BOSTON, November 8, 2010 California pistachios took center stage at this year's American Dietetic Association's annual Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE), the industry's premier conference where thousands of registered dietitians gather to learn about innovative nutrition research and emerging health trends.
Pistachios led with a strong presence with new research on the importance of mindful eating and, for the first time ever, participating in a session on emerging green food issues and solutions designed to sustain the environment along with good health.
The S-L-O-W Down Shell
Dr. James Painter, a behavioral eating expert for more than 18 years and professor and chair of School of Family and Consumer Sciences at Eastern Illinois University presented his latest research in this area; two studies on "The Pistachio Principle," which encompasses these mindful eating techniques.
"The research shows that our perception of how much food we need to become satiated and maintain a healthy body weight is skewed by many environmental factors," says Dr. Painter. "We eat more food if we eat off of a bigger dinner plate; we'll eat more potato chips if they come in a larger bag." Painter added that mindless eating essentially means we are ignoring hunger cues that tell us to stop, but said that small behavioral changes can help people eat less without feeling deprived.
In Painter's first study, 140 subjects self selected a portion of pistachios as they entered the classroom and the weight of the selected portion was recorded. At the end of the class, the weight of the remaining pistachios was recorded and subjects were surveyed to determine their fullness and satisfaction.
In condition one, the subjects were offered in-shell pistachios and consumed an average of 125 calories. In condition two, subjects were offered shelled pistachios and consumed an average of 211 calories, a difference of 86 cal
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