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

CARTOON3 5/20/2021
Love pistashios Report
FISHGUT3 5/9/2021
thanks Report
CHRISINMIAMI 4/25/2021
Thank you! Report
MARGARETYAKODA 4/12/2021
Pistachios are an absolute favorite! We buy them by the pound and then I divide it into single servings in baggies. It’s a favorite for after my workout! Report
RAPUNZEL53 4/11/2021
great Report
HEDSTS58 3/26/2021
I never cared for them but I have since began to like them. They're still not my favorite Report
4CONNIESHEALTH 3/17/2021
I like eating nuts. I just can't quit eating them once I start. Report
THINCPL2004 2/7/2021
Great article Report
GEORGE815 1/29/2021
Thanks Report
FIT4HZGLORY 1/3/2021
They are sooooooo goooooood! Report
FIT4HZGLORY 1/3/2021
They are sooooooo goooooood! Report
LGRIF22 12/20/2020
Love those pistachios! My husband keeps them in his car for a safe driving treat. I have to be careful not to eat too many! he keeps a large cup for the shells too! Family knows who to ride with when they're hungry.. Report
RACHAEL2020 11/23/2020
Aldi's unsalted pistachios are good! Report
SDANLSON 10/31/2020
My brother and I were introduced to them about 50 yrs ago, so we learned to like them early. My mother used to buy them as a treat for my father when he was quitting smoking. They used to come with the shells dyed red. The red dye would spread around some too. They are much easier to find now and there is no dye. Report
ATEAMSIS08 10/8/2020
I love the salted pistachios. I also love most nut options. Report
QUEENFROG 9/4/2020
Nuts are low in carbs, but they should still be included in "basic nutritional information". Some of us take insulin based on that amount. Report
DLMGRAHAM 8/7/2020
My husband’s favorite snack! As a bonus, we use the shells as firestarter. Report
SCHECK5 8/4/2020
Love pistachios Report
ELRIDDICK 8/3/2020
Thanks for sharing Report
TERMITEMOM 7/9/2020
Great information. Hurray for pistachios! Report
SUSANBEAMON 7/6/2020
I like most tree nuts, except for pistachios. I will not eat them. Report
JILLIAN0216 7/2/2020
Love pistachios. Takes you longer to eat them too if they are still in the shell. Report
Good article with great information. Report
I love pistachios! But I love them most roasted and salted, so that adds a lot of sodium, unfortunately. Report
I love pistachios! Thank you for the lowdown on this wonderful nut. Report
I buy them raw, shelled and in bulk and take them home and roast them in the oven. They are wonderful. Report
I love pistachios. My favourites are the ones in the shell. Report
Pistachios are awesome but hard to find raw and unsalted, which is my favorite way to eat them.
Report
I like all nuts and eat them occasionally. I like to mix them up so I don't get burned out on any particular one. Report
I really like pistachios, but have never been able to find any that were unsalted. Also, due to arthritis in my fingers, I prefer the ones already shelled. Report
If only they weren't SO expensive. WTH I'm worth it. Report
CD24069739
great article Report
PATRICIAANN46
Thank You for the useful information. Report
I love pistachios. I just eat them as a snack for the most part. Delicious! Report
All nuts are my go to snack of choice. I use I use these 2" round, 1-1/2" deep cups to put them in and that's my allotment for my snack. Report
Pistachios are one of my favorite nuts; however, I have a tendency to overeat them so I don't buy them for home. Report
Many happy memories as a kid when my dad would buy a bag of them, they are so creamy! Nice to know they are good for the eyes. Report
KHALIA2
Good info! Thank you! Report
Love Pistachios! Adding to shopping list! Another thing I recently discovered: we all know sunflower, pumpkin & chia seeds pack a nutritional punch but did you know WATERMELON seeds are really good for you too?! Report
Great nut Report
thanks Report
I think that I'll buy some pistachios next time I shop! Report
I've always felt a bit guilty because I love nuts, and like most people I find it hard to stop at a reasonable amount. I like Ethelmerz's suggestion to portion out at the beginning of the week. I also agree, a side-by-side table would have aided comparison.
As for pistachios, if you can ever find the genuine ones from Aegina island in Greece, they are well worth paying a little extra for. Otherwise, to get good quality look out for ones that are naturally open, not forced open (cracked with rollers), and of course not dyed. Here in Greece on farmers' markets there is a brief season when fresh raw pistachios are available, still in their pink fleshy outer skins. Mmmmm. Report
MASHAE99
Any nuts in a shell (as well as sun flower seeds) are also good to eat while driving long distance to stay awake because you always have something to do with your other hand. Just make sure you have a cup or something to spit the shells in. Report
I'm surprised that so many people still don't know that nuts are a good snack??? What's with that, it's been on the news for several years. I measure them out for us at the beginning of each week. Worst thing is they are expensive, we buy at Costco, and I put each serving in little reusuable baggies. Can't have a large bag of nuts sitting there, and someone just taking handful after handful out, now THAT would be "off limits"............ Report
TIZZ4LO
Our whole household loves pistsachios.My Mom who is 90 and still living on her own,got me hooked on pistachios.Favorite treat to find in Christmas stocking.Mmmmmm. Report
SLLEE1961
I eat nuts everyday,but I really thanks for the information. Report
It would be much easier to understand your figures if you presented them side-by-side in a single table. Report