In the cornucopia of foods which make up a healthy and balanced diet, tree nuts can be a new perfect answer for your snacking needs. Complete with protein, fats, and carbs offset by dietary fiber, you can’t ask for a more portable and easy to store snack. Almonds are even full of potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
How can something so right go so wrong?
The way most things in life can: quantity and ignorance. Maybe someone else prepared your food, maybe some nice almond flour pancakes for breakfast or you’re mindlessly nibbling on a nut bowl at a restaurant or party. You don’t think about how much you’re eating.
A serving of almonds is a ¼ cup.
What does that mean? You just take a bunch of almonds and put them in a measuring cup that says one and four, right? Well, you can. That’ll look like this:
How much does that weigh? 42 grams.
But the package says the serving should only weigh 30 grams! If you eat that ¼ cup, you’re eating an extra 108 calories you weren’t even thinking of!
This is why, if you’re portioning your food, you’ll do better to actually use a scale and weigh your measurements instead. As it turns out, there are only about 23-25 individual almonds in that 30g serving.
Which brings me to almonds as a grain substitution in baking. Many almond flour pancake recipes call for two or more cups of almond flour. That’s at least half a pound of almonds! If you split a batch of those pancakes with someone, you could be eating 100 almonds or more than three servings! That’s about 650 calories for just the almonds in the pancakes. A McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese on a bun has a couple more grams of protein, half the fat, 120 fewer calories, but more than twice the carbs. I’m not suggesting you eat the fast food burger, though. I’m suggesting you be aware of not only what you’re eating, but how much!