Walnut vs. Pecan vs. Almond: Nutrition and Health Comparison


Almonds provide more minerals and fiber, whereas walnuts have more vitamins and lower carb content. In contrast, pecans have fewer net carbs and lower saturated fats.

The glycemic index of almonds and walnuts is lower than that of pecan.

Research shows that nuts are good for your heart, brain, and overall health. Pecan, walnut, and almond are well known for their incredible health benefits. We’ll discuss the main differences in these nuts’ nutrition and health impact.

Almonds are stone fruits that belong to the Prunus genus, while pecans are edible seeds of trees that belong to the genus Carya. In contrast, walnuts are the edible seeds of a drupe in the genus Juglans.

On the outside, pecans and walnuts are easy to confuse. Pecans have oval or elongated shells in a dark brown color, and walnuts are round-shaped and light brown colored. Almonds are wrapped in a reddish-brown cover with bright white fruit inside. You can visit the “pecan vs. walnut” page to see the main differences.

Pecans are drier and sweeter, whereas walnuts may be slightly bitter due to their high oil content. Almonds have a mild earthy flavor, but the skin can be bitter. All three nuts are widely consumed worldwide; however, pecans are primarily used in North America.

Pecan’s nutrition is quite similar to a walnut, while almonds have a slightly different nutritional content.

Vitamins and Minerals

In comparison, almond has higher mineral profiles, while pecan is richer in minerals. Almond has more calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium than pecan and walnut. On the other hand, pecan contains more zinc and less sodium.

Based on walnut nutrition facts, it has more Vitamin C, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, and folate than pecan and almond. However, pecans are richer in Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, and Vitamin K.

Micronutrients

Almond has the highest fiber content, containing 12.5g per 100g. It is also richer in protein and has lower saturated fat than walnut and pecan.

Pecans and walnuts have a similar amount of carbs, whereas the carb content of almonds is higher.

The number of calories of these nuts doesn’t differ much: however, pecans have the higher number, containing 691 calories per 100g. All three are considered high-calorie food.

Glycemic Index

The GI of pecan is equal to 10, while the estimated glycemic index of walnuts and almonds is 0. Despite high carb content, these nuts are high in dietary fiber and fats, and consuming them does not significantly alter blood glucose levels.

Walnuts and pecans contain chlorogenic, vanillic, caffeic, and ellagic acids, which may help prevent or reduce breast, prostate, colon, and renal cancer [1].

According to the American Diabetes Association, nuts, particularly those with high fiber content and alow glycemic index, are diabetes superfoods [2]. Almonds have a higher fiber content compared to walnut and pecan. In addition, the GI of almonds is 0. One study shows that almond consumption can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in people with type 2 diabetes [3].

Research shows that nut consumption has a significant positive effect on cardiovascular health and can lower incidences of coronary heart disease and sudden cardiac death [4].

Weight Loss Diets

All three nuts can be used in weight loss diets and healthy eating plans.

Although these nuts are high in calories, studies have concluded that including them in low-calorie diets results in more desirable and healthier weight loss than the identical hypocaloric diets without these nuts [5, 6].

Pecans are the better choice in the case of the Keto diet. They have a tiny amount of net carbs(only one gram per saving) and a high amount of fats, which is perfect for a Keto Diet [7].

Pecans and walnuts can be consumed in DASH and Atkins diets. All three nuts are allowed in Mediterranean, Paleo, Vegan, and Glutenfree diets.

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28807853/
  2. https://www.diabetes.org/healthy-living/recipes-nutrition/eating-well/diabetes-superstar-foods
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20580779/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257681/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5715655/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4116579/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3945587/



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