Pecan Nutrition

One Healthy Nut (Even Healthier Than We Thought)

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Pecan Nutrition


Antioxidant-Rich Pecans
New research, published in the August 2006 issue of Nutrition Research, shows that adding just a handful of pecans to your diet each day may be help inhibit unwanted oxidation of blood lipids, thus helping prevent heart disease. The researchers suggest that this positive effect was in part due to the pecan’s significant content of vitamin E – an antioxidant. Pecans contain different forms of vitamin E, which protects blood lipids from oxidation. Oxidation of lipids in the body – a process akin to rusting – is detrimental to health. When the “bad” (LDL) cholesterol becomes oxidized, it is more likely to build up and result in clogged arteries. Read More

Cholesterol-Lowering Pecans
Pecans also play a role in lowering cholesterol. Clinical research published in the Journal of Nutrition (September 2001) compared the Step I diet (28 percent fat), recommended by the American Heart Association for individuals with high cholesterol levels, to a pecan-enriched (40 percent fat) diet. The results showed the pecan-enriched diet lowered total cholesterol by 11.3 percent and LDL “bad” cholesterol levels by 16.5 percent – twice that of the Step I diet, without any associated weight gain. Read More

Weight Control and Pecans
A review of pecan and other nut research, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (September 2003), suggests that nuts like pecans may aid in weight loss and maintenance. The review cited studies indicating that nut consumption may increase metabolic rates and enhance satiety. When used in conjunction with a low-fat diet, nuts also offer increased flavor, palatability and texture that can lead to greater dietary compliance, according to the review.

Heart-Healthy Pecans
Nearly 60 percent of the fats in pecans are monounsaturated and another 30 percent are polyunsaturated, leaving very little saturated fat in pecans. The unsaturated fat in pecans is heart-healthy fat meeting the new Dietary Guidelines that recommend Americans keep intake between 20 and 35 percent of calories, with most fats coming from heart-healthy sources like fish, nuts and vegetable oils. In addition, pecans contain no trans fat.

Nutrient-Dense Pecans
Pecans contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals – including vitamin A, vitamin E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, several B vitamins and zinc. One ounce of pecans provides 10 percent of the recommended Daily Value for fiber. Pecans are also a natural, high-quality source of protein that contain very few carbohydrates and no cholesterol. Pecans are also naturally sodium-free, making them an excellent choice for those on a salt- or sodium-restricted diet.

Find out more nutritional information at the National Pecan Shellers Association's website:  ilovepecans.com  Also, check out their Facebook Page with the I LOVE PECANS.