Pecans vs Walnuts: Comparing Health Benefits

When it comes to healthy snacks, nuts are some of the best ones out there. Nuts in general are considered good for the heart due to their decent content of healthy fats, including unsaturated fat, which has demonstrated the ability to help lower bad cholesterol levels. They also contain vital nutrients that we need every day but may be difficult to find in other foods. As far as overall nutrient value is concerned, pecans and walnuts are fairly similar. However, in some regards, pecans are the better option.

Fiber

Fiber is a compound that's known for helping us to feel full for longer periods of time. It's often an integral part of diets where the goal is to lose weight, as people who intake high fiber foods often end up eating less. Pecans and walnuts are both good snack choices for fiber consumption. An ounce of pecans has 3 grams of fiber, while the same serving of walnuts contains 2 grams. Daily recommended fiber intake is at least 31 grams for men and 21 grams for women.

Fat

Walnuts have a slightly lower total fat content than pecans, but there's a notable difference in how much unsaturated fat can be found in each. A serving of walnuts has around 13 grams of polyunsaturated and 2.5 grams of monounsaturated fats. The same amount of pecans contains 6 grams of polyunsaturated and 12 grams of monounsaturated fat. Heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids are found in polyunsaturated fats, and that number is higher in walnuts - but pecans have a larger amount of overall healthy fats.

Calories

Nuts tend to have high calorie counts due to the amount of fat they contain. Each gram of fat has 9 calories, so the numbers for walnuts and pecans are relatively similar. An ounce of pecans contains 200 calories, while an ounce of walnuts has 185. The latter may be the better choice for people who are watching their weight, but for those who have trouble consuming enough calories, pecans make a great snack. Despite their benefits, the calories in both nuts add up quickly - so be mindful about how many you eat!

Protein and Carbohydrates

Regardless of the type of nut, they all contain a fair amount of protein and fewer carbohydrates than another snacks. Walnuts beat out pecans in this area, though, especially for vegans who have a tough time getting sufficient protein in their diets. Identical serving sizes of both nuts contain the same amount of carbs (4 grams), whereas walnuts have about 4.5 grams of protein compared to the 3 grams found in pecans. It's not a huge difference, but walnuts may be the better option for people who need a more protein-rich snack.

Copper

Moderately high copper amounts can be found in both pecans and walnuts. Copper is important for the body because it's used for the formation of connective tissue, producing energy, and improving function within the nervous system. Again, walnuts win this round, if only slightly. One-ounce servings of pecans have 15% on the daily recommended intake of copper. Walnuts contain 22.5%.

Manganese

Some people forget to check the numbers for other nutrients in the foods they eat, and manganese is often overlooked. It's a trace mineral that helps improve brain function, strengthens connective tissue, and improves metabolism. Pecans and walnuts both have a high dose manganese, although pecans have a bit more of it. A single serving has 60% of the recommended daily consumption of manganese. Walnuts, on the other hand, only have about 49%.

For more information on the health benefits of pecans, if you'd like to find some pecan-based recipes, or if you simply have any questions or comments about our products, feel free to contact us.

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