Raw Almonds vs Roasted Almonds

This is a common question regarding almonds. Is there a difference between raw and roasted almonds? Well we can examine this question two different ways, on taste, and on nutrition.

To start out, there certainly is a taste difference. Everyone has their likes and dislikes so taste is a matter of whatever you like best. However, raw almonds are a bit softer to chew and are somewhat sweet. On the other hand, many people prefer roasted almonds. This might be because most of the roasted almonds have had salt added to them.

To add a bit more complication to the issue, what is labelled as a 'raw' almond may not really be, as all almonds produced in California must be pasteurized. (California produces 80 percent of the world's almonds and almost 100 percent of almonds sold in the United States and Canada.) So probably you are not eating a truly raw almond, although it may be labelled that way. In any case, taste is a matter of preference so you can decide which kind of almond you like best.

As for the nutritional value, does raw or roasted come up on top? If you don't really care about the taste because you like both raw and roasted kinds, then which ones should you be eating to get the most health benefits.

Firstly, be careful with roasted almonds. As with any processed food, there can be added chemicals that you might not be aware of. For example, these Blue Diamond oven roasted almonds have salt, corn, and maltodextrin added to them. Compare that with the unsalted almonds that have only 'Almonds' listed as their ingredient.

So lets compare the nutritional facts of these salted roasted almonds (because that is what most people buy) to the raw almonds. You can just ignore the salt (Sodium) listed if you are eating unsalted roasted almonds. The nutritional facts are listed below in comparison.

 

Nutrition Facts for Raw Almonds   Nutrition Facts for Salted Roasted Almonds
Serving Size: 1 oz (about 24 nuts)   Serving Size: 1 oz (about 24 nuts)
Servings Per Container: 8   Servings Per Container: 8
     
Amount per Serving     Amount per Serving  
     
Calories Total 170     Calories Total 170  
     
from Fat 130     from Fat 130  
     
Amount per Serving % Daily Value+   Amount per Serving % Daily Value+
     
Total Fat 15 g 23%   Total Fat 15 g 23%
     
Saturated Fat 1 g 6%   Saturated Fat 1 g 6%
     
Sodium 0.00 mg 6%   Sodium 135 mg 0%
     
Potassium 210 mg 6%   Potassium 210 mg 6%
     
Total Carbohydrate 5 g 2%   Total Carbohydrate 5 g 2%
     
Dietary fiber 3 g 13%   Dietary fiber 3 g 13%
     
Sugars 1 g     Sugars 1 g  
     
Protein 6 g     Protein 6 g  
     
  % Daily Value     % Daily Value
     
Vitamin E IU 35%   Vitamin E IU 35%
     
Thiamin (B1) mg 2%   Thiamin (B1) mg 2%
     
Riboflavin (B2) mg 15%   Riboflavin (B2) mg 15%
     
Niacin (B3) mg 6%   Niacin (B3) mg 6%
     
Vitamin B6 mg 2%   Vitamin B6 mg 2%
     
Folate,Folic Acid,Folacin mcg 2%   Folate,Folic Acid,Folacin mcg 2%
     
Calcium mg 8%   Calcium mg 7%
     
Iron mg 8%   Iron mg 8%
 
Phosphorus mg 15%   Phosphorus mg 15%
     
Magnesium mg 20%   Magnesium mg 20%
     
Zinc mg 6%   Zinc mg 6%
     
Selenium mcg 2%   Selenium mcg 2%
     
Copper mg 15%   Copper mg 15%
     
Manganese mg 35%   Manganese mg 35%
     
             
* Daily Value not established.   * Daily Value not established.


As you can see the nutritional charts are pretty much exactly the same. On the surface they look identical. However, there is one main difference that these numbers are not showing you, which may or may not be important to you.
The one big difference between raw and roasted almonds is that there are many enzymes in a raw almond that have been destroyed by roasting.

An almond is basically a seed, and in that seed are lots of enzymes needed to grow. Your body also needs enzymes, and that is one reason why eating fresh vegetables is healthy for you. The roasting process heats up the almonds to a temperature that destroys these enzymes. Cooking/roasting the almonds does not affect the mineral or vitamin content. So, overall, both roasted and raw almonds are virtually identical.

There are a number of factors that can change this statement however. The almonds must be roasted at a proper temperature, they must be dry roasted (not roasted in oil), no salt added, and no preservatives or other chemicals added to them either. That being said, raw almonds are much easier to choose because you don't have to go crazy reading the labels on the roasted almond package.If you really like the taste of roasted almonds better, than just buy raw almonds and roast them yourself. It is easy and at least you know you are not getting a dose of some additive.

If you really like the taste of roasted almonds better, than just buy raw almonds and roast them yourself. It is easy and at least you know you are not getting a dose of some additive.