Americans Keep Their Holiday Diets Off the Naughty List by 'Going Green With Pistachios for Better Health' This Winter

Green Nut Ambassador and LIVESTRONG.COM Nutrition Expert Alyse Levine, MS, RD, Helps Americans Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Dec 06, 2010, 11:13 ET from

FRESNO, Calif., Dec. 6, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- helps Americans keep their diets off the "naughty" list by offering weight-watching tips for the holiday season from Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Expert Alyse Levine, MS, RD. Levine is teaming up with to share delicious yet nutritious holiday recipes featuring pistachios – the only Green Nut.

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According to a study by the National Institutes of Health, the average American gains one pound between Thanksgiving and Christmas. While that may seem surprisingly low, more often than not, Americans don't shed that pound after the holidays end.

"Though it may not sound like a lot, one pound per year quickly adds up," says Levine. "A perfectly healthy 20-year-old can easily turn into a 20-pound overweight 40-year-old, adding to our country's already high obesity rate."

Levine and are helping Americans keep on track this winter by encouraging everyone to "Go Green with Pistachios for Better Health." A recently published pooled analysis of 25 independent studies suggests that eating nuts, including pistachios, has a total and LDL (bad) cholesterol-lowering effect, further confirming the evidence that regular nut consumption can lower the risk of coronary heart disease(1).

In the spirit of the holidays, offers these memorable holiday tips to keep healthy eating merry and bright this winter:

  • Make your grocery list and check it twice: Prepare a well-thought out list of all the items you're going to need to whip up your holiday feast. By sticking to the specific items on your list, you won't be tempted to reach for unhealthy choices.
  • Throw some pistachios in with your rice: Adding pistachios to certain high-carbohydrate side dishes may help keep blood sugar levels from spiking.
  • Give presents to everyone, even your tummy: Don't completely eliminate your holiday favorites. Just watch your portions. Cut portions in half and share with your family and friends instead of demolishing the entire pie all on your own.
  • Make healthy dishes; just make them yummy: Your guests are going to want tasty food to nibble on, so add flavor to your healthy dishes, such as Spiced Maple Glazed Pistachios. Not only are they something fun and new to try, but your guests will be wowed by the creative and delicious snack.
  • Get active and play with your kids in the snow: Who doesn't love bundling up and playing in the snow? It's important to stay active, even on those dreary winter days! Grab your hat, gloves and kids to see who can make the best snowman.
  • Sprinkle pistachios and fruits in your dough: You can't get through the holidays without dessert, so when you make cookies or cake, add in antioxidant-rich nutrients such as nuts and fruit.

Levine shares additional weight-watching tips for the winter months in a video podcast. Her advice includes eating a hearty breakfast, such as steel-cut oatmeal topped with fresh fruit and pistachios, and adding soup to your regular diet.

"Soups can help warm you up while they fill you up," says Levine. "Just make sure they are broth-based, rather than cream-based, to avoid packing on extra calories." Levine also suggests staying active and provides creative suggestions to beat the bitter cold, such as purchasing a new fitness DVD for a high-impact indoor workout.

For additional tips from the experts, healthy holiday recipes and research-based nutrition facts about pistachios, visit

(1) Sabate J, Oda K, Ros E. Nut consumption and blood lipids: A pooled analysis of 25 intervention trials. Arch Intern Med. 2010; 170(9):821-27.

The Green Nut

The Green Nut™ and is a nutrition awareness campaign sponsored by the Western Pistachio Association (WPA). Based in Fresno, California, the WPA is a voluntary association representing pistachio growers throughout the country. Founded in 1980, it is the only voluntary organization representing U.S. pistachio growers' interests.  It is governed by an 18- member board elected from a variety of states with the shared goal of increasing national awareness about the nutritional benefits of U.S. grown pistachios.  For more healthy tips, visit, or follow The Green Nut on Twitter at