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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Pecan Goodness

The race for the healthiest nut is on! I was at the American Dietetic Association’s Food and Nutrition Conference and Exhibition over the weekend and I was overwhelmed with all of the different nuts competing for which is the healthiest! All nuts are pretty good, but they all have slightly different nutritional profiles. I learned a little bit more about pecans, so I thought I would pass the info along to you.

Pecans are actually the highest antioxidant nut! The USDA measures the antioxidant content of foods and they found that pecans were the highest in terms of total antioxidant activity. Not only are they the highest nut, but they are actually one of the top 20 foods tested. Why is this important? The higher the antioxidant content, the better a food is at killing off free radicals leading to heart disease, cancer, and other health problems.

The Dietary Guidelines recommend eating four to five nut servings per week, and pecans definitely can be included in that recommendation. Also, did you know that pecans are actually perishable? Because they have such a high fat content, once they are shelled they should be kept in an airtight container either in the fridge or freezer.

Info on pecans (courtesy of Georgia Pecan Commission):

  • About 200 calories per 1 ounce serving
  • Rich in Vitamin E, thiamin, magnesium, manganese, copper
  • Good source of fiber
  • Contains oleic acid, which can help lower LDL cholesterol
  • There are over 500 varieties of pecans
  • Georgia leads the nation in pecan production, averaging 88 million pounds per year
  • Pecan trees are often used for lumber to make beautiful furniture
  • Pecan trees are the only tree nut native to the United States
  • Each pecan pie uses about 78 pecan halves
  • Georgia pecan wood was selected to make the handles of the torches for the 1996 Olympic Games

Here is a great recipe for Spiced Snapper with Georgia Pecan Crust

Click here for more Pecan Recipes

Check out www.georgiapecansfit.org

Photo courtesy of foepoooey

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About the Author


Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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