Pecans and walnuts are often compared to one another. Which is more calorific? Which is better for you? Which is healthiest? We’ve decided to put this argument to bed once and for all to find out who comes out on top.
Which Is More Nutritious?
Pecans and walnuts have very similar nutritional profiles, but there are some subtle differences to pick up.
Which Has The Most Calories?
Both pecans and walnuts are energy-dense foods, and so they both contain quite a lot of calories - but which is more calorific? A one-ounce serving of walnuts contains 185 calories, whereas the same size serving of pecans contains 196. With just nine calories in it, pecans come out as the more calorific nut. Depending on which way you look at it, this could mean that pecans win this category, or they lose.
Which Has The Most Fat?
Most of the calories in both pecans and walnuts come from fat, but it’s essential to realize that the good fat found in nuts is very different from the bad kind of fat found in processed foods and animal products. When compared like for like, it’s unsurprising that higher calorie pecans come out as containing slightly more fat than walnuts - with a one-ounce serving of pecans providing 20.5g of fat compared to the same amount of walnuts containing 18.5g. A large proportion of the fat found in both pecans and walnuts is unsaturated, meaning that it can help to reduce your risk of heart disease and even lower your cholesterol levels.
Which Contains More Protein?
So far, the nutritional race has been pretty tight, but when it comes to protein, walnuts pull away slightly. A one-ounce serving of walnuts contains 4.3g of protein, whereas pecans contain just 2.5g, meaning that although neither nut is a complete protein source, walnuts will help you reach your protein goals a little more easily.
Which Contains More Fiber?
If you thought that walnuts were going to win easily, then think again. Whereas walnuts may contain more protein than pecans, it’s pecans that contain more fiber. A one-ounce serving of pecans provides 2.7g of dietary fiber, whereas walnuts only provide 1.9g.
Both walnuts and pecans contain very similar levels of vitamins and minerals. Both are excellent sources of manganese, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc, and it really is virtually impossible to draw a line between them. That being said, when it comes to antioxidants, walnuts do come out on top, providing more antioxidant power!
So Which Is Best, Walnuts Or Pecans?
We’re afraid that it is too difficult to say that one is better than the other when it comes to pecans or walnuts. If you’re basing your judgment on a particular nutrient alone, such as protein or fibre, then it would be easy to declare a winner. Overall, both nuts provide a fantastic range of health benefits and great sources of vitamins and minerals. If you’re torn between the two, then we recommend making your decision based on the flavour you like most. Curious to know more about these two nuts? Check out our 'Everything You Need To Know' posts on both walnuts and pecans.