Naturally Gluten-Free–Pistachios
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Feb 25 2013

Naturally Gluten-Free–Pistachios

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.

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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.]”

Antioxidant Superfoods

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.

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Best of all?  Pistachios are naturally gluten-freeDo you like pistachios?  Do you have foods that you refused to eat or didn’t like as a child that you love now?

Article Written by:

Kimberly Bouldin is a gluten-free wife, runner & blogger with two children in Columbus, Ohio. After her celiac diagnosis in 2006, she has made it her mission to embrace an entirely new approach to nutrition in a gluten-free world, exploring options that run the gamut from "made from scratch" homemade bread to sampling and reviewing the gluten-free prepared foods that are continuously being introduced to the market. While navigating the waters of becoming gluten-free, Kim shares her experiences and passes along valuable product reviews in addition to helping other moms of celiac kids develop healthy menus that are kid-friendly and palatable. Kimberly is a valuable resource for those who are newly diagnosed, as well as for the more seasoned gluten-free veterans. Follow Kim on Twitter!

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