Since 2005, researchers from Harvard University have shown that men reduced their cardiovascular risk by eating nuts regularly. These men have either suffered a heart related disease or healthy. By replacing less healthy snacks with nuts rich in mono- and polyunsaturated fats and fiber lowers cholesterol. Omega-3 fats in nuts may prevent irregular heart rhythms. Those rich in arginine may improve the function of your blood vessels. Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, is found in nuts to fight off free radicals. The question is, do the same benefits apply if you buy roasted nuts compared to those not roasted?

Roasting and Heat Treating of Certain Nuts

Roasted nuts may be more appetising than the raw ones. You may want to consider buying some specific types. You should consider their raw forms instead on your next trip to our store. Chemical analysis of raw and processed pistachios are published in the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” in 2008. The Results from the study reveals an increase of lipid oxidation. This indicates the roasted nuts compared to the raw ones has higher oxidation. Also, the results from the heat treated nuts show an increase of trans fats. Your diet should limit this type of fat.

Roasting Cashews Increases Their Antioxidant Activity

Some nuts, such as cashews, you want to buy roasted. The “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” published a study by the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, on the antioxidant activity of roasting cashews in May of 2011. The results shows an increase in the absorbency and scavenging capabilities of the antioxidants in cashews, leading to an increase in the power of reducing oxygen radicals in these nuts. There is also a higher yield in the phenolic compounds and flavonoids. The cashews roasted at 130 degrees Celsius for 33 minutes contains these powerful antioxidants.

Heat Treated Peanuts Are Better Than Raw

We know that thermal processing alters the antioxidants composition in peanuts. The roasting of peanuts may still be a better choice for you as their antioxidant activities are preserved or enhanced after processing. In September 2010 “Plant Foods For Human Nutrition” displays results from a study where scientists from the University of Georgia finds that the antioxidant activity increases the most by oil roasting peanuts compared to dry roasting them and that raw peanuts had the lowest amount of antioxidants. From another study in 2007 from the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” shows that boiling peanuts compared to dry or oil roasting them, had significantly the highest total flavonoid and polyphenol content, suggesting that heat-treated peanuts are better than the raw variety.

Almonds Are Better Raw

On the other hand, you may want to choose raw almonds. In March 2011, the “Journal of Food Science” reveals that almonds roasted over 140 degrees Celsius can damage their cellular structures and degrade their quality, making them more susceptible of releasing oil during storage. Roasting almonds above 130 degrees Celsius encourages acrylamide formation, a product with links to causing cancer. In another study from the “Journal of Food Science” in 2007, the amount of acrylamide formed increases as the color of the almonds gets darker as they roast. We know that Almonds originating from Europe have less acrylamide than those from the US because the asparagine levels are much lower.

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