Almonds are classified as a nut but in actuality, they are the seed of the fruit of the almond tree. Botanically, the almond tree is closely related to the peach and apricot trees. According to the Almond Board of California, almonds are the No. 1 U.S. export in the category of specialty crops and specifically the top agricultural export of out California. Almonds come in many varieties and flavors, which can alter the nutrition information per serving. One serving of unsalted and dry roasted almonds equates to 1 oz., or about 25 small nuts, and contains 170 calories.
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There is slightly less than 15 g of total fat in one serving of almonds. Total fat is comprised of saturated fat, trans fat, and unsaturated fat. Within unsaturated fat, there is polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated. Whether a fat is saturated or unsaturated refers to the number of hydrogen atoms attached to the carbon atoms within the fatty acid chain. Saturated fats are those that can increase the risk of heart disease, whereas unsaturated fats may decrease the risk. Almonds have about 1 g of saturated fat, less than 0.1 g of trans fat, about 9 g of monounsaturated fat, and about 4 g of polyunsaturated fat.
Carbohydrates play a less significant role than fat in almonds. One serving has about 6 g of carbohydrates, with only 1.5 g of this coming from natural sugars. Natural sugar is present in the plant and not added during processing or packaging.
Almonds are a good source of fiber in the diet. Just one serving has 3 g -- about 12 percent of the 25 g minimum recommended amount of fiber per day. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that healthy adults need 25 to 35 g of fiber each day. Adding a small handful of almonds to your salad or snack is an easy way to get your fiber for the day.
As mentioned previously, almonds are available in many varieties. Salted almonds will have more sodium than unsalted almonds. Honey roasted almonds will have two or three more grams of carbohydrates due to the added sugar in flavoring process. Oil roasted almonds will have an additional 1 to 2 g of fat, depending on the actual process. It is best to consume the least processed variety of almonds to ensure that you will get the most nutrients out of your food without any added calories from fat and sugar.