Nugget of Knowledge: Pistachios

Americans eat close to 100 tons of pistachios each year. Here's why they're so popular.

(WYTV) – It’s all about pistachios!

Americans eat close to 100 tons of pistachios each year, and we’re eating more every year, according to the International Nut & Dried Fruit Council.

Why so many?

We like the taste, and pistachios have a reputation as a guilt-free snack with plenty of nutritional benefits — they’re high in unsaturated fats, fiber and antioxidants.

Medical research suggests that pistachios could help to reduce high blood pressure.

How about a way to lose weight?

Like other nuts, they give you a full feeling, and because it takes work to crack open their shells, we tend not to eat so many.

Why are pistachios one of the few nuts we buy still attached to their shells?

To roast and salt nuts such as walnuts or cashews, the nut companies have to remove the protective shell.

It’s different for pistachios because nine out of 10 develop a natural split in their shells while they grow.

Harvesting machines shake them off their trees and other machines salt and roast them still inside the shells because that natural crack allows heat and salt to reach the nut, cutting out a step in the process and saving the processors some money.

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