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    Archive for the ‘pistachios’ Category

    You Ask, I Answer: Peanuts vs. Tree Nuts

    peanuts-peeledA peanut butter sandwich is as American as apple pie.

    What are your thoughts on peanut butter, though?

    I’ve been hearing that peanuts, which I know are actually legumes, aren’t as healthy as tree nuts.

    Should I be making my sandwiches with almond butter instead?

    — Fred (Last name withheld)
    Brooklyn, NY

    I don’t have any issues with peanuts or peanut butter.

    When it comes to nuts (and, yes, for the sake of this post we’ll treat peanuts as such), my recommendation is to always have one serving of some nut every day.

    One serving is made up of 13 walnuts halves.  In the case of almonds, that’s 23 individual pieces.  If you’re talking pistachios, you’re looking at 49 kernels!

    The issue with nuts is that you could label any one as “better” or “worse” than the next, depending on what criteria you use.

    Consider these lists I compiled:

    FIBER CONTENT (per ounce)

    • Almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios: 3 grams
    • Brazil nuts, walnuts, peanuts: 2 grams
    • Cashews: 1 gram

    PROTEIN CONTENT (per ounce)

    • Peanuts: 7 grams
    • Almonds, pistachios: 6 grams
    • Cashews: 5 grams
    • Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts: 4 grams
    • Pecans: 3 grams

    MONOUNSATURATED (heart-healthy!) FAT (per ounce)

    • Hazelnuts: 12.9 grams
    • Pecans: 11.5 grams
    • Almonds: 8.7 grams
    • Brazil nuts, peanuts: 6.9 grams
    • Cashews: 6.7 grams
    • Pistachios: 6.6 grams

    OMEGA 3: OMEGA 6 RATIO (per ounce)

    • Walnuts: 1:4
    • Pecans: 1:20
    • Pistachios: 1:51
    • Hazelnuts: 1:89
    • Cashews: 1:125
    • Brazil nuts: 1:1,139
    • Almonds: 1:2,181
    • Peanuts: 1:5,491

    All of them, meanwhile, are good sources of vitamin E, magnesium, and manganese.  Calorie amounts range from 155 (cashews) to 195 (pecans).

    I always recommend varying your nut intake since each variety contains unique phytonutrients and antioxidants that have been linked to an array of health benefits.

    Peanuts, for example, are a wonderful source of resveratrol (the same antioxidant in red wine and grape skins), while pecans contain high amounts of beta-sisterol, a cholesterol-lowering phytonutrient.

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    Misnomer

    Pistachio-almond is one of Baskin Robbin’s classic 31 flavors.

    Upon closer inspection, two oddities emerge.

    First, the product’s official description is: “a nutty combination of pistachio-flavored ice cream and roasted almonds.”

    That’s right, the nut pieces you see are almonds, not pistachios.

    Then there’s the ingredient list, from which pistachios are entirely missing:

    “Cream, nonfat milk, almonds, sugar, corn syrup, natural & artificial flavor, blue 1, yellow 5, cellulose gum, mono and diglycerides, guar gum, carrageenan, polysorbate 80.”

    It’s not just ice cream chains pulling this trick.

    I recently stopped by a well-known New York City vegan restaurant and ordered a delicious-sounding spinach-almond-banana-soy milk smoothie to go.

    As I watched the smoothie man concoct my beverage, I was slightly crushed to see it didn’t contain actual almonds, but rather a few drops of almond extract.

    I think I now understand how Milli Vanilli fans felt when the lip-syncing scandal broke…

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    Pistachio SOS

    This handy website — courtesy of the Food & Drug Administration and California pistachio growers — provides a list of pistachio products and brands that are safe to consume in light of last week’s recall.

    I briefly corresponded with Marion Nestle late last week about the peanut butter recall, and specifically asked her when she thought it would become a thing of the past.

    Citing the ingredient’s long shelf life (certainly much longer than, say, beef), she predicted several more months of careful treading until supermarket shelves are in the clear.

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    Numbers Game: Answer

    How many pistachio nuts make up a 1-ounce, 158-calorie serving?

    Answer: 49

    That’s more than double the amount of almonds that make up a 1-ounce serving!

    Although all nuts are wonderful additions to a diet and share similar caloric values per ounce (between 140 – 150 calories), pistachios stand out because it takes a LOT of them to add up to that weight.

    They are particularly helpful for people cutting back on total calories who psychologically need to see a lot of food in front of them to feel “properly full.”

    Consider this: you can get the same amount of calories in 49 pistachios in just three Oreo cookies! It also doesn’t hurt that you get 6 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and 7% of the Daily Value of iron.

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    Numbers Game: Strength In Numbers

    How many pistachio nuts make up a 1-ounce, 158-calorie serving?

    a) 17
    b) 49

    c) 26
    d) 30

    Leave your guess in the “comments” section and come back on Friday for the answer.

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