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Almond Calorie Count might be Inaccurate

Posted Aug 07 2012 5:44am

I like nuts. Peanuts, almonds, pistachios, and pretty much any other kind of nut that there is. I could easily eat thousands of calories in a single sitting which is exactly why I don’t have nuts in my house too often. 

But I’ve had this suspicion that the calorie count in nuts could not be accurate. This occurred to me after having done an experiment in 2005 where I ate nothing but nuts for an entire week . During that week I increased my calorie count but actually lost weight. I opined that nuts don’t get fully digested so you don’t absorb all the calories in them that you could. Now, there is a little science to back up my hunch.

Scientists have published a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which demonstrates that the traditional method for determining a food’s caloric content may not be accurate for almonds. The standard way of figuring a food’s calorie count is using the Atwater factors which looks at the total energy of the food minus the amount undigested in the feces. In this latest study, the scientists found that almonds actually had a calorie count of 128 calories per serving versus 168 calories as predicted by the Atwater factors.

So, the good news is that almonds are healthy and lower in calories than previously thought. And speaking of almonds, I think I’ll go have a couple right now. This is one of the rare moments when there is a container of them in my condo.

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