In honor of National Almond Day on February 16, California Almonds and registered dietitian and nutritionist Keri Gans are offering "Snack Swaps" every day during February to inspire people to revamp their snack game. Check out California Almonds' Facebook, Twitter and Instagram every day for nutritious tips, fun tricks and crave-able swaps to makeover any snacking routine, plus a chance to win one of 28 "Snack Swap" prize packages.
Keri Gans, author of "The Small Change Diet," knows a thing or two about minor diet tweaks that make a major difference: "The right snack has the power to help ward off bad cravings in between meals and can make-or-break a healthy diet," says Gans. "Almonds have all the components that are necessary for a satisfying snack that keeps you powered until the next meal."
If that isn't reason enough to swap out less-nutritious snacks for a handful of almonds, a recent study among 32 healthy, normal weight, Caucasian women suggests that a mid-morning snack of almonds helped control appetite and resulted in reduced calorie intake during the rest of the day1. The study looked at the one-day effects of eating 1 ounce and 1.5 ounces of almonds compared to no morning snack on ratings of appetite and fullness and overall calorie intake at lunch and dinner. The women in the study felt the least hungry and ate significantly fewer calories at lunch and dinner when consuming the 1.5 ounce almond snack. What's more, despite eating approximately 170 or 260 calories (1-1.5 ounces) from almonds, there were no differences in total daily calorie intake, indicating that they naturally compensated for the additional calories consumed earlier in the day. Although this study is short-term and did not account for habitual almond intake, control for overall macronutrient intake or compare to another snack, it suggests that a serving of almonds can be a smart snack option.
Since most people already know that a handful of almonds make a nutritious snack option, California Almonds and Gans developed a month of "Snack Swaps" - new ways to incorporate almonds into a wholesome and satisfying snacking routine.