Last year the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) reported that pistachios contain 6% fewer calories than previously reported.

Recently, the ARS lab recalculated the calorie count for a one-ounce serving of whole almonds and found the previous count was off by + 24%.  An ounce of whole almonds holds only 129 calories.

And this do-over may have implications for other nuts, whole grains and plant foods as well.

The rigid cell membranes in almonds may lock in some fats and prevent them from being digested.

Earlier calculations had been based on the “atwater general factor system,” a system developed in the late 1800s and early 1900s that assigned caloric values per gram of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and alcohol found in foods.

But if some fats in whole almonds aren’t digested, than the previously calculated 168-170 calories per ounce is too high.  By 24%.

Ground almonds, the ones we love in Christmas cookies, though, are probably more easily digested and would have a higher calorie count.

Source:  Tufts University Health & Nutrition Update, September 2012   Study published in Journal of Clinical Nutrition



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