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Pistachio Diet

By Cynthia Roberson

Rich in protein and fiber, pistachios offer a multitude of benefits, whether you’re a cyclist getting ready for a race or simply wanting to improve your overall health. What makes the pistachio diet different from most diets is that it is not based on the foods you eat, but on how your body reacts to those foods. Moreover, the pistachio diet isn’t an actual diet so much as a recommendation to add pistachios to your diet.

Nutrients in Pistachios

Although high in fat, pistachios are also high in protein and fiber. Subsequently, they fail to trigger an insulin response in the body, which means excess calories are less likely to convert to fat. Low on the glycemic index, pistachios are a good source of complex carbohydrates, serving as an extended energy source.

Adding Pistachios to Your Diet

Eating pistachios won't put on the pounds; unlike some other diets, it also helps you feel satisfied so you don't overeat to compensate for the restricted calories. Adding pistachios to a healthy diet focused on the low glycemic and low sugar foods that are high in fiber, protein and healthy, unsaturated fat promotes good health, and could help you lose weight. Simply replacing 500 calories of saturated fat, high glycemic foods with 500 calories from pistachios could meet 12 percent of your daily fiber needs, as well as helping you maintain a healthy body weight.

Weight Loss Benefits

Adding pistachios to your diet when embarking on a weight loss regimen serves as a health benefit for two reasons. Not only is the pistachio a complex carbohydrate; it also slows consumption naturally. The shell leaves visual evidence of how many you’ve eaten, so you're not tempted to overeat. Moreover, pistachios give you the sensation of feeling full on fewer calories.

Other Health Benefits

Pistachios not only increase antioxidants in the body, but they are also high in beta-carotene. Pistachios are thought to lower cholesterol, reduce lung cancer risk, normalize blood pressure and improve heart health overall. A study reported on in the May 20, 2010 issue of "Journal of Nutrition" found that pistachios can increase antioxidants and may lower LDL cholesterol. Moreover, the pistachio diet may improve erectile dysfunction, according to a study at Atatürk Teaching and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey, reported in the "International Journal of Impotence Research" published in January 2011.

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