Sometimes the best things in life are right under our noses. We go about our daily lives looking for something better instead of taking the time to slow down and enjoy what is along the way. While this post pertains to something many have tried and loved, I had a preconceived notion in my head that I didn’t like them.
I know, I am crazy, right? Though the only thing I had ever tried pistachio-related was my grandmother’s famous Pistachio Cheesecake, I just knew I didn’t like pistachios. But one day recently when I was grocery shopping, I stopped to look at a large display of pistachios (A+ for store display, as this girl is now a fan). The bag says “Wonderful” right on the front, so they can’t be all that bad, right? I stopped to think when, if ever, I had tried an actual pistachio. Yeah, I couldn’t remember when, or if, I ever did. If I had, it had to have been as a child, which doesn’t count in my opinion. Kim-as-a-child had a very different taste palate than Kim-as-an-adult has. I picked up a bag, tossed it in my cart and went on my way.
Just as I suspected, I fell in love! Why in the world did I wait until I was 40 to try these? I may have to declare these my new favorite pre-dinner snack. Best of all? Pistachios don’t just taste good, they are good for you!
Thanks to their “hearty” nutrient profile that includes antioxidants, phytosterols, unsaturated fats and various vitamins and minerals, pistachios make a heart healthy snack.
Nuts including pistachios can help support a healthy cardiovascular system. In fact, pistachios are included in the qualified health claim for nuts which states:
“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. [See nutrition information for fat content.]”
According to the USDA Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) database, pistachios have a total antioxidant capacity of 7983 Trolox Equivalents per/100 grams, making them one of the highest in antioxidants among all snack nuts.
The Skinny on Fats
While pistachios provide 14g of fat per 30g serving, almost 90% of that fat is the healthy unsaturated type, mono- and polyunsaturated. Monounsaturated fat, mostly as oleic acid, comprises 55% of the fat in pistachios. Polyunsaturated fat, primarily linoleic acid, comprises 32% of the fat in pistachios.
The Truth about Trans Fat
Pistachios are naturally free from trans-fat, which is found mainly in foods cooked with partially-hydrogenated oils such as baked goods including pastries, biscuits, cookies and crackers, and fried foods, including doughnuts and French fries.
Best of all? Pistachios are naturally gluten-free! Do you like pistachios? Do you have foods that you refused to eat or didn’t like as a child that you love now?