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Thread: raw vs. roasted nuts

  1. #1

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    Default raw vs. roasted nuts

    i'm really confused about the health benifits of raw versus (dry) roasted nuts. according to raw foodists, roasting nuts is a cardinal sin (jk) because it supposedly damages the fats and nutrients in the nut. i've heard some people say that some how the mono- and poly-unsaturated fats are magically transformed into saturated fat (???) I've also seen some websites that claim there is no significant change. anywho, i would be really grateful if anyone can set me straight, because i am sick of trying to figure it out for myself. i think i know quite a bit about nutrition, but i don't think i know enough to really be able to judge for myself who is right. if someone could supply some unbiased, scientific information on this, i would be really grateful.

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    I eve's Avatar
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    Default Re: raw vs. roasted nuts

    I might be interested in the scientific info on this too, because I buy unsalted roasted peanuts in the shell, basically because they taste better to me than the raw ones. While still in the shell, I don't see how fats are a problem - only the shells are roasted after all, and it is so enjoyable to crack open the shells and eat the nuts!
    Eve

  3. #3
    hydrophilic tipsy's Avatar
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    Default Re: raw vs. roasted nuts

    i eat all my nuts raw, because i notice the fats more when they are roasted.
    (meaning in the way i feel after i eat them) i have heard this too about the fats becoming saturated after roasting, but i honstly just go by how it feels to me
    the aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, dunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.
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    VanillaBean's Avatar
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    Default Re: raw vs. roasted nuts

    I can't give you scientific evidence but I can tell you that I was told not to eat any heated nuts or seeds because when heated the oils turn rancid. I have cut them out completely and only eat them raw now - I am used to the taste now and enjoy them. A while after I was told this by my Naturopath (and then later by a nutritionist) I was on Oprah a cardiologist talking about it too. He said you should NEVER eat any heated nuts or seeds because of them being terrible for you. He said that the oils in them are actually quite sensitive and you should store all of them in the fridge even to avoid the raw ones going rancid in the normal heat of the day. I do this now too! He was adament about this and I have now heard it from a few different sources so I go with it.

    Peanuts are actually a legume so you can have those roasted. I was ecstatic when I discovered that and eat a lot of peanut butter and roasted peanuts now.

    Some things to be aware of are that store bought tahini roast the sesame seeds before making it, nut butters are often roasted nuts etc.

    Hope this helps.
    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." George Eliot

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    I eve's Avatar
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    Default Re: raw vs. roasted nuts

    So eating the roasted peanuts is ok - great!
    Eve

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    lover jem's Avatar
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    Default Re: raw vs. roasted nuts

    i just bought a whole tub of roasted almond butter...

  7. #7
    Mahk
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    Default Re: raw vs. roasted nuts

    Nuts in general are loaded with nutrients but also fat and sodium (if salted). As for roasted vs. dry roasted vs. raw I say go by taste alone. Fat content differences are minimal between them. Picking one based on a slightly lower fat content is like insisting you don't have to worry about smoking because you only smoke "light" cigarettes. [foolish]

    If you'd like to learn more, here: GO NUTS!

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    VanillaBean's Avatar
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    Default Re: raw vs. roasted nuts

    Hi Mahk. We're not talking about the fat content of nuts really being the issue. It's about the fact that all those lovely oils are turned rancid by heat which makes them harmful to your body. I agree that if it was just about fat content then go for taste - but we can't in this case. I certainly don't not eat my RAW nuts/seeds/avocadoes because of fat - it's healthy fat when raw.
    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." George Eliot

  9. #9
    Mahk
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    Default Re: raw vs. roasted nuts

    I disagree that heating a nut makes the oil (instantly) rancid.

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    Default Re: raw vs. roasted nuts

    Quote Mahk View Post
    I disagree that heating a nut makes the oil (instantly) rancid.
    please don't make such broad statements without providing any evidence or links to other websites (i'm not picking on you, Mahk, i see this sooo much on boards like this! so far no one has really answered the question. ) i'm not interested in hearing opinions, and i don't need any biased links to raw foodist websites. i have looked around a lot for this information, but i can't seem to find anything really difinitive. maybe if someone has a book recomendation...? anything...?

    thank you!

