Unshelled Pecans - American Pecan Council

A Heart-Smart Food

Pecans contain the same heart-healthy unsaturated fats that are found in other nuts, and nearly two decades of research suggests that nuts, including pecans, may help maintain a healthy heart and cholesterol levels.

Four landmark observation studies have that found an association between total nut consumption (peanuts and tree nuts) and a significantly decreased risk of heart disease.  The greatest reduction of heart disease risk and deaths from heart attacks was among people who ate five or more 1-ounce servings of nuts per week. Pecans are the third most frequently consumed tree nut in the country.

The Adventist Health Study

A possible protective effect of nut consumption on risk of coronary heart disease

Nurses’ Health Study

Frequent nut consumption and risk of coronary heart disease in women: prospective cohort study

Iowa Womens’ Health Study

Frequent nut intake and risk of death from coronary heart disease and all causes in postmenopausal women: the Iowa Women's Health Study

Physicians’ Health Study

Nut consumption and risk of mortality in the Physicians’ Health Study


As a result of the scientific evidence supporting the cardiovascular benefits of nuts, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first qualified health claim for a whole food in 2003:

Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as pecans, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.

One serving of pecans contains 18 grams of “good” unsaturated fat and only 2 grams of saturated fat.

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