We're always in a hurry. Whether it's rushing to catch a plane or a meeting, eating right when time is short is a big challenge. So what can you take with you anywhere that doesn't melt or generally spoil, doesn't take up space, is good for you and most important, satisfying? We have one great suggestion: a small bag of raw, unsalted almonds.
Raw, unsalted almonds are both delicious and nutritious, high in fiber, protein and healthy fats. A 1.25 oz bag of almonds is only 200 calories, and offers:
17 grams of total fat
1.5 grams of saturated fat
0 grams of trans fat
4 grams of polyunsaturated fat (healthy fats)
11 grams of monounsaturated fat (healthy fats)
8 grams of carbohydrates
4 grams of fiber
1 gram of sugar
7 grams of protein
But wait! There's more! Almonds are rich in minerals, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and potassium, which help reduce bad cholesterol while preserving healthy cholesterol, preventing heart attacks and hypertension. In addition, almonds are rich in antioxidant flavonoids, helping fight inflammation that leads to cardiovascular disease and other chronic illnesses, and may prevent some types of cancer by by removing carcinogenic substances from your body.
And did we mention that the healthy monounsaturated fats in a handful of almonds might help you lose weight? Recent studies conclude that an almond-enriched, low calorie diet can help you shed pounds more effectively than a low calorie diet high in complex carbohydrates.
Another cool thing about almonds is that they can help keep your motor running on stressful, busy days when you need energy. Eating almonds can reduce the glycemic index of a meal and lessens the rise in blood sugar after eating. In short, almonds can help prevent that dreaded post-lunch sleepy feeling, and help keep you humming along all day. When you're traveling, or having to sit through a day of meetings, a bag of almonds can be a life saver.
We buy large bags of almonds at our local Costco or if there's one near you, Trader Joe's markets. The ingenious folks at Trader Joe's even sell what they call Just a Handful of Raw Almonds, which contains 13 small (1.25 oz) sealed bags of prepackaged almonds in a larger bag. They're perfect for travelers and people on the go who need a handy snack wherever they are. Or, you can package 1-2 oz. Ziploc® bags of almonds on your own. For travelers, that's as good as it gets.
It's no wonder why Whole Foods ranks almonds high on their list of the world's healthiest foods.
So the next time you travel, instead of reaching for a fattening, high calorie candy bar or a bag of potato chips, consider bringing a few bags of natural unsalted almonds instead. They're worlds better for you, wonderfully delicious and crunchy. Plus, they'll satisfy your hunger, energize and relax you, and help your waistline all at the same time. Keep some in your bag, your briefcase, even your car. Because you never know when Mr. Hunger will show up, and when he does, you'll be ready.
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