Walnuts Get A Calorie Cut

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If you enjoy nuts but have been concerned about calories, you can allow yourself a few more walnuts without feeling guilty – they don’t contain as many calories as we once believed. Researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have found that a 1-ounce serving of the nuts actually provides 39 fewer calories than listed on the USDA Nutrient Database. That’s a 21 percent reduction. The old count was based on a 19th century calculation that’s been found wanting. Determining the true count involved recruiting 18 healthy adults randomly assigned to a 3-week controlled diet without walnuts, and then another 3-week controlled diet that included 1.5 servings of the nuts. Using a method called bomb calorimetry to calculate the number of calories actually metabolized, the researchers concluded that we can now count fewer calories (146 instead of 185) when we eat an ounce of walnuts. A 2012 study by the same USDA team suggested that almonds have 32 percent fewer calories than earlier estimates. With the new method an ounce of almonds yields 129 calories, not 170.