Spring Has Sprung: How to Jumpstart Your Clean Eating

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1, 2015


Woman Eating Pistachios

It’s that time of year again – time for spring cleaning! Clean up your eating habits with a pantry makeover. Stock up on some natural green pistachios for a delicious and nutritious start to your clean eating lifestyle this spring.

For those who are new to clean eating, the principles are simple: eat whole foods that are mainly plant‐ based and minimally processed. Sounds simple, right? Perks of clean eating include the intake of “better-for-you” snacks with more nutrients, which may play a role in improved overall health. Plus, clean eating may help with healthier weight management.

Pistachios are a simple addition to your daily diet to help jumpstart your clean eating plan. They are a crave‐able and healthful alternative to snacks high in processed sugar and saturated fat. Need another reason to go nuts for pistachios? Recent research from Harvard University suggests that a daily handful of pistachios may increase health and longevity.1

JUMPSTART GUIDE:

  1. Buy whole foods. Pistachios are plant‐based and minimally processed. Simply roasted with a sprinkling of salt, they can be found in the produce aisle next to the fruits and vegetables. Grab a bag on your next shopping trip for a mid‐afternoon snack or paired with other wholesome ingredients.
  2. Upgrade to healthy fats. Ditch the not-so-healthy fats found in cookies and chips for a handful of pistachios, which are nearly 90 percent heart-healthy unsaturated fats.2 Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as pistachios, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.3
  3. Cut out the sugar. Snacks with added sugars may contribute fewer nutrients and extra calories to the diet, which may lead to weight gain. Pistachios are a healthy indulgence without added sugar.2 They are also a weight-wise snack when compared to other savory snacks. According to a study done at UCLA, choosing to snack on pistachios rather than pretzels is a good choice for those managing their weight.4
  4. Smart snacking. Pistachios are one of the lowest calorie, lowest fat snack nuts. Enjoy 30 pistachios for about 100 calories.2 They may help satisfy cravings in-between meals by providing a nutritious guilt-free indulgence, and make a great grab-and-go treat during your busy schedule.

Check out these pistachio‐inspired clean eating ideas for any time of day:

In‐shell pistachios + mixed berries + poached egg

In‐shell pistachios + raw veggies + Greek yogurt dip

In‐shell pistachios + watermelon + green smoothie

 

1      Bao et al. Association of nut consumption with total and cause‐specific mortality. N Engl J of Med. 2013;369:2001‐2011.

 

2       U.S. Department of Agriculture. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 27.

 

3      Qualified health claims: letter of enforcement discretion — nuts and coronary heart disease. Rockville, MD: Food and Drug Administration, July 14, 2003.

 

4      Li Z, Song R, Nguyen C, Zerlin A, Karp H, Naowamondhol K, Thames G, Gao K, Li L, Tseng CH, Henning SM, Heber D. J Am Coll Nutr. 2010 Jun;29(3):198‐203.