Health

Whole almonds have less calories than we thought!

Great news for nut lovers – new research states that whole almonds provide about 20 percent fewer calories than originally thought. At first glance, the study results beg the question – how can a food’s calorie count suddenly change when the composition of the food itself hasn’t?

Almonds

Roberto Caruso

Great news for nut lovers – new research states that whole almonds provide about 20 percent fewer calories than originally thought. At first glance, the study results beg the question – how can a food’s calorie count suddenly change when the composition of the food itself hasn’t?

According to the study, released in last month’s issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, USDA researcher David Baer and his team used a new method of measuring the calories in almonds to determine how much is actually absorbed during digestion.

Eighteen healthy adults were divided into three groups, each of whom consumed whole almonds in different doses for 18 days: zero, 42 or 84-grams per day. Their excrements were analyzed for macronutrient and energy content during the final nine days of treatment. Results show that some fat in whole almonds may be ‘trapped’ within the nuts’ insoluble fibre structure, and therefore not absorbed by the body during digestion. Essentially the data indicates a 28-gram serving of whole almonds (about 23 almonds) has 129 calories versus the 160 calories currently listed on nutritional facts labels.

Nuts may have gotten a bad rap over the years, but all that’s about to change. This breakthrough could uncover good news for other whole nuts and foods as well.

Try one of these five delicious whole almond recipes to save on calories:

Spiced almonds
Chicken and almond stir fry
Savoury roasted chili almonds
Toasted almonds with mango chicken
Low-cal Thai salad

Almonds are low in saturated and trans fats which may reduce the risk of heart disease. They’re also nutrient-rich: per 30 gram serving, almonds contain more protein, dietary fibre, calcium, vitamin E, riboflavin, and niacin than any other tree nut.

For more information on almonds, visit the Almond Board of California.