Weight Wise


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Known as the Skinny Nut because pistachios are one of the lowest calorie and lowest fat nuts, they are also a good source of fiber. The good news about pistachios and weight management just keeps adding up. Here’s the scoop on the latest research about pistachios.

In-shell Snack May Slow Consumption

According to James Painter, PhD, RD, Chair of the School of Family and Consumer Sciences at Eastern Illinois University, the “Pistachio Principle” is caloric reduction without calorie restriction. It is one of the many ways we can alter our environmental cues, allowing us to become more mindful and satisfied with our food choices.

Dr. Painter has conducted two preliminary, behavioral nutritional studies which suggest that consuming in‐shell pistachios may help to slow consumption while empty shells may serve as a visual cue about how much has been eaten.

In the first study people who consumed in‐shell pistachios ate 41 percent fewer calories than those who consumed pistachios without shells.1 This suggests that empty shells may be a helpful visual cue as to how much has been eaten – thereby potentially encouraging reduced calorie consumption.


Pistachio Shell Offers Visual Cue

In Dr. Painter’s second study, in-shell pistachios were consumed over an 8-hour shift. On the first day the empty shells were left on the desks as a visual “reminder” of consumption and on the second day the shells were removed. 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.



Pistachios are a good source of dietary fiber and are among the highest protein nuts, providing 12 percent of the daily value per 30 gram serving (about one ounce). The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends a dietary fiber intake of about 14 grams per 1000 calories; consumption studies have indicated that Americans typically consume only half of the recommended amount.4-5 As one of the highest fiber nuts, pistachios can help meet this goal.