Health Topical

Raw Almonds - Roasting Temperature

I've been unable to find any credible info on the maximum
roasting temperature that can be used without damaging
almonds' heart-healthy properties, creating free radicals,
etc. Can anybody help?

In article <FT_mh.11181$,
"George" < wrote:
Interesting article.

" ... AGEs form during the cooking of foods, primarily as
the result of the application of heat."

So, we can all live longer by eating all our food raw.
Maybe, but your shouldn't eat raw chicken, for example. But,
you don't have to cook meat uncovered or brown it either.
Steaming, boiling, poaching, help minimize AGEs when you
have to cook.
In my original posting I was inquiring about the cooking
temperature/time that will result in minimal loss of health
benefits in raw almonds.

When you cook/roast almonds you are purposely trying to brown
or caramelize the surface. Browning or caramelizing are other
names for producing AGEs. They are the same thing. AGEs and
caramelizing are crosslinked protein and sugar and they happen
to be tasty.
What I'm saying is that any amount of cooking or roasting will
reduce the health benefits of almonds. So, the cooking time
and temperature that will result in minimal loss of heath
benefits is the minimum time and temperature that is
The amount that is necessary is none. Unlike Chicken, you
don't have to cook almonds. If you can't stand to eat them
unless they are roasted, then the answer is the minimum amount
of cooking you need in order to be able to eat them.
The study below shows that roasted almonds had similar health
benefits to raw almonds. So, it's not that roasting destroys
the health benefits, it's that roasting adds toxins, including
AGEs and also acrylamide.
Effects of plant-based diets high in raw or roasted almonds,
or roasted almond butter on serum lipoproteins in humans.
Spiller GA, Miller A, Olivera K, Reynolds J, Miller B, Morse
SJ, Dewell A, Farquhar JW. J Am Coll Nutr. 2003
Jun;22(3):195-200. Sphera Foundation, Los Altos, California
OBJECTIVE: To compare the lipid-altering effect of roasted
salted almonds and roasted almond butter with that of raw
almonds, as part of a plant-based diet. METHODS: Thirty-eight
free-living, hypercholesterolemic men (n = 12) and women (n =
26) with a mean total serum cholesterol (TC) of 245 + 29 mg/dL
(mean + SD) followed a heart-healthy diet including 100g of
one of three forms of almonds: roasted salted almonds, roasted
almond butter or raw almonds for four weeks. Measurements of
serum TC, triglycerides (TG), selected lipoproteins and blood
pressure were taken at baseline and after four weeks. RESULTS:
All three forms of almonds in the context of a heart-healthy
diet significantly lowered low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol
(LDL) from baseline to the completion of the study. Both raw
and roasted almonds significantly lowered TC, whereas the
decrease by almond butter (in a smaller cohort) did not reach
statistical significance. High-density lipoprotein-cholesterol
(HDL) did not significantly change with raw or roasted almonds
but slightly increased with almond butter. At the end of the
study, blood pressure did not change significantly from
baseline values for any of the groups. CONCLUSION: These
results suggest that unblanched almonds-whether raw, dry
roasted, or in roasted butter form-can play an effective role
in cholesterol-lowering, plant-based diets.
Acrylamide in roasted almonds and hazelnuts.
Amrein TM, Lukac H, Andres L, Perren R, Escher F, Amado R. J
Agric Food Chem. 2005 Oct 5;53(20):7819-25. Institute of Food
Science and Nutrition, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
(ETH), ETH-Zentrum, CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland.
The influences of composition and roasting conditions on
acrylamide formation in almonds and hazelnuts were
investigated. Eighteen samples of almonds originating from the
U.S. and Europe were analyzed for sugars and free amino acids,
and acrylamide formed during roasting was determined.
Asparagine was the main free amino acid in raw almonds and
correlated with the acrylamide content of dark roasted
almonds. Roasting temperature was another key factor and had a
very strong influence on acrylamide formation. Almonds of
European origin contained significantly less free asparagine
and formed significantly less acrylamide during roasting as
compared to the almonds from the U.S. Roasted hazelnuts
contained very little acrylamide because of the low content of
free asparagine in the raw nut. Reducing sugars, although
being consumed much faster than free amino acids in both types
of nuts, were not decisive for the extent of acrylamide
formation during roasting.
"Bob Arnold" < wrote in message news:bob-2FF-
In article
<KKmmh.8860$, "George"
< wrote:

I've been unable to find any credible info on the maximum
roasting temperature that can be used without damaging
almonds' heart-healthy properties, creating free
radicals, etc. Can anybody help?


Don't roast anything. Roasting generates AGEs. AGEs are
bad for you. The abstract below notes, "roasted nuts ...
are relatively high in AGEs."

Diet-derived advanced glycation end products are major
contributors to the body's AGE pool and induce
inflammation in healthy subjects.

