The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes tree nuts, including pistachios. can be part of a heart healthy diet scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as pistachios, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may lower the risk of heart disease.1
Scientific research suggests that pistachios may help to support a strong heart and healthy blood vessels. Studies have shown that adding pistachios to a healthy diet may help to lower levels of oxidized-LDL (bad) cholesterol and other measures of oxidative damage.3 Research has also shown that eating calorie-controlled amounts of pistachios may help to support healthy cholesterol levels.
In a recent study. people who ate a Mediterranean diet with either one ounce of nuts per day or one liter of olive oil per week had a 30% reduction in heart disease-related events – the same risk reduction attributed to some cholesterol-lowering drugs.2
1. The PREDIMED Study, Estruch R, et al. New Engl J Med. 2013 Apr 4;368(14):1279-1290.
2. United States Food and Drug Administration, Qualified Health Claim, July 2003 http://www.fda.gov
3. Kay CD, Gebauer SK, West SG. Et al. Pistachios increase serum antioxidants and lower serum oxidized-LDL in hypercholesterolemic adults. J Nutr (2010); 140:1093-1098