Have You Tried the Skinny Nut?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
A recent report highlighted what we nutrition minded people have known for a while, which is nuts provide good nutrition in a tasty package. Tree nuts in particular provide heart healthy benefits due to their healthy fat source and also provide a good quality protein from a non-animal source. Many times walnuts and almonds are talked about the most. Recently, more and more commercials have popped up in my region of the country for a small tasty alternative tree nut that may be even more healthy.

The pistachio is a small, egg-shaped nut that slowly grows on trees in a light brown-beige shell with a light-green kernel. Pistachios are high in monounsaturated fats like many other more popular nuts and assist with reducing blood cholesterol and lower risks of cardiovascular disease. Two unique carotenoids act as protective antioxidants in the pistachio and are not routinely found in other popular nuts. Lutein and zeaxanthin have been found to protect tissues from free radical damage especially in the eye. This reduces risks for older individuals related to macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of visual impairments and blindness in the United States.

Here is the basic nutritional information for a 1 oz serving of common tree nuts.

Almonds – 24 nuts/oz

Calories – 160

Protein – 6 grams

Total Fat – 14 grams

Saturated Fat – 1 gram

Monounsaturated Fat – 9 grams

Polyunsaturated Fat – 3 grams

Fiber – 4 grams



Brazils – 6 nuts/oz

Calories – 190

Protein – 4 grams

Total Fat – 19 grams

Saturated Fat – 4 grams

Monounsaturated Fat – 7 grams

Polyunsaturated Fat – 6 grams

Fiber – 2 grams



Cashews – 18 nuts/oz

Calories – 160

Protein - 4 grams

Total Fat – 13 grams

Saturated Fat – 3 grams

Monounsaturated Fat – 8 grams

Polyunsaturated Fat – 2 grams

Fiber – 1 gram



Pecans – 19 halves/oz

Calories – 200

Protein - 3 grams

Total Fat – 20 grams

Saturated Fat – 2 grams

Monounsaturated Fat – 12 grams

Polyunsaturated Fat – 6 grams

Fiber – 3 grams



Walnuts – 14 halves/oz

Calories – 190

Protein – 4 grams

Total Fat – 18 grams

Saturated Fat – 1.5 grams

Monounsaturated Fat – 2.5 grams

Polyunsaturated Fat – 13 grams

Fiber – 2 grams



Pistachios – 49 nuts/oz

Calories – 160

Protein - 6 grams

Total Fat – 13 grams

Saturated Fat – 1.5 grams

Monounsaturated Fat – 7 grams

Polyunsaturated Fat – 4 grams

Fiber – 3 grams



Pistachios provide nutritional benefits like many other tree nuts. Here are few nutritional highlights I think are worth highlighting a bit more. Pistachios provide the most potassium per one ounce serving of any major tree nut. This is extremely beneficial if you battle high blood pressure and need low sodium, high potassium foods to improve your electrolyte balance. Pistachios and cashews provide the lowest total fat and saturated fat per one ounce serving but pistachios also have the additional benefit of providing the most dietary fiber of all tree nuts as well. Pistachios also provide the most thiamin, B-6, and beta-carotene of all tree nuts while also providing a small amount of vitamin A, which is not found in others.

When selecting pistachios it is best to choose those still in the shell and that are unsalted when possible. It is also best to select those that are in their natural light green color versus those that have been dyed. Pistachios may be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to three months and up to six months when placed in the freezer. For this reason, if you find the opportunity to buy them in bulk to save money, it is a safe and cost effective way to go.

Pistachios are known as the skinny nut because they are lower calorie, lower fat, higher fiber nuts that offer the most nuts per serving. If they haven't been in your healthy eating plan, perhaps they should be.

Do you eat pistachios? What is your favorite way to enjoy them?

