Pistachio nuts are seed fruits of the pistachio tree (Pistacia vera) and a close relative of cashews. This tree is native primarily to the Middle East, especially Turkey and Iran. Although the shells typically have a light brown color, pistachio nuts may be dyed red or green to hide damage of the outer shell inflicted during processing. Pistachio nuts are a popular snack, and chock-full of nutrients, such as thiamin, potassium, fiber, phytosterols, magnesium and vitamin B6. Additionally, pistachios contain high amounts of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which have been linked to improving cholesterollevels and promoting heart health.
The Good NewsMost studies examining the effects of pistachios nuts on cholesterol involved people consuming pistachios -- about 15 to 20 percent of their daily caloric intake. Additionally, participants with and without high cholesterol were studied. Most studies indicate that eating three ounces of pistachio nuts a day for one month can raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good" cholesterol, up to an average of 15 percent. This roughly equals to about two handfuls of pistachio nuts a day.
Although low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and triglycerides appeared to be slightly lowered in these studies, it was not lowered enough to be considered significant. Although more research would be needed to confirm this, the studies performed so fat suggest that pistachio nuts can raise your “good” cholesterol.