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President Obama Wants Us to Know He Sometimes Eats More Than 7 Almonds

2 minute read

President Obama is a disciplined man. So disciplined, in fact, that it didn’t surprise many when a recent New York Times article reported that his late-night snack of choice was exactly seven “lightly salted” almonds.

“Not six, not eight,” White House chef Sam Kass told the Times.

But on the TODAY Show Thursday, Obama was happy to have the chance to set the record straight about this oddly specific habit. Spoiler alert: it’s inaccurate.

“This is an example of the weird way that the press works,” Mr. Obama told host Savannah Guthrie. “Michelle and Sam Kass, who was our chef here, one night they were talking about me and teasing me about how disciplined I was, that I didn’t have potato chips or I didn’t have a piece of cake. And this is when Michelle said, ‘Yes, and he just has seven almonds. That’s it.’ To really drive home the point that I needed to loosen up a little bit. And Sam relayed this joke to the New York Times in the article and somehow it was relayed as if I was counting out the seven almonds. All my friends were calling up to say, ‘This seems a little anal. This is a little weird.'”

“After the White House, are you going to let yourself go and have, like, 10 or 11 almonds?” Guthrie asked.

“Absolutely. But, you know, almonds are a good snack. I strongly recommend them,” Obama added. And then: “I am so glad I had this opportunity… This has been really weighing on me.”

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Write to Raisa Bruner at raisa.bruner@time.com