Almonds have fewer calories than thought

July 12, 2012 at 1:21 AM

WASHINGTON, July 12 (UPI) -- Whole almonds provide about 20 percent fewer calories than originally thought, scientists from the U. S. Department of Agriculture said.

David Baer and his research team from the USDA Agricultural Research Service used a new measurement method that made it possible to determine the number of calories from almonds that were absorbed during digestion.

The study, scheduled to be published in the August issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, showed a 28-gram serving of almonds -- about 23 almonds -- has 129 calories versus the 160 calories currently listed on food package labels.

"When an 84-gram serving of almonds was incorporated into the diet daily, the energy digestibility of the diet as a whole decreased by 5 percent," the study found. "Therefore, for individuals with energy intake between 2,000 and 3,000 calories a day the incorporation of 84 grams of almonds into the diet daily in exchange for the same number of calories from other food would result in a reduction of available calories and with a weight-reduction diet, this deficit could result in more than 1 pound of weight loss per month."

The study's results support previous research indicating the fat in almonds is not completely absorbed during digestion due to almonds' natural cellular structure, which encapsulates the fat, impeding its absorption, Baer said.

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