Are Roasted Nuts Healthy?
Whether you prefer your nuts sweet, salty, toasted, candied, or raw; nuts are an incredibly delicious snack that you can enjoy anytime. There’s no denying that raw nuts in their pure and natural form are healthy; full of a variety of nutrients such as protein, fibre and heart-healthy fats. But what if you prefer them roasted? Do roasted nuts offer the same health benefits and nutrition as raw? Let’s break it down!
Why Roast Nuts?
Roasting is defined as a slow-cooking method, wherein indirect heat is used to evenly cook the food on all sides. There are two types of roasting: dry roasting and oil roasting. Dry roasting is a type of roasting in which no oil is used, whereas oil roasting is just that - when oil is used in the cooking process. For a lot of people, roasted nuts are far superior to raw nuts as it is widely agreed upon that it improves the flavour, texture, aroma and basic crunch factor of the nut making it an overall better snaking experience. It also has been shown that roasting nuts does nut affect the nutritional value or overall structure of the nut to a significant degree. Another added benefit of roasting nuts is that it can make it easier for your body to digest them. For example, researchers have found that roasted almonds, in particular, take less effort and time to digest than their raw alternatives. So, if you are someone with digestive problems; roasted nuts may be the better options for you.
Nutritional Differences Between Raw and Roasted Nuts
In most cases, there are very few nutritional differences between raw and roasted nuts, especially dry roasted nuts. If the nuts have been roasted, the fat content and the calories are slightly higher, and the protein content is slightly decreased.
For a better understanding of this, let’s compare the nutritional differences between one ounce raw, dry-roasted and oil-roasted cashews:
Raw cashews: 157 calories, 12.43 g of fat, 8.56 g of carbohydrates, 5.17 g of protein, and 0.9 g of fibre.
Dry-Roasted Cashews: 163 calories, 13.14 g of fat, 9.27 g of carbohydrates, 4.34 g of protein, 0.9 g of fibre.
Oil-Roasted Cashews: 165 calories, 13.6 g of fat, 8.5 g of carbohydrates, 4.8 g of protein, 0.9 g of fibre.
As you can see there is little difference between raw and roasted cashews, most of the slight variations comes from the reduction in moisture content and addition of the oil (in the oil-roasted cashews).
Is There Any Danger in Consuming Raw Nuts?
Raw nuts do have a potential danger of containing certain types of illness-causing bacteria. In general, low moisture foods such as tree nuts and peanuts, are not typically prone to bacteria growth. However, Salmonella has been reported in almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, pecans, peanuts, pine nuts and pistachios on several occasions. In addition, E. coli has been detected in hazelnuts, peanuts and walnuts (1). So should you be concerned? The risk for consuming contaminated nuts is very low. In fact, the most effective way to avoid contaminated raw nuts is through properly storing the nuts, so that they are at the correct temperature and humidity.
So, Are Roasted Nuts Healthy?
The answer is short and simple! Yes, roasted nuts are healthy and both raw and roasted nuts can be consumed as part of a healthy diet.
To learn more about all things roasted nuts, check out our blog on Everything You Need To Know About Roasted Nuts!
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