No, I do not think almonds are sent from the pits of hell to wreak havoc on the world. I’m quite fond of an almond or two.
This post is focusing on the energy value of the different types of almonds (they are labelled differently) I picked up.
‘To control your weight you must manage energy balance’. – Me. I’m telling you this.
If you take in more calories than you expend you have surplus energy in the system (you), this must get stored, and it gets stored as fat (there’s lots of other stuff that comes into play, but this is the biggest factor). If you’re currently trying to manage your weight – this should interest you.
If you’ve come looking to slay the almond bashing dragon that is me…easy, I come in peace.
I’ll quickly get to the point. People snack on stuff they think is ‘healthy’, either because they heard it is, or because of clever marketing.
There are dozens of factors that come into play when it comes to food and managing weight, but the calorie content of food (or energy value) is a REALLY BIG DEAL.
You can put on weight eating too much of anything. Once more energy goes in than is expended over a sustained period, you gain weight.
You need to be aware of the energy value of food. There’s nothing wrong with almonds, nothing at all. I’m not saying they are bad for you, and I’m definitely not saying don’t eat them.
All I’m saying is they are quite calorie dense, and I see a lot of clients who don’t realise this about a multitude of foods.
You need to find something to snack on during lunch in work. You buy some nuts, they are convenient and a friend told you ‘they are good for you, I read it in (insert shite magazine)’.
Here’s a visual on the calorie content and cost (€) of some roasted salted peanuts. I’ve put the price in there too, because not only can you be slightly mislead on the apparent ‘healthiness’ of a food, but you can also be mislead on price too.
154 calories for a handful of nuts (25 grams). €1.85 for a 275 gram bag
If you know anything about food volume this is not great at all. A small serving/a lot of calories. But peanuts are cheap and obviously not as healthy as, let’s say almonds.
I’ll pick up some almonds instead. The calorie amount is actually almost identical per 25 grams, yet it costs more for a smaller bag – 100 grams.
Maybe it’s because they are roasted and salted, let’s look at a ‘healthier’ option.
Here’s some plain almonds, not salted or roasted. The calorie amount is slightly less, but it’s still shows that these are energy dense food for the size of the portion. €3.00 for a 200 gram bag.
Okay, let’s have a look at some organic almonds. Organic is generally marketed as ‘healthier’, or ‘earth friendly’, so maybe they stack up well against all of these options.
The calories are the same again, but you pay 50% more for a 200 gram bag! The energy value per 25 gram serving size of all the other options is almost identical to that of this organic option.
If you look at the labelling on the back of both the Tesco Almonds and the Tesco Organic Almonds you’ll see it’s identical as far as energy/protein/carb/fat content goes.
The same energy value, the same nutrient value.
So there’s no difference there apart from a pretty steep increase in price! Maybe nut butter will solve this problem, it’s really ‘healthy’ right?
It’s actually got more calories than the nuts, and it costs more than the organic almonds for a SMALLER weighted size – 200 grams versus 170 grams.
I like almonds. I like almond butter.
Dear Tesco and Meridian, don’t send your lawyers to kick my door in because you think I’m telling people to stop buying your products. I am not.
The take home point here is that if you’re looking to manage your weight, you need to be clued in to what you’re putting into your body, ESPECIALLY the energy value.
Read labels, ask yourself ‘just because this is labelled as healthy, is it ACTUALLY any better than a similar product?’.
Companies like making money, remember that.
Weight loss isn’t just as simple as calories in versus calories out (although that is most of the battle). There are lots of different factors that need to be managed when approaching weight maintenance, but this should be viewed as step one.
The best place to learn about it all is at my next nutrition talk. Drop me a message if you want to sign up and let’s smash some weight loss goals!