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Are Pistachios Good for Weight Loss?
Weight Loss

Are Pistachios Good for Weight Loss?

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on August 8, 2022
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7 min

Pistachios are a good source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. That’s why they’re a popular snack among people who are conscious about what they eat. But can they help with weight loss?

are pistachios good for weight loss

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One reason the research is inconclusive may be because of the way pistachio nuts are typically consumed. They’re often eaten as a snack, which means they’re not replacing other foods in the diet. Since they’re calorie-dense, it’s easy to overeat them.

On the other hand, there are those who swear that eating these nuts helped them shed off a few pounds and belly fat.

Pistachio Nutrition

Before we dive into whether pistachios can aid in weight loss and avoid weight gain, let’s take a look at some of the essential nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, that an ounce of pistachios offers:

CaloriesFatCarbohydratesProtein
159kcal12.8g7.71g5.73g
FiberSugarsPotassiumPhosphorus
3g2.17g289mg139mg
MagnesiumCalciumIronZinc
34.3mg29.8mg1.11mg0.624mg
Vitamin B6Thiamin
0.482mg0.247mg

As you can see, pistachios are packed with nutrients, but they also have high fat and caloric content for a typical one-ounce serving.

Nonetheless, we should note that these nuts have monounsaturated fat. This means that they help lower low-density lipoproteins (LDL), or bad cholesterol, and reduce the risk of stroke.

Additionally, although pistachios are high in fat, they’re not keto-friendly since they’re also high in carbs. These nuts would hinder your progress in ketosis.

Are Pistachios Good for Weight Loss?

Yes, pistachios are good for weight loss. Although the verdict is mixed, it’s primarily a healthier food choice compared to other snacks. They’re a good source of protein and fiber, which can help you feel fuller longer and prevent overeating. 

But as with all things in nutrition, it depends on the context. Here are some factors to consider when thinking about consuming them to shed off some pounds and avoid weight gain:

  • They’re a calorie-dense food. If you’re trying to lose weight, you need to be mindful of how many pistachios you’re eating. A good rule of thumb is to aim for a handful (about 20–30 nuts) as a snack and to include them as part of a balanced meal.
  • They’re high in protein and fiber. Both of these nutrients are important for weight loss. Protein helps you feel full and satisfied after eating, while an increased dietary fiber intake helps regulate digestion and keeps you feeling fuller for longer.
  • They contain healthy fats. The type of fat found in pistachios is mostly unsaturated, which is the healthier kind of fat. This means that they can help reduce bad cholesterol levels and improve heart health, both of which are important for weight loss.
  • They have a low glycemic index. Pistachios have a glycemic index of 15. This means they won’t cause spikes in blood sugar levels, which can lead to cravings and overeating.

So, if you’re looking for behavioral weight loss intervention strategies, pistachios can definitely be part of your diet. Just make sure to eat them in moderation and to include them as part of a balanced diet that includes other healthy foods.

6 Benefits of Pistachios for Weight Loss

With the many health benefits it offers, it’s no wonder pistachios are considered a superfood. These are the benefits of pistachios: 

#1 Improves heart health

Pistachios are good for your heart. In a 2016 study, evidence was found that pistachio nuts can decrease cardiovascular risk and reduce blood pressure. 

Pistachios have an amino acid called L-arginine, which is shown to keep blood vessels healthy and improve blood flow. They also contain antioxidants to help lower cholesterol and protect against heart disease, reducing your risk of metabolic syndrome.

Plus, the monounsaturated fat in them helps lower bad cholesterol (LDL) while increasing good cholesterol (HDL). All of these factors together make pistachios a heart-healthy snack that can help improve your overall cardiovascular health.

#2 Boosts cognitive function

Pistachios are a good source of several nutrients that are important for cognitive function, including vitamin B6, copper, and manganese.

Vitamin B6 is involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, copper helps protect neurons from damage, and manganese is needed for energy production in the brain.

Pistachios also contain lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants have been linked to a lower risk of age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in older adults.

Research on how eating nuts strengthens brainwave function showed that eating pistachios boosts cognition. Pistachios were found to produce the greatest gamma wave response, which is vital for improving learning, information retention, cognitive processing, perception, and even rapid eye movement during sleep.

#3 Helps to combat inflammation

The high antioxidant content of pistachios also makes them ideal for preventing inflammation by scavenging harmful toxins and byproducts that can damage cells.

