Nuts are a very healthy snack option and provide our bodies with a ton of healthy fats, fiber, and protein. They’ve also been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and blood pressure. However, some people question whether roasting nuts affects their nutritional content. Roasting nuts adds a nice texture and crunch, as well as improving the flavor and aroma, but is it best to eat nuts raw or roasted?

Why Roast Nuts in the First Place?

Roasting nuts is one of the most common ways to remove the shell from specific nuts such as cashews. It also improves the taste, aroma and texture. To roast nuts, you essentially just cook them using dry heat which will cook them evenly. There are typically two ways you can roast nuts:

  • Oil roasting: The process of roasting nuts using oil. Roasting nuts with a touch of oil is a really nice way to add flavor and crispness.
  • Dry roasting: Roasting nuts without any oil. This can be done in the oven or over the skillet.

You can buy nuts roasted, or you can choose to roast them yourself so you know exactly how they were made and what went into it.

Difference in Nutrient Content

There is a slight difference between the nutrient content of raw and roasted nuts because when nuts are roasted their structure and chemical composition changes. Due to exposure to high temperature, their moisture content decreases making them more crunchy and the nuts lose some of their nutrients. The number of carbs and protein are very similar, but there is a slight difference between fat and calories. Roasted nuts have slightly more fat and calories, however the difference is minimal compared to raw nuts and won’t make that big of an impact.

Additionally, oil-roasted nuts are only slightly higher in fat and calories than dry roasted nuts because nuts are already naturally high in fat and cannot absorb much more from added fat. Nuts are loaded with antioxidants and are a great source of nutrients, including vitamin E, magnesium and phosphorus. Some of these nutrients are sensitive to heat and can be lost during the process of roasting.

Similar to roasted nuts, raw nuts also have some limitations as well. Raw nuts contain strains of bacteria, such as salmonella and E. coli, that can cause health issues. By roasting nuts with steam, the heat kills these bacteria and reduces the risk of contamination.Overall, each type of nut and each nutrient responds differently to roasting, depending on the roasting conditions and chemical composition of each nut. For example, roasted peanuts may be the better option because their antioxidant activity increases after roasting. On the other hand, almonds are best to be eaten raw because roasting them damages their cellular structure causing them to lose some important nutrients.

Which Type Should You Eat?

At the end of the day, you should consume nuts however you prefer to eat them, if it means you’ll choose a handful of nuts over a high-sugar, low-nutritional value snack. Both raw and roasted nuts still have many health benefits and are a good source of essential nutrients. Since roasting nuts does not significantly change their nutritional value, they’re just as good an option as raw nuts.

Order Premium Raw & Roasted Nuts from Olam Nuts

At Olam, we carry a wide variety of raw and roasted nuts in bulk including peanuts, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, walnuts, and more. All of our products ship from warehouses across the United States that adhere to international food and safety regulation. Create an account today, or log in and start shopping for a seamless ordering process.