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Comments

I had no idea that pistachios were so good for me! (and who knew that you can buy them raw?!?) Report
Love pistachios but I can't keep them in the house because I have been known to eat the entire bag in one day (I'm not talking about a small single-serving bag either). Report
I keep pistachios on my desk...lol, everyone comes in to spend time and have a quickie snack once in a while. LOVE them. Report
I love pistachios but I thought they were off limits! Where CAN you find the raw ones? Report
CD2268473
well you learn something new everyday ~ I always stayed away from pistachios eventhough I love them soo much cuz I thought they were baaad!! Report
I LOVE pistachios and was happy to read this good news about them. They don't last too long in our house, but I find that like other nuts, freezing makes them last better than refrigerating. Report
I need to try pistachios. My husband loves them, it would be a healthy (for a change) snack for him too. Report
I love the above chart that tells me just how many make up "a serving" and I love that pistachios are so good for me. Good article! Report
MARSHA48
I love Walnuts and Cashews. Keep a bag next to my computer all the time.
Heathy? YES! They sure are. It hlped me lower my TOTAL Cholesterol levels in 4 Months time, this last check up. : ) Report
I never knew they were this healthy, though I do love them. I will mix them up with the raw almonds. Thanks for the tip to premeasure otherwise I could easily eat more servings. I don't remember seeing any lower in sodium, and just from the taste I think they would be high? Report
CD1980448
I love pistachios! They are my favorite nut! Besides my husband :o)! Report
MOELSCHLAGER
Pistachios are great! Thank you for the information about them. I was not aware. Now, I'll be adding them to my grocery list :-). Report
I love pistachios! I keep a bag of them, along with bags of almonds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds as well, in my car for a healthy snack. It keeps me out of the fast food drive-thru and they taste so good! Report
CD312800
I absolutely love pistachios! I tend to eat way too many but I've gotten much better at it. Report
I love them, so glad to know that you can have more of them then the other nuts. Report
I discovered them on a trip to southern New Mexico last Spring and fell in love! Nice to know that it is a good addiction to have. Report
JGEOPP
This is great information about heart healthy nuts. Report
UNIQUEME1
I love pistachios. I will stock up on them. Report
I've loved them since I was a kid and my Dad used to bring home bags of the red ones home. My fingers would be stained for days!! Report
Pistachios can be stored up to 3 months in the refrigerator?? Wouldn't last three hours in my home! Thanks for this information. Report
I did not know this about pistashios and the serving size is double the other nuts. I just bought nuts today, so will so back and get pistashios. Report
MA1200
I absolutely love pistachios! I bought some the other day and had to literally stop myself from eating an entire bag. Thank you for this information. Report
EJHEINRICH1
I love them salt and all. Raw Almonds and pistachio's are my favorite snack. Report
I keep pistachios in my snack box at home. I buy them in larger quantities and premeasure them into snack bags so I can just grab a bag and know exactly what I am eating. Report
MAGS09
I love pistachios & will put them on my shopping list Report
LUVSCASHE
Love the pistachio nut right out of their shells! What a great article! Report
PAMIE5
i love all nuts thier good for you i allways have them in my pantry Report
Great lead! I'm always struggling to get enough potassium in my diet. Report
I love pistachios! One big draw back is the sodium for me. I love em roasted and salted. Not sure if I could go for the unsalted. Report
Once I learned that pistachios did not need to be dyed, I tried them again and decided I had been missing a lot! Nuts are a bit easy for me to get carried away with so I don't eat them often. Maybe if it was easier to buy small quantities AND keep them really fresh. Report
I love nuts at 10 am, to tide me over until lunch. Report
I love 'em! Was excited to see commercials touting them as the lowest calorie nut.... I crave them desperately at times and wonder if my body craves one of their many nutrients? I get the single serving bags which contain about 30 nuts and they have the shells on.... It takes me longer to open each shelled nut and enjoy them, so they last longer and satisfy me more. I'm already blind, so know I don't need the eye benefits, but maybe my body needs the Vitamin A or potassium? Not sure.... All I know is occasionally I MUST have 'em! Thanks for the info. Happy to read they have the fiber too! Report
Pistachios not only taste good and are good for you, they also take longer to eat if you are shelling them, so that you may eat less. Remember, it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain it is full. If you shell your nuts and eat one at a time, it may take close to that full 20 minutes. Report
I love pistachios! Now that I know they are less in calories than some other nuts, I will buy them more often. Report
They still have a lot of fat, but shoot, what a great snack to just eat 10 of them. This is great news. Report
I like pistachios, you get a lot of band for your buck. Report
JUHOEG
I love all nuts--terrific Report
I love pistachios and just recently read and heard that they were very nutritional and low in calories! You can eat twice as many as nearly every other nut for the same amount of calories! And they're delicious! I think I'll have some for my snack now :) Report
Love them, but don't indulge often due to sodium restrictions. I don't usually find them as unsalted or low sodium versions like I do for other nuts. I noticed that no sodium info was given for any of the nuts... Report
I admit, after hearing their ads, i went out and bought 3 lbs from costco. I LOVE pistachios and are very glad they're healthy. Plus, it takes longer to crack the shells and you get to eat a lot more per serving than other nuts. Great! Report
I LOVE piastachios. I buy them when they go on sale at my favorite grocery store. I portion them out to half a cup in the shell, and that's plenty, now I may count out 49 of them though and see how that compares to a half cup. Report
KIMMERS1962
I just tried the pistachio for the first time a couple weeks ago. They are now my favorite nut! Thanks for all the nutrition facts, helps to know whats what. Report
I love them, and my Mom, always has them on hand, so when I'm there, at least once a week, I eat them. I was always worried about eating them, but I won't anymore. Thanks for the low down on nuts. Report
I like pistachios straight up Report
YAY!!! now I can eat pistachios more!!! without feeling guilty!!!!!! Report
I love pistachios but have always bought almonds due to reports I had read. I can't wait to go to the store and pick up a different kind of nut after reading this. Thanks! Report
BSWEET101
I love most nuts, but Pistachios are probably my favorite, and we buy some nearly every time we go to Costco (typically once per month). I'll have to remember to start packing these as a snack, perhaps with some dried fruit... Report
It's funny to me that this article is here today: pistachios are part of our holiday snacks, and I've often joked that you get some exercise in getting the shells off. Didn't know about the potassium, so may have to have these much more often! Report
Pistachios is one of my favorite and knowing there are 49 nuts in a serving -- that makes eating them that much better - it takes time to unshell 49 nuts so it stretches out the eating pleasure. Report
RONIRP
Thanks - love pistachios! and at 49 per ounce that is great Report