Inflammation has been linked to various chronic diseases, so by preventing it, pistachios may help keep you healthy and promote longevity.

Researchers studied the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant potential of pistachios. They found that polyphenols in the nuts help reduce lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammation.

#4 Improves eye health

Another benefit of the antioxidants present in pistachios is that they can boost eye health. Lutein and zeaxanthin help protect the eyes from damage caused by free radicals and ultraviolet light.

Additionally, pistachios contain vitamin E, which has been shown to reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, a condition that can lead to blindness.

#5 Has anti-aging effects

Antioxidants have long been known to slow the effects of aging. These little green nuts are loaded with them. In fact, they have more antioxidants than any other tree nut.

Eating pistachios may help keep your skin looking young and healthy. Aside from that, it may also help prevent some age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s and cancer.

#6 Aids weight loss

Pistachios may also help boost your metabolism. A study found that participants who ate pistachios had a higher metabolic rate than those who didn’t eat them. This may be due to the high protein and fiber content, which takes more energy to digest.

If you’re looking to lose weight, pistachios can be a helpful addition to your diet. Just be sure to practice mindful eating and watch your portion sizes.

#7 Beneficial for digestive health

Pistachios are a good source of dietary fiber, which is important for digestive health. They also contain vitamins A and C, as well as potassium and magnesium. All of these nutrients are essential for healthy digestion.

How to Eat Pistachios for Weight Loss

When eaten in moderation, pistachios can help you feel full and satisfied after eating, which can prevent overeating later on. Here are some tips for how to eat pistachios for weight loss:

  • Eat a handful of pistachios as a pre-workout snack. The protein and fiber will give you energy and help you stay focused during your workout.
  • Add pistachios to your breakfast or lunchtime salad. The extra crunch will be satisfying, and the nutrients will help keep you fuller longer.
  • Make a homemade trail mix with pistachios, dried fruit, and dark chocolate chips. This sweet and salty snack will curb your cravings without derailing your diet.
  • Use pistachio butter as a healthy alternative to peanut butter or other nut butters. Spread it on whole-grain toast or add it to smoothies for a filling boost of flavor.

These are just a few suggestions, but there are countless possibilities for how to work pistachios into your diet in a way that will support your weight loss goals. Just remember to eat them in moderation and to pair them with other healthy foods for the best results.

FAQs

Are pistachios good for you?

Yes, pistachios are a good source of healthy fats, fiber, protein, and antioxidants. They have been linked with several health benefits, including improved blood sugar control for insulin sensitivity and reduced risk for blood pressure.

How many pistachios are there in an ounce?

One ounce of pistachios equals about 49 kernels. Although the number of kernels may vary depending on the size of each pistachio nut, one ounce is generally considered to be about this number of pistachios in terms of collective weight.

Are pistachios fattening?

Pistachios are a type of nut that is often thought of as being fattening as a one-ounce serving of pistachios contains about 160 calories. While they do contain fat, pistachios actually have a lower fat content than other types of nuts. Of course, it’s still important to eat pistachios in moderation.

Is pistachio a nut?

Yes, pistachio is a member of the cashew family, which includes other nuts such as cashews and macadamias. Botanically speaking, though, they’re considered seeds of the pistachio tree.

Do pistachios have protein?

Pistachios are a good source of protein, providing approximately 6g per one-ounce serving. They can be a helpful part of a weight-loss diet because protein helps you feel full and satisfied after eating. A high-protein snack is usually the best choice if you want to lose weight since it will help control your hunger.

A Word From Our Nutritionist

Pistachio is a type of nut that has many nutritional benefits. It’s a good source of protein, fiber, and monounsaturated fatty acids. They also contain vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B6, potassium, and magnesium.

These nuts have a number of health benefits, including aiding in weight management. They can increase satiety and improve metabolism.

Pistachio nuts are a healthy food that can help you lose body weight. Make sure to eat them in moderation in your daily diet, as with all nuts, and enjoy the many potential health benefits they have to offer!

Conclusion

Pistachios are a healthy snack option that can promote weight loss. They contain high levels of protein and fiber, which can help to keep you feeling full between meals.

Additionally, their unique nutrient composition may help to boost metabolism and reduce fat storage. However, pistachios should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet or weight loss program, and they are not a miracle food for shedding off those pounds.

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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