Deciding to buy roasted or natural almonds seems to be a dilemma of many. It is time to determine which is definitely better in the world of snack nuts. Kernels may be in the form of plain or dry roasted. Nuts prepared in oil are considered to be less healthy. Any package of nuts labeled as dry roasted has been dried by heat only. Added ingredients such as sugar, salt, and corn syrup also reduce the overall healthiness of these snacks. Nutritionally, these two are equally comparable in the amount of nutrients provided. Kernels prepared by dry heat without salt do have a lower amount of Thiamin. They must be discharged at the right temperature for these amounts to be comparable. Too high of a temperature destroys a portion of the natural oils. This could possibly reduce their nutritional value. Heating inconsistency is not a concern when kernels are raw. They may be the safer snack if specific health benefits are desired. Try to stick with all natural nut snacks which have little to no added ingredients. There has been controversy as to whether the beneficial fats are affected during the roasting process. When it comes to almonds roasted vs. raw nuts, preference is the main determining factor for many.
Almonds Roasted: Some Existing Concerns
Almonds are a nutrient packed snack which offers health benefits when consumed. Healthy fats lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Nuts have been labeled as a heart healthy snack because of the nutrients they contain. The USDA requires raw nuts to be treated either chemically or with high heat to prevent Salmonella poisoning. Raw kernels are more difficult to digest and many times their nutrients do not get fully absorbed by the body. Almonds roasted with dry heat have a texture change which allows them to be digested completely. This factor can cause more nutrients to be taken in by the body than when raw almonds are eaten. Both contain many helpful nutrients including:
• Vitamin E
When salt, oil or other ingredients are not added, raw and roasted almonds have the same nutritional value.
Raw organic nuts do not have the concern of acrylamides. Heating to a specific temperature when the amino acid asparagine is present causes these chemicals to form. You can avoid this chemical by eating organic nuts. Almonds have the highest amount of amino acids. Almonds roasted with dry heat are often chosen because they taste better. Natural kernels may be roasted at home to avoid these chemicals or the chance of a nutrient loss due to heat. High heat has been linked to the break of certain monounsaturated fats. These concerns add a twist to the almonds roasted vs. raw dilemma. Roasted do have better flavor, are easier to digest, and have the same general nutritional value. Raw provide less opportunity for nutrient loss, harmful chemicals, and have the potential of reduced nutrient absorption. If the effects of roasting almonds are a concern, you may get a better snack by either purchasing natural nuts. Otherwise, both can serve as health promoting snack option.