This Humble Nut Is The One Snack You Need To EAT Regularly

If there is one snack to always keep on hand, you might want to make it a bag of almonds. The humble nut is rich in protein, healthy monounsaturated fats, and fiber—a winning combo that can improve your health and aid in weight loss, according to six new studies presented at the American Society of Nutrition annual meeting.

The Cliff’s Notes version of the findings: daily almond eaters tend to have more nutrient-rich diets, better appetite and blood sugar control that fights weight gain, and reduced abdominal fat and waist circumference compared to people who chow down a carb-heavy snacks of equal calories.

The magic number? About 1.5 ounces of nuts—that’s 250 calories, or if you’re counting, 34 almonds. That’ll also give you 9 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. And stick with almonds or almond butter, rather than almond milk, which contains little protein and fiber.

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Of course you can stash them in your car and eat on the run—they’re not messy and can sit for days without going stale—but snacking on plain almonds honestly gets boring.

Here are a few ideas that make this power nut more versatile in your diet:

Crust: Place almonds in a plastic bag and vigorously hammer into a fine powder. (You can also do this with a food processor.) Mix in some plain breadcrumbs and use the mixture as a coating on fish or chicken, recommends Diane Henderiks, RD, and personal chef.

Sandwich: Top a slice of whole wheat bread with almond butter and sliced strawberries—fold in half into a sandwich, suggests Jenna Braddock, RD. Throw into your bag for a post-gym power lunch.

Roast: For a quick snack, toss almonds with olive oil, cumin, oregano, chili powder, and a pinch of salt. Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast in a 325-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, says Henderiks.

Stir-fry: Sub almond butter in for any stir-fry sauce recipe calling for peanut butter, suggests Braddock. Or create your own by adding almond butter, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, and ginger. Serve with rice and a heap of vegetables.

Cover: For an antioxidant-packed dessert, Henderiks suggests chocolate-covered almonds. Melt 70% dark chocolate in a large bowl in the microwave. Toss in almonds and stir. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cool.

Drink: In a blender, combine almond milk, almond butter, chocolate protein powder, and a cup of ice for an afternoon snack that will carry you to dinner, says Braddock.

By Jessica Girdwain From Men's Health
Image From Thinkstock  

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