START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

Pistachios: The Skinny Nut

Pistachios: The Skinny Nut

By Margaret Badore for

A study presented at the Experimental Biology conference in Washington, D.C. in April argued why pistachios may be the ideal snack for anyone looking to lose weight. The research uncovered that not all of the nuts’ fat is absorbed by the body, making them lower in calories than was previously thought. The findings work against the notion that nuts are too calorie-dense and high in fat to make them good weight-loss aids.

“What we found is that when people consume the nuts, all the fat wasn’t absorbed by the body and therefore the calories weren’t all available to the body,” lead author Dr. David Baer told Researchers placed 52 obese and overweight subjects on diets that were 500 calories less than they usually ate. Half were assigned to a group that ate pretzels as a snack, and the other group snacked on pistachios. After 12 weeks, the pistachio group had more success in reaching their weight-loss goals.

Nuts are also highly nourishing, unlike many snack foods such as chips or pretzels. “Pistachios are a great source of some of the key nutrients that are low in a lot of diets,” said Dr. Baer. Pistachios are rich in healthy fats, protein, minerals and antioxidants.

The shells may also help to curb mindless eating. Behavioral eating expert James Painter, Ph.D., R.D., at the School of Family and Consumer Sciences at Eastern Illinois University found that people who ate pistachios served with their shells on felt full sooner than those who were given the nuts without the shell, because the act of shelling the nut lead to more “mindful” snacking. He found that participants who had to shell their nuts consumed 42 percent less calories.

In another study, Painter found that people who left the pistachio shells in their workspace consumed 22 percent fewer calories than those who had these “reminders of consumption” removed. “This is in keeping with existing research showing that when a person has visual cues of ‘leftovers,’ such as pistachio shells, they can see how many or how much they have eaten, helping to control portion size and consumption,” he explained.

“Some of the research that’s already been done with nuts shows that people who eat nuts generally have a lower body mass index than people who don’t,” Dr. Baer explained. He admitted that there may be some confounding factors, explaining that people who include nuts in their diet may eat a healthier diet overall. That said, he adds that including pistachios in your diet is “one way to move towards a healthier dietary pattern.”

We all know that all snacks need to be enjoyed with some degree of portion control. Dr. Baer concluded, “I think that one of the ways that people can apply this research is to read the food label, know how many calories they’re eating and think about pistachios as a healthy snack.”

Recipe: Raspberry Pistachio Crusted Chicken
Recipe: Pea and Pistachio Pesto
5 Best Snacks for Energy

Read more: Diet & Nutrition, Food, Health, , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love


+ add your own
8:08PM PST on Feb 22, 2015

Love these! Bought a bag of them this weekend and shared with friends. Definitely salted...and why not? Since I don't ever use salt in cooking, the salted ones give me the sodium that I lack. They help to make me feel Thanks for the article!

5:32AM PDT on Jun 15, 2013

Your articles make whole sense of every topic.
garcinia cambogia extract

11:50PM PDT on Jun 14, 2013

Great blog you people have made here on this blog site, I will absolutely appreciate your work.
for beginners

3:28AM PDT on Apr 29, 2013


10:18AM PDT on Aug 29, 2012

good to know

10:02AM PDT on Mar 23, 2012

great information.

7:23PM PDT on Mar 21, 2012

This is brilliant cos the only "nut" type i eat are pistachios! Yay! :p

10:48AM PST on Dec 9, 2011

Thank you

3:34PM PST on Dec 7, 2011

yay, pistachios! :-)

8:12PM PST on Nov 27, 2011


add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Thanks--I'll try these when I next have to rescue a third dog (although the last couple of introduct…


The glyphosate section seems to be thrown in just because "it's so nasty' - which it is, but) While…


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.