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Pistachios are the new health nut. Why is that? New research from the University of Toronto shows that they may reduce the risk of diabetes by decreasing the effect of carbs on blood sugar levels. "Pistachios are high in protein, fiber, and healthy monounsaturated fat," explains study author Cyril Kendall, PhD, "all of which contribute to the slowing of carbohydrate absorption in the body."
Shopping shortcut: Buy salt-free nuts that are still in the shell. "You're less likely to overeat when you have to work for your snack," says Kathy McManus, RD, a FITNESS advisory board member and director of the department of nutrition at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
Make it even healthier: To sidestep calorie overload, don't just add pistachios to your diet; swap them for an unhealthy high-fat snack, such as chips or cheese and crackers.
Bonus benefits: Other recent research has shown that eating two to three ounces of pistachios a day can help significantly raise your level of good cholesterol (HDL). Pistachios are full of vitamin B6 and copper, too, which help increase energy.
Try these healthy recipes:Orange-Pistachio Wild-Rice SaladCavatelli with Arugula & Dried Cranberries