Snacking can be part of a healthy diet. Choose snacks that are 100 calories or less, contain protein and fiber, and have little fat or added sugar. Pistachios fit this profile if you limit your intake to 100 calories.
Calories, Fiber and Protein
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one raw, dry-roasted or salted, dry-roasted pistachio kernel contains 4 calories. This means you would need to consume 25 nuts, which is approximately 1/2 ounce, to take in 100 calories. A snack of 1/2 ounce of pistachios would also provide you with 1.5 grams of fiber, about 6 percent of the recommended daily value. This snack-sized portion of nuts contains 3.5 grams of protein, about 6 percent and 7 percent of recommended daily value for men and women, respectively.
Pistachios may not be low in fat, but they are low in the type of fat that should be avoided: saturated fat. Their fat content is 90 percent unsaturated fat. According to the American Diabetes Association, saturated fat in diets has been linked to obesity, insulin resistance, heart disease and stroke, while unsaturated fats may provide protective benefits such as decreasing the risk for cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes.
Other Nutritional Benefits
Pistachios are excellent sources of many essential vitamins and minerals. Essential nutrients must be obtained or supplemented through diet. These nuts provide copper, manganese and vitamin B-6. They also contain thiamine, phosphorus and magnesium. In addition, a 100-calorie serving of pistachios contains as much potassium as half an orange.
- USDA Nutrient Database: Pistachio Nuts, Raw
- Clemson Cooperative Extension: Snacks With 100 Calories or Less
- American Diabetes Association: Saturated Vs. Unsaturated, Why Some Fats Are Healthier Than Others
- Pistachio Health Institute: For Your Heart
- Pistachio Health Institute: Nutrition
- ChooseMyPlate.gov: Food Groups
- American Pistachio Growers: Fact Sheet