It’s long been said that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but can the same claim be made about President Obama's snack of choice? The most powerful man in the free world, who also happens to be impressively fit, has a very specific snack that he likes to munch on every single day—and it's not apples.
In a recent New York Times story, journalist Michael D. Sheer referred to an interview he had had with President Obama’s personal chef, Sam Kass. The president’s favorite snack, Kass told the Times, was seven almonds. “Michelle and I would always joke: not six, not eight,” Mr. Kass said. “Always seven almonds.”
But Obama said in an interview that he was JUST KIDDING. It’s actually not true but the seven-nuts thing: He does eat almonds regularly, but he’s not quite that compulsive about the very specific serving size.
"All my friends were calling me up and saying this seems a little anal, this is a little weird, and I had to explain to them, no, this was a joke,'' Obama told "Today." So, when his time in office is done, will Obama possibly eat as much as 10 almonds as a time? "Absolutely,'' he responded in the interview. "But you know, almonds are a good snack, though. I strongly recommend them."
Should we take this as our cue to start eating seven almonds (or, six or 10!) every day? Nuts are "the perfect complement to any meal or snack,” Dr. Laura Cipullo, founder of Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition in NYC, tells The Feast. The registered dietician and certified diabetes educator adds that “Everyone knows almonds are a favorite fat because of their high ration of the heart-healthy fats known as monounsaturated fatty acids." But, she notes, the benefits aren't limited to almonds. "Other nuts like pistachios and peanuts join almonds. Our clients love pistachios because they take longer to eat and therefore are easier to portion."
The daily nut habit can also keep you fit. "A handful of almonds per day is exceptional for overall health energy and weigh management,” agrees certified nutrition specialist, clinical nutritionist, and strength and conditioning specialist Dr. Robert G. Silverman, who has a private practice in White Plains, New York.
If you're eating almonds, aim for ones that are natural and raw, or else steam them—but avoid the roasted kind in order to get the maximum nutritional value. “Raw is always better than roasted," says Silverman, adding that almonds "are chock-full of nutrients including vitamin E, calcium and potassium, and they are especially high in magnesium. They are low in sugar and only contain 160 calories per serving," he adds. The best part? They'll fill you up fast. "One of their best attributes is their ability to provide quick satiety; in fact they can regulate blood sugar while reducing cravings," he adds.
So, how about those seven almonds? What's the perfect number?
"You can eat up to 23 almonds a day, ideally," says Silverman. If a couple dozen almonds sounds like your idea of a perfect snack, indulge away—and ditch the guilt.
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