  11. #11
    Mahk
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    Default Re: raw vs. roasted nuts

    Bobbi, I don't think you are finding any medical/scientific evidence that roasting causes rancidity because there is none. Raw foodists seem to be the only ones to contradict this, yet they never cite scientific studies to back their claims. I did searches on the words "roasted" and "nuts" at JAMA, CSPI, PCRM, and WEBMD and found very little relating to any fat "quality change" due to roasting. This from an article on nuts in WEBMD:

    "However, don't get seduced by anything less than a pure nut. "When you're choosing nuts, make sure to get them raw and unsalted," Farrell tells WebMD. Honey-roasted, chocolate covered, and other candied nuts give you extra calories that you don't need."

    [Clearly, this precaution is based on salt and calories, not fat rancidity]

    I also found this quote in an article from The Journal of the American Heart Association advocating nut consumption :

    "Any type of nuts will do; all are low in saturated fatty acids. Raw
    or roasted nuts can be used; even if nuts are roasted in
    coconut oil, little of the roasting fat ends up on the roasted
    nut."


    [It appears on the last page of that PDF file I linked to.]

    Rancidity is caused by exposure to oxygen. Dry or oil roasted almonds (when kept in their original vacuum packed or nitrogen flushed containers at room temperature) will keep for 3-4 years! [See Table#2 at the bottom of that link] Once opened, room temperature dry or oil roasted almonds keep for 6 months. Colder environments like the fridge or freezer are even better and recommended once the container is opened.

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    Default Re: raw vs. roasted nuts

    I just googled (remembered by fluke) the doctor from Oprah and found this little bit saying about nuts and their oils. I assume that such a 'mainstream' reference is more trustworthy here than the raw food stuff that's been mentioned.

    http://www.oprah.com/health/yourbody..._350_210.jhtml

    Then I googled the doctor and got this bio. He is not vegan or a raw food person. In fact the other sources I have been told this from are not vegan or raw foodists either.

    http://www.realage.com/corporate/mehmet_bio.aspx

    We aren't scientists so I can't break it down for you any more than what I have said. I feel very comfortable with the information that I have received because it is from numerous unconnected sources. I only eat raw nuts and seeds and I am sure that they are healthier for me. I don't think that the oils and fats magically transformed into a different substance I just think that they are altered or damaged which is not good for you. I do believe that things are always going to be better for you in their natural state anyway. Many things have strayed too far from natural. I am not a raw foodists but I can understand why people aim to be mostly raw. Maybe I will oneday... Anyway, I hope that this has helped and that you feel comfortable with your decision.
    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." George Eliot

  13. #13
    Mahk
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    Default Re: raw vs. roasted nuts

    VanillaBean, I'm glad you remembered Oprah's doctor's name. Dr. Mehmet Oz (and his co author Dr. Michael Roizen) do indeed look down on nut roasting. Did he say specifically that peanuts are exempt from this or did you deduce this yourself because they are technically not a nut?

    I found one of their books, "You: The Owner's Manual" on-line published as a PDF document. Oddly, if you open it up and do a search [type: Ctrl +F] for "roasted nuts" (in quotes), all you get are three recipes that use them!

  14. #14

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    Default Re: raw vs. roasted nuts

    Thank you guys for all the info!

    Mahk,
    here is something i found online about peanuts:

    "Now UF researchers have found that peanuts contain high concentrations of polyphenols chiefly a compound called p-coumaric acid. And they found that roasting can increase the level of p-coumaric acid in peanuts, boosting their overall antioxidant content by as much as 22 percent."

  15. #15
    VanillaBean's Avatar
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    Default Re: raw vs. roasted nuts

    Go Peanuts!!! That was a really interesting article - all you hear about peanuts is people being allergic or how fatty they are. I am glad that they are so good for us.

    Mahk, I deduced the peanut thing and was very excited about it. I have only read/heard about nuts/seeds so when I found out that peanuts were a legume I went out and bought peanut butter! Dr Oz didn't refer to peanuts at all when I saw him speak. Disappointing about the nuts in the recipes you found. An oversight???
    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." George Eliot

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