Friday, August 7, 2009

Are Almonds a Good Snack?

I have started to snack on almonds every afternoon--I have 29 of them--and find they tide me over well until dinner time. Is it true they are a "good fat" or are they still fattening anyway?
Lisa M.

Dear Lisa,

According to the Almond Board, a serving of almonds is one ounce, or about 23 almonds. This serving size provides 160 calories and 13 grams of fat (mostly mono-unsaturated), plus 3.5 grams of fiber, and 75 mg calcium.
Other nuts are also good sources of fiber (pistachios), magnesium (brazil nuts), folate (hazelnuts), and iron (cashews).

The key to having a good diet is balancing what you eat all day long--not one specific food. Enjoy the almonds if you like them, and think of your diet as what you eat throughout the day instead of what any one food can do for you. There are a number of foods that can add great nutrients to your diet without adding too many calories. Almost any food can fit into a well-balanced diet.

As long as you are not having problems digesting fat or fiber, and this new snack does not result in a weight gain over time, it's fine. Even better, if you replaced a 250 calorie candy bar and a 160 calorie can of soda with this new snack, you've done a brilliant job of cutting calories and adding nutrition with just one change!

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