Today’s post is for a pistachio pairing that includes my recipe for Double Chocolate Pistachio Cookies. By posting this pairing, I’m entering a contest sponsored by the Pistachio Health Institute and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time, and all thoughts and opinions of pistachios are my own.
WHAT DO YOU GET WHEN YOU PAIR: Healthy, delicious in the shell pistachios + low carb double chocolate pistachio cookies + sugar-free vanilla almond milk? A NUTTY GOOD TIME and a healthy snack that’s delicious any time you’re in the mood to #GetCrackin!
Because I’m on a low carb eating plan, I try really hard to keep my snacking under control. It’s SO easy for me to grab a spoon and dig into ice cream, or pop a “fun” sized candy bar (or 4) in my mouth without thinking twice about it. Because I’m such a sugar addict, there are times when I don’t have the self control and/or will power to stop at a tiny, reasonable portion of sweets. That’s why I’ve started snacking on healthier things like string cheese, fruit, or a hand full of pistachios. It probably goes without saying that they’re delicious, but did you know that in-the-shell pistachios are healthy AND they’ve got a built in portion control feature? Get this:
A one-ounce serving of pistachios equals approximately 49 nuts, which is more nuts per serving than any other snack nut, and a reduced serving of about 30 pistachios is just about 100 calories. (There are 35 pistachios in the paper cup in the photo, above)
Crack ‘em, Chew ‘em, Love ‘em, Leave ‘em: Let the Pistachio Principle be your guide! Empty pistachio shells may serve as a “visual cue” of how many pistachios you’ve consumed, so don’t discard the shells after you’ve enjoyed the treat inside. Keep these two behavioral studies in mind as you prepare your healthy Pistachio Pairing: ~ Study participants who left pistachio shells on their desk reduced their calorie consumption by 18 percent compared to participants who discarded shells immediately after consumption.1
Just don’t let your boss see all of those empty shells sitting on your $1,000 laptop, m’kay?
~ People who consumed in-shell pistachios ate 41 percent fewer calories than those who consumed pistachios without shells.2 This suggests that empty shells may be a helpful visual cue as to how much has been eaten – thereby potentially encouraging reduced calorie consumption.
Want another reason to go nuts snacking on pistachios?
Recent research from Harvard University and published in theNew England Journal of Medicine suggests that the benefits of snacking on nuts go up as the number of servings goes up, too3.
Bottom line: more nuts, more benefits. Go for a daily handful of pistachios as part of a healthy diet. A daily handful of pistachios is a delicious and healthy everyday snack for those striving for seven servings a week. 1. Painter, J. “The Effect of Pistachio Shells as a Visual Cue in Reducing Caloric Consumption.” Appetite. 2011, 57(2):418-420. 2. Honselman, C.S., Painter, J.E., Kennedy-Hagan, K.J., Halvorson, A., Rhodes, K., Brooks, T.L., & Skwir, K. “In-shell pistachio nuts reduce caloric intake compared to shelled nuts.” Appetite. 2011, 57(2):414-417. 3. Bao et al. Association of nut consumption with total and cause-specific mortality. N Engl J of Med. 2013;369:2001-2011.
So what’s NOT to love about a snack of some in-the-shell pistachios with a low carb chocolate cookie or two (also with pistachios!) and a tall glass of cold, sugar-free vanilla almond milk? Grab your apron and your snack bowl, and I’ll meet you in the kitchen!