Some highly respected sources including Medscape have resurfaced the question ‘are we overestimating the calorie content of nuts’? And the answer it seems is yes!
There are a number of reasons why this may be, including the failure of the Atwater Figure accounting for the calorie content of fibre (a method of estimating the calorie content of food via the macronutrient content i.e. protein, carbs and fat). As well as this it is thought that we do not digest and absorb all of the calories from nuts because mastication (chewing) doesn’t break down all of the cell walls in the nut, meaning we don’t digest the entire nut (just take a peak in the loo the day after a nut eating session…if you fancy).
Dr Ramsey asserts that we have overestimated the calorie content of nuts, consequently we should aim to take 25% off the calorie value given to nuts. However, this may mean that smooth nut butter is probably going to deliver far more calories than nuts alone, so be aware of that. The positives outweigh the negatives though, nuts are a great source of monounsaturated fats, they keep us feeling full, as well as improving our absorption of fat- soluble vitamins. Plus you get fibre and key minerals such as manganese and selenium which are key to cell integrity and immune function.