People have been eating pistachios since ancient times and this nut remains a popular ingredient in many recipes and desserts even today. These crunchy nuts are green or purple in color, adding a fun speckling of natural color to ice cream and cookies.
If you’re on a low carb diet, try making your own Keto-friendly Pistachio ice cream using the recipe that appears later in this article.
Not only are pistachio nuts tasty, but they’re also one of the healthiest nuts you can eat. Did you know that pistachios contain more antioxidants than most other nuts and seeds? They’re also chock full of healthy fat, protein and fiber to improve heart and gut health.
Believe it or not, pistachios contain several essential nutrients that can even aid weight loss. Despite their high-calorie count, studies show these healthy, high-fiber nuts may help your body burn fat.
Pistachios aren’t just another ordinary nut. Keep reading to find out what makes them so special and discover how snacking on them can help you on your quest toward better health.
Are Pistachio Nuts Keto Friendly?
A serving of pistachios is one ounce, or 49 nuts, which provides nearly 8 grams of carbohydrates and 12 percent of the Daily Value of fiber.
An additional benefit if you purchase them shelled with salt added, it can help balance sodium levels and prevent loss of this important mineral. Getting enough sodium is important for those on Keto as it prevents dehydration and restores electrolyte balance to ward off symptoms of the “Keto flu”.
How Many Carbs are in Pistachio Nuts?
On a strict low carb diet, it’s best to keep the serving size to a moderate 25 grams of pistachios, which contains a mere 4.5 grams of carbs.
A 100-gram serving of pistachios contains 28 grams of total carbs and 10 grams of fiber. The high fiber content brings the tally of digestible net carbs to 18 grams per serving. This amount will quickly kick you out of ketosis, so be mindful when snacking on pistachios.
A full cup of nuts weighing 123 grams contains 21 grams of net carbs, after accounting for fiber.
How Many Calories are in Pistachio Nuts?
At only four calories each, pistachios are a relatively low-calorie snack in moderation. However, if you go overboard and eat a 100-gram serving of pistachios, you’ll consume a whopping 562 calories. If you’re following a calorie reduction diet plan, keep your serving size to a 25-gram amount.
|Amount: 100 grams of Pistachios|
|Total Fat 45 grams||69%|
|Saturated fat 6 grams||30%|
|Polyunsaturated fat 14 grams|
|Monounsaturated fat 24 grams|
|Trans fat 0 grams|
|Cholesterol 0 milligrams||0%|
|Sodium 1 milligrams||0%|
|Potassium 1025 milligrams||29%|
|Total Carbohydrate 28 grams||9%|
|Dietary fiber 10 grams||40%|
|Sugar 8 grams|
|Protein 20 grams||40%|
|Vitamin A||8%||Vitamin C||9%|
|Vitamin D||0%||Vitamin B-6||85%|
Pistachios are high in protein, fiber, and antioxidants. They also provide a good dose several other important nutrients, including vitamin B6, thiamine and potassium.
Promotes Healthy Vision
Pistachios are among the most antioxidant-rich nuts on the planet. They’re high in lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that promote eye health. From pistachios, these antioxidants are very accessible by the stomach, so they are easily absorbed during digestion to benefit organs like your eyes.
Provides Essential Amino Acids
Interestingly, pistachios also have a higher ratio of essential amino acids than any other nut. Amino acids are vital for your health as they are the building blocks of protein for your body. They are considered essential because your body cannot make them, so you must obtain them from your foods like pistachios.
Improves Gut Health
Because pistachios are high in fiber, they promote healthy gut bacteria. In fact, eating pistachios regularly may increase the number of beneficial bacteria that produce short-chain fatty acids, such as butyrate.
Lowers LDL Cholesterol and Improves Blood Pressure
Pistachios may reduce your risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. Studies show that eating pistachios may help lower blood cholesterol levels. Pistachios are also known to lower blood pressure better than any other nuts.
Supports Healthy Blood Vessels
Pistachio nuts may play an important role in promoting blood vessel health. That’s because they are rich in L-arginine, which, when converted into nitric oxide, helps dilate your blood vessels.
Nutritionists warn that eating too many pistachios may lead to excess weight, which is not good for the heart. If you eat a lot of pistachios, you should take into account the nut’s high fat and often high salt levels, which could cancel out any beneficial effects.
Nut allergies are one of the most common allergies out there and could have serious health effects for some people. If you have allergies to tree nuts, avoid consuming pistachios.
Keto Pistachio Ice Cream
- 1/2 cup pistachios, chopped, toasted
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup Stevia or sugar-free sweetener of choice
- 1/2 teaspoon glycerin (for soft ice cream)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (extract or the innards of a vanilla bean)
- In a small saucepan, toast the pistachios over medium heat for about 5 minutes until they release a nutty fragrance. Reduce the heat and pour in the half and half. Heat until bubbles form. Remove from the heat, cover and let steep for 30 minutes with vanilla.
- Whisk the egg yolks into the warm half and half to temper them. Reheat over low until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- In a blender combine the pistachios, half and half, egg yolks, coconut milk, heavy cream, and sweetener. Blend until smooth and then refrigerate until cold. Freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s directions. If you don’t own an ice cream maker, put the mixture in the freezer and churn it every hour until it solidifies.
- If desired you can add additional toasted pistachios during the last stages of churning or sprinkle them on top at serving time.
Are Pistachio Nuts High in LDL “Bad” Cholesterol?
“A handful of pistachio nuts a day could protect your heart”, according to the Daily Express. One study has shown that pistachios reduced the levels of “bad” cholesterol in the blood by 10% in participants who consumed 126 grams of salted pistachio nuts daily.
Compared to the control diet, those who consumed two pistachio servings a day significantly reduced their total cholesterol by 8% and LDL-cholesterol (the unhealthy type of cholesterol) by 11.6%.
Are Pistachio Nuts Good for Weight Loss?
Eating pistachio nuts may assist in weight loss because nuts are highly satiating and help reduce overall calorie intake. Pistachios rank high on the Satiety Index scale, which means they may help you feel fuller for longer. Regularly snacking on pistachio nuts keeps you satisfied and may prevent overeating at mealtime. The reason for this is because pistachios are rich in fiber and protein, two nutrients that increase feelings of satiety to help you eat less.
High-protein foods, like pistachio nuts, may also boost your metabolism by up to 80–100 calories per day because extra energy is needed to help metabolize the protein in foods.
According to a 24-week study published by the Diabetes Foundation in New Delhi, India, individuals with excess weight showed that those who consumed 20% of calories from pistachios lost 0.6 inches (1.5 centimetres) more from their waistlines than those who did not consume pistachios.
In-shell pistachios are especially beneficial to dieters. Having to shell each nut as you eat them, slows down your snacking pace, thus promoting mindful eating.
Is it Safe to Eat Pistachios Every Single Day?
Eating nuts on a regular basis may improve your health in many ways, such as by reducing diabetes and heart disease risk, as well as cholesterol and triglyceride levels. A healthy daily intake of nuts is 30 grams, which is equivalent to about a handful.
Are Pistachio Nuts Safe for Diabetics?
The American Diabetes Association claims nuts are an excellent snack choice for people with diabetes. Pistachios, in particular, have a low glycemic index, which promotes lower blood sugar levels and prevents large blood sugar spikes.
According to one study, when 2 ounces (56 grams) of pistachios were added to a carb-rich diet, the participants’ blood sugar response after a meal was reduced by 20–30%. Along with being high in fiber and healthy fats, pistachio nuts also offer a good dose of in antioxidants, carotenoids, and phenolic compounds, all of which are helpful for blood sugar control