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Pistachios May Help Heart and Not Harm Waistline

Weight-conscious people tend to eats nuts sparingly because they are a high-fat food. A recent study suggests, however, that a diet where up to one fifth of the calories are in the form of pistachios not only will not lead to weight gain, it may help improve blood lipid profiles.

Participants in the study included 48 healthy young women with a mean age of 21. They were instructed to eat up to one-fifth of their daily caloric intake in the form of pistachios for 10 weeks. This was followed by a 15-week washout period and then 10 more weeks without eating any pistachios.

At the conclusion of the study, the women had no changes in their weight, waist circumference, or body mass index. They did however have a slight decrease in LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure after the pistachio period when compared with the habitual period.

These results seem to indicate that pistachios can be incorporated into a daily diet without necessarily causing weight gain. They also indicate that pistachios may provide heart health benefits.

Researchers from California State Polytechnic University conducted the study. It was published in the April 2014 issue of The FASEB Journal.

This study is not the first to suggest that pistachios may be a heart-healthy snack. Further studies will serve to verify these findings and dig deeper behind the benefits of pistachios.

Previous research has identified a number of other health benefits linked to pistachios. Some of these include high levels of protein and fiber, reduced risk of macular degeneration, and high antioxidant levels. To maximize these benefits, avoid salted, oil-roasted nuts.

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