Difference Between Pecans and Walnuts

Pecans vs Walnuts

We know that nuts art a great source of fuel in the form of fat and oil. They also are a goof carbohydrate source. All nuts except coconut are good sources of major B vitamins. Pecans and walnuts are both nuts that have many similarities in shape and appearance. Their taste is also somewhat similar. Both have many health benefits. However there are some differences between walnut and pecan that will be discussed in this article.


Pecans are nuts that come from Pecan trees that are native to Mexico and south central US. Pecans are easy to store, easy to crack and provide a high yield of nut meat. They have always been an excellent source of energy. Shelled pecans can hold their freshness for about 3 months after which they need to be stored in vacuum packs with nitrogen or need to be refrigerated to stay fresh. Refrigerated pecans stay fresh for several years. Despite a misconception that pecans are full of fat, a study involving daily intake of ¾ cup of pecan showed that it led to no weight gain. In fact, the bad cholesterol levels of the participants in the study went down by 6%.

Pecans are known for their very high vitamin E content (o.45%). They also have 67 grams of oil per 100g. Their protein content is low, being only 7g per 100g. Pecans also have very little amount of omega 3 fatty acid.


Compared to other nuts, walnuts have been found to contain a maximum amount of antioxidants, which is important in preventing certain types of cancers, though there is nothing conclusive to prove this claim. Walnuts are also considered to be healthy for human hearts because of high omega 3 content, which is a fatty acid similar to what is found in fish. Walnuts in general, have mono saturated fat, which is good for the health of our heart.

Walnuts are native to southeast Europe, China, Iraq, India, and Pakistan. However, because of their excellent health benefits, walnut trees have been spread in all parts of the world today. Walnuts are excellent source of energy and make a wholesome food. Their kernel gets extracted easily from the shell and contains 15% protein, 65% fats, and 16% carbohydrates. It contains a high amount of calcium and some iron too. It also contains sufficient quantities of vitamin E. The proportion of omega 3 fatty acid to omega6 fatty acid in walnut is considered to be optimum for human consumption.

Difference between Pecans and Walnuts

The most notable difference in appearance lies in the shape of pecans and walnuts. Walnuts resemble human brain in their formation, while pecans have deep ridges that are long though retaining the same elliptical shape. Pecans are dark brown, whereas walnuts are light brown in color. There are also differences in taste with distinct flavor of both pecans and walnuts. If you are in a market, you would be surprised to see higher priced pecan in comparison to better known walnuts.

In brief:

Pecans Vs Walnuts

• Both walnuts and pecans are considered to be heart friendly.

• Pecans have more vitamin E than walnuts.

• Pecans are full of antioxidants, and are considered good for your eyes, and also to fight certain types of cancers.

• On the other hand, walnuts have more omega 3 fatty acid than pecans, and have been proved to contain anti carcinogenic properties.

• As far as taste is concerned, pecans taste sweeter than walnuts. This is why walnuts are roasted before use in certain recipes.