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Love nuts? Eat ‘em raw—here’s why.
If you’re a nut fan, you probably feel good about consuming a tasty food that’s high in Omega 3 oils. After all, Omega 3’s are good for you, right? Correct, but roasted nuts aren’t good for you…and raw nuts are.
Sure, nuts start out high in healthy Omega 3 oils. The problem is that oils are vulnerable to heat, light, and oxidation. Once you heat the healthy oils found in nuts, you degrade them. But it does make the oil shelf-stable, which manufacturers find desirable.
To hydrogenate oil, the manufacturers take huge vats containing thousands of gallons of oil and they raise the temperature to almost boiling. Then they run an electrical current through the oil and bubble hydrogen gas up through it.
The effect is to saturate all the bonds of the fats with hydrogen atoms and to turn the fat from a liquid into a solid. That’s how margarine is made. Other processes can hydrogenate oil and keep it liquid, but it is now a saturated fat rather than a poly-unsaturated fat.
Still other heating processes turn good fats into transformed fats, or “trans-fats.” Trans-fats have been found in studies to be bad for your health.
The same sort of transformation for the worse happens when nuts sit on a store shelf in bright sunlight, or when they’re in a big bulk bin exposed to air.
Once nuts are roasted, the healthy oils they contain are no longer healthy. Sure, they might be tastier, but you can retrain your taste buds to appreciate the healthy goodness of raw nuts and seeds.
Given that the roasting process takes place under high heat, in the presence of air and light, you’ve got a recipe for turning all the good fats in nuts into bad ones just to improve the taste…in some people’s opinion.
A study on the benefits of consuming nuts in the diet recently appeared in the November 14, 1998 issue of the British Medical Journal. Women who consumed nuts 5 times per week had about a 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease than those women who rarely ate nuts.
The study concluded that "frequent nut consumption was associated with a reduced risk of both fatal coronary heart disease and non-fatal myocardial infarction. These data, and those of other epidemiological and clinical studies, support a role for nuts in reducing coronary heart disease risk ".
Gerry Morton, CEO of EnergyFirst, recommends that you take the following steps to make the shift from roasted nuts to healthier raw nuts and seeds:
You can get the goodness of raw nuts and seeds by eating a handful of them for a snack, or by buying raw nut butters to smear on whole-wheat toast, or by using a nut grinder to chop them up to use in salads.
Raw nuts and seeds also blend in perfectly with raw foods diets that are growing in popularity. Raw foods—particularly fruits and vegetables—are popular and healthful because they have not been processed by heat.
Choose from any combination of the following raw nuts and seeds:
Make a healthy move and shift from unhealthy roasted nuts to healthful raw nuts and seeds!