Roasting almonds enhances their flavor and creates a crispy texture -- it also makes the nut easier to digest. However, it is recommended that you consume fresh, raw and unsalted nuts instead of the roasted variety because they are often roasted in unhealthy oils and salted, according to Dr. Mehmet Oz, vice chairman and professor of Surgery at Columbia University. But toasting almonds may be a healthier option. When comparing the nutritional values of the raw almond to the unsalted dry toasted almond, the differences are minor, suggesting little change in nutritional value.
One nutritional value that is negatively affected by toasting is the calorie content. Calories are slightly higher in dry toasted almonds than in raw almonds. A 1 oz. serving of toasted almonds contains 169 calories, while the same size serving of raw almonds contains 163 calories. While the difference is only slight, consuming the extra six calories every day from the toasted almonds for a year can cause a 1/2 lb. weight gain.
Protein and Carbohydrates
The protein and carbohydrates in almonds are not affected by the toasting process. However, fiber content is slightly less when comparing the toasted almond to the raw almond. A 1 oz. serving of toasted almonds contains 3.1 g of fiber, while the raw contains 3.5 g. Fiber is an essential nutrient that most Americans do not get enough of in their diets, according to the American Dietetic Association. Choosing higher-fiber foods helps control appetite, improves bowel function and lowers risk of heart disease.
Toasting the almond increases the fat content of the almond slightly when compared to the raw almond, which is the likely reason behind the increase in calorie content. A 1 oz. serving of toasted almonds contains 15 g of total fat, 1.1 g of saturated fat, 9.1 g of monounsaturated fat and 3.7 g of polyunsaturated fat, while the raw almond contains 14 g of total fat, 1 g of saturated fat, 8.8 g of monounsaturated fat and 3.4 g of polyunsaturated fat.
Vitamins and Minerals
The vitamin and mineral content of the almond is also slightly affected by the toasting process. However, some nutrients show an increase in amounts, while others are decreased. The toasted almond contains higher amounts of iron, calcium, magnesium and folate when compared to the raw almond. However, vitamin E and phosphorus levels are slightly decreased in the toasted almond.
- Sharecare; Are Roasted Nuts Just As Healthy As Raw Nuts?; Mehmet Oz
- USDA: Nutrient Database
- "Food Biophysiology"; Digestion of Raw and Roasted Almonds in Simulated Gastric Environment; Fanbin Kong and R. Paul Singh; September 2009
- FamilyDoctor.org; What it Takes to Lose Weight; June 2004
- American Dietetic Association; Health Implications of Dietary Fiber; October 2008