Breaking Down The Nut-ritional Value of Pecans.

From their flavor to their versatile applications and even their health benefits, the value of pecans is truly endless. But how do they stack up exactly when it comes to nutrition? Keep reading for a full nutritional breakdown of the protein, fats, carbohydrates, calories, sugars, and beyond in our favorite nut.

Calories

1 cup of pecans contains 684 calories, according to the USDA. Given a normal serving of pecans is about ¼ cup, or an ounce, that number ends up at about 196 calories. As part of a standard 2,000 calorie daily diet, the nutritional value of pecans in calories makes up a little less than 10% of your diet. 

If you’re counting calories, make sure to opt for fresh, raw pecans instead of roasted or flavored pecans to avoid empty calories of coated salt, sugar, and other seasonings! Trust us, the natural sweet flavor of our Stahmanns pecans needs no additions.

Total Fat

1 ounce or serving size of pecans contains 20 grams, making up 30% of your Daily Value according to a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Now don’t run for the hills, this fat is the good type of fat that actually helps you out in the long run, otherwise known as unsaturated fat.

Digging deeper into the nutritional value of pecans, 1 ounce contains 12 grams of monounsaturated fat, 6 grams of polyunsaturated fat, and just 1.8 grams of saturated fat. These high levels of unsaturated fats lower levels of bad LDL cholesterol, which reduces your risk of stroke or heart attack, unlike potato chips and other salty snacks that are high in saturated fats and can contribute to such heart problems. Next time you reach for the chips, do your heart a favor and choose pecans, the ultimate heart healthy snack!

Health benefits of pecans

Cholesterol

No surprise here, but the heart-healthy powerhouse that is pecans contains zero mg of Cholesterol. Zero, zip, zilch. This isn’t a coincidence, as foods that tend to be low in saturated fats can also be low in Cholesterol. With a daily limit of 300mg of Cholesterol as part of a 2,000 calorie diet, an otherwise healthy person is obviously in the clear here when choosing pecans. But for those with high cholesterol who are advised to closely watch their daily intake, the benefit of this Cholesterol-free snack can’t be overstated. As put by the FDA:

“Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as pecans, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.”

-FDA

Sodium

Another win when it comes to the nutritional value of pecans—pecans naturally contain zero mg of sodium. Excessive sodium can leave excess fluid in the body, increasing blood pressure and making your heart do extra work.  And with 1 in 3 Americans experiencing high blood pressure and millions facing serious heart disease, any steps to reduce your sodium intake are critical.

Choosing a snack with no salt doesn’t just mean you’re opting for a healthier choice today, but tomorrow and the day after too. Pecans also get bonus points here for those on sodium- or salt-restricted diets.

Potassium

A serving of pecans contains 116 mg of potassium, making for 3% of your Daily Value. For comparison, one of the most popular potassium-rich foods, bananas, contain 422 mg, or 12% of your Daily Value. So basically, pecans pack a quarter of the potassium of bananas, on top of their other healthy contents.

Potassium is an important mineral that regulates fluid balance, muscle contractions, and nerve signals. And just like an abundance of unsaturated fats and reduced sodium, potassium can help reduce blood pressure, as well as water retention, protecting against stroke and preventing osteoporosis and kidney stones.

Carbs, Fiber + Sugars

An ounce of pecans contains 3.9 grams of Total Carbohydrates, comprised of 2.7 grams of Dietary Fiber and 1.1 grams of Sugars. 

Compared to other nuts, pecans are among the lowest in carbs and highest in dietary fiber per serving.

The biggest piece of the carb pecan pie here, Dietary Fiber helps promote healthy digestion, reduce bloating, and prevent gastrointestinal issues further down the line. Making up 10% of your Daily Value as part of a 2,000 calorie diet, snacking on pecans is an obvious win for anyone looking to stay on top of their gut health. 

Protein

One serving of pecans contains 2.6 grams of protein, making up 5% of your recommended Daily Value. Chew on this: One cup of pecans contains a whopping 9 grams, while one ounce of chicken has 8 grams, making one cup of pecans more protein-dense than one ounce of chicken.

Everyone knows protein is great for building muscle, but on a molecular level, it works to build and repair tissue and make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Considered a building block of bone, muscle, cartilage, skin, and blood health, protein is an essential element in every diet.

Need a break from poultry or deciding to kick meat altogether? Chew on some pecans to maintain your protein intake–no cooking or prep required!

nut or drupe

Vitamins + Minerals

When it comes to the nutritional value of pecans, 1 ounce also contains:

Calcium 2% of Daily Value

Iron 3% of Daily Value

Vitamin B-6 5% of Daily Value

Magnesium 8% of Daily Value

nut or drupe

Vitamins + Minerals

When it comes to the nutritional value of pecans, 1 ounce also contains:

Calcium 2% of Daily Value

Iron 3% of Daily Value

Vitamin B-6 5% of Daily Value

Magnesium 8% of Daily Value

For a quick summary of why these facts and figures matter: Calcium builds and strengthens your bones while supporting your heart muscles and nerves. Iron preserves energy and focus, supports the immune and gastrointestinal system, and regulates body temperature. Vitamin B-6 also helps on the energy front, aiding the body’s conversion of the great protein and carbs found in pecans to energy your body can use. And since your body can’t naturally produce it, getting 5% from a serving of pecans is a great boost to your system! Last but not least, Magnesium supports your heart like many other elements of pecans, providing 8% of your recommended intake in just one ounce. Chronically low levels of magnesium can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes, so make sure to get snacking. Additionally, magnesium supports energy production and muscle and nerve function, ensuring you stay sharp and ready for the day ahead.

In a Nutshell

In a nutshell, the nutritional value of pecans makes them the hearty helpers of the snack world, acting as your heart’s first line of defense against high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and disease. Additionally, they help you stay lean while maintaining muscle and energy levels, and even promote clear skin and strong, thick hair. What’s not to love?

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One thought on “Breaking Down The Nutritional Value of Pecans

  1. Margaret says:

    I had no idea that pecans could lower bad cholesterol! My cardiologist gave me a heart-healthy diet plan to follow, and I was curious as to why pecans were on there but not other nuts, like peanuts. Now I have my answer!

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