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Nuts have always been associated with weight gain. But, here's a nut that can actually help you lose weight. Yes, indeed, we are talking about pistachios. Although this sounds too good to be true, it is a fact that if you love snacking on nuts, then pistachios are your best bet. They can satisfy your snack time craving and at the same time help you lose weight, as they are rich in fibre, healthy fats, and protein. The healthy fats in pistachios reduce inflammation in the body, while also helping you get rid of hunger pangs. If you are curious to know more about how exactly pistachios help you in the process of weight loss, read on to find out.
Nutritional Value Of Pistachios
To know how pistachios contribute to weight loss, it is essential to know their nutritional value too.
Every 100 g of pistachio kernels is believed to have 15% to 21% protein. So having just 1 oz (28.3 g) of pistachios can give you sufficient protein to tone your muscles. 1 oz of pistachios contain 159 calories, which is quite less in comparison to other nuts. Pistachios also have a low glycemic value, and hence there would be no surge in your insulin levels on consuming them.
Pistachios are also excellent sources of Vitamins A, B6 and K, Flavonols, Zeaxanthin, Anthocyanin, Lutein, and Phytosterols, all of which help in boosting body metabolism, improving blood lipid profile and achieving maximum health.
These nuts are high in dietary fibre with 3 g of dietary fibre included in a single serving. This is a critical component for weight loss, helping to keep you full for longer hours.
Pistachios are rich in minerals like Calcium, Phosphorous, Iron, Potassium and Magnesium that strengthen the bones, support muscle contraction, insulin secretion and boost immunity.
How Do Pistachios Help In Weight Loss?
There have been promising evidences that indicate the effects of pistachios on weight loss.
Being rich in fibre and protein, pistachios render a feeling of satiety, and you tend to feel full for longer and eat less.
In a study involving 12-week weight loss program, there was a double-fold reduction in the body mass index of participants who ate 53 g of pistachios per day as an afternoon snack.
In another 24-week study involving overweight participants, those who consumed 20% of their calorie intake from pistachios, lowered their waistlines by 1.5 cm than those who did not eat pistachios.
According to researchers, one of the reasons that contribute to the weight loss properties of pistachios is that their fat, fibre and protein content take time to get digested in the gut and this helps in keeping one fuller for a longer time duration.
Furthermore, if you are eating pistachios for weight loss, then eating in-shell pistachios is the best, as shelling these nuts can slow down the rate of eating, and you end up eating less. The shells will also give you a clue of the portion size. This is known as 'mindful eating'.
Consuming pistachios can also improve exercise performance, and reduce exercise-induced inflammation.
Few More Evidence-based Health Benefits
A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition states that consuming Pistachios significantly lowers triglyceride levels, in comparison to those who do not consume this nut.
Another study by American and Chinese scientists revealed that the consumption of pistachios may help reduce health risks associated with metabolic syndrome.
Furthermore, scientists have confirmed that on regular consumption, pistachios can lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, regulate blood pressure, improve metabolism, and help in better management of diabetes.
On the whole, consuming pistachios will indirectly help you lose weight by curbing your hunger pans, reducing inflammation and triglyceride levels, and boosting metabolism.
Quantity Of Pistachios To Be Consumed For Weight Loss
Experts recommend that if you are on a weight loss goal, consume 1 oz (49 kernels) of pistachios, when you are craving for a snack. Divide it as 24 kernels for mid-morning and 25 for the evening snack.
Best Ways To Include Pistachios In Diet
One of the best ways to consume pistachios is to have it raw, in the shell, with no salt added. However, adhere to the portion size of half-cup serving for a smart snack.
Other options to include pistachios in the diet is to add them into your salads, crush and add to low-fat yoghurt, in your post workout smoothies, added to buttermilk post lunch for digestion, or to a cup of warm skimmed milk at bedtime.
Along with eating the recommended 1 oz of this green nut regularly to achieve your weight loss goal, you shouldn't forget to eat healthy and exercise regularly.