Peanut vs Pecan - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison
Pecan contains less sodium, sugar, and saturated fats than peanuts do. It is also has a lower GI and is cheaper. On the other hand, peanuts have more minerals, protein, Vitamin E, and Vitamin B3 than pecan.
Table of contents
- What's The Actual Difference?
- Health Benefits
- Downsides and Risks
I’m sure you’ve wondered how your favorite foods stand against each other in terms of nutrition. So let’s discuss it.
In this article, you can find a detailed guide about the differences between pecan and peanut. These nuts are prevalent and used in daily life.
Pecan and peanut are some of the most loved snacks, and today, we will dig a little deeper and find out their similarities, differences, nutritional value, and health impact.
What's The Actual Difference?
Pecan trees are native to South America and Mexico. Pecans have dark brown shells that are oval or elongated. Pecans have over 500 varieties, each with slightly different characteristics such as flavor, texture, size, color, shape, and so on. Cape Fear, Desirable, Moreland, Stuart, and Natives are the most popular types. Peanut is the edible seed of a legume plant. Despite being a legume, it is commonly classified as an oilseed due to its high oil content. Peanuts are not technically true nuts, but they are used in the kitchen due to their similar nutritional properties.
Taste and Culinary
Peanuts taste more like peas than raw nuts, but they're pretty bland before roasting, salting, grinding, or honey glazing. Peanuts are used to make oil, peanut butter, confections, roasted peanuts and snack products, meat product extenders, soups, and desserts.
Pecans have a flavor that is both dry and sweet. They are popular in raw form and ingredients in pastries, candies, salads, cookies, pasta, and other dishes. Furthermore, the nutshells can smoke meats, ground and used in beauty products, and even make delicious ice cream.
Nutritional infographics at the bottom of this page visually show the differences between pecan and peanuts.
The food varieties used in this article are pecan nuts and raw peanuts.
The number of calories in pecan is higher than in peanuts. It has 691 kcal calories per 100g, whereas peanuts have 567 kcal per 100g.
Peanuts and pecans have no cholesterol.
Pecan provides more overall fat content than peanuts. Pecan has more trans, polyunsaturated, saturated, and monounsaturated fats accordingly.
The amount of carbs in peanuts is higher than that in pecan. They contain 16.13g carbs in 100g, while pecan has 13.86g. Of that 16.13 g, 7.63g are net carbs.
Peanuts have a higher minerals content than pecan does.
Peanut has more calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and copper than pecan.
On the other hand, pecan contains more zinc and lower sodium.
Let’s dig deeper into the vitamin content of these nuts.
Pecan contains a significantly higher amount of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K than peanuts.
On the other hand, peanuts have nine times higher Vitamin B3 and folate, more Vitamin B6, Vitamin B5, and Vitamin E.
Both nuts have no Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D.
The glycemic index of pecan is lower than that of peanuts. The GI of pecan is equal to 10, while the estimated glycemic index of peanuts is 13. Both nuts are considered low glycemic index foods.
Peanuts have a neutral acidity that varies depending on the type. The pH of raw peanuts is 6.87, while the pH of roasted peanuts is 6.31. Pecan has a pH of 6.6, which is close to neutral.
This section of the article will discover the health impact of pecan and peanut, including all aspects of each of them.
Both nuts are high in calories and fats, so it is better to avoid them in low-calorie diets. Nevertheless, they are also high in protein, healthy fats, and dietary fiber, making them applicable for a weight loss healthy diet.
Pecan may be used in the case of a low carbs diet, such as the Keto diet. Besides, pecan has a low glycemic index, which is good in the case of Low GI or Medium GI diets.
According to the American Diabetes Association, nuts, especially pecan or peanuts, are diabetes superfoods. Peanuts contain magnesium, fiber, low GI, and do not overly affect your blood glucose .
Pecans have a shallow glycemic index, so they also do not cause a spike in blood sugar, even in people with diabetes .
According to studies, peanuts contain several compounds, including Coenzyme Q10, which protects the heart during periods of low oxygen, such as high altitudes and clogged arteries.
Research shows a high monounsaturated fat peanut diet lowers total body cholesterol and "bad" low-density lipoprotein. In contrast, "good" high-density lipoprotein is maintained with reduced triglycerides .
On the other hand, monounsaturated fatty acids, abundant in pecan, help lower blood total cholesterol low-density lipoprotein, lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, particularly coronary heart disease .
Resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant found in peanuts, has been shown to reduce the blood supply to growing cancers and inhibit cell growth. Resveratrol, which is found in both raw and roasted peanuts and peanut butter, has been linked to cancer prevention and treating Alzheimer's disease and diabetes .
Based on studies, pecan is a source of powerful anti-cancer properties, such as 4-hydroxybenzoic, chlorogenic, vanillic, caffeic, and ellagic acid, effective against tumor cell growth and can be considered as an alternative to the treatment of cancer .
Improve Brain Function
Overall, pecans are high in Vitamin B, directly linked to proper neurological development and function.
Research shows that the monounsaturated fatty acids found in pecan may aid in the prevention of mental decline and inflammation. Furthermore, pecans are high in potassium, which increases blood flow to the brain and promotes nervous system health .
Polyphenols and Vitamin E are potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds found in pecans. Several studies have shown that these compounds play a role in disease initiation and progression, including neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and cancer .
Linoleic acid, a type of omega-6 fatty acid found in peanuts, has been shown to reduce inflammation and is thus considered anti-inflammatory .
Downsides and Risks
Although pecans and peanuts have potential health benefits, they also have some downsides to consider.
Patients allergic to tree nuts are frequently allergic to pecan. Itching, swelling, and burning in the mouth and throat are symptoms.
Peanut allergies are one of the most common food allergens. Peanut allergies can be fatal, and peanuts are sometimes the most severe allergen. People who have this allergy should avoid all peanuts and peanut products .
Peanuts can sometimes be contaminated with aflatoxin. Aflatoxin poisoning is characterized by loss of appetite and yellowing of the eyes, typical of liver problems. The risk of aflatoxin contamination commonly depends on the way peanuts are stored.
Comparison summary table
|Lower in Sugar|
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in glycemic index|
|Lower in price|
|Rich in minerals|
|Lower in Cholesterol||Equal|
|Rich in vitamins||Equal|
All nutrients comparison - raw data values
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low Calories diet|
|Low glycemic index diet|