Nuts are a healthy food as they provide a variety of nutrients, including large amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat and moderate amounts protein. They are also a good source of fiber and several B vitamins, vitamin E, minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium, selenium, manganese and copper, as well as phytochemicals and antioxidant compounds (chlovoids and resveratrol).


The most common types of nuts present on the Bulgarian market are nuts, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, pistachios, and more and more often macadamia can be found. I want to make it clear that peanuts they are not nutsand belong to the legume family.


Each type of nut contains its own unique combination of nutrients:


  •  Almonds - protein, calcium and vitamin E;
  •  Brazil nuts - fiber and selenium;
  •  Cashew - iron and honey;
  •  Hazelnuts - fiber, potassium, folic acid and vitamin E;
  •  Cedar nuts - Vitamin E and arginine;
  •  Champhustac - protein, potassium, plant sterols and the antioxidant resveratrol;
  •  Nuts - alpha-linolenic acid and antioxidants.


All nuts are low carbohydrate and naturally low in sodium.


Is there a difference in the nutritional value of raw and baked nuts?


Take almonds as an example:


Raw almonds Roasted almonds
100 gramsWeight loss100 grams
575 kcalCalories607 kcal
10 gCarbohydrates7 g
49 gFat55 g
21 gProtein21 g
12 gFiber11 g


Raw nuts are usually sold without added salt, and roasted nuts are offered salted, which increases the sodium content compared to raw.


When baking, nuts are usually added to the nuts, but because of their density, most of them are not able to be absorbed.

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Baking also reduces the water content of the nuts, which concentrates the mineral content but reduces the water soluble content vitamins from group B.


Another difference between roasted and raw nuts is in the taste. Roasts have a more pleasant one, but are more vulnerable to oxidation. This means that they turn rancid faster and acquire a bad taste and smell.


Here's an example of how nutrition changes between raw almonds and almonds baked in a fat and salt oven:

It can be concluded that baked almonds are more caloric due to the added fat and have a higher content of minerals, but at the same time it reduces the B group vitamins content - for example, the folate content is halved.


It should be mentioned that raw nuts present a potential risk of contamination with Salmonella and other bacteria. Treatment of the raw kernels by steam or by dry heat reduces the risk of infection. No roasted, blanched or other heat-treated nuts have been shown to be at risk of Salmonella contamination.


Another disadvantage of consuming raw nuts is that they contain high amounts phytic acid и enzyme inhibitors. These antinutrients are the plant's natural defense against insects, and in humans block the absorption of minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc, which can lead to nutritional deficiencies. However, soaking the nuts in water and drying them removes much of the phytic acid and neutralizes the inhibitors.


Roasted nuts also hide their risks. When baked as a by-product, they are separated acrylamides - chemicals that, according to recent studies, have neurotoxic and carcinogenic effects.

In conclusion


We can summarize that both raw and baked nuts have their advantages and disadvantages.


If you stop eating raw nuts, be sure to soak them in water beforehand to remove phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. If you are too tasteless, you can add natural salt to the water. Depending on the type of nuts, the soaking time varies - from 2-3 hours (cashew) to 8-12 hours (almonds, nuts, hazelnuts, macadamia, pistachio). You can soak them overnight and eat them at breakfast - this will give you a better absorption of nutrients.


And if you can't live without the taste of baked nuts, my advice is: Don't buy them directly from the retailer, but take raw nuts and bake them at home, because that's how you control the amount of salt and fat added. Use Himalayan or sea salt to get the best quality. If you decide to add fat, choose those that are more resistant to high temperatures like coconut oil, olive oil and other.


Whatever option you choose, don't overdo it! - Due to their high calorific value and high content of anti-inflammatory omega-6 fats, nuts should not be a major part of your menu. Include them as part of your intermediate meals and do not exceed more than 50 grams a day.

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