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Pistachio Nuts – Snack Your Way to Health and Weight Loss

By: David Victor

One of the keys to a healthy lifestyle is having a snack that can satisfy your cravings and get you through until your next healthy meal.  The perfect snack is filling, nutritious, and not full of empty calories.  The pistachio nut is one of these perfect snacks.

The pistachio is a nut that grows on a small tree in the Middle East.  It is a pale green nut that turns to a pale yellowish / reddish color when it ripens.  Once ripe the shell splits apart, but does not fall off.

When you buy pistachio nuts, you have two options.  You can buy the nuts still in the shell or you can buy them already shelled so you just have to eat them.  There is a big price difference between shelled and un-shelled pistachios so you can save a lot of money if you are willing to do a little bit of work.  If you decide to take the shells off yourself, I will give you a tip at the end of the article on how to easily get them out of the shell.

So what is so special about pistachio nuts?  They are high in fiber, iron, and antioxidants.  They are also a good source of protein and the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin.  Eating pistachios can help you lose weigh and lower your cholesterol.

Pistachios can help you lose weight because they are high in fiber.  A one ounce serving of pistachio nuts contains 2.9 grams of fiber.  This is more fiber than you get in wheat bread, figs, raisins, pecans, and many other healthy snacks.  Studies have also shown that fiber helps control your blood sugar level which can keep you from having snack-inducing drops in blood sugar level.

Another way pistachio nuts can help you lose weight is to snack on them.  Snacking can be a huge obstacle whenever you are trying to eat a healthy diet.  Pistachios are a great choice for a healthy snack.  There are only 160 calories in an ounce of pistachios which is about 50 nuts.  That’s less calories than a candy bar and a lot healthier.

The last way pistachios can help you lose weight is to control the amount of food you eat.  If you have ever went through a whole bag of potato chips before you knew what you are doing, you know how easy it is to lose track of what you are eating.  If you are snacking on pistachios, every shell is evidence of how much you have eaten so you won’t lose track.  On top of that, if you are taking the shells off as you eat them, it will force you to take your time and only eat what you need to satisfy your hunger.

As I mentioned above, pistachios can even help you reduce your cholesterol.  They contain mostly unsaturated fat which can help lower the level of bad cholesterol in your body.  They also contain omega 3 fatty acids and fiber which may help lower cholesterol too.

With the numerous health benefits and low caloric content, it is easy to see why the pistachio nut is being called a super food and why it could be the perfect snack when you are trying to eat healthy and lose weight.  On top of that, they really aren’t that expensive – especially if you buy them in the shell.  There are also psychological reasons to buy them in the shell that help you control your snacking.

If you have ever taken a pistachio nut out of the shell, you know how tedious it can be.  In fact, you probably know that you will give up after a few nuts and snack on something easier to eat.  We don’t want that to happen so let’s talk about an easy way to get the shell off.

The first pistachio nut you shell will be the most difficult.  Pry off the shell with your thumb and fingers and keep the shell.  Take one piece of the shell and stick it into the small end of the pistachio shell of the next nut where it has started to split apart.  Now, just twist the shell and the pistachio should split apart leaving you with a ready to eat pistachio nut.  Voila!  You are shelling pistachios quickly and easily.

I think that is everything you need to know about pistachios.  Throw some in a snack bag and keep them with you for the next snack attack.  They can be added to salads, yogurt, oatmeal, cereal, and many other things to improve their nutritional value.  You can even check out pistachio recipes at places like  Now go try this healthy super nut!

About the Author

David Victor is a health and fitness enthusiast who writes about numerous health topics.  He is a webmaster and currently working on a complete health and beauty informational website at and has a health and fitness email newsletter.