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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Almonds are lower in calories than we thought!

How’s that for some good news?

As a vegan, I often depend on whole, natural nuts as a source of protein. But, knowing they are also a source of fat and calories, I hesitate to eat too many. So, you can imagine how thrilled I was to read the September issue of California Farmer Magazine with the headline, “Almonds: 20% fewer calories than thought.”

As it turns out, the way calories have been calculated is a 100 year-old process, known as the Atwater general factor system. You are probably familiar with the concept that protein, fat and carbohydrates are assigned a caloric value.

Recently a team from the USDA's Agricultural Research Service, led by Dr. David Baer, used a new method of measuring calories in almonds to determine the number of calories actually absorbed during digestion. You can read here or here for more information.

I learned a few other interesting bits of information about almonds in recent weeks. First of all, it is better to eat them raw, as they are more easily digestible. My trainer and other vegans recommend soaking them overnight in water, to soften them, which makes them even more digestible.

A few weeks ago, my friend Liz, a reflexologist who studied under Atom Bergstrom, an expert for Longevity Guru, told me that according to Bergstrom, people should eat ONE raw almond each morning for every 10 pounds you WANT to weigh. So if you want to weigh 150 lbs., you should eat 15 raw, soaked almonds each morning. I’m not sure if this is based on scientific fact – but it’s up to you to do more research.

One thing is for sure: almonds are an easy and satisfying snack. I always carry them on my travels!

Enjoy, 

Karen

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