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2014-05-28

Pistachios and Body Weight

Many people continue to wrongly assume that consuming nuts, due to their high fat content, causes weight gain. So, in an effort to learn the effects of regular pistachio consumption on body composition and blood lipids in healthy subjects, researchers asked a group of healthy women in their 20s to add a couple servings of pistachios to their daily diets, accounting for up to 20% of their daily calorie needs.

For this study, the researchers recruited 48 healthy women with a mean age of 21 for a free-living crossover design that involved two 10-week treatment periods with pistachios added (20% of calories), a no pistachio control treatment and a 15-week washout period. Pistachios were provided weekly in pre-measured sealed snack bags to the participants, and empty bags and diet data were collected at that time. Blood lipids, waist circumference (WC), weight, body composition (bioelectrical impedance analysis), and blood pressure (BP) measurements were taken at the beginning and end of each treatment.

The researchers found that neither treatment had a significant effect on blood lipids, body weight, WC, percent body fat, or BP; however, LDL, cholesterol, triglycerides, WC, and systolic/diastolic BP were slightly lower in the pistachio groups.

The results show us that nuts can be included in a healthy diet and not cause weight gain. This makes sense considering pistachios are a good source of fibre and protein, and containing "good" fats.

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Source: Effects of pistachio consumption on body composition and blood lipids in healthy young women

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