Home Keto Diet Articles Are Pistachios Keto? Carbs In Pistachios…

Are Pistachios Keto? Carbs In Pistachios…

Written by Jane Summerfield

Each and every year there are millions upon millions of people all over the world who search for the top ways and trends to lose weight; to get healthy.

And this has become even more of a priority since the Covid-19 pandemic.

People are searching for the best ways to boost their health and start to face the world again looking and feeling good [1].

It might mean making adjustments to their diet, for instance; moving from an animal-based diet to a plant-based diet; to controlling the number of calories that get eaten every day.

People are consciously selecting foods and diets that they know are going to help them boost their immune systems and to fight off unknown viruses and strange diseases that are befalling the world as the effects of climate change, and neglect of animals and nature are starting to take effect [2].

Pistachios: Are They Keto Friendly? All You Need To Know

Enter pistachios

Pistachios are commonly known as the “happy nut.”

And they have heaps of nutritional value to them, being loaded with fiber, protein, minerals, vitamins, and monounsaturated fats too.

Around 99% of USA pistachios are produced in California – according to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center.

Did you know that pistachios are actually seeds and not nuts?

They come from the same family as the cashew, mango, and poison oak tree.

Pistachio is a Greek word, meaning “the green nut”, and they have been around for thousands of years, even in Biblical times [3].

Enter the keto diet as well

Even though the keto diet has been around for a few decades – it was a Mayo Clinic doctor known as Russell Wilder who experimented with a diet that would deplete the body of sugar.

He called it the ketogenic diet and used it on people, very successfully, with epilepsy.

Ever since the keto diet has proved to be highly effective in treating seizures.

In fact, there are several studies that link the benefits of the ketogenic diet with certain other health conditions such as heart diseases, epilepsy, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, type-2 diabetes, and more [4].

The keto diet is about restricting carb intake

Keto users need to limit their daily carbs to only around 20-30 grams a day.

And there are lots of foods that you would have to reduce or avoid altogether on the keto diet, particularly sugary foods, starchy goods, root veggies, beans, grains, some fruits, and most alcohols.

Because the keto diet has become a very sought-after diet to be on, there are many foods that come under scrutiny as to whether you can eat them or not.

Pistachios have always been part of the Mediterranean diet as a seed, or a nut, as some people like to call them.

But because pistachios consist of fat and carbs, amongst other nutrients, it is natural that people ask – are pistachios ok to eat on the keto diet?

People wonder, even, if they are good for helping to lose weight and how healthy they are.

They are packed with nutrients, and they are also good for losing weight

Let’s see why they are such a powerhouse of nutrients

  • They are rich in Vitamin B6 which promotes good blood flow.
  • They have compounds in them that act as antioxidants.
  • They contain vitamin E, carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin, so good for vision.
  • They improve and support healthy cholesterol levels – that adding them to the diet can help to lower bad cholesterol.
  • They are rich in other nutrients too, such as potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin B6, and thiamin.
  • They have proven to help reduce the BMI (body mass index) and waist circumferences in both males and females suffering from obesity. This was from a 2020 study [5] where the participants ate a daily serving of 1.5 oz. of pistachios against others who did not eat an extra serving of pistachios each day.

So are pistachios keto-friendly; that’s the big question?

Some nuts like pistachios are quite high in carbs. So lots of people wonder if they are keto or not.

But we have the answer immediately – you will be pleased to know that they are keto-friendly, even though being quite high in carbs.

One serving of 49 pistachios will consist of 7.7 grams of carbs.

A lot of the carbs come from healthy dietary fiber, which ends up with you getting a total of 4.7 net carbs.

Without question, pistachios should be included in your keto diet.

You can even cook with pistachios

You can simply toss them in your coffee grinder or food processor and make a nut meal.

This will be a perfect coating to add to your proteins – in other words, they are just like using breadcrumbs around your meat.

Just don’t grind them for too long because then you might end up with pistachio butter! – Although that’s not a bad idea either! 

