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Feed Your Face: Pistachios Are Good for You -- and Your Skin

By Dr Jessica Wu

The next time you get the urge to snack, put away the pretzels and reach for pistachios instead. Yes, nuts are higher in fat than pretzels and some other starchy snacks, but they contain healthier, monounsaturated fats and they're more satisfying. Also, pistachios are lower in fat than almonds, walnuts, pecans, and macadamia nuts. In an encouraging finding, a UCLA study showed that dieters who snacked on pistachios daily lost more weight and brought down their triglyceride levels more than those who ate an identical number of calories but snacked instead on pretzels. Here are some ideas to help you include these healthy nuts in your diet:

Grab a handful. Roasted unshelled pistachios are an easy, portable snack that you can keep in your bag, car, or desk. One ounce (about 50 pistachios) provides 160 calories. Roasted nuts can be high in sodium, so try to find unsalted ones.

Toss in a salad. Throw a handful into your salad to give it crunch and texture. I especially like pistachios with baby greens, dried cranberries, and vinaigrette dressing -- goat cheese optional.

Have nuts for dinner. There’s a menu for Nut-Crusted Halibut in my Feed Your Face Meal Plan. If you’re tired of salmon but want to get your omega-3 fix, try this yummy fish dish. Dredge halibut fillets in whole-wheat flour and egg wash (use just the whites), then coat with finely chopped pistachios, pressing the nuts into the fish to make them adhere. Bake or broil. (If you have acne or any skin rash, use just a small amount of flour.) Serve over brown rice with a side of steamed veggies, such as broccoli.

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