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5 Interesting Facts about Pistachios

Update Date: Sep 12, 2014 02:57 PM EDT

When it comes to snacking, health experts and nutritionists recommend people to reach for healthy snacks, such as nuts. Several studies have found that when consumed in moderation since nuts are high in fat, nuts can keep the body full and satisfied for a longer period of time. However, when it comes to picking nuts, there are a whole bunch of options. If you are looking for a low-calorie one, stock up on pistachios.

Here are 5 interesting facts about Pistachios:

1. Pistachios are the "Skinny Nuts"

Pistachios have around three to four calories per nut, which makes them the "skinniest" nut option available. Not only are these nuts low in calories, some studies have found that when people eat them in their shells, they are more likely to eat less.

2. Pistachios are Rich in Potassium

Not only are pistachios the lowest-calorie nut, they also contain the most amount of potassium in comparison to other nuts. Potassium can help relieve people's stress levels by reducing the production of the hormone, cortisol.

3. Pistachios Lower Cholesterol and Reduce Cancer Risk

Pistachios are rich in phytosterols, which are plant compounds that have been tied to reducing "bad" cholesterol levels, medically known as low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Pistachios also contain high antioxidants, such as carotenoids beta-carotene and lutein that can protect the body against cancer.

4. Red Pistachios do not Exist

Pistachios are naturally green; however, sometimes, importers will dye them red in order to hide certain blemishes. Blemishes can occur due to the way the nuts are harvested. Dyed red pistachios are safe for consumption.

5. Pistachio production is high in the U.S.

The United States leads the world in pistachio production, passing Iran on that list in 2010. Over the past six years, pistachio sales have skyrocketed from 100 million pounds to nearly 270 million pounds.

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