How Adding Pistachios To Your Diet Can Help Reduce Belly Fat

An ounce of pistachios — about a handful — has 163 calories, 5 grams of protein, and 13 grams of fat, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central. So many calories and fat in such a small amount of food might make you opt for a bag of popcorn or pretzels, but wait. Eating pistachios every day might help you trim belly fat while keeping you healthy. How can this be? Eating nuts can help you oxidize belly fat because they have healthy, unsaturated fat, according to a 2014 review in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Pistachios might also trim your waistline. A 2014 study in Nutrition added pistachios to the diets of people with metabolic syndrome while a control group followed a similar diet without pistachios. The pistachio group had reduced their waist circumference compared to the control group. Not only that, but they reduced their total and LDL cholesterol levels and increased their adiponectin levels. Low adiponectin levels can lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome (via Cleveland Clinic).

Adding pistachios to your diet won't cause weight gain

A 2020 study in Appetite had 30 women eating 44 grams — about 1.5 ounces–of pistachios mid-morning without being told to adjust their calorie intake. In other words, they were told to eat as they chose. Meanwhile, 30 other women served as a control group. Although the pistachio group didn't lose weight, their diet had changed. They wound up eating fewer carbs and starch because they weren't as hungry and were more satisfied. Therefore, adding pistachios can add healthy nutrients to your diet without gaining weight.

Pistachios can also help manage your blood sugar, according to a 2014 study in The Review of Diabetic Studies. Compared to a control group, people who ate 25 grams of pistachios twice a day lowered their HbA1c and fasting blood glucose. Monitoring your blood sugar can be a better indicator of how your body burns fat for energy, according to Levels Health.

Pistachios have oleic and linoleic fatty acids, which are both healthy monounsaturated fats, according to a 2022 study in Nutrients. Pistachios can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress while improving your gut microbiome. According to WebMD, your gut microbiome can factor into your ability to lose weight.