The bottom line is this, pistachios are actually a guilt-free snack and they are the ideal option if you are looking for filling up on food as part of your keto diet, or for cooking.

Bon Appetit!

What about the fat and the carbs in pistachios?

When you are on the keto diet, like with a lot of diets, it is not that difficult to work out that you won’t be allowed to eat stuff like bagels and ice cream.

That makes sense, right?

But when it comes to nuts, like pistachios, people really can become baffled.

Because nuts, and some more than others, contain carbs and fats in them – and probably there are some diets around that wouldn’t allow carby/fatty nuts in them.

The thing is, nuts contain plenty of healthy fats and even some protein

When you are trying to hit the macronutrients, nuts like pistachios can be an excellent addition to the keto diet. Actually, there are a lot of the right kinds of nuts that don’t come with a keto-friendly label.

A nutrition expert gives some facts about pistachios:

  • Just one ounce of pistachios contains 4.7g of net carbs. They are a must-have on the ketogenic diet, packed with the B-complex vitamins, and other minerals that the body needs to function at its best.
  • Around 21% of pistachio nuts consist of low carbs and protein.
  • Pistachios supply antioxidants such as zeaxanthin, phenolic compounds, and lutein. They will protect you from the effects of detrimental free radicals. They might even help to decrease bad cholesterol levels and increase good cholesterol levels due to their high-fat content. One study going back to 2014 and published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that pistachios may decrease blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity [6].

And what about fat in pistachios?

  • Pistachios have 13 grams of fat per serving. Studies show that when you add pistachios to a healthy diet, you can help to lower bad cholesterol levels.
  • It’s true that the fat in pistachios might make up most of the calories in pistachios. But it’s really good fat; the type that is capable of lowering your risk of heart disease.

This is what the breakdown of fats in pistachios looks like

  • Monounsaturated fats: 7 grams
  • Polyunsaturated fats: 4 grams
  • Saturated fats: 1.5 grams

The American Heart Association says that most fats that we consume in our diet should come from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Pistachios have mostly monounsaturated fats in them.

They also include essential omega-3 fatty acids.

These are vital for heart and brain health.

Just one ounce of pistachios already meets 5% of your daily value for omega 3.

With quite a few calories in them which consist of the healthy fat, many people believe that pistachios are not the ideal thing to eat when you are trying to lose weight.

But wait – One study from 2010 [7] from the Journal of the American College of Nutrition discovered that those who followed a reduced-calorie weight loss diet, snacking on 220 calories of pistachios, helped to lower their BMI better than snacking for instance on 240 calories of pretzels.

Not only did their BMI improve from eating pistachios, but there were improvements in blood triglyceride levels as well.

Another study from 2011 discovered that those who ate pistachios in their shells ended up eating 50% fewer calories than those who ate their pistachios without shells and still felt satisfied [8].

It certainly sounds like they keep you feeling fuller for longer, helping you to stick to the reduced-calorie diet.

Just don’t eat more than you should though, even though they are so delicious and nutritious. Any foods, when consuming more than your body needs, will cause you to put on weight.

How do you eat pistachios? 

They are very well-loved for just eating plain.

All you do is throw them into your mouth, crack the shells off with your teeth and spit out the shells.

Of course, if that doesn’t appeal to you, then you can peel off the shells yourself and pop them into your mouth as you go.

Conclusion

Can you believe that in 2020, the word “keto” was the most Googled food-related topic in the world?

It received 25.4 million searches.

The keto diet has even overtaken previously popular diets such as intermittent fasting and the Atkins Diet.

It has grown so huge that the keto diet market is set to reach a global value of $15.6 billion USD by 2027.

Even though you will find an increase in keto-friendly products on many grocery store shelves, there will be other brands that will be quick to add keto products to their portfolio to trump the competition.

It’s no wonder the keto diet is so popular and effective because the US Department of Agriculture also recommends that you make nuts like pistachio nuts a regular part of your diet, even to use them in place of other proteins like beef and chicken.

If you are allowed to enjoy eating pistachio nuts as part of the keto diet, then they certainly know what’s good for them, and you!

References

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