Pistachios – A Snack to Take You Further
March is National Nutrition Month®, and this year’s theme is “Go Further with Food.” This concept really resides with Sarah Galicki, registered dietitian and medical weight management coordinator at the Center for Obesity and Metabolic Surgery, University of Texas Medical Branch. Sarah sees patients regularly, and they expect her to tell them all of the foods that they can’t eat anymore in order to lose weight. Most of them are shocked to learn that they should eat in order to lose weight. Everyone knows they need to eat at least three times a day (i.e., breakfast, lunch and dinner), but how does snacking fall into the mix?
Snacks are meant to fuel the body when hunger occurs that can’t wait until the next meal. A snack needs to be substantial enough to promote satiety and nutritious enough so that it benefits the body. A healthy remedy? “Go Further with Pistachios.”
Pistachios are nutrient-dense nuts. They are comprised of protein, carbohydrates, mono- and polyunsaturated fats, phytosterols, phenolic compounds, antioxidant compounds and fiber.1 When following a healthy diet, adding a serving of pistachios can provide a significant health benefit.1,2 In reviews performed by Terzo et al. and Shahrabadi et al, research studies in both human and animal populations provide clear evidence of the key role pistachio has in modulating the various components obesity and its related comorbidities. Pistachios have been verified to improve triglycerides and cholesterol, glucose irregularities, inflammation and oxidative stress, and lead to weight control.1,2
Pistachios, with their green hue and delicious flavor, have lower fat and caloric content when compared to other nuts. With just three calories per nut, a serving size of 49 nuts is substantial. Sarah tells her patients to pre-portion their servings so that they don’t have to stop the next time they are hungry, but can be ready, prepared and go further with pistachios.
For some added flavor, tossing pistachios with some spices will bolster their flavor. Personally, Sarah has tried cayenne powder, cumin, and even smoked paprika on her pistachio nuts, for added variety.
Sarah E. Galicki, registered dietitian and medical weight management coordinator, specializes in weight loss at the Center for Obesity and Metabolic Surgery, University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB). Sarah can personally relate to her patients through her own weight-loss journey, having decided to fight the genetics she was dealt, and eat to live. Sarah is also a health nut for APG.
1Terzo, S., Baldassano, S., Caldara, G. F., Ferrantelli, V., Dico, G. L., Mulè, F., & Amato, A. (2017). Health benefits of pistachios consumption. Natural Product Research,1-12. doi:10.1080/14786419.2017.140809
2Shahrabadi, E., Esmaeili Nadimi, A., Jalalli, N., Shahrabadi, A., Shahriyari, A. and Asadollahi, N. (2014). The effect of pisachios on human health: A review study. Journal of Occupational Health and Epidemiology, 3(4), pp.242-252.