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Ask Dr. Gourmet

Does roasting nuts at home change their nutrition content?

Does toasting the nuts change the nutritional benefits at all or do you consider raw and roasted to be comparable? By roasted I mean specifically nuts toasted at home in a pan, not the processed ones sold in the stores.

Dr. Gourmet Says...

Brazil Nuts

Great question. Toasting the nuts should not change the nutritional content dramatically. Asking colleagues of mine and checking with the USDA yielded no research that answers your question specifically.

The closest that I could come is when nuts have been dry roasted. This process would take longer than the simple toasting in a pan that you propose and it appears that most of what is lost in that process is water. The loss of water reported by the USDA is about 2.6%. Taking this into consideration, 100 grams of raw almonds vs. dry roasted is very similar in calories, fat, carbohydrate and protein.

I love toasting nuts this way because it intensifies the flavor and you'll find a lot of my recipes that use that method when nuts are used as a garnish.

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP
Dr. Gourmet