The Almond Board of California dropped by the TC Media office the other day to share some exciting news: A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states that almonds contain 20 per cent fewer calories than we originally thought. Already nutritional powerhouses, now we know that almonds are actually better for us than we thought. And you know what? They make perfect, delicious, nutritious, super-easy snacks that's low in calories. [caption id="attachment_3031" align="aligncenter" width="345"] These little guys are nutritional powerhouses that are low in calories. They make great snacks! ( Photography by ©iStockphoto.com/Ekaterina79)[/caption] 7 healthy almonds facts 1. One serving of almonds contains just 163 calories. 2. Almonds are low in both saturated and trans fats, helping to reduce your risk of heart disease. 3. They're the tree nut that's highest in protein, fiber, calcium, vitamin E, riboflavin and niacin. 4. A serving of almonds is one ounce, or about 23 almonds. That's about 1/4 cup, a handful or enough almonds to cover a 3"x3" sticky note. 5. Snacks high in protein and fiber will keep you feeling full for longer, helping you manage your weight. 6. Because of their high fiber content, almonds can help you improve your cholesterol level. 7. Almonds are also high in magnesium, supporting muscle and nerve function and keeping your heart healthy. 6 creative ways to use almonds (that just happen to be low in calories) • Chop up some almonds and add them to a salad • Slather some almond butter on rice cakes or add a tablespoon or two to your morning smoothie • Add an almond crust to your chicken dinner (try our Almond-Crusted Chicken Breasts with Goat Cheese Filling). • Make your very own Almond Pepita Butter • Try making Apple and Almond Bars for a quick grab-and-go snack • Make this delicious almond-y smoothie for breaky (recipe courtesy of The Almond Board for California) Start Right Smoothies (makes 2-1/2 cups) 1 ripe banana, cut into chunks and frozen 6 strawberries, fresh or thawed 2 cups nonfat milk or unsweetened almond milk 1/4 cup wheat germ 1/4 cup unsalted almonds 2 tbsp honey 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 1 cup ice water Preparation: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Do you like almonds? What's your favourite way to eat them?