How Pistachios Can Contribute to Good Health

By , Category : Food and Nutrition

Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.

That unsalted nuts are excellent healing foods is not new. What is new are two studies that have found snacking on shelled pistachios may be the ideal way to munch. This health advice says that pistachios could curb over-eating and drop your calorie intake.

One study found that people who consumed in-shell pistachios ate 41% fewer calories compared to those who consumed shelled pistachios. The second study revealed that pistachio nut shells can provide important “visual cues” as a reminder of how much you have eaten. This, in turn, translates into a lower caloric intake. Both of them underscore that in-shell pistachios, one of the lowest-calorie nuts, are a practical, everyday snack for managing your weight.

In short, in-shell pistachios are a “slow food.” It slows down your consumption, having to crack them open, and removes the mindless habit of reaching your hand in and gobbling nut after nut. It can be a pain to open a pistachio, but that additional work will make you healthier. And keep the pounds off.

In the first study, people who chose shelled pistachios consumed an average of 211 calories. But those who removed their own shells took in an average of 125 calories.

The second study found that leaving the pistachio shells on the desk afterward reduced the among of calories by 22% compared to sweeping away the shells into the trash. This suggests that the discarded shells are a reminder of how much you have eaten. You may feel a hint of guilt to continue gobbling away, so you simply stop and put the nuts away. That is good, because nuts should only be consumed in amounts equivalent to about a good-sized handful each day.

All of this reinforces the mindful eating benefits of in-shell pistachios. It can help people who are looking to shed pounds, and those who just want a good, healthy snack. Choosing nuts over chips and pretzels is an obviously great move for health. One extra interesting piece of health news is that fat in pistachios may not be completely absorbed by the body. What does this mean? That the nuts may actually contain fewer calories per serving than originally thought.

Overall, pistachios contain 160 calories per 30 gram serving. They also offer the most nuts per serving, providing about 49 kernels per 30 gram serving (approximately 1 ounce), when compared to other popular snack nuts – comparatively, almonds have 23 in a serving, walnuts 14 halves and cashews, 18. Pistachios are also a good source of fiber and protein.

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Dr. Victor Marchione, MD

About the Author, Browse Victor's Articles

Victor Marchione, MD received his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1973 and his Medical Degree from the University of Messina in 1981. He has been licensed and practicing medicine in New York and New Jersey for over 20 years. Dr. Marchione is a respected leader in the field of smoking cessation and pulmonary medicine. He has been featured on ABC News and World Report, CBS Evening News and the NBC Today Show and is the editor of the popular The... Read Full Bio »