Pistachios pip pretzel as weight-loss snack

Updated: May 04, 2011, 00:00 AM IST

Washington: Choosing to snack on pistachios rather than pretzels as part of a healthy diet not only supports weight loss goals but can support heart health too.

The study is especially significant as snack foods account for more than a quarter of the total caloric intake among Americans.

"This study is important because it`s the first of its kind to show that pistachios can be part of a successful weight management programme," said David Heber, director of the University of California Los Angeles Centre for Human Nutrition.

"Snackers often think pretzels are a better choice for weight management compared to a nut like pistachios just because they are lower in fat. This study debunks that myth," Heber was quoted as saying by the American College of Nutrition.

In this 12-week randomised study, 52 overweight subjects were placed on a 500-calorie deficit diet and were assigned to either a pistachio snack or pretzel snack group, according to a California statement.

The pistachio group included a daily snack of 240 calories (about 75 pistachios) and the pretzel group, a two ounce snack of similar caloric value totalling 220 calories.

The results showed that the pistachio group had better success with supporting their body mass index (BMI, a height to weight ratio) goals compared to the pretzel group.

Pistachios can help support heart health too, proving that they can be included in a healthy diet, even for those who are managing their weight.