One of the possible risks associated with eating seeds and nuts raw is contamination from pathological microorganisms. This is probably one of the reasons why people would prefer the typical commercial variety of such products. But these are more often than not roasted.
There is a distinction between pasteurization and roasting. The former uses adequate temperature that can effectively kill dangerous bacteria. The latter basically cooks the seeds and nuts in high heat. It is this prolonged exposure to high temperature that can reduce the nutritional benefits of seeds and nuts.
Continue reading to find out the negative effects of roasted seeds and nuts (and be sure to also check out recommended soak times for beans, grains, legumes, nuts and rice).
Risks of Roasted Seeds and Nuts:
Raw seeds and nuts are excellent sources of health-supporting unsaturated fatty acids. The downside to these beneficial fats is that once exposed to high temperatures, they can easily oxidize. Roasting these types of food is tricky. They don’t only reduce the nutritional advantage; they can also add harmful components – trans fatty acids.
One study showed how roasting added the presence of trans fats in sesame seeds, peanuts and various other kinds. There was none in the previously raw and untreated food. Trans fatty acids are known to increase chances of heart disease. It’s a one-two punch combination. They raise LDL or bad cholesterol and lower HDL or good cholesterol.
If you really prefer roasted seeds and nuts, it would be best to do the preparation yourself. The important things to remember in order to minimize harmful effects are:
1) Set a low oven temperature, around 160-170 degrees Fahrenheit
2) Do it for only 15-20 minutes
3) Dry roast the seeds and nuts, never use oil, as most cooking oil is partially hydrogenated, which means its full of trans fat
Besides being roasted, you’ll also have to deal with additional additives or ingredients in commercial seed and nut snack food.
One typical ingredient is salt. From common peanuts to squash seeds, most of these packaged snacks contain a significant amount of sodium. This mineral compound is necessary for health but it has to be taken in well-regulated amounts. People with heart conditions are often advised to take a low-sodium diet. As you probably know, excess sodium can contribute to development of cardiovascular problems or make existing ones worse.
Another flavoring that is sometimes added is maltodextrin. You’ll likely see this more often in nut products described as “honey-roasted”. When raw and untreated, nuts are actually considered low glycemic index food. That of course changes when such sweetening agents are included.
Some of the risks can also depend on the kind of nut or seed that’s been processed. Almonds and hazelnuts, for example, contain a type of amino acid called asparagine. As it turns out roasting these nuts can cause this amino acid to transform into a dangerous substance known as acrylamide. It is high temperatures and the presence of certain types of sugar that set the stage for this transformation. According to the National Cancer Institute, acrylamide is suspected to be carcinogenic.
In the next post, I’ll tell you the negative effects of fava beans and why you should avoid them to succeed in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the grains and legumes on Superhuman Food Pyramid:
• GMO Corn
• Soy Nuts
If you have questions, comments or feedback about the negative effects of roasted seeds and nuts, the Superhuman Food Pyramid, this website, or other aspects of Becoming Superhuman, then leave your thoughts below, as well as any tips you have on the negative effects of roasted seeds and nuts.