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Are Pecans Good For Weight Loss Or Fattening?

This article has been Fact-Checked by Kendall Kennedy MS, RD, RYT

Putting together your weight loss diet can be a challenge with all the options. What about pecans, are they good for weight loss or fattening?

Pecans are a popular nut, not only on their own as a snack, but also as an ingredient in recipes like for example pie.

Many people are worried about how the high-fat content of nuts and pecans, in particular, will impact their weight loss. Find out whether this aspect of pecans interferes with weight loss and how this nut compares to other popular nuts when it comes to losing weight.

Micronutrients in pecans

The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in pecans.

Micronutrients are a group of nutrients your body absolutely needs to survive and thrive. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. These are involved in basically every aspect of your health, including weight loss.

100 grams of pecans provides you with approximately (1):

  • Manganese: 225% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Copper: 60% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 44% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 30% of the DV
  • Zinc: 30% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 28% of the DV
  • Iron: 14% of the DV
  • Potassium: 12% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 10% of the DV

And a few others in smaller amounts. These are very good vitamin and mineral contents per 100 grams. If you combine pecans with a healthy diet your micronutrient levels will most likely be great.

Pecans also contain anti-oxidants. These are substances that help your body deal with oxidative stress, damage that occurs from day to day.

Micronutrients in pecans

Fiber in pecans for weight loss

Another very important factor for weight loss is the amount of fiber in your food.

Pecans contain around 9.6 grams of fiber per 100 grams.

This is a big amount compared to most other foods. And for most people this is a good thing.

Fiber has multiple benefits for weight loss. First of all, it feeds your microbiome, the microbes that live in your intestines. The health of your microbiome influences your body’s health and weight. Feeding it well is usually not a bad idea.

Fiber also helps you feel less hungry without adding a lot of calories to your diet. Hunger and cravings can be a big pitfall for people trying to lose weight, so avoiding this is a big plus.

With the amount of fiber in pecans you can reduce the time you spend craving for food a lot.

Protein in pecans for weight loss

Another thing in food that can help you on your weight loss journey is the amount of protein in it.

Pecans contain about 9.2 grams of protein per 100 grams. To compare, there are 25.4 grams per 100 grams in salmon (2).

Protein is considered to be the most filling of the 3 macronutrients. Eating enough protein will also help you prevent muscle loss. Muscle helps you burn extra calories throughout the day which is very good for weight loss. Protein calories also take your body more calories to process than calories from carbs and fats.

Although there are a few nuts higher in protein, the amount of protein in pecans is good for a plant-based source of protein. You will most likely also need protein from other foods but pecans can get you started with your daily goals.

Do keep in mind that overdoing it with protein isn’t good either.

Are pecans good for losing weight or fattening?

To know whether or not you can eat pecans while trying to lose weight you still need a final piece of the puzzle. The amount of calories in pecans.

Pecans contain around 691 calories per 100 grams. 56.7 of these calories come from the carbohydrates (14 g per 100 grams of which 9.6 g fiber).

You can definitely fit in some pecans in low-carb diets like the keto diet. They are even number 1 on our list of low-carb nuts.

On the one hand you have these awesome amounts of micronutrients, fiber and plant-based protein but on the other hand, you have this large amount of calories.

The thing is that the calorie content from nuts does not get absorbed that well compared to many other foods (3, 4). A part of these calories goes through your gut undigested.

The exact amount varies but some studies find that 5%-20% of the fat from nuts may go through indigested (5, 6, 7, 8). Chances are this varies from individual to individual and situation to situation.

Even with that in mind, the message is that it might be hard to fit in the calories from pecans in your daily diet plan but it might be worth it.

You also don’t have to go for the full 100 grams every day. 30 grams could be enough to provide you with some great nutrients without skyrocketing the number of calories you consume every day.

Depending on what you are currently eating a certain amount of pecans can help you lose weight by helping you feel a lot fuller and helping you consume more protein. This can help you avoid high-calorie foods that may interfere with your weight loss.

Pecans can be a great healthy snack for weight loss but if you overdo it, they might be fattening due to the high amount of calories in them.

