The Skinny on Weight Management
Just one ounce of almonds a day can offer a lot to your clients who are trying to shed a few pounds. With that light, buttery flavor and satisfying crunch, it almost feels like a bonus that almonds effectively stave off hunger and offer that “full” feeling we all want from a snack—and all for just 160 calories (maybe even less). Did we also mention they’re 100% cholesterol free?
- Almonds provide 4 grams of filling fiber, “good” monounsaturated fats and 6 grams of protein that provide both energy and lasting satisfaction.1
- Almonds are considered a good fit with many popular weight-loss plans because they provide stellar satiety and fewer calories for more nutrients.
- A 2012 study, Discrepancy between the Atwater factor predicted and empirically measured energy values of almonds in human diets, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a one-ounce serving of almonds (about 23 nuts) has just 129 calories as opposed to the 160 currently listed on Nutrition Facts panels. That’s a 20% decrease. The study takes into account the digestibility of whole almonds, and further research is needed to better understand the results of the study and how this technique for calculating calories could potentially affect the calorie count of other foods.*
Advise your clients on different ways to fit almonds into their day. Perfect for snacking, on-the-go crunching or as an ingredient in recipes, almonds may just be the key that could tip the scales in their favor.
1. Good news about good fat: U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend that the majority of your fat intake be unsaturated. One serving of almonds (28g) has 13g of unsaturated fat and only 1g of saturated fat.
*The Study: A study entitled, “Discrepancy between the Atwater factor predicted and empirically measured energy values of almonds in human diets” was conducted to determine the energy value of almonds in the human diet and to compare the measured energy value with the value calculated from Atwater factors, the primary method used to determine the energy content of foods. To calculate the measured energy value of almonds, eighteen healthy adults consumed one of three diets for 18 days each. The three treatments were administered to subjects in a crossover design where the diets contained one of three almond doses: 0, 42, or 84 grams per day. During the final nine days of each treatment, volunteers collected all urine and feces, and samples of diets, urine, and feces were analyzed for macronutrient and energy contents. From this, the “measured” (metabolizable) energy content of the almonds was determined.
Results: The energy content of almonds in the human diet was measured at 129 kilocalories per 28-gram (or one-ounce) serving (4.6 ± 0.8 kcal/g). This is significantly less than the calculated energy content of 168–170 kcal per serving (6.0–6.1 kcal/g) for the almonds used in this study as determined by the Atwater factors. When applied to almonds, the Atwater factors resulted in a calculated value that was 20% greater than the measured energy value.
Abstract: This study provides evidence that almonds provide approximately 20% fewer metabolizable calories than originally thought. The Atwater factors, when applied to certain foods, may result in overestimation of their measured metabolizable energy content. Traditional methods overstated the calories from almonds because they do not account for the fat that is not fully absorbed. This is thought to be due, in part, to the fiber content and/or the rigidity of almond cell walls.