Go nuts over pistachios! Studies have found that pistachio nuts can work wonders for weight loss and also help burn belly fat. Rich in micronutrients, it promotes satiety and encourages less calorie intake.
A study, ‘Effects of Pistachio Consumption in a Behavioral Weight Loss Intervention on Weight Change, Cardiometabolic Factors, and Dietary Intake’, observed weight loss in people who consumed pistachios on a regular basis. The 2020 study published in the journal Nutrients also found that it leads to reductions in BMI and waist circumference, in people who are overweight and those with obesity. Additionally, it is also associated with healthy shifts in dietary intake and food choices like increased dietary fiber and decreased consumption of sweets.
Do pistachios help with weight loss?
Experts say pistachios can help in weight loss. Dr Anjali Bhatt, diabetologist and endocrinologist, Pune, says pistachio is a very good source of micronutrients as well as good fatty acid. Hence, in a balanced amount, it should help in weight loss, she says.
She adds it can help increase satiety and you tend to eat less. “Satiety doesn’t always have to come with calories. Micronutrient deficiency can also make you feel hungry. If you are taking foods that have micronutrients, it will give you satiety. It will suppress the calorie intake. Even micronutrients like vitamins and minerals can give you satiety,” says Dr Bhatt, also the founder and chief consultant, Endoclinic.
How to eat pistachios for weight loss?
One ounce of pistachios contains 1.5g protein and 30 kcal. Deepa Agarwal, founder and consultant nutritionist, NutriClinic, Hyderabad, adds it also has a lot of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. She suggests soaking a handful of pistachios and eating them at night for weight loss. “It takes about three months to show results,” she says.
Dr Bhatt says, “People nowadays take salted pistachio for better taste. That is not good. One should consume in its regular, raw form.”
A 2016 review states that evidence also suggests that pistachios help in lowering blood pressure and LDL cholesterol, and improve endothelial function, which promote heart health. Pista has good fatty acids, which help stabilize lipid profile, says Dr Bhatt.
How many pistachios should you eat in a day?
The quantity of pistachio that one can consume for weight loss depends on their basal calorie requirements. “Someone who has high calorie requirements can take like more amounts than someone who requires a lesser total calorie intake. But generally, I think a handful at a time is reasonable,” says Dr Bhatt.
However, experts say there is no one superfood for weight loss. It is important to identify what are the good micronutrients in a particular food and add it in the diet for a balanced nutrition. The nutrition and calorie intake should also be combined with exercises to help lose and manage weight.
Side-effects of pistachios
Dr Bhatt says most people can consume the nut unless they are allergic to them. However, having an excess amount can lead to some complications like gastrointestinal problems. It can cause bloating, constipation and other issues, if taken more than required quantity.
As they have high potassium, magnesium and phosphorus content, Agarwal says, people who have gout, hyperlipidemia, cardiac issues and kidney issues, may also be advised to avoid pistachios.
- Rich in fiber, micronutrients and good fatty acids, pistachios can help in weight loss.
- Pistachio promotes satiety and thus promotes a lesser calorie intake.
- Experts say it takes three months to show some weight loss results.
- Soaking and having them at night is recommended.
- It also helps lower blood pressure, cholesterol and improve heart health.
- Regular consumption of pistachios should also be accompanied with exercises and a balanced diet to help lose and maintain ideal weight.