Nuts: is it better to eat them raw or roasted?

Nuts are high-quality foods. They have a high nutritional density, so it is appropriate to include them regularly in the diet. They provide proteins, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. All these elements participate in the maintenance of homeostasis.

However, there is a question whether it is better to eat them raw or roasted. Both forms of presentation have their advantages and their disadvantages, so we will describe them below. Anyway, keep in mind that one of the keys to healthy eating is variety, so you can alternate.

Nutritional properties of nuts

We are going to start by commenting on what are the beneficial nutrients inside nuts. First we find the proteins. They are not of high biological value, but they help to complete the daily protein requirements, fundamental to maintain muscle mass in a functional state.

On the other hand, unsaturated fatty acids stand out. Among them it is necessary to make special mention of omega 3, since they have proven to be beneficial in guaranteeing good health at the cardiovascular level. In addition, they are capable of modulating the levels of inflammation in the body.

Among the minerals it is also necessary to talk about zinc, since there is evidence that said nutrient has an important role in maintaining immune function. It is capable of acting on the physiology of the differentiation of the cells that make up the defenses.

However, not all that glitters is gold, nuts concentrate inside a series of substances that work as anti-nutrients, such as phytic acid. To inactivate them, they must go through a roasting process. Otherwise, they could interfere with the absorption of minerals, vitamins or antioxidants.

Nuts are rich in zinc and omega 3 fatty acids, so their intake is recommended.

Nutrients that are altered by roasting nuts

Roasting nuts can alter their nutritional value. We show you how.

The fats

Lipids are capable of transforming their spatial configuration when subjected to high temperatures, going from cis to trans. The latter have inflammatory properties and are classified as harmful to health, according to a study published in the journal Cardiology.

Anyway, the saturated ones are the most susceptible to this transformation. In the case of nuts, almost all are unsaturated, so they are less affected.


Some antioxidant compounds can be inactivated if subjected to high temperatures, which causes a loss of the nutritional value of the food in question. It should be noted that these elements are capable of neutralizing the formation of free radicals, reducing the risk of illness in the medium term.


On the other side of the coin, various antinutrients contained in nuts, such as phytic acid, are also inactivated under high temperatures. This causes a greater use of minerals such as iron and calcium, which are sometimes limited by the presence of compounds that make their absorption difficult.

Are raw nuts safe?

Although they can sometimes contain a small bacterial population outside, nuts are completely safe in raw state for human consumption. These microorganisms usually always perish under stomach acids and do not generate a health problem.

In addition, they are scarce populations, since the low humidity conditions of these foods mean that the medium is not suitable for the proliferation of large colonies of microorganisms. This also means that they have a very long useful life.

Which is the best option?

As commented, the best option may be to alternate the consumption of raw and roasted nuts. With the former we obtain a much more complete supply of antioxidants, but we waste essential minerals. However, with the seconds it happens the other way around.

For this reason, once again the key to nutrition lies in variety. Combining raw and roasted nuts ensures that all the necessary elements are ingested for good health, which will be positive.

By combining nuts with other foods, nutritional contributions are improved, as is the case with yogurt.

Nuts are essential foods

What is clear is that, in the absence of allergies that prevent its consumption, nuts must be part of the usual diet. They are foods that stand out for their nutritional density and for the content of beneficial substances.

In addition, they have magnificent organoleptic characteristics. They can be included in complex culinary preparations or consumed in isolation at any snack.

They combine optimally with yogurt, thus achieving a product with a high content of nutrients. They are an option to cover breakfasts and snacks.

Anyway, keep in mind that many people have developed an allergy to these foods or they just don't suit you. In this case, it will be necessary to observe the labels to avoid poisonings that endanger health.