President Obama’s late-night snack

Seven of them. Not six, not eight.


Nearly every night that he’s in the White House, President Obama has dinner with his family and then retreats to a private office down the hall from his bedroom on the second floor.

There he spends four or five hours largely by himself, working on speeches, reviewing briefing papers, and reading ten letters from Americans selected each day by his staff. He may also watch sports on television, read a novel, or play a scrabble-type game on his tablet, before turning in for the night at 1 am or 2 am, according to the New York Times.

What he drinks and eats.

Mr. Obama does not rely on caffeine to stay awake. In fact, he rarely drinks coffee or tea and is more likely to have a bottle of water than a soda, says the Times.

His only snack during these nights alone: seven lightly-salted almonds!

The President doesn’t want six almonds and he doesn’t want eight almonds. Only seven, according a former aide.

Seven lightly-salted almonds have about 55 calories, 2 grams of protein, and only about 13 mg of sodium.

So it’s a healthy – though pretty modest – snack.

Protection against heart disease?

Almonds and walnuts are the best studied nuts for lowering your risk of heart disease, but most nuts and seeds should help lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.

That’s largely because they have considerably more LDL-lowering polyunsaturated fats than LDL-raising saturated fats, although other constituents, like plant sterols, may also help lower LDL.

So that’s reason enough to add nuts to your diet—as long as you eat them instead of foods that are rich in saturated fat, sugar, or white flour.

Controlling the amount.

A one-ounce serving is 20 to 24 almonds, about 170 calories worth. As we all know, it’s easy to nibble on more than that — unless your name is Barack Obama!

Here’s a way to keep control over how much you eat. For around $5, including shipping, the Almond Board of California will send you a refillable (empty) tin that holds 1 oz. of almonds (almonds.com/consumers/snacking/portion). They’re obviously hoping you keep filling it up!

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