Feeling peckish between meals? Don't unwrap a sugary protein bar; grab a handful (one ounce) of almonds instead. They're the perfect addition to a bodybuilding meal or they can stand alone as a quick and nutritious snack.
Almonds are chock-full of bodybuilding basics such as protein and the "good" fats that are often overlooked as part of a smart bodybuilding diet. So grab a handful of almonds and keep reading.
Almonds are indeed high in fat, but recent studies have shown that instead of making you fat, they can actually help you maintain your weight. This may be because almonds are a nutrient-dense food. One ounce of almonds has 167 calories, 6 grams (g) of protein to help you pack on mass and 3.1 g of fiber to keep your digestive tract healthy and help sate your hunger. That amount also contains almost 10 g of monounsaturated fat and 3.1 g of polyunsaturated fat--both good fats that your body needs. The same handful of almonds is also an abundant source of the antioxidant powerhouse vitamin E, and it contains iron, magnesium and potassium. Health bonus: Recent studies have shown that eating almonds can lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol.
Make your own trail mix for an on-the-go snack by combining almonds, dried fruit and granola. Sprinkle chopped almonds on a salad, or coat chicken or fish in crushed almonds before cooking.
After eating almonds, you should feel satiated, making you less inclined to grab a bag of Oreo cookies later. This said, you shouldn't be eating almonds in excess because of the calorie count they bring to your diet. Limit your nut consumption to one or two one-ounce servings a day, and make sure you cut down on "bad" fats (such as butter and margarine) at the same time.