Question: Nuts are considered a good snack, do they have to be raw? I like roasted and salted cashews, but is it better to eat them raw?
Heather: Nuts are considered a healthy snack because they are full of fiber and antioxidants. While they are high in both calories and fat, nuts have high amounts of monounsaturated fats, which lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. You do not need to limit yourself to raw nuts to get the nutritional benefits and some people find it hard to digest them.
Roasting or salting does not change the fiber or antioxidant content of nuts, but it will change the overall nutrient composition by increasing the calorie, fat and sodium content. However, studies have shown that roasted nuts have only five more calories than non-roasted varieties and you can purchase roasted nuts that are not salted.
It is important to remember that since nuts are high in calories and fat, the serving size is relatively small. One half ounce of nuts is a serving so it is easy to over consume. And not all nuts are created equal, macadamias and cashews are higher in fat than other types and aren’t considered as healthy.
Published On: July 02, 2007