Study Shows Pistachios May Be Helpful In A Weight Loss Plan

Regular pistachio consumption can promote favorable changes in the diet, lower blood pressure, and contribute to weight loss in a behavioral weight loss program

FRESNO, Calif., July 20, 2020 – Nut-loving consumers looking to lose a few pounds can feel better about keeping pistachios at hand as a result of a new study. The study, published in the July 20 issue of Nutrients, shows adding U.S. pistachios to the diet can contribute to weight loss, in the context of a calorie-restricted diet in a behavioral intervention, and may contribute additional health benefits such as lowering blood pressure. While several scientific studies have shown pistachios are helpful in maintaining a healthy weight, or will not cause weight gain, this is the first to examine the role of pistachios as part of a weight loss plan in a real world setting.

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego investigated whether U.S. pistachios could be used as part of a weight loss program in a study with 100 healthy, overweight and obese individuals. All participants received general dietary and behavioral weight loss advice, and instruction on ways to increase their physical activity. Half of the participants included 1.5 ounces of pistachios in their daily diet (Pistachio group) and the other half did not (Control group). Researchers measured the participants’ health information, diet and lab tests for cardiovascular disease risk at the beginning and end of the 4-month study.

According to the researchers, both groups lost about 5 percent of their body weight and both significantly decreased their waist circumference and body mass index (BMI). Waist circumference and BMI are indicators of not only obesity, but whether or not you may be at risk for diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. In addition to these measurements, there were added benefits to the Pistachio group, including lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure, increased fiber intake and lower consumption of sweets than the Control group. The Pistachio group also had higher blood levels of the antioxidant carotenoids of lutein, alpha- and beta-carotene and a healthier ratio of poly- and mono-unsaturated fatty acids to saturated fatty acids.

According to the lead researcher, Cheryl Rock PhD, RD, “this study adds to the body of evidence that U.S. pistachios can be a component of a weight loss diet, can increase intake of key nutrients, and can promote a healthy dietary pattern”.


Studies have shown U.S. pistachios have a unique set of nutrients that have multiple health benefits. In March, it was announced pistachios are a complete protein, containing all 9 of the essential amino acids required to sustain health for those 5 years and older. This was discovered when the protein quality of pistachios was analyzed by the University of Illinois. They have mono- and poly-unsaturated fatty acids which are beneficial for lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, contain the phytonutrients lutein and zeaxanthin which have protective properties for the eyes from blue light and ultraviolet light, and are a good source of fiber and vitamin B6.



Rene’ Yamashiro, Manager, Nutrition Research and Communications

PH: (001)559-475-0435

Monday, July 20, 2020

Hot Off the Press

Monday, February 27, 2023
FRESNO, CA – February 27, 2023 --- With every new acre of pistachios California reaps a wellspring of economic rewards totaling more than $6.4 billion in the Golden State. A new economic study commissioned by American Pistachio Growers (APG), and released today on the opening day of APG’s 2023 Industry Annual Conference, has quantified the benefits in terms of industry spending for goods and services, jobs created, labor income and contributions from indirect business taxes. The study by Dennis H. Tootelian of the Tootelian Company of Sacramento underscores the growing importance of pistachios to the state’s economy. Data were also analyzed for Arizona and New Mexico.
Wednesday, February 15, 2023
From lattes to cocktails, fashion and even paint colors, pistachios are having a moment. Food industry leaders like Baum + Whiteman and Lyons Magnus recently predicted pistachios would be the top nut of 2023 in food trend research, and outlets like Forbes and Eat This, Not That! all covered the news.