Per one-ounce serving, almonds are tied with cashews and pistachios at 160 calories, Health.com reported. They also have more calcium than any other nut, plus nearly 9 grams of monounsaturated, heart-healthy fats, 6 grams of protein and 3.5 grams of fiber per serving.
When you see packaged nuts with the word “roasted” on the front, consider this: They may have been heated in trans or other unhealthy fats. for the words “raw” or “dry-roasted” or “Steamed” instead.
“Raw” Almonds Aren’t Exactly “Raw”
Two salmonella outbreaks, one in 2001 and one in 2004, were traced back to raw almonds from California. Since 2007, the USDA has consequently required almonds to be pasteurized before being sold to the public. The FDA has approved several methods of pasteurization “that demonstrate effectiveness in achieving a reduction of possible contamination in almonds while not impacting their quality,” according to the Almond Board of California. However, opponents of almond pasteurization argue that one such method, propylene oxide processes, poses health risks greater than that of salmonella, since the EPA has classified propylene oxide as a human carcinogen in instances of acute exposure.
Here are the other methods:
There are several pasteurization treatment processes that reduce the level of potential contamination in almonds without diminishing the product’s quality, nutritional value or sensory qualities (taste and crunch). They have all been evaluated and approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with a technical review panel.
Oil roasting, dry roasting and blanching. These traditional processes have been shown to provide the required reduction in the level of potential contamination.
Steam processing. A short burst of steam treats the surface of the nutmeat only. This process meets USDA National Organic Program standards, and does not diminish the nutritional value and sensory attributes of almonds.
Propylene oxide (PPO). This is a surface treatment that rapidly dissipates after treatment. It is very effective at reducing potential contamination, and does not alter the nutritional and sensory characteristics of almonds.
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