The Super Snack to Reach for When You’re Feeling “Hangry”

Lemony Beet Hummus with Poached Wonderful Pistachios. Photos are courtesy of Wonderful Pistachios.

Lemony Beet Hummus with Poached Wonderful Pistachios. Photo courtesy of Wonderful Pistachios.

No matter how you snack, this food will keep you full and satisfy your cravings.

Are you the type of person who snacks while watching TV, checking emails, or after dinner, only to feel like you’re still not satisfied? Mindlessly eating processed foods that are packaged as “snacks” will often leave you wanting more, because most of them lack the nutrients to satisfy what your body really wants and needs. For all the junk food junkies out there who’ve given up hope that healthy snacks can also be tasty, satisfying, and convenient, we’d like to introduce you to a nosh that you’re sure to go nuts for: pistachios.

We spoke with Catherine Sebastian, MS, RD, lead nutrition communications manager at The Wonderful Company, to understand the power of pistachios. And trust us… these little nuts make it easy to snack smart.

If you’re a mindless snacker…

The mindless snacker is always reaching for a bag of chips, popcorn, pretzels, or whatever’s easily poppable in the pantry. But if you’re not keeping track of your snacks while binge-watching Bridgerton, the sugar, fat, and calorie content of these items quickly add up.

If you’re chowin’ down on chips, you might put three or four in your mouth at once without thinking and continue munching long past when you need to, says Sebastian. “Your stomach cues and your brain cues are very different,” she says, “which means you might be full without even knowing it.” According to Sebastian, pistachios can turn your snacking from mindless to mindful: “The physical act of cracking a pistachio forces you to slow down and pay attention to what you’re doing  — we call this the ‘pistachio principle.’ It gives your brain more time to understand when it’s full.” There’s another wonderful upside: there are 49 nuts in a serving size of shelled pistachios (equivalent to one ounce or 28 grams), so it’ll take you some time to get through a bowl, and you’ll feel satisfied afterward.

If you’re looking for protein in your snacks…

The amount of protein your body needs generally depends on your body weight — the average person should consume 0.36 grams of protein each day per pound of body weight, which can be tough for vegetarians or picky eaters. But, as Sebastian explains, “Pistachios are one of only a few nuts that provide the same type of protein you’d get from meat, and they contain all nine amino acids.” (By comparison, a cashew doesn’t contain the amino acids your body needs to build muscle.) There’s another bonus, says Sebastian: “Pistachios also contain fiber to leave you feeling full, which you won’t find in meat.”

Pistachios are a good source of protein that’s perfect for those on-the-go, and those looking to keep their hearts healthy.

If you’re an afternoon snacker…

There’s no denying it: The midday slump is real. That’s when your willpower tends to wane, and you just want to grab something quick to give you a boost.

“Pistachios can help you beat the midday slump because they contain both protein and healthy fat, and they’ve also got that fiber to keep you fuller longer,” says Sebastian. “The crunch factor and the act of taking off the shells can be a little pick-me-up, and replenishing essential nutrients may help to fight fatigue.”

If you’re working in an office or always on the run, you might also run into the issue of finding portable snacks that don’t require refrigeration: Nobody wants to eat a yogurt that’s been sitting in a bag for hours, and we’ve all heard stories about work-fridge food thieves. “Pistachios are non-perishable,” says Sebastian, “so you can keep a bag in your desk, in your glove compartment, or even in your gym bag, so they’ll be ready for you whenever you want.”

If you’re looking for an after-dinner treat…

At first glance, a pistachio probably isn’t what you’d think of as a “dessert food,” but if you’re fighting a food craving after the dinner dishes are done, you’ll want to keep a bowl of them handy. “Pistachios are a powerhouse nut because they’re packed with over 30 vitamins and minerals, six grams of protein, and boast healthy fats,” explains Sebastian. “When you combine these three macronutrients, you’re going to feel full longer, which can help curb cravings.”

While they’re nutty at their core, pistachios have a little sweetness to them, too — perfect for those folks with sweet-and-salty cravings. But what if you want something really sweet? Sebastian’s got a solution for that, too: “Wonderful Pistachios has a Honey Roasted option, which will satisfy that need for a sweet dessert.” So when it comes to an after-dinner treat, pistachios have apparently cracked the code.

If you’re looking for snack variety…

Even if you’re eating something you love, snacking on the same thing every day can get boring. That’s part of the appeal of chips: You can find them in so many flavors. Well, step aside chips, there’s a new option in town: In addition to their original roasted and salted flavor, Wonderful Pistachios offers a No Shells lineup that includes some of your favorite classic chip flavors, including Smoky Barbecue, Sea Salt & Vinegar, Sea Salt & Pepper, and even Chili Roasted. If you’re looking to cut down on salt, there are also low-salt and no-salt varieties.

Loaded with vitamins, nutrients, fiber, and protein, pistachios are a satisfying staple you won’t get sick of. No matter your snacking style, pistachios will be your stomach’s new BFF.

Looking for a different nut to satisfy your need to crunch? Read more about the healthiest choices you can make, including pistachios.