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Does Roasting Nuts Make Them Toxic?

By
Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS,

Ask the Diva: Does Roasting Nuts Make Them Toxic?

Q. I’ve read a lot of conflicting advice about roasted nuts, ranging from "raw nuts are better than roasted, but roasted are still good" to the other extreme of "roasting nuts makes a healthy food into a toxic food." Specifically as regards weight loss, which is correct?

A. Roasting doesn’t change the amount of fat or calories in nuts. However, it can be easier to over-eat roasted nuts, especially if they’re salted. To the extent that raw nuts aren’t quite as compelling as roasted nuts, they might offer an advantage for weight loss. But roasting nuts does not make them toxic. In fact, in some cases, roasting increases antioxidant levels, as I talked about in the episode Are Peanuts Good for You?

Nuts image courtesy of Shutterstock

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