Do Roasted Nuts Lose Nutrients?

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Some foods tend to lose their nutrients when cooked. Is that what happens with roasted nuts? Read on and find out. 

We already know that nuts are pretty healthy for us. They fight inflammation, they’re great for eye health, and there are plenty more health benefits to them. But are they still that great for you if they’re roasted nuts? Well, the general answer is: it depends. So when you’re in the nut aisle of the supermarket, you should know what you can buy roasted and salted and what you should buy raw and consume raw. Either way, if roasted nuts are your thing, then roast them at home instead of buying them already roasted, because the process will be healthier like that.

Nuts are a great snack rich in mono and polyunsaturated fats and fiber that lower cholesterol. Omega-3 fats help protect your heart and some of them improve the function of your blood vessels. Nuts are also rich in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, which is the thing that helps with your eyes.

Roasted nuts: what is the thermal effect?

A study published in 2008 in the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” chemically analyzed raw nuts and toasted pistachios, almonds, and peanuts. The results showed that in the roasted nuts there is an increase in lipid oxidation indicators. And since we’re all anti oxidation and pro antioxidants, you can draw your own conclusion. Also, roasted nuts have more trans fats, something that we know for sure makes our health way worse.

But there are some nuts that actually lend themselves well to roasting. Take cashews: heat tends to increase their antioxidant activity, says another study published in 2011.  Just roast them at 130 degrees Celsius for no more than 33 minutes.

Also peanuts! If they’re heat-treated, they’re better than the raw deal. Some of their antioxidants are also increased by cooking, be it toasting, roasting or boiling. At the same time, don’t forget that boiling the peanuts is so much healthier than roasting the peanuts, according to research.

When it comes to almonds, choose to eat them raw. A study has revealed that processing almonds tends to create unwanted changes in their cellular structure.

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