Who should not eat pecans

While pecans can be a great addition to the diet for most people, some people are allergic to it.

Are pecans good for losing weight or fattening

How many pecans should you eat a day to lose weight?

Nutrition is always a bit of a puzzle in terms of what the perfect diet looks like. It’s a pretty individual thing.

A typical serving of 1 ounce pecans is about 15 pecan halves.

Some people use this 1 oz serving size as a daily recommendation but in reality, it isn’t as simple as that. There is for example no way that a 200-pound man and 140-pound woman should eat the same amount of pecans a day to lose weight.

You need to determine for yourself how many pecans fit in your daily calories. The amount will be different from individual to individual from day to day, it can be 0 too.

Pecan preparation methods you want to avoid

Altough regular pecans can be a great addition to a weight loss diet, many people eat pecans in recipes that hinder weight loss.

Some examples of pecan dishes you generally want to avoid while losing weight are pecan pie, candied pecans, and most other dessert recipes with pecans.

Piece of pecan pie

Pecans vs other popular nuts for weight loss

You now know how good pecans are for weight loss but how do they compare to certain other popular nuts? Find out how good pecans are for weight loss vs walnuts, almonds, peanuts, and cashews.

Pecans vs walnuts

First of all, there is the pecans vs walnuts comparison. Walnuts are slightly lower in calories than pecans, 654 calories per 100 grams vs the 691 calories per 100 grams of pecans (9).

Walnuts contain around 6.7 grams of fiber per 100 grams. A relatively big amount lower than the 9.6 grams of fiber per 100 grams in pecans. Walnuts contain about 15.2 grams of protein per 100 grams, pecans 9.2 grams. Pecans and walnuts are similar when it comes to their amounts of vitamins and minerals.

The difference will be very small but walnuts are likely slightly better than pecans for weight loss.

Pecans vs almonds

The next comparison is with almonds. Almonds are lower in calories than pecans, 575 calories per 100 grams vs the 691 calories per 100 grams of pecans (10).

Almonds contain around 12.2 grams of fiber per 100 grams. A good amount higher than the 9.6 grams of fiber per 100 grams in pecans. Almonds contain about 21.2 grams of protein per 100 grams. Almonds have slightly bigger amounts of vitamins and minerals than pecans.

Almonds are very likely better for weight loss than pecans.

Pecans vs peanuts

Peanuts are another popular comparison. Peanuts contain a smaller amount of calories than pecans, 567 calories per 100 grams (11).

Peanuts have less fiber per 100 grams than pecans, 8.5 grams. Peanuts are higher in protein per 100 grams, 25.8 grams vs the 9.2 grams in pecans. Both of these nuts are very high in vitamins and minerals.

Peanuts are likely better than pecans for weight loss.

Pecans vs cashews

Lastly the comparison between pecans and cashews. Cashews are lower in calories, 553 calories per 100 grams (12).

The amount of fiber is a world of difference. Cashews have about 3.3 grams of fiber per 100 grams vs the 9.6 grams of pecans. Cashews contain about 18.2 grams of protein per 100 grams, which is almost double the amount of protein in pecans. In terms of the amount of vitamins and minerals, pecans and cashews are very similar.

The difference in calories combined with the higher amount of protein will make cashews likely better for weight loss than pecans.

Chart of pecans vs other popular nuts

There are some interesting differences in nutritional content that will most likely matter when it comes to weight loss. As you can see, there are quite a few better nuts for weight loss than pecans.

The amount of vitamins and minerals in the foods does matter for weight loss and health but you can’t simplify that in one number. You can check out the numbers for pecans (1), walnuts (9) almonds (10), peanuts (11), and cashews (12), to compare.

Values Per 100gPecansWalnutsAlmondsCashewsPeanuts
Calories691 calories654 calories575 calories567 calories553 calories
Fiber9.6 g6.7 g12.2 g8.5 g3.3 g
Protein9.2 g15.2 g21.2 g25.8 g18.2 g
Chart comparing pecans vs other nuts for weight loss
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Matt Claes

Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.

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