Almonds healthier than earlier believed, say experts

Mumbai: Almonds contain 20 percent lower calories than originally believed, claims a study released here on Wednesday.

The study, published by American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN), provides a new understanding of the calorie count in almonds which can help manage food cravings and aid in weight management.

While the composition of almonds is unchanged, researchers have used a new technique to measure calories in the dry fruit that determines the number of calories actually digested and absorbed.

They found that the participants absorbed just 129 calories from a single 28 gm serving of almonds, compared to the previous 160 calories estimate, said a statement from Almond Board of California (ABC).

Another study found that participants who consumed 56 gm whole almonds daily did not report any extra calorie intake or increased body weight besides reducing hunger.

The European Journal of Nutrition said a similar mid-morning snack of almonds of around 58 gm helped control appetite and led to reduced calorie intake during the entire day.

Despite eating around 170-260 calories from almonds as a morning snack, there were no significant differences in total daily energy intake, suggesting the participants naturally compensated for the additional calories from the almonds.

Other scientific evidences say eating 1.5 servings daily of most nuts like almonds as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce risk of heart diseases as a handful of almonds contain 13 gm unsatured fat, one gm of saturated fat and no cholesterol.

Delhi-based nutritionist Ritika Samaddar says a simple snack of almonds can play an important role in appetite management, making them a perfect, weight-wise snack.

“While many commonly consumed snacks and festive treats provide empty calories, almonds make for a nutritious snack which is also a rich source of vitamin E, fiber, protein, riboflavin and many other important nutrients”, Samaddar said.

Founded in 1950 in Modesto, California, the ABC promotes almonds through its research-based approach to marketing, farming and production on behalf of its more than 6,800 almond growers and processors in that state.