There’s No Need to “Snackrifice” This National Nutrition Month

THURSDAY, MARCH 5, 2015

 

National Nutrition Month

March is National Nutrition Month® and that means it’s time to re-evaluate those eating habits and ditch the less nutritious ones. Upgrade your snack time with whole foods, such as pistachios, to stay on track.

Created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), National Nutrition Month is an annual campaign to promote healthy habits. This year’s theme, “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle”, focuses on consuming fewer calories, being physically active, and making informed choices.

So how do pistachios fit into all of this?

1. Consuming fewer calories

Because of their mindful eating benefits, pistachios are a good choice when it comes to portion control. A preliminary behavioral eating study found that in-shell snackers ate 41 percent fewer calories than those who snacked on shelled nuts.1,2 In-shell pistachios helped encourage snackers to slow down, and the empty shells may have provided a visual cue about portions. This phenomenon is known as the “Pistachio Principle,” which allows you to fool yourself full without feeling deprived.

2. Being physically active

Does cracking open pistachio shells count as exercise? Maybe not, but pistachios can certainly help fuel fitness. With six grams of protein and three grams of fiber per one-ounce serving, roasted and salted pistachios make a great-tasting post-workout snack.3 Why not try pistachios for a snack that helps fuel you up without weighing you down.

3. Making informed choices

Here’s the skinny on pistachios. Did you know pistachios were named the nut of the year for 2015?4 Maybe it’s because of their great taste, but we also think it’s because they are one of the lowest calorie and lowest fat snack nuts.3 They provide about 49 kernels per serving, more than double than most other snack nuts. A one-ounce serving of pistachios has 160 calories and nearly 90% of the fats are heart-healthy unsaturated fats.

There’s always a good time to snack on pistachios. Check out these ideas on when to enjoy them:

Watching the game. Add a bowl of in-shell pistachios with your favorite beer or non-alcoholic ginger beer to score a winning combo.

Men snacking on pistachios

Board game night. Power your next game night with a bowl of in-shell pistachios. Cracking them open is just part of the fun.

Family snacking on pistachios

Late night hunger. Curb late-night cravings with in-shell pistachios. This tasty snack is full of healthy fats, protein and fiber to help keep you satisfied.

Woman snacking on pistachios

Now that you’re in the know about pistachios, grab a handful and start snacking. Don’t “snackrifice” this National Nutrition Month!

 

1 Kennedy-Hagan, KJ, Painter, JE, Honselman, CS, Halvorson, A, Rhodes, K, Skwir, K. The Effect of Pistachio Shells as a Visual Cue in Reducing Caloric Consumption.Appetite. 2011;57(2): 418-420.

2 Honselman, CS, Painter, JE, Kennedy‐Hagan, KJ, Halvorson, A, Rhodes, K, Brooks, TL, Skwir, K. In‐shell pistachio nuts reduce caloric intake compared to shelled nuts.Appetite. 2011, 57(2):414‐417.

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

4 Largeman-Roth F. 6 Food Trends You Need to Know About. U.S. News & World Report. December 26, 2014. 
http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2014/12/26/6-food-trends-you-need-to-know-about-for-2015. Accessed January 13, 2015.