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When a calorie is not a calorie - tracking nut consumption in Cron etc


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I had missed this affirmation of what the estimable  Dr. Greger started tackling in an earlier video series on the subject of nuts.


Walnuts Consumed by Healthy Adults Provide Less Available Energy than Predicted by the Atwater Factors

Results: One 28-g serving of walnuts contained 146 kcal (5.22 kcal/g), 39 kcal/serving less than the calculated value of 185 kcal/serving (6.61 kcal/g). The ME of the walnuts was 21% less than that predicted by the Atwater factors (P < 0.0001).


So now we have both almonds and walnuts confirmed to be -20% of estimated calories. Pistachios less so, but -5% if I recall.


So for at least walnuts and almonds, which are mainstay nuts for me, I am thinking to modify Cronometer with a custom nut entry to account for the reduced calories to ensure greater accuracy in daily tracking. Would welcome opinions for/against this! I don't know if we can assume the -5% for pistachios would be a safe lower bound to apply to all nuts, or if any folks on the forum know why there would be such a discrepancy...

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The paradox of the anti-obesogenic effect of nuts observed in many individuals as opposed to their high obstensible caloric content is well known in the literature.


I do not correct for that, even though because I should correct for other factors which probably influence nutrients digestibility such as hi fiber content.


One way to proceed, the one suggested by you is sensible, especially when those nuts make up a consistent part of the regimen.


Another way to proceed, is just to consider the fatc that your BMR is higher than that predicted by the theoretical formulas adopted in chronometer. Mine sure is.

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I'd be curious to know if the long-time CR practitioners of this forum do anything to correct for the atwater factors.

My hunch (don't know if the subject has been examined by the literature) is that a food where fiber is predominant will have a lower atwater factor, and fiber, if abundant,  may even lower the factors of the foods ingested in the same meal. Current practice is to use the same conversion factors for all foods, even complex carbs and simple carbs where the difference is significant.


The situation is similar to that happening with the nitrogen-to-protein conversion factors. Traditionally a single factor has been used (the 6.25 Jones' factor), whereas every proteic food has its own conversion factor, which has recently been reviewed and is lower on the average. The protein from vegetables and mushrooms seems to have a pretty low conversion factor.


The bottom point of the above is that probably we overestimate the calories (based on the Atwater factors) and overestimate the protein (especially so those from vegetables and mushrooms)

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