Today is good news Tuesday. A delicious, versatile and healthy food that some have avoided because of fat/calorie concerns has lost some weight. The calorie count in almonds is 20 percent less than what is printed on the label.
It might sound hard to believe but calories are determined by a method that is over 100 years old. Researchers at the USDA, building on more recent research that takes into account the food source of the calories, studied 18 healthy adults for data on how many almond calories are absorbed by the body. The research methods include a study of body excretions (see the August issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition).
The authors suggest that some of the fat in almonds is excreted with the almond fibers. One ounce of almonds contains 3.5 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein. The authors also hypothesize that other nuts might also be lower in calories than has been believed.
Sprinkling almonds into recipes does more than add great taste. Almonds are high in vitamin E, magnesium and healthy monounsaturated fat. Vitamin E is an antioxidant and magnesium assists with the relaxation of blood vessels, which is a good thing. Almonds are a low glycemic index food and, when eaten at breakfast, aid in stabilizing blood glucose levels. This provides the added benefit of feeling full until lunch. Almonds, cinnamon and raisins sprinkled on oatmeal would be a perfect breakfast.
Using the new data,one ounce of almonds, 23 nuts, is 130 calories. Fill a 3-by-3 Post-It note with almonds and you’ve got a 1-ounce serving. Eat them one at a time, enjoying the crunch and flavor, for a mindful eating experience.
For recipes and tips, go to Almondboard.com
Sheah Rarback is a registered dietitian on the faculty of the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine.