Nuts are packed with healthy fats, fiber, and protein, and they’re a great source of many important nutrients and antioxidants. Studies have shown that eating nuts has several health benefits, however some people wonder whether roasting nuts affects their nutritional content.
Below we will do a deeper dive on raw vs. roasted nuts and what to avoid when searching for your next healthy snack.
Roasted vs. Raw Nuts
Nuts are sometimes roasted, as some people prefer the taste, aroma, and crunchy texture that occurs after roasting.
There are two main kinds of roasting:
- Dry Roasting: roasting without oil
- Oil Roasting: roasting using oil
While both raw and roasted nuts have similar nutritional content when it comes to fats, carbs, and protein, there are several key drawbacks to roasted nuts:
- Roasting Might Damage Healthy Fats: high temperatures and long cooking times have the greatest impact on monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
- Oxidation Can Occur During Storage: the structure of nuts changes when they are roasted, allowing fat to come into contact with oxygen more easily and thus become oxidized.
- Nutrients Lost During Roasting: Some antioxidants and vitamins are lost during roasting.
- Roasting Nuts May Form Harmful Chemicals: The rich flavor, color, and aroma of roasted nuts are due to compounds that are formed in a chemical reaction called the Maillard reaction. The Maillard reaction may also be responsible for the formation of the harmful substance acrylamide, which is known to cause cancer in animals when consumed in very high doses.
- Nuts Roasted in Seed Oils Can Make You Sick: studies show that consumption of highly processed oils extracted from soybeans, corn, rapeseeds, cottonseed, and safflower seeds is associated with a variety of health problems. Dr. Cate Shanahan, MD shared more information about seed oils at the NSNG Foods Summit 2020.
The Bottom Line
Both raw and roasted nuts are good for you and provide health benefits. However, roasting nuts may damage their healthy fat, reduce their nutrient content, and lead to the formation of a harmful substance called acrylamide. Importantly, how nuts are roasted can have a big impact on their nutrient content.
The final recommendation is simple — include ULTRA FAT® Nut Butter in your diet for better health. ULTRA FAT® Nut Butter is made with raw almond butter, pure coconut oil, and Ultra Salt™ Electrolyte Complex for a healthy, natural energy snack that will fuel your lifestyle.