(Family Features) - The key to staying on track with healthy eating is to make smart choices that keep you satisfied.
Cynthia Sass, sports nutritionist, TV personality and co-author and creator of the diet plan for the New York Times bestseller "Flat Belly Diet!" says that, "the secret is eating MUFAs - monounsaturated fatty acids - like almonds, to curb hunger and give you energy."
In addition to being a great source of MUFAs, almonds provide a host of other key nutrients. One ounce, or 23 almonds, is an excellent source of vitamin E and magnesium, and offers satisfying protein (6g) and fiber (3.5g).**
Almonds can be added to sweet and savory dishes and are great for snacking, which make them very versatile MUFAs. For example, Sass recommends this Heart-y Almond Snack Mix as a nutritionally enhanced take on the sweet party mix often referred to as puppy chow. "By cutting butter and sugar in the recipe and adding fiber and antioxidants," she says, "this version doesn't have to be reserved just for parties. Portion out a few servings in plastic bags at the beginning of the week for a satisfying grab and go snack!"
The Almond Board of California Unveils Winning Recipe from National Consumer Contest
Hungry sports fans from across the country have cast their vote for the ultimate almond snack from the four finalist recipes created by notable chefs. The Almond Board of California is pleased to announce the "Ultimate Snack-Off Recipe Contest" winning recipe is Chef Cory Barrett's "Beer and Bacon Glazed All-Mans." Chef Barrett - Pastry Chef at Michael Symon Restaurants in Cleveland, Ohio - has created a snack masterpiece: two kinds of crunchy almonds enrobed in a salty-sweet glaze flecked with savory bacon and cracked pepper. With more than 3,300 votes, his recipe deserves a place in the snack hall-of-fame. Go to www.AlmondsAreIn.com and download the final four recipes for an unbeatable game day spread.
**Good news about fat. U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend that the majority of your fat intake be unsaturated. One serving of almonds (28g) has 13g of unsaturated fat and only 1g of saturated fat.