The newly released Dietary Guidelines are finally giving plant-based proteins, including beans and nuts, props for being nutrient-rich choices that may help improve Americans’ diets.

The guidelines suggest that there are health advantages of eating a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, because they’re naturally wholesome options that pack in positive nutrients while minimizing added sugars, saturated fat and sodium.

The guidelines also emphasize that Americans need to get more nutrition out of every bite, as most of us need to cut the number of calories consumed to achieve a healthier weight.

Recommendations include eating foods containing more fiber, potassium, calcium and vitamin D; while slashing sodium, saturated fat and added sugars.

Here are seven reasons why California pistachios are the perfect snack to help meet the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans:

• Pistachios are Nutrient Rich: Pistachios provide more than 30 nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, fiber and other phytonutrients, making them naturally nutritious.

• Pistachios Can Help Reduce Saturated Fat: With 1.5 grams saturated fat per serving, pistachios are one of the lowest sources of saturated fat among nuts.

• Pistachios Provide Potassium: Pistachios provide about 310mg of potassium per 30g serving (about 1 ounce), 8 percent of the DV.

• Pistachios are Protein Packed: Pistachios provide six grams of protein per 30g serving — similar to the amount you’d find in an egg.

• Pistachios are Fiber-full: A serving of pistachios has three grams of fiber, making them one of the best nut sources of this shortfall nutrient.

• Pistachios are not Sodium-Rich: Even if you like roasted and salted pistachios, you can rest assured that you can eat in-shell pistachios and still meet your sodium limits. A serving provides just 7 percent of the DV for sodium.

• Pistachios are the Skinny Nut: Because of their fiber, fat, and protein content, pistachios are also considered to be a satiating snack. All nuts, however, are not created equal. Pistachios are one of the lowest calorie, lowest fat nuts and offer more nuts per serving compared to any other snack nut. Research shows that as one of the only in-shell snack nuts, pistachios help slow consumption and the empty shells offer a visual cue, reducing calorie intake. This effect is known as “The Pistachio Principle.”

To learn more, visit PistachioHealth.com, the leading online resource for news and information on the health benefits of pistachios, including research updates and educational materials, to both consumers and health professionals.

About California pistachios

A 30 gram serving of pistachios, with 49 kernels and 170 calories, provides more than 30 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Pistachios are an excellent source of vitamin B6, copper and manganese; and a good source of protein, fiber, thiamin and phosphorus. Known as the “Skinny Nut,” pistachios offering the most nut per 1 oz serving; 30 kernels make a satisfying, delicious snack for about 100 calories.