Pistachio nuts reduce triglycerides and body weight by comparison to refined carbohydrate snack in obese subjects on a 12-week weight loss program.
ABSTRACT 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.
- SourceAvailable from: Gary D Foster[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Increased consumption of nuts has been advocated because of their health benefits, but the role of nuts in the treatment of obesity is unclear given their high energy density. This study was designed to evaluate the effects of a hypocaloric, almond-enriched diet (AED) compared with a hypocaloric nut-free diet (NFD) on body weight and cardiovascular disease risk factors in the context of an 18-mo behavioral weight-management program. Overweight and obese individuals [n = 123; age = 46.8 y, BMI (in kg/m(2)) = 34.0] were randomly assigned to consume an AED or NFD and instructed in traditional behavioral methods of weight control. Anthropometric and metabolic measurements were made at baseline, 6 mo, and 18 mo. Those in the AED group lost slightly but significantly less weight than did those in the NFD group at 6 mo (-5.5 compared with -7.4 kg; P = 0.04), but there were no differences at 18 mo. No significant differences in body composition were found between the groups at 6 or 18 mo. The AED, compared with the NFD, was associated with greater reductions in total cholesterol (P = 0.03), total:HDL cholesterol (P = 0.02), and triglycerides (P = 0.048) at 6 mo, and no differences were observed between the groups at 18 mo. The AED and NFD groups experienced clinically significant and comparable weight loss at 18 mo. Despite smaller weight loss in the AED group at 6 mo, the AED group experienced greater improvements in lipid profiles. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00194428.American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 06/2012; 96(2):249-54. · 6.50 Impact Factor