The Pistachio Diet: Diets We Can Live With.

Diet and Nutrition

The Pistachio Diet:  Diets you can live with.


In honor of the new year, and fad diets of all kinds, I hereby create a new one.  (Patients note:  this is on my humor page, it is a joke diet.  But unfortunately it is no more of a joke diet than all the ones flying off the shelves right now.  Diets -altering your food intake for a short period- leads to weight loss – for a short period.  I recommend life-long diet change you can live with.  Something like 80% anti-inflammatory diet, 20% relax. )


But here it is, straight from the Football man-caves of America:


The Pistachio Diet


Before every meal and for snacks, consume 53g of pistachios.  That’s it.


It will reduce your body weight by altering your glycemic index and alter your triglyceride levels.   (Really.  Research provided below).

We’ll be selling the pistachios in 53g packs, and you can buy a special, really expensive scale that reaches 53g and says “Good Boy!

There are also pistachio shaped dumbbells you can purchase for the pistachio workout .™

T-shirts, logo hats, celebrity endorsements, and infomercials to follow.



J Am Coll Nutr. 2010 Jun;29(3):198-203.


Pistachio nuts reduce triglycerides and body weight by comparison to refined carbohydrate snack in obese subjects on a 12-week weight loss program.


Li Z, Song R, Nguyen C, Zerlin A, Karp H, Naowamondhol K, Thames G, Gao K, Li L, Tseng CH, Henning SM, Heber D.





Center for Human Nutrition, Warren Hall, Room 12-217, 900 Veteran Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.







There is a widely held view that, due to high fat content, snacking on nuts will lead to weight gain, ultimately causing unhealthy changes in lipid profiles. This study is designed to study the effects of pistachio snack consumption on body weight and lipid levels in obese participants under real-world conditions.




Participants were randomly assigned to consume 1 of 2 isocaloric weight reduction diets for 12 weeks, with each providing 500 cal per day less than resting metabolic rate. Each diet included an afternoon snack of either 53 g (240 cal) of salted pistachios (n  =  31) or 56 g of salted pretzels (220 cal; n  =  28).




Both groups lost weight during the 12-week study (time trend, p < 0.001), but there were significant differences in the changes in body mass index between the pretzel and pistachio groups (pistachio, 30.1 ± 0.4 to 28.8 ± 0.4 vs. pretzel, 30.9 ± 0.4 to 30.3 ± 0.5). At 6 and 12 weeks, triglycerides were significantly lower in the pistachio group compared with the pretzel group (88.04 ± 9.80 mg/dL vs. 144.56 ± 18.86 mg/dL, p  =  0.01 at 6 weeks and 88.10 ± 6.78 mg/dL vs. 132.15 ± 16.76 mg/dL, p  =  0.02 at 12 weeks), and there was a time trend difference between the 2 groups over the 12 weeks (p < 0.01). There were no significant differences in total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, insulin, or glucose between the 2 groups.




Pistachios can be consumed as a portion-controlled snack for individuals restricting calories to lose weight without concern that pistachios will cause weight gain. By comparison to refined carbohydrate snacks such as pretzels, pistachios may have beneficial effects on triglycerides as well.



PMID: 20833992

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2011 Jun;65(6):696-702. Epub 2011 Mar 2.


The impact of pistachio intake alone or in combination with high-carbohydrate foods on post-prandial glycemia.


Kendall CW, Josse AR, Esfahani A, Jenkins DJ.





Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Center, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.







Dietary strategies that reduce post-prandial glycemia are important in the prevention and treatment of diabetes and coronary heart disease (CHD). This may be achieved by addition of high-quality protein and fat contained in pistachio nuts, to carbohydrate-containing foods or meals.




A total of 10 healthy volunteers (3 males, 7 females); aged 48.3±6.4 years; Body mass index (BMI) 28.0±4.8 kg/m(2) participated in two studies. Study 1 assessed the dose-response effect of 28, 56 and 84 g pistachios consumed alone or co-ingested with white bread (50 g available carbohydrate); Study 2 assessed the effective dose (56 g) of pistachios on post-prandial glycemia consumed with different commonly consumed carbohydrate foods (50 g available carbohydrate). Relative glycemic responses (RGRs) of study meals compared with white bread, were assessed over the 2 h post-prandial period.




The RGRs of pistachios consumed alone expressed as a percentage of white bread (100%) were: 28 g (5.7±1.8%); 56 g (3.8±1.8%); 84 g (9.3±3.2%), P<0.001. Adding pistachios to white bread resulted in a dose-dependent reduction in the RGR of the composite meal; 28 g (89.1±6.0, P=0.100); 56 g (67.3±9.8, P=0.009); 84 g (51.5±7.5, P<0.001). Addition of 56 g pistachios to carbohydrate foods significantly reduced the RGR: parboiled rice (72.5±6.0) versus rice and pistachios (58.7±5.1) (P=0.031); pasta (94.8±11.4) versus pasta and pistachios (56.4±5.0) (P=0.025); whereas for mashed potatoes (109.0±6.6) versus potatoes and pistachios, (87.4±8.0) (P=0.063) the results approached significance.



Pistachios consumed alone had a minimal effect on post-prandial glycemia and when taken with a carbohydrate meal attenuated the RGR. The beneficial effects of pistachios on post-prandial glycemia could, therefore, be part of the mechanism by which nuts reduce the risk of diabetes and CHD.


PMID: 21364607


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  1. #1 by diet on August 19, 2013 - 12:51 pm

    Thank you for posting this. I have been previously looking for this info. Superior information I am going to visit have a look at on the Vegetarian Diet.

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