Walnuts or Pecans
The apples and oranges comparison that we are all familiar with, is the equivalent here in the nut world to walnuts and pecans. When it comes to the taste, walnuts are a little bitter flavor, while pecans have a slightly sweeter flavor. Because of these flavor distinctions, pecans are usually the preferred baking and cooking nut. Digging in a little deeper, their nutritional value sets them apart even further.
Healthy Characteristics of Pecans vs Walnuts
When it comes to the nutritional breakdown of pecans versus walnuts, they are quite similar and both have heart healthy characteristics; meaning they are both good sources of unsaturated fats (the “healthy” kind of fats). Walnuts are more calorie-dense and have a higher protein grade, but pecans are a better source of fiber.
When we take a closer look at the fat content, pecans are rich in monounsaturated fats, while the walnut is higher in polyunsaturated fat (or you might be more familiar with the terms, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids). When it comes to the vitamin content, pecans have slightly higher levels of vitamins A, E, K, and many B-vitamins, such as thiamin, which helps with energy metabolism. However, walnuts are a great source of B6, used in processing proteins, carbs, and fats, forming red blood cells, and regulating the nervous system.
With that said, walnuts have the upper hand when it comes to minerals; calcium and phosphorus for things like bone health. Although, pecans are high in zinc, which helps with the immune system, eyesight, and skin. Along with this, pecans are a great source of polyphenols, which act as antioxidants.
Pecans are the Winning Nut
We may be biased, but given the taste, nutritional quality and functionality, we’d like to say that the pecan has the lead. On the taste spectrum, pecans are a little easier to manipulate in recipes and have a much sweeter flavor. Both walnuts and pecans have great nutritional benefits and both have preventative and disease maintenance features.
When it comes to functionality though, we think the Texas pecan takes the cake…or should we say, the nut. You be the judge. Try our assortment of raw and candied pecans and let us know what you think!