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Ask Tufts Experts February 2007 Issue

Q: I have heard that high heat destroys the healthy fats in nut oils; so, for example, it would not be a good idea to use walnut oil in a skillet. If I roast any kind of nuts in the oven, does that also harm the oils in them, or is there a temperature limit that is OK?

Answer :  You’re correct that some nut oils have a low “smoke point,” the temperature at which they begin to burn. Unrefined walnut oil, for example, has a smoke point of only 320 degrees Fahrenheit, although refined walnut oil can go to about 400 degrees. Almond oil, by contrast, has a smoke point of 430 degrees. …

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