Going Nuts for Weight Loss

Pistachios promote weight loss in obese individuals

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) It is already known that pistachios are very low in fat. Now, new research shows that these nuts are even healthier than previously thought. In fact, pistachios are not only good for watching your weight, but also good for your heart.

Researchers found that overweight and obese people who ate pistachios had an easier time losing weight, compared to those who ate pretzels. In general, the body does not absorb too much fat from nuts. This study shows that fat from pistachios is especially hard for the body to absorb.

"Snacking on pistachios helps lose weight"

According to David J. Baer, Ph.D., of the Agricultural Research Service and the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, this study builds on past research that showed that fat from pistachio nuts is not fully digested.

Results from the study also showed that healthy people who added pistachios to their normal diet showed signs of improved heart health.

The weight loss benefits of pistachios do not only come from their low fat content, says James Painter, Ph.D., R.D., a behavioral eating expert from Eastern Illinois University.

Because pistachios come in shells and take longer to eat, consumers are aware of how much they're eating, and thus eat less. In other words, people know how much they have eaten because of leftover shells.

Overall, the study highlights the health benefits of eating pistachios, a nut that is high in fiber and protein, good for your health, and supports efforts to lose weight.

In Depth

For their study, the researchers found:

  • Researchers assigned 52 overweight or obese people to snacks of either pistachios or pretzels for 12 weeks.
  • People who ate pistachio snacks reached their Body Mass Index (BMI) goals more easily than those who ate pretzel snacks.
  • The energy value (a food's value to the body as fuel) is 5.9 percent less than found in previous studies.
  • Pistachios have 160 calories per 30-gram serving, compared to about 185 calories from walnuts.
Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
April 12, 2011
Last Updated:
April 17, 2011