I’ve written in previous blogs, that all calories aren’t created the same. 250 calories of ice cream is not the same as 250 calories of high-quality protein and veggies. They just have different nutritional characteristics.
But, it’s a bit more complex than that. In a recent study published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, showed that almonds are great for you. This study looked at how calories from almonds were absorbed through the digestive system.
Common wisdom is that a calorie is a calorie—for example, 500 calories worth of vegetables is the same as 500 calories worth of ice cream, they just have very different nutrient profiles. But a new study is challenging that assumption when it comes to almonds.
Two study groups involved individuals with high blood pressure who ate nuts for seven consecutive days, and the researchers tracked how many calories were absorbed. A third group used muffins that matched the almonds in terms of fiber, protein and fat content.
The researchers found that after digestion about 20% of the calories related to fat in the almonds were not absorbed in the digestive tract. This study showed that calories associated with the almonds didn’t match up with how many calories actually got absorbed into the body. It was surprising that study participants didn’t gain weight despite taking in more fat and calories from almonds. The same wasn’t found with the third group that had muffins.
In another similar study, the researcher found that the absorbability of calories in nuts will help you feel full, but will not lead to weight gain. He said, “a calories labeled may not be a calorie absorbed….”
Therefore, when you reach for the nuts, remember all those calories will help to make you feel full, but don’t necessarily mean you will gain weight.
Even if you have high blood pressure, you may want to reconsider eating those nuts – you may have read about concerns with fat content and weight gain. Almost have been shown to lower cholesterol, in addition to the vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. And again, remember not all of those calories will be absorbed.
You may want to read my previous blogs on what nuts are good for you, and what they contain. DM me with any questions you may have.