Roasted cashews can be a convenient and delicious snack, either on their own or in a snack mix, such as with peanuts, dried fruit or other nuts. They can be healthy when you eat them in moderation as part of a balanced diet, and they have similar nutrition information whether you get them dry roasted or oil roasted. Talk to a nutritionist about including roasted cashews in your own meal plan.
Roasted cashews are healthy when eaten in moderation because they are cholesterol-free, and they can lower your cholesterol levels because of their dietary fiber and phytosterols, according to the Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center. Each ounce of cashews provides 13 g total fats, including about 10 g unsaturated fats, which can lower your cholesterol levels when you eat them instead of saturated fats. Roasted cashews are also heart-healthy because of their potassium, which supports a healthy blood pressure.
Roasted cashews provide 4 g protein per ounce, and they are an alternative source of protein to fatty meats, which are high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Including plant-based proteins in your diet may reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes, according to the Mayo Clinic. To help you meet your protein recommendations, a regular 2,000-calorie diet should include 4 oz. per week of plant-based proteins, such as nuts, seeds or soy products, and a strict vegetarian, or vegan, diet should include 15 oz. per week of nuts or seeds, according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Obesity increases your risk for chronic diseases, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and roasted cashews can be healthy if you use them as part of a diet to control your weight. Individuals who eat nuts or peanuts regularly tend to have lower body weights, according to the Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center, and cashews can be good choices because they are lower in calories than some other nuts. Each ounce of dry roasted cashews provides 163 calories, while macadamias have 204 calories per oz. Be sure to compensate for the extra calories from cashews by reducing other foods in your regular diet.
Tree nuts, which include walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans and cashews, are among the top groups of food allergens, according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Even though they have a high nutrient content, roasted cashews are not healthy for you if you are allergic to them. Choose dry roasted or oil roasted cashews without salt because too much sodium in your diet leads to high blood pressure.
- MayoClinic.org: Meat-Free More Often: Alternate Protein Sources Promote Health
- Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center; Nuts; Jane Higdon; December 2005
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010; January 2010
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Nuts and Seed Products