatory and carcinogenic. The more the surface of the nut is exposed to air, the more likely it will be to oxidize. Roasted, chopped, and ground nuts go rancid more quickly than whole raw ones.
When you’re buying roasted nuts, look for those that are stored in cans or otherwise protected from light and air. Bulk bins are usually not a good choice when buying roasted nuts. Also, remember to smell the nuts before eating them or adding to food.
Raw vs Roasted
Raw nuts are higher in iron, magnesium, phosphorus and slightly lower in fat (due to not being roasted in oil).
Roasted nuts are equal to raw nuts when comparing fiber content, potassium, folate, protein and carbs.
In my book, raw nuts rule! But it doesn’t mean that you have to give up your roasted nuts. They provide tons of nutrition. If roasting makes you more inclined to munch on nuts, then roast away!
Whenever oil is involved in any cooking process, specifically when roasting nuts, go organic and read the ingredient lists. Nuts are sometimes roasted in soybean or canola oil, which is often GMO. And make sure you nuts are just slightly salted (or, even better, contain no added salt).
Try roasting your own nuts.
Stir raw nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat or spreading them on a baking sheet placed in a 350 degree oven. Toss them occasionally until they are done to your liking. Best if eaten within 24 hours.
Despite their beneficial nutritional profile, bear in mind that nuts are relatively high in calories, so enjoy them in moderation. Limit intake to no more than 1/4 cup (1 ounce) per day – my favorites are almonds, cashews and walnuts.
What are your favorite nuts? Comment below.