In a recent Dr. Oz episode, the health expert himself touted pistachios as an ideal way to help boost weight loss and improve overall health.(1) To which I say, as professionally as possible, "yahoo!"
I'm a fan of nuts, often topping salads with sliced almonds or making snacks that include dried cranberries and unsalted cashews. Pistachios, though, have that unique flavor that stands apart from many other nuts and as such, I'm often eating them as well. Hearing news that reinforces their health benefits always catches my attention.
Dr. Oz explains that pistachios have more potassium than pecans, more fiber than cashews, and more protein than walnuts.(1) For these reasons, he says it has the ability to take inches off the waist, acting as a healthy way to achieve weight loss.
Why Pistachios Aid in Weight Loss
With proper potassium levels in the body, the more effectively it works to prevent muscles from getting fatigued.(2) As a result, individuals are more prone to engage in continued physical activity and burn more calories.
Additionally, fiber promotes feelings of fullness so people looking to lose weight are less inclined to overeat. To demonstrate this, Dr. Oz cleverly showed what happens in the stomach when one consumes a typical go-to snack like pretzels versus a healthier options like pistachios. In a nutshell (pun intended), pistachios digest more slowly, unlike many other unhealthy options that tend to leave people hungry, even after they've consumed a great deal.
As for protein, research has found that diets rich in this essential building block helps to prevent obesity, osteoporosis, and even diabetes.(3) Like fiber, it helps the body feel full for a long period of time, staving off hunger pangs. Furthermore, one 12-week study discovered that dieters who increased their protein consumption to 30 percent of their diet ate about 450 fewer calories daily (wow!) and lost about 11 pounds for the duration of the study without any other diet alterations.(3)
Dr. Oz's recommendation? He says his "pistachio prescription" is to eat at least one 1-ounce (50) serving every day, ideally unsalted. He's also an advocate of purchasing the shelled variety, saying that they're less expensive than the unshelled kind.
Sources for this article include:
Jennifer Lea Reynolds
Jennifer Lea Reynolds is a weight loss success story who enjoys living a healthy lifestyle. A fan of the elliptical, roasted asparagus and remembering to put the lid on the blender, she’s appeared in many national and local print publications. She lives in New England where she writes professionally about health and wellness in online publications including U.S. News & World Report, Reader's Digest, Woman's Day, The Huffington Post, and more.