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5 Essentials for Healthy Snacking

Stock up on these healthy foods to make countless healthy, portable snacks that are delicious and good for you. Plus, these foods are proven disease fighters, energy boosters, and heart helpers so you can snack your way to better health.
almonds Belly Shrinkers: Nuts

Snacking on nuts may help you shed pounds. Researchers found that people who ate almonds as part of a low-calorie diet for six months lost 18 percent of their body weight -- slimming their waistlines and reducing body fat to boot. (Scientists suspect that the fiber-plus-protein combo keeps hunger in check.)

Extra credit: Monounsaturated fats found in some nuts have been shown to lower bad LDL cholesterol levels while preserving the good kind that your body needs.

Quick Tip: Toast raw nuts for extra crunch. Put a handful of your favorites on a baking sheet and roast in a 350-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

Originally published in FITNESS Magazine, January 2009.