Uribarri J, Cai W, Sandu O, Peppa M, Goldberg T, Vlassara
H. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2005 Jun;1043:461-6. Division of
Nephrology, Deparment of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of

Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are a heterogeneous
group of compounds that form continuously in the body.
Their rate of endogenous formation is markedly increased
in diabetes mellitus, a condition in which AGEs play a
major pathological role. It is also known, however, that
AGEs form during the cooking of foods, primarily as the
result of the application of heat. This review focuses on
the generation of AGEs during the cooking of food, the
gastrointestinal absorption of these compounds, and their
biological effects in vitro and in vivo. We also present
preliminary evidence of a direct association between
dietary AGE intake and markers of systemic inflammation
such as C-reactive protein in a large group of healthy
subjects. Together with previous evidence from diabetics
and renal failure patients, these data suggest that
dietary AGEs may play an important role in the causation
of chronic diseases associated with underlying

Advanced glycoxidation end products in commonly consumed

Goldberg T, Cai W, Peppa M, Dardaine V, Baliga BS,
Uribarri J, Vlassara
H.J Am Diet Assoc. 2004 Aug;104(8):1287-91. Division of
Experimental Diabetes and Aging, Department of

OBJECTIVE: Advanced glycoxidation end products (AGEs), the
derivatives of glucose-protein or glucose-lipid
interactions, are implicated in the complications of
diabetes and aging. The objective of this article was to
determine the AGE content of commonly consumed foods and
to evaluate the effects of various methods of food
preparation on AGE production. DESIGN: Two-hundred fifty
foods were tested for their content in a common AGE marker
(epsilon)N-carboxymethyllysine (CML), using an
enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay based on an anti-CML
monoclonal antibody. Lipid and protein AGEs were
represented in units of AGEs per gram of food. RESULTS:
Foods of the fat group showed the highest amount of AGE
content with a mean of 100+/-19 kU/g. High values were
also observed for the meat and meat-substitute group,
43+/-7 kU/g. The carbohydrate group contained the lowest
values of AGEs, 3.4+/-1.8 kU/g. The amount of AGEs present
in all food categories was related to cooking temperature,
length of cooking time, and presence of moisture. Broiling
(225 degrees C) and frying (177 degrees C) resulted in the
highest levels of AGEs, followed by roasting (177 degrees
C) and boiling (100 degrees C). CONCLUSIONS: The results
indicate that diet can be a significant environmental
source of AGEs, which may constitute a chronic risk factor
for cardiovascular and kidney damage.

The low-AGE content of low-fat vegan diets could benefit
diabetics - though concurrent taurine supplementation may
be needed to minimize endogenous AGE production.

McCarty MF. Med Hypotheses. 2005;64(2):394-8. NutriGuard

Increased endogenous generation of advanced glycation
endproducts (AGEs) contributes importantly to the
vascular complications of diabetes, in part owing to
activation of the pro-inflammatory RAGE receptor.
However, AGE-altered oligopeptides with RAGE-activating
potential can also be absorbed from the diet, and
indeed make a significant contribution to the plasma
and tissue pool of AGEs; this contribution is
especially prominent when compromised renal function
impairs renal clearance of AGEs. Perhaps surprisingly,
foods rich in both protein and fat, and cooked at high
heat, tend to be the richest dietary sources of AGEs,
whereas low-fat carbohydrate-rich foods tend to be
relatively low in AGEs. Conceivably, this reflects the
fact that the so-called "AGEs" in the diet are
generated primarily, not by glycation reactions, but by
interactions between oxidized lipids and protein; such
reactions are known to give rise to certain prominent
AGEs, such as epsilonN-carboxymethyl-lysine and
methylglyoxal. Although roasted nuts and fried or
broiled tofu are relatively high in AGEs, low-fat
plant-derived foods, including boiled or baked beans,
typically are low in AGEs. Thus, a low-AGE content may
contribute to the many benefits conferred to diabetics
by a genuinely low-fat vegan diet. Nonetheless, the
plasma AGE content of healthy vegetarians has been
reported to be higher than that of omnivores -
suggesting that something about vegetarian diets may
promote endogenous AGE production. Some researchers
have proposed that the relatively high-fructose content
of vegetarian diets may explain this phenomenon, but
there so far is no clinical evidence that normal
intakes of fructose have an important impact on AGE
production. An alternative or additional possibility is
that the relatively poor taurine status of vegetarians
up-regulates the physiological role of
myeloperoxidase-derived oxidants in the generation of
AGEs - in which case, taurine supplementation might be
expected to suppress elevated AGE production in
vegetarians. Thus, a taurine supplemented low-fat vegan
diet may be recommended as a strategy for minimizing
AGE-mediated complications in diabetics and in patients
with renal failure.

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