With its rich, creamy taste, I for one would never have suspected the decadent pistachio of aiding weight loss. But turns out that this is a metabolism-boosting nut, and science has proof of it.
A research study conducted by Indian scientists Seema Gulati Ph.D. and Dr. Anoop Misra, M.D. shows that pistachios have a beneficial effect on the cardio-metabolic profile. For the study, researchers divided 60 middle-aged adults who were at risk for diabetes and heart disease into two groups. The control group was put on a diet that was 60% carbs, 15% protein, 25% fat–this group was not given pistachios.
The other group ate a diet that gave them 20% of their total calories from pistachios. This diet contained 51% carbs, 20% protein and 29% fat.
Surprisingly, the group that ate pistachios daily had smaller waists at the end of the study period. Their cholesterol score dropped by 15 points, and they had better blood sugar numbers. The nut, say researchers, increased their protein and good fat intake and decreased their carbs. Yes, the fat contained in pistachios is largely unstaurated fat, and hence unlikely to result in weight gain, if you eat the nut in moderation.
Speaking of moderation, your daily allowance of pistachios can be rather generous, because you get more nuts per serving. One ounce of pistachios is about 50 nuts, while 23 almonds and 18 cashew nuts add up to one ounce. Also, the act of cracking open pistachios makes you go slow, so you feel you are eating a bigger snack.
*Image of “yogurt” via Shutterstock