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 Cashews are extremely healthy and make a perfect snack when you're on the go. However, some people wonder whether roasting cashews affects their nutritional content. This article compares raw and roasted cashews and takes a detailed look at which variety is healthier.


Why Are Cashews Roasted?

 Cashews are generally roasted to improve their taste, aroma, and crunchy texture. Roasting is defined as cooking using dry heat, which cooks the food evenly on all sides. Most Cashews are roasted without their shell, except for pistachios, which are often roasted in-shell.
Meanwhile, raw Cashews have not been roasted. Potentially harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella and E. coli, might be present in raw Cashews. That's because Cashews are sometimes thrown on or fall to the ground during harvesting. If the soil is contaminated with bacteria, the Cashews will easily come into contact with the bacteria. However, the amount of Salmonella detected was low, so it might not cause illness in healthy individuals. Though outbreaks due to contaminated Cashews are uncommon, they're very serious.
While roasting Cashews reduces the number of bacteria on them, Salmonella was detected in one sample of roasted pistachios in one study. Another study found no Salmonella or E. coli in roasted Cashews.
Roasting methods are sometimes used to separate the shells of Cashews from their kernels. This is a common method of shelling cashews and the reason why they're almost never sold raw.
Cashews are generally roasted to improve their texture and taste. They can be roasted with or without oil.

Both Have a Similar Nutrient Content?
 Roasting Cashews changes their structure and chemical composition.
Specifically, it changes their color and decreases their moisture content, giving rise to their crunchy texture.
Raw and dry-roasted Cashews have very similar amounts of fat, carbs, and protein. Although roasted Cashews have slightly fatter calories per gram, the difference is minimal.
During roasting, Cashews lose some moisture. Therefore, a roasted cashew weighs less than a raw one. That explains why the fat content per ounce is slightly higher in roasted Cashews.
Rawl dry-roasted, and oil-roasted Cashews all contain very similar amounts of calories, fat, carbs, and protein.

Which Type Should You Eat?
The short answer is both.
Raw Cashews are very healthy, but they might contain harmful bacteria. However, even if they do, it is unlikely to cause an illness.
Roasted Cashews, on the other hand, may contain fewer antioxidants and vitamins. Some of their healthy fats may also become damaged and acrylamide might form, though not in harmful amounts.
In the end, roasting temperature and duration can have a big impact.
If you want to eat roasted Cashews, keep in mind that some roasted Cashews sold in stores are seasoned with salt, and some are even sugar-coated.
Instead of buying Cashews roasted, buy them raw and roast them yourself, preferably in the oven. That way you can better control the temperture and roast larger quantities of Cashews at a time. 

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