Pistachios: All These Benefits in Just a Handful!

shutterstock_286575701Searching for a smart snack idea you can feel good about? A recent report published in the British Journal of Nutrition points out several reasons to add pistachios to your shopping list the next time you head to the market. In fact, this cousin to the cashew packs a pretty nutritious punch when added to a balanced diet.

After looking at more than 100 different studies focusing on the health benefits of nuts, researchers determined that pistachios stand out for several reasons. For starters, they have some of the highest levels of phytosterols—plant nutrients linked to cardiovascular health. Phytosterols work in the body to promote healthy cholesterol levels and help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

Researchers also determined that pistachios support healthy weight management. The high fiber and protein content in a standard serving (about an ounce of nuts) promotes satiety and helps ward off hunger throughout the day, and people who eat pistachios regularly tend to consume fewer calories overall.

Need a few more reasons to pop pistachios? The nuts are loaded with vitamins and minerals, rich in health-promoting antioxidants, and they even play a role in supporting eye health thanks to their high levels of beneficial plant compounds called carotenoids, which support healthy vision as we age. How’s that for nut-ritious addition to your diet?


No tags

Dine Out and Ditch the Guilt! 4 Simple Tips

shutterstock_197310860Healthy eating is a way of life—one that offers countless benefits for your heart, your waistline, and even your friendly gut bacteria (the ones that work hard to support digestive and immune health). But what about when it comes to dining out? If a trip to your favorite restaurant has a way of testing your resolve, here are four simple tips to help you stay on track:

  1. Stick with the Basics: Just like at home, focus on eating plenty of protein, healthy fats, non-starchy vegetables and low-sugar fruits, along with nuts and seeds. Saying no to breads, pasta, fries, and sweets is easier when you fuel your body with the good stuff first.
  2. Opt for a Salad (with added protein): Salads have come a long way from plain old iceberg lettuce and a cucumber or two. Nowadays most restaurants offer a salad with added protein in the form of grilled, chicken, steak, fish, or shrimp. Just make sure the meat or seafood is not breaded, and ask your server to hold the croutons or wonton strips.
  3. Get a Sandwich, Hold the Bun: Another great option is to order a sandwich without the bun, along with a side salad. Instead of eating the side salad first, place the sandwich fillings on top of the salad and enjoy! Remember to choose sandwich fillings that aren’t breaded or fried. Most restaurants will be happy to accommodate with a grilled option.
  4. Go for the Protein Entrée with Veggies: This is an excellent option, and one you will find available at most restaurants. Grilled steak, pork, chicken, fish, and shellfish are commonly offered as dinner entrées. Simply swap the potatoes, French fries, rice, or other starchy options with greens or whatever non-starchy vegetables they have to offer. Again, steer clear of breaded meats and seafood, as well as thick sauces with added flour.

The next time you dine out, just remember these four tips. You will see how easy it is to stick to your healthy eating habits no matter where you go!

No tags