Pecans are a nut that is low in carbohydrates. There are around 3.2 grams of net carbs in 1/4 cup of chopped pecans. This means pecans can be included as part of a low-carb or keto diet. The total carb count is higher at around 4 grams per 1/4 cup, but about 1 gram of that is fiber, which does not count toward net carbs.
How Many Total Carbs in Pecans
There are around 4 grams of total carbohydrates in 1/4 cup of chopped pecans. This is according to the USDA FoodData Central database.
Here is a nutrition breakdown for 1/4 cup of chopped pecans:
As you can see, the total carbohydrate count comes out to 4 grams per serving. However, we need to take the fiber into account to calculate the net carbs.
Calculating Net Carbs
Net carbs are calculated by subtracting fiber from the total carbs.
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that we do not digest and absorb. So we can subtract grams of fiber from total carbs to get the net carb count.
For pecans, there is 1 gram of fiber per 1/4 cup serving. So the math comes out like this:
Total carbs: 4g
Net Carbs = Total Carbs – Fiber
= 4g – 1g
Therefore, the net carb count for pecans is 3g per 1/4 cup. This makes pecans a low carb food choice.
Pecans Nutrition Facts
Let’s take a closer look at the full nutrition facts for pecans.
Below are the nutrients found in 1/4 cup of chopped, raw pecans (28 grams):
|% Daily Value
As you can see, pecans are very high in fat, particularly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. They contain no cholesterol and are very low in net carbs and sugar.
Pecans also provide a small amount of fiber and potassium.
So in terms of carbohydrate content, pecans are one of the lowest carb nuts you can eat.
Pecan Carbs in Different Serving Sizes
Now let’s take a look at the carb count in pecans for some different serving sizes:
|1 ounce (19 halves)
|1/4 cup chopped (28g)
|1/2 cup chopped (56g)
|1 cup chopped (112g)
As you go up in serving size, the carb count increases proportionately. But pecans remain low carb even at a full cup serving.
Now let’s compare pecans to some other common nuts and seeds:
Carbs in Pecans vs. Other Nuts
|Nut or Seed
|Net Carbs in 1 Oz
Pecans have one of the lowest amount of net carbs per ounce compared to most other nuts and seeds.
The only nuts lower in net carbs than pecans are macadamia nuts and Brazil nuts.
So pecans are an excellent low carb nut choice on a ketogenic diet or for anyone looking to reduce carbs.
Health Benefits of Pecans
Pecans are not only low in carbs, they also offer some great health benefits:
– High in antioxidants – Pecans contain antioxidants like vitamin E, manganese, phenolic antioxidants and flavonoids. These help fight free radical damage and oxidative stress.
– May lower LDL cholesterol – Research indicates that eating pecans may help lower LDL “bad” cholesterol levels.
– Anti-inflammatory effects – The phenolic compounds in pecans have anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce inflammation.
– Promote heart health – Pecans contain monounsaturated fat, magnesium, fiber, phytosterols and other nutrients that support heart health.
– Aid blood sugar control – Despite containing carbs, pecans may actually help stabilize blood sugar when eaten in moderation as part of a healthy diet.
So adding a serving of pecans into your diet each day can provide health perks beyond simply being low in carbs.
Uses for Pecans
Here are some ideas for how to enjoy pecans while following a low-carb or keto diet:
– Add chopped pecans to yogurt, cottage cheese, oatmeal or chia pudding
– Use pecan pieces as a topping for salads or green vegetables
– Include pecans in homemade low-carb granola or trail mix
– Sprinkle pecans on top of meat dishes for added crunch
– Make pecan crust for meatloaf, fish or chicken
– Mix chopped pecans into cookie or brownie batter
– Coat pecans in cinnamon for a sweet crunchy snack
– Add pecans to smoothies, milkshakes and protein shakes
– Use pecan pieces in homemade energy bars or fat bombs
– Make pecan milk with soaked pecans blended with water
Pecans can quickly go rancid if not stored properly. Here are some tips for storing pecans:
– Keep pecans in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
– You can also store pecans in the freezer for up to a year.
– If you buy pecans in bulk, divide them into smaller portions in sealed bags before freezing. This prevents repeat freezing and thawing.
– Make sure pecans are not exposed to moisture and humidity. Keep them away from open cans and fresh produce that releases ethylene gas.
– If pecans smell bitter, acidic or paint-like, they have gone rancid and should be discarded.
– Blanching or roasting pecans extends their shelf life by deactivating the pecan’s natural oils.
Buying the Best Pecans
Look for pecans that appear clean, dry and damage-free when buying in bulk bins or packages. Size does not indicate quality but smaller pecan halves can be easier for recipes.
Avoid pecans that smell musty or stale, feel slimy, or are discolored. Signs of mold, moisture or insect damage mean pecans are past their prime.
Look for “new-crop” pecans in the fall harvest season for nuts at their peak freshness. Ask your grocer when they received their latest pecan shipment.
If buying roasted or salted pecans, check the ingredients list for added oils, sweeteners or preservatives. Or stick to raw unseasoned pecans and flavor them yourself.
Are Pecans Keto?
Yes, pecans are definitely keto-friendly.
Since pecans contain only 3g net carbs per ounce, they can easily be incorporated into a ketogenic diet.
Nuts and seeds are an important part of keto diets since they provide fiber, vitamins, minerals and plant-based fat.
Just be sure to keep servings of pecans reasonable, around 1–2 ounces per day. Even though they are low carb, pecans are still calorie dense.
Some easy ways to enjoy pecans on a keto diet include:
– Sprinkled on top of keto yogurt or chia pudding
– Added to keto granola, cereal or trail mixes
– Mixed into keto pancake or waffle batter
– Used in crusts for keto meatloaf or fish
– Added to keto nut milk or smoothies
– Paired with hard cheese as a snack
As you can see, pecans deserve a place in any low carb or ketogenic eating plan. They can add delicious crunch and nutrition without spiking blood sugars.
Pecan Nutrition Facts
Here is an overview of the nutrition facts for 1 ounce (19 halves) of raw pecans:
|% Daily Value
Pecans stand out for their fiber, antioxidant content, and plant-based monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. They make an excellent addition to a healthy diet.
The Bottom Line
So in summary:
– There are 3.2 grams of net carbs in 1/4 cup of chopped pecans
– Pecans contain 4 grams total carbs per 1/4 cup serving
– Once you subtract 1 gram of fiber, the net carbs comes out to 3 grams
– Pecans are one of the lowest carb nuts, with only about 1.5 grams of net carbs in one ounce
– Compared to other nuts, pecans are a great low-carb choice
– Pecans provide many health benefits beyond their low carb content
– They can easily be incorporated into a low-carb, ketogenic or diabetic diet
– Stick to reasonable serving sizes of pecans to keep carb intake low
So if you are watching your carb intake, don’t be afraid to enjoy the delicious crunch of pecans in moderation as part of your healthy low-carb eating plan.