According to a study, the body does not completely absorb the fat in pistachios. The study results indicate that pistachios might in fact contain less calories a serving than originally believed, validating that pistachios are among the lowest calorie nuts having 160 calories a 30 gram portion.
The pistachios’ energy value was measured by feeding the nuts to 16 healthy individuals as part of a managed diet and the energy value was then calculated from energy excretion differences throughout the time of the dietary treatment. The energy value of a 30 gram portion of pistachios was 5.9% less than prior calculations.
Current research indicates that from nut fats are poorly absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract. These study results confirm that the fat from nuts, especially pistachios, isn’t completely absorbed or digested, which results in a lower energy value.
These results that show the potential savings of calories in pistachios builds on earlier research that show pistachios to be a weight-wise snack. Choosing to snack on pistachios instead of pretzels can support heart health as well as body mass index goals.
52 participants were put on a 500-calorie deficit diet in a 12-week randomized study and were allocated to either a pretzel snack or a pistachio snack group. The group who snacked on pistachios were more successful in supporting their BMI goals in comparison to the group snacking on pretzels, demonstrating that even for individuals managing their weight, pistachios can be included in a healthy diet.
Pistachios have also been shown to be a “mindful snack” when it comes to a longer eating duration and requires the individual to be more conscious of what is being eaten. Individuals who snack on in-shell nuts eat 41% fewer calories compared to individuals snacking on shelled nuts. In-shell pistachios also provide a visual cue which helps reduce consumption. If leftover shells are immediately cleared, individuals eat as much as 22% more in comparison to leaving leftover shells as a consumption reminder.