Almond Calories Are Now 20% Lower. How Awesome is That !?!

Almonds New Calories New Serving Size

Great news folks! Recent advances in calorie measurements have shown that the actual calories in almonds may be lower than what we think. The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition [Download PDF], concludes that instead of 165 calories per serving, almonds may only “cost you” 130 calories.

In the picture above you can see that this means you can enjoy more almonds for the same calorie budget. Read about the scientific discovery that may have a profound impact on our calorie counting.

What you need to know:

The current method of determining a food’s calorie count was developed over 100 years ago by a scientist named Wilbur Atwater. The calories in a food are determined by the sum of calories from its 3 macronutrients: fat, carbohydrates and protein. Each gram of fat is 9 calories, and each gram of protein or carb is 4 calories. (You can easily check the math on any product with a nutrition label).

Atwater’s method is used for all food types, regardless of their composition and ratios of the 3 macronutrients. But there is something in nuts, and almonds in particular, that behaves differently, according to USDA scientists who conducted the study.

A USDA serving of almonds is 1 ounce. That’s about 23 almonds. And it costs you 165 calories, 130 of which come from fat! It’s good, healthy unsaturated fat, but nonetheless calorie rich. The researchers have hypothesized that something in the fiber structure of the almond causes less of the fat to be absorbed by the digestive tract. Fiber is not digested by our stomach or intestines, and if some fat gets “trapped” in it, then the fat won’t be digested either.

The 23 almonds, according to the new measurement, contain only 130 calories.

If the theory holds, other nuts, and perhaps additional food products, may contain less calories than current USDA data tells us. That could lead to an overhaul of hundreds of thousands of product nutrition labels, recipe calorie counts, and diets.

What to do at the supermarket:

Almonds are a healthy, satisfying, and tasty snack, new calorie count or not. Your best deal is to buy them in bulk, unsalted and unroasted.

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  • Healthy Mom

    That is awesome, but why is your headline written with such poor grammar and spelling!?! Who do you think your audience is?

    • Fooducate

      Because it is a funny twist on

    • DarkStar

      First day on the internet healthy mom? lol!

    • Modal aux

      Calorie is a count noun. Therefore, there are fewer calories than previously thought, not less.

  • iluvfooducation

    Clearly you should have a well developed sense of humor as well as intelligence to read these blogs!!!! I’m addicted to this website. None other compares in my opinion. Thanks for helping me learn such great things!!!

  • TwinToddlersDad

    Interesting study; however let us not promote the idea that “more is better”!

    The study involved human subjects (supposedly “healthy”) who were given diets with 0, 42 and 84 g/d. 42 g would be about 35 almonds and 84 about 70 per day! That is quite an extreme amount for one single type of food.

    I am a big fan of almonds and eat about 8-10 per day after soaking them in water overnight. Not worried about calories coming from almonds!!

    This bring up another issue. I think we have too much of a focus on calories (measured by > 100 year old method). Diversity of foods with a good balance is a better approach.

    P.S. I sympathize with the volunteers who had to collect feces and urine and the techs who ran the tests! There are far better uses of a calorimeter :)

  • Marsha Hallet

    While this is good news, food substitutions and new ways to count calories are only part of the solution to over-eating. What is needed is a way to quantify will power.

  • Pingback: Almonds Have Less Calories Than We Thought, Says Study

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  • Hassan Kajjoun

    Almond is one of the nuts that brings you more calories. It takes 560 kcal per 100g of almonds, which is almost as much as chocolate! However, …………

  • Credit

    You stole this information from a prominent supplement company founder and Dr. regarding the Atwater information. Why not give credit where it’s due?