Calories in almonds

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I take a look at the calories in almonds

“nuts are a food group for which evidence suggests that the Atwater factors maybe poorly predictive” (Novotny et al. 2012).

What this means? the calories in almonds, roughly 700 kcals per 100g, or 180 kcals per 28g serving, have been overestimated, and the actual energy content absorbed by the body is far less (in the region of 460 calories).

How? Almonds, and probably other types of nuts, have low digestibility, meaning that we do not fully absorb ‘all’ the almonds nutrition (carbohydrate, fat and protein) and energy content from the nuts we eat; more ‘stuff’ is excreted. This applies to ‘whole’ nuts. It is likely, however, that we absorb slightly more of the nuts’ energy content if we consume them in the form of (nut) butter, or (nut) oil.almonds

Why this is important? Nuts are a source of energy, protein and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). Due to the suspected calories in almonds, they’re quite energy-dense (there’s a lot of calories in 100g), people may avoid their consumption in an attempt to prevent weight gain. However, in light of the finding above, it appears our bodies do not absorb all the calories in almonds like previously thought. In addition, studies investigating the consumption of nuts find that their satiating (filling) nature offsets potential excess calorie consumption, so we actually end up eating less, or the same, caloric intake when consuming nuts than we would do without them. Almonds benefits are more than just their ability to help us feel full; they’re a great source of a wide range of vitamins and minerals that we need to consume daily.

Take home: due to their low digestibility, the previously reported nutritional and caloric information regarding almonds has significantly overstated the amount of energy our bodies actually absorb. Consuming them as part of a weight reduction or weight maintenance lifestyle is recommended. The benefits of almonds go beyond being able to make us feel full, as they’re an excellent source of many vitamins, minerals and essential fats and proteins.