Nuts are quite calorically dense, and therefore many people tend to avoid them when trying to lose weight. But the reality is, nuts, and pistachios, in particular, can actually be incredibly beneficial to your weight loss journey - here’s how. But before you dive into this, check out 5 reasons why pistachios are the ultimate snack.
Pistachios can help to curb hunger cravings.
Losing weight is as simple as being in a calorie deficit, but eating fewer calories than you burn can leave you feeling hungry and irritated. The key to staying satiated throughout the day is incorporating a few healthy snacks along the way that make you feel fuller for longer.
Pistachios are a great weight-loss snack because they contain a high amount of protein (6 grams per one-ounce serving), and fat (13 grams per one-ounce serving). Now, we know what you’re thinking - “High in fat! That doesn’t sound very conducive for weight loss” - well, actually it is!
Although pistachios are relatively high in fat, 90% of their fat content is the good kind - unsaturated fat. This unsaturated fat, when combined with protein, is what makes pistachios so satiating and is why they can help to curb your hunger cravings for more sustainable weight loss.
Not all of the fat in pistachios is absorbed.
Scientifically speaking, a one-ounce serving of pistachios contains 159 calories, but according to research at The University of California, not all of these calories count, because the body does not absorb some of the fat in pistachios. In this trial, participants were given either pistachios or pretzels to snack on each day, and overall, despite consuming similar calories, the pistachio group lost more weight and made more progress towards their BMI goals.
Shell-on pistachios take longer to eat.
Lastly, shell-on pistachios are also known as the ‘mindful snack’, helping people to slow down when they eat and ultimately reducing the amount of food that they consume. The simple act of taking the shell from a pistachio before you eat it helps to make you more conscious of the food that you are consuming and allows the body to start recognising its own hunger and fullness cues. In fact, according to research by Eastern Illinois University, snackers who snack on shell-on pistachios eat 41% fewer calories than those that snack on other nuts, and leaving the shells in front of you when you eat is the key to noticing how much you have consumed and to stop before you overeat. Don't like having to deal with the shells? Here's 4 things you can do with pistachio shells.
At the end of the day, whether you are looking to lose weight or not, pistachios make a great , fun, and healthy mid-morning or afternoon snack, providing you with protein and heart-healthy fats that will keep you full all the way through to your next meal. To get started, try one of these 3 easy and quick pistachio nut recipes