Pecans vs Walnuts: Difference and Comparison

Nuts and seeds are amazing sources of good fat, fibre, and protein. Most of the nuts also have omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fat in them.

In many countries, people take nuts in the form of healthy snacks. These are included in many sweets and dishes to enhance their flavours dramatically.  

Pecans and Walnuts are two such nuts. The two look very similar and hence confuse most people. They are good snacks and are highly used in desserts and breakfasts.

Both pecans and walnuts are rich in various nutrients to make one get rid of several diseases.

Key Takeaways

  1. Pecans have a sweeter and buttery taste, while walnuts have a slightly bitter taste.
  2. Pecans are softer and smoother, while walnuts are firmer and crunchy.
  3. Pecans have a higher fat content than walnuts, but they are richer in antioxidants and minerals such as zinc, copper, and manganese.

Pecans vs Walnuts

Pecans are native to North America and have a rich, buttery flavour and a softer texture than walnuts; they are used in desserts, such as pecan pie, but can also be used in savoury dishes like salads and stuffing. Walnuts are native to Asia and have a slightly bitter flavour and a firmer texture than pecans.

Pecans vs Walnuts

Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonPecansWalnuts
LookPecans are smaller and darker than Walnuts.Walnuts are a bit larger and have a slight golden colour.
NutrientsPecans are high in magnesium, potassium, zinc, and vitamins like A, B, and E.Walnuts have little variety but are highly rich in Vitamin B.
Protein5 per cent per serving.10 per cent per serving.
CaloriesPecans have a quarter of healthy unsaturated fats of everyday requirement and around 200 calories per ounce. Walnuts have less than 200 calories.
OriginMexico and South AmericaAsia and Europe
TasteIt has more sugar and dietary fibre and hence is a bit bitter.Walnuts are a bit sweeter.

What is Pecan?

Pecans originated in various parts of America and Mexico and are nuts with amazing dietary vitamins.

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They have a waxy, bitter, and sweet flavour and are consumed as snacks, especially in desserts. 

Pecans can be consumed roasted and raw once the shell is removed. It has a waxy, dark brownish texture and a flat, elongated shape.

They are highly rich in monounsaturated fats and have a variety of vitamins packed with them:

  1. Water: 4%
  2. Fat: 72%
  3. Protein: 5-9%
  4. Carbohydrates: 14%

Pecans are known for their ability to improve digestion. They also reduce some specific types of cancer cells. Pecans are beneficial for healthy hair and skin and are known for boosting immunity.

pecans

What are Walnuts?

Walnuts are single-seeded fruits from the Juglans tree.

These are round when inside the shell, and after complete ripening of the fruit, these are taken out from it and become edible.

The process of ripening the seed makes this shell very hard. 

Walnuts are mostly used in garnishing desserts and form of light snacks. The nutrient values of walnuts make them highly important among various nuts.

Walnuts are brownish and goldish and have a brain-like shape inside the shell.

However, walnuts pour out some chemicals in the soil where they are cultivated, making it infertile for vegetation. Hence, these are planted far from vegetable or flower gardens.

Walnuts are very rich in polyunsaturated fats and proteins. The nutrient values of walnuts are very impressive:

  1. Water: 4%
  2. Protein: 10-15%
  3. Fats: 65%
  4. Carbohydrates: 14%
  5. Fibres: 7% 
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Walnuts are claimed to reduce the chances of heart disease if consumed daily. They help in lowering and stabilizing the blood pressure of the human body.

walnuts

Main Differences Between Pecans and Walnuts

  1. Pecans are smaller and darker than walnuts. On the other hand, walnuts have a golden colour shine to them. Pecans also are more elongated and flatter as compared to walnuts.
  2. Pecans are packed with a lot of nutrients than walnuts. Pecans contain magnesium, potassium, zinc, and vitamins like A, B, and E. Walnuts are rich in vitamin B.
  3. Per serving, pecans provide 5 per cent of the protein, whereas walnuts offer double it. Walnuts are high in protein, with 10 per cent per serving.
  4. Pecans have 200 calories per ounce, whereas walnuts have a little less. However, both have a quarter of mono and polyunsaturated fats of daily human body requirement.
  5. Pecans are packed with sugar and dietary vitamins and are a bit bitter compared to Walnuts, which are a little sweeter.
  6. Pecans’ originator countries are Mexico and South America, whereas, Walnuts originated in Asia and Europe. Pecans were first found in the 16th century, whereas walnuts are very old and are from 7000 BC.
Difference Between Pecans and Walnuts
References
  1. https://www.actahort.org/books/290/290_20.htm
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002822300000973
  3. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/nutrition-research-reviews/article/tree-nut-phytochemicals-composition-antioxidant-capacity-bioactivity-impact-factors-a-systematic-review-of-almonds-brazils-cashews-hazelnuts-macadamias-pecans-pine-nuts-pistachios-and-walnuts/F28DC9CF2246C09ACEFBDF41623CAB63

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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26 thoughts on “Pecans vs Walnuts: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The detailed nutrient values of pecans and walnuts are quite enlightening. It’s always helpful to know what we’re consuming.

    Reply
  2. The information on pecans and walnuts is highly beneficial. The article offers a clear distinction between the two nuts.

    Reply
  3. The article highlights the health benefits of both pecans and walnuts very effectively. It’s a great guide for healthier snacking choices.

    Reply
  4. I find it a bit ironical that walnuts are healthier than pecans when pecans appear to have a ‘better’ taste based on popular opinion.

    Reply
  5. I never knew the origin of pecans and walnuts till now. The article effectively highlights the differences between the two nuts in a very comprehensive way.

    Reply
  6. This was very informative. Being able to differentiate the nutrients of two similar nuts helps in making an informed decision in snacking.

    Reply
  7. The article provides a very detailed analysis of the differences in nutrients between pecans and walnuts. It’s enlightening.

    Reply
  8. The information on pecans and walnuts was presented in a very engaging manner. It’s valuable knowledge for those interested in healthy snacking options.

    Reply
  9. It’s great to know about the health benefits of pecans and walnuts. The comparison table makes it easier to differentiate between the two nuts.

    Reply

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