James and I munch on a lot of nuts during our long road trips. One that has taken a front seat to all others in our RV snack bag: The Pistachio.
While almonds and walnuts get most of the spotlight, the lesser-loved pistachio has just as many, if not more, heart healthy attributes. According to a study review in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, pistachios lower bad LDL cholesterol up to 20 percent, and increase the good stuff (HDL) by up to 48 percent. Yes, 48%. That got your attention, didn’t it. It got ours, too, which is why pistachios have become a Fit RV staple.
We can thank the high concentrations of phytosterols in pistachios for the heart benefits. Phytosterols are a chemical compound similar to cholesterol that are known for reducing LDL cholesterol levels in the body. They help to block the absorption of cholesterol in the gut, and pistachios have phytosterols in spades. An ounce of pistachios packs 79mgs of phytosterols while an ounce of almonds has 56mgs. Pistachios are also a good source of soluble fiber, antioxidants, and unsaturated fats (the good kind)…all necessary to keep the heart healthy.
Here’s a Fit RV tip:
Buy pistachios with the shells on. It’ll take you longer to eat them and help you keep track of how much you’ve consumed. (As a bonus, if your husband is OCD with messes like James is, the shell and skin bits will drive him absolutely nuts. Get it? Nuts!) With 158 calories per ounce (that’s 4 calories per nut), your waistline will thank you for munching in moderation!