Pecan Nutrition Facts

Calories, Carbs, and Health Benefits of Pecans

pecan nutrition facts and health benefits

Alexandra Shytsman

Are you a pecan lover? Pecans are a popular ingredient in many sweet treats. But did you know that pecans can be healthy? Pecan calories are lower than several other nut varieties (ten nuts provide 98 calories) so you can include them in a nutritious diet as long as you eat them in moderation.

Pecans are produced by the hickory tree, commonly found in the southern United States.

Albany, Georgia is the pecan capital of the world. Pecans are often compared to walnuts and savvy cooks often interchange the two in recipes. Many people describe the taste of pecans to be more buttery than the taste of walnuts.

Nutrition Facts

Pecan Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 ounce (about 20 halves) (28 g)
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 196 
Calories from Fat 180 
Total Fat 20g 
Saturated Fat 2g8%
Polyunsaturated Fat 6g 
Monounsaturated Fat 12g 
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 0mg0%
Potassium 116mg2%
Carbohydrates 4g3%
Dietary Fiber 3g11%
Sugars 1g 
Protein 3g 
Vitamin A 0% · Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 2% · Iron 4%
*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Carbs in Pecans

Pecans are naturally low in carbohydrate A single serving of raw pecans provides just four grams of carbohydrate, mostly as fiber. However, they are often prepared in ways that boost the carb count.

The estimated glycemic load of pecans is zero.

Fats in Pecans

Most of the calories in pecans come from fat, although very little saturated fat. There are 20 grams of total fat per serving, but only two grams of saturated fat.

Protein in Pecans

There are three grams of protein in a one-ounce serving of pecans.

Micronutrients in Pecans

Pecans are an excellent source of manganese, a mineral that helps your metabolism to function properly.

They also provide thiamin, vitamin E, vitamin B6, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and copper.

Pecan Calories by Variety

The nutrition data provided on the label shown is for raw pecans. If the pecans that you buy are processed or cooked with other ingredients the nutrition data will change.

  • A similar-sized serving (about 20 pecan halves) of sugared pecans provides 134 calories, 12 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 4 milligrams of sodium, 8 grams of carbohydrate, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 6 grams of sugar and 2 grams of protein.
  • A single serving of pecan pie provides 464 calories, 19 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 313 milligrams of sodium, 68 grams of carbohydrate, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 29 grams of sugar and 5 grams of protein.
  • A single one-ounce serving of nut snack mix containing pecans provides 167 calories, 11 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 202 milligrams of sodium, 13 grams of carbohydrate, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 3 grams of sugar and 6 grams of protein.

Health Benefits

Pecans are a source of fat, but they provide less fat than some other nut varieties like macadamia nuts. Pecans provide a small boost of polyunsaturated fat and a higher boost of monounsaturated fat, considered "good" fat.

Monounsaturated fat or MUFAs come from plant sources and may be helpful in lowering your LDL or "bad" cholesterol. For this reason, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that you choose foods with monounsaturated fats instead of saturated fat.

Pecans also provide a small amount of protein and fiber. Eating foods with fiber and protein can help you to feel fuller and more satisfied at meal time. Weight loss experts often recommend that dieters consume foods with fiber to help them eat less and create the calorie deficit needed for weight loss.

Common Questions

What's the best way to avoid overeating nuts?
Even though nuts provide health benefits, they are one of the most common foods that we overeat.

A single serving of pecans is just only about 10 nuts. But we usually don't count nuts before we eat them. To avoid overdoing it, use your hand to control portions. A small handful of nuts is a single serving.

Are flavored nuts or nut mixes just as healthy as regular nuts? 
Pecans are found in many popular nut mixes. When you buy nut blends or nut mixes, the nuts may be roasted in oil or seasoned with high sugar or high sodium products. The result is that you may consume far more sugar or sodium than you expect.

Can nuts be part of a weight loss diet?
Nuts can make a smart snack if you are trying to lose weight. But only if you eat them in moderation. The protein and fiber in nuts may help you to feel full and satisfied so you don't eat again soon after your meal.

Recipes and Preparation Tips

You can store pecans in an airtight container at room temperature. They should stay fresh for about three months. If you keep them in the refrigerator they should stay fresh for up to six months. You can also freeze and refreeze pecans for use up to two years, according to pecan distributors.

Pecans are often used in sweet, baked foods, but you can use pecans in any type of dish—even drinks!

If you like to cook or bake, try low carb pumpkin pecan pancakes. Or, get creative with some pecan popcorn chicken.

Allergies and Interventions

If you have a tree nut allergy, you should avoid pecans or foods made with pecans until you know if they are safe for you. It is possible to have an allergy to one type of tree nut and have a reaction to others,  according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology 

In those who have the allergy, reactions to pecans or other tree nuts can be mild to severe and may include life-threatening anaphylaxis. For that reason, the organization recommends that people who have a known allergy carry epinephrine at all times.

Seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider if you suspect that you may be allergic to pecans or other tree nuts.

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