Pistachios: To Salt, or Not to Salt
Everybody loves a good pistachio. Granted, eating just one is nearly impossible. They can be used to flavor ice creams, as an ingredient in baking, or can just be eating straight out of the bag. There are even tons of health benefits to eating pistachios. But which pistachios are best? Salted or unsalted?
Let’s find out!
Health Benefits of Pistachios
Pistachios are not only delicious but quite healthy for us — if consumed in moderate amounts. Most notable health benefits from eating pistachios are:
- Good source of healthy fats
- High in fiber
- Source of protein
- Contains antioxidants, and loads of nutrients
- Good for weight loss
- Lowers your cholesterol
- Can even improve things like your bowel movements, vision, and circulation of blood vessels
Amazing, right? The benefits from everyone’s favorite little green snack are seemingly endless. However, if you choose to consume salted pistachios over unsalted, there is a bit of a catch.
Difference between Salted Pistachios and Unsalted Pistachios
A one ounce serving of pistachios (which contains roughly 50 nuts – which is nuts) only contains about 2mg of sodium, which isn’t much. Making it an ideal snack for someone looking to stay healthy, while indulging in a delicious treat that won’t have any negative affects on their health.
Meanwhile, the same size serving of salted pistachios has about 63 times the amount of sodium. While the salted pistachios are arguably better tasting (face it, we love our salt) if you are watching your sodium intake, it is advisable to stick with unsalted pistachios.
Effects of a Sodium Rich Diet
While sodium is a necessary part of our diets, as it helps to balance the intake of both minerals and water we ingest, there are some negative effects of ingesting too much sodium. Your body strives to keep a balance of sodium and water, so an increase in sodium intake will lead to your body keeping more water in your body than usual. This can lead to swelling and bloating and a gradual increase in weight. Additionally, too much sodium can lead to a constant sensation of thirst. The more water you drink to crave this thirst, the more water your body can store to maintain the balance of sodium and water.
A more commonly known side effect of too much sodium is an increase in blood pressure. This can be a short-term and long-term side effect.
Extreme Examples of Long-Term Risks from Too Much Sodium
While it’s unlikely you can intake an extreme amount of sodium from salted pistachios alone, the combination of sodium intake from pistachios mixed with a high-sodium diet can have severe long-term effects on your health. Most extreme examples are:
- Risk of stomach cancer
- Heart disease
- Premature death
Why You Should Be Eating Unsalted Pistachios
While there is no perfect food out there, pistachios are an amazing snack that is universally enjoyed. On top of their amazing taste that keeps you coming back for more, they have countless health benefits. When it comes to the consequences on your wallet for indulging in this healthy snack, there basically are none! Pistachios are not only affordable but easily accessible. Whether you buy them online or go to the local grocery store, there will be a bag of unsalted pistachios waiting for you.
Add Unsalted Pistachios to Your Diet Today
If you haven’t already, start eating pistachios today! They are delicious, healthy, and fun to eat! While it’s unlikely you can eat enough salted pistachios in a lifetime to kill you, if you are looking for the healthiest way to adhere to your pistachio addiction – trust me, you’ll be hooked — unsalted is the way to go.