Saturday, August 11, 2012

Calorie Labels Could Be All Wrong

Sarah Kliff at Ezra’s blog. ... 

The new health-care law will soon require chain restaurants to post the caloric content of standard menu items. There’s just one problem: The methodology for determining caloric content, developed about a century ago, may not be all that accurate. That is what scientists are learning as they try to answer what seems like a pretty simple question: How many calories does an almond have?

Answer: 20% fewer than what is on the label. 

"What they found, as described by study author David Bear: “When people are consuming nuts, the amount of fat in the feces goes up. And that suggests that we’re not absorbing all the fat or calories that’s in the nut.”

In other words, there’s might be a whole lot of fat in almonds that shows up in a bomb calorimeter, but a good amount of it never gets absorbed by the body. As a result, the researchers concluded that almonds actually have 20 percent fewer calories than we currently think."