The Nutritional Benefits of Pecans

The work of discovering the health benefits of nuts is well under way. Over the years, research has suggested that overall nut consumption aids in both weight loss and weight maintenance. However the data on the pecan nut specifically causing weight loss is weak. We’ve seen a connection between pecans and the altering of insulin sensitivity showing major benefits for metabolic health.

Pecans And Insulin Sensitivity

Evidence to support the beneficial effect of pecans on insulin sensitivity comes from the Nurses’ Health Study. This study tells us that there’s an inverse association between nut consumption and the risk of developing type-2 diabetes. The benefit comes from the fatty acid profile of all nuts.

Research on Pecans and Weight Gain

We know that nuts do not result in weight gain because nuts are equal to energy. Nuts are a nutrient dense food. They are full of fiber, protein, and have a low glycemic index that increases satiety. The fatty acid profiles of nuts may also influence appetite suppression to some extent.

This study from Loma Linda University tested those on a pecan-enriched and controlled diet to determine the effect on blood lipids and lipoproteins. Subjects weighed daily during the 2-week run-in period and once a week thereafter throughout the trial. Subjects on the pecan diet tended to lose more weight. Results show that it is likely that fatty acids from pecans are decreased because of incomplete digestion and absorption.

It was also found in a feeding trial with pecans that the lipid content in stools was greater when subjects were on the nut diet compared to the control diet. Thus showing that a healthy diet should include pecans and other nuts as part of a wholesome, healthy diet.

Calorie Restriction

A calorie restricted diet including nuts provides a higher chance of weight loss and improves insulin sensitivity. By consuming nuts, you can create a healthier environment in the body overall.

There seems to be no relationship between the frequency of nut consumption and body weight. The effect of long-term nut consumption on body weight and its role in insulin sensitivity needs further research.

Pecans Offer a Variety of Nutrients

Pecans are a complex matrix of nutrients. Incomplete digestion and absorption cause a decrease in fatty acids. For example, in an intervention feeding trial with pecan, the lipid content in stools was greater when subjects were on the nut diet compared to the control diet. Both chain length and degree of saturation of fat show an impact on glucose and insulin regulation.

USDA Databank Analysis Studies The Pecan

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture Databank conducted an analysis reviewing the nutritional content of pecans and other nuts. The following levels per 100 g were derived from these three analyses.

Vitamin C, 1.1 mg; Thiamin, 0.66 mg; Riboflavin, 0.13 mg; Niacin, 1.17 mg; Pantothenic Acid, 0.86 mg; and Folate dietary equivalents. The pecan is also an excellent source of niacin and food folate. Additionally, mental health and energy levels can improve when consuming.

Pecans and Cardio Vascular Disease

The composition of tree nuts include phytochemicals and bioactives that reflect their nutraceutical potential within different food. Despite an increase in dietary fat content, pecans as part of a healthy diet favorably affects plasma LDL and HDL cholesterol levels as well as lipoprotein profiles. These being major risk factors of Cardio Vascular Disease.

The presence of essential minerals, vitamins, and amino acids make the pecan an important part of the diet. Furthermore, the high content of healthy fats and the presence of soluble dietary fiber are vital in the development of chronic diseases.

These powerful antioxidants work to protect the heart against a dangerous environment full of free radicals. These free radicals can seriously contribute to the development of cardio vascular disease. The evidence is clear that pecans support an environment in the body which discourages the development of disease including cardiovascular disease.

Health Benefits Of Pecan Halves

Current research is also pointing to a protective role for nuts in reducing the risk of type-2 diabetes. They found pecans to be a factor in improving insulin sensitivity in obese diabetics under a weight loss regimen.

Oxidative Stress and Antioxidants

Additionally there is some evidence relating oxidative stress to the extent of insulin resistance. Some scientists claim that high oxidative stress promotes an impaired insulin efficacy. This in turn might aggravate the degree of oxidation. There is still little known about the antioxidant status of individuals who suffer from metabolic syndrome. Antioxidants are a crucial part of healing and healthy body management.

Pecan Sugar Concentration Over Time

The concentrations of sugars throughout kernel maturation changes as well. Some factors include the geo-locations of where pecans grow and the differences among pecans that grow in different areas. During endosperm expansion, these sugars decreased to practically nondetectable levels and sucrose content increased to maturity. Throughout maturation, total sugars decreased.

Maturation studies were completed using a high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) technique. The analysis of sucrose levels found that the disaccharide continuously increased during maturation reaching 2.37 g/100 g and 2.48g/100 g. Wakeling et al. reported a mean sucrose content of 1.97g/100 g for Wichita and Western Schley and that significant cultivar variations did not occur. The sucrose level from a pecan collected in 1995-1997 was skewed lower than the pecan collected in 1997.

Nuts as a Dietary Necessity

The benefits of pecans in any diet are beneficial. For now we can conclude that pecans won’t cause weight gain when included in a regular diet. There are both pecan pieces and pecan halves used on breakfasts, salads, and healthy deserts. Helping to fight obesity and regulate diabetes.