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Pecan vs Peanut - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Elen Khachatrian by Elen Khachatrian | Last updated on March 04, 2022
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Pecan
vs
Peanut

Summary

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.

Introduction

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?

Varieties

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.

Nutrition

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.

Calories

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.

Cholesterol

Peanuts and pecans have no cholesterol.

Fats

Pecan provides more overall fat content than peanuts. Pecan has more trans, polyunsaturated, saturated, and monounsaturated fats accordingly.

Carbs

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.

Minerals

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.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Pecan
3
:
5
Peanut
Contains less Sodium -100%
Contains more Zinc +38.5%
Contains more Calcium +31.4%
Contains more Iron +81%
Contains more Magnesium +38.8%
Contains more Phosphorus +35.7%
Contains more Potassium +72%
Equal in Copper - 1.144
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 22% 95% 87% 119% 37% 0% 124% 400%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 28% 172% 120% 162% 63% 3% 90% 382%
Contains less Sodium -100%
Contains more Zinc +38.5%
Contains more Calcium +31.4%
Contains more Iron +81%
Contains more Magnesium +38.8%
Contains more Phosphorus +35.7%
Contains more Potassium +72%
Equal in Copper - 1.144

Vitamins

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.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Pecan
4
:
6
Peanut
Contains more Vitamin A +∞%
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin K +∞%
Contains more Vitamin E +495%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +933.9%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +104.8%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +65.7%
Contains more Folate +990.9%
Equal in Vitamin B1 - 0.64
Equal in Vitamin B2 - 0.135
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 4% 28% 0% 4% 166% 30% 22% 52% 49% 17% 0% 9%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 0% 167% 0% 0% 160% 32% 227% 107% 81% 180% 0% 0%
Contains more Vitamin A +∞%
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin K +∞%
Contains more Vitamin E +495%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +933.9%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +104.8%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +65.7%
Contains more Folate +990.9%
Equal in Vitamin B1 - 0.64
Equal in Vitamin B2 - 0.135

Glycemic Index

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.

Acidity

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.

Health Benefits

This section of the article will discover the health impact of pecan and peanut, including all aspects of each of them.

Weight Loss

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.

Diabetes

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 [1].

Pecans have a shallow glycemic index, so they also do not cause a spike in blood sugar, even in people with diabetes [2].

Cardiovascular Health

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 [3].
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 [4].

Cancer

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 [5].

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 [6].

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 [7].

Anti-inflammatory effects

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 [8].

Linoleic acid, a type of omega-6 fatty acid found in peanuts, has been shown to reduce inflammation and is thus considered anti-inflammatory [9].

Downsides and Risks

Allergy

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 [10].

Aflatoxin poisoning

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.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4711439/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26561616/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28662347/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11533266/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28283884/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28807853/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3098039/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22153059/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29280987/
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7811165/
  11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19875698/
Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: March 04, 2022

Infographic

Pecan vs Peanut infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Pecan Peanut
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in glycemic index ok
Lower in price ok
Rich in minerals ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Pecan Peanut Opinion
Net carbs 4.26g 7.63g Peanut
Protein 9.17g 25.8g Peanut
Fats 71.97g 49.24g Pecan
Carbs 13.86g 16.13g Peanut
Calories 691kcal 567kcal Pecan
Starch 0.46g g Pecan
Fructose 0.04g g Pecan
Sugar 3.97g 4.72g Pecan
Fiber 9.6g 8.5g Pecan
Calcium 70mg 92mg Peanut
Iron 2.53mg 4.58mg Peanut
Magnesium 121mg 168mg Peanut
Phosphorus 277mg 376mg Peanut
Potassium 410mg 705mg Peanut
Sodium 0mg 18mg Pecan
Zinc 4.53mg 3.27mg Pecan
Copper 1.2mg 1.144mg Pecan
Vitamin A 56IU 0IU Pecan
Vitamin E 1.4mg 8.33mg Peanut
Vitamin D 0IU 0IU
Vitamin D 0µg 0µg
Vitamin C 1.1mg 0mg Pecan
Vitamin B1 0.66mg 0.64mg Pecan
Vitamin B2 0.13mg 0.135mg Peanut
Vitamin B3 1.167mg 12.066mg Peanut
Vitamin B5 0.863mg 1.767mg Peanut
Vitamin B6 0.21mg 0.348mg Peanut
Folate 22µg 240µg Peanut
Vitamin B12 0µg 0µg
Vitamin K 3.5µg 0µg Pecan
Tryptophan 0.093mg 0.25mg Peanut
Threonine 0.306mg 0.883mg Peanut
Isoleucine 0.336mg 0.907mg Peanut
Leucine 0.598mg 1.672mg Peanut
Lysine 0.287mg 0.926mg Peanut
Methionine 0.183mg 0.317mg Peanut
Phenylalanine 0.426mg 1.377mg Peanut
Valine 0.411mg 1.082mg Peanut
Histidine 0.262mg 0.652mg Peanut
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Trans Fat g 0g Pecan
Saturated Fat 6.18g 6.279g Pecan
Monounsaturated Fat 40.801g 24.426g Pecan
Polyunsaturated fat 21.614g 15.558g Pecan

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Pecan Peanut
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low glycemic index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
31
Pecan
79
Peanut
Mineral Summary Score
110
Pecan
127
Peanut

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
55%
Pecan
155%
Peanut
Carbohydrates
14%
Pecan
16%
Peanut
Fats
332%
Pecan
227%
Peanut

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Sugar?
Pecan
Pecan is lower in Sugar (difference - 0.75g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Pecan
Pecan contains less Sodium (difference - 18mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Pecan
Pecan is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.099g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Pecan
Pecan is lower in glycemic index (difference - 3)
Which food is cheaper?
Peanut
Peanut is cheaper (difference - $0.2)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Peanut
Peanut is relatively richer in minerals
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Pecan - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170182/nutrients
  2. Peanut - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/172430/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000 calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.