Acorns vs Pecans: Which Is Healthier?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between acorns and pecans, foods from the nuts and seeds group. Read on to learn more about the acorns vs pecans comparison.
Esther Bumpus, Health Writer

Written by Esther Bumpus, Health Writer. Updated on December 30, 2022.

Acorns and pecans belong to the nuts and seeds food group, an important group for a healthy diet, as they provide a wide range of essential nutrients, such as protein, healthy fats, dietary fiber, and vitamins and minerals.

In this article, we’ll put a spotlight on acorns and pecans and compare their similarities and differences.

They both provide a variety of nutrients and are relatively high in calories, like other nuts and seeds.


Acorns (Quercus spp.) are the seeds of oak trees and have been used as a food source by humans for centuries. Acorns have a slightly bitter and nutty flavor and are often ground into flour or meal for use in baking or as a thickening agent in soups and stews.

Acorns are a good source of nutrients, including protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals. They are also a sustainable and renewable food source, as oak trees are widely distributed, and acorns are abundant in many areas.

In some cultures, acorns have been used as a coffee substitute and can also be roasted and eaten as a snack. Acorns can be prepared in various ways, including boiling, roasting, or grinding into flour.

However, it is important to note that acorns contain tannins, which can give them a bitter flavor and can also cause digestive issues if consumed in large quantities. Therefore, it is important to properly prepare and leach acorns before consuming them in large amounts.

Overall, acorns are a unique and nutritious food that can be valuable to a plant-based diet. If you’re looking to try something new, consider incorporating acorns into your cooking!

Acorns are an excellent source of Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).

They also contain a good amount of Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) and some Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin).


Pecans (Carya illinoinensis) are a type of nut that is native to the United States and are now grown in many parts of the world.

These nuts have a sweet and slightly buttery flavor and are often used in sweet and savory dishes.

Pecans are a good source of nutrients, including protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals. They are also a good source of healthy fats, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

There are many ways to incorporate pecans into your diet.

They can be eaten raw or roasted and are often used in baking or as a topping for salads and other dishes.

Pecans are also available in various forms, including whole, chopped, and ground into flour.

Pecans are widely available and can be found at most grocery stores. They are often sold roasted or raw and can be purchased with or without the shell.

It is vital to store pecans in the refrigerator or freezer to keep them fresh and prevent them from going rancid.

If you’re looking for a tasty and nutritious nut to add to your diet, consider giving pecans a try.

They are flavorful, versatile, and have a variety of health benefits.

Pecans are an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine).

They also contain a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine) and some Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B9 (Folate), and Vitamin E.

Acorns vs Pecans Nutrition

Now that we’ve described the origin, taste, and usage of these foods, we can move to the most interesting part – comparing acorns vs pecans.

This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of acorns and pecans and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral contents.

Energy387 kcal691 kcal
Carbs40.8 g13.9 g
Sugar3.97 g
Fiber9.6 g
Protein6.15 g9.17 g
Fat23.9 g72 g
Saturated Fat3.1 g6.18 g

Acorns vs Pecans Calories

Nuts and seeds are generally high in calories; the same goes for acorns and pecans, so you should consume them in moderation.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a proper serving is one ounce, which is roughly equal to 1/4 cup or 28 grams.

To keep the portions under control, the amounts correspond to one serving size: 14 walnut halves, 16 cashews, 24 almonds, 28 peanuts, or 45 pistachios.

Comparing acorns vs pecans for weight loss, acorns are slightly lower in calories, with 108 calories per serving, compared to 193 calories per serving of pecans.

However, both acorns and pecans can and should be a part of a healthy diet, and neither one shouldn’t be avoided if you’re looking to lose weight. It’s just important to eat them in moderation.

Acorns vs Pecans Protein

Nuts and seeds, including acorns and pecans, are an important source of plant-based protein.

Pecans offer around 35% more protein than acorns.

Pecans have 9.2 grams of protein per 100 grams (or 2.6g per serving), while acorns have 6.2 grams of protein per 100 grams (or 1.7g per serving).

Acorns vs Pecans Carbs

Counting carbs can be important for some people for different reasons, including blood sugar control, weight management, or athletic performance.

It’s also important for people on a keto diet, so let’s compare the carbs content in acorns and pecans.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 66% higher in acorns than in pecans. They have 40.8 grams per 100 grams, compared to 13.9 grams in pecans.

There’s less sugar in acorns than in pecans, 100% precisely.

One handful of acorns (28 grams) contains 0 grams of sugar, while the same amount of pecans contains 1.1 grams.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in acorns and pecans.

Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.

With 2.7 grams of fiber per portion, pecans are a better source of fiber than acorns which offer 0 grams per portion.

Acorns vs Pecans Fats

Like the other nuts and seeds, fats in acorns and pecans are a great source of healthy unsaturated fats, naturally cholesterol free, and free of trans fats.

Total fat in acorns and pecans:

  • Acorns: 23.9 grams per 100 grams
  • Pecans: 72 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, acorns are 50% lower in saturated fats.

Acorns and pecans contain 3.1 grams and 6.2 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Acorns vs Pecans Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of acorns and pecans.

Vitamins are micronutrients, meaning we need only a small amount. However, they are very important for many processes in our bodies.

Acorns have a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

However, pecans have a higher amount of vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and vitamin B9 (Folate).

Acorns and pecans contain the same amount of vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins acorns and pecans contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

Vitamin A39 IU56 IU
Vitamin C01.1 mg
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.112 mg0.66 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.118 mg0.13 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)1.83 mg1.17 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.715 mg0.863 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.528 mg0.21 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)87 µg22 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E01.4 mg
Vitamin K03.5 µg

Acorns vs Pecans Minerals Content

Minerals are important for our body to function properly. We need only a small amount of minerals, so they are called micronutrients.

Some minerals, like iron, calcium, zinc or, iodine, are relatively hard to get on a plant-based diet, so it’s important to choose your foods thoughtfully. This part of the acorns and pecans comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Acorns are a better source of calcium, copper, fluoride, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc than pecans.

On the other hand, pecans have a higher amount of potassium.

Acorns and pecans contain the same amount of sodium.

Check out the table below to learn how acorns and pecans compare when it comes to mineral contents.

Calcium41 mg70 mg
Copper0.621 mg1.2 mg
Fluoride010 µg
Iron0.79 mg2.53 mg
Magnesium62 mg121 mg
Manganese1.34 mg4.5 mg
Phosphorus79 mg277 mg
Potassium539 mg410 mg
Selenium03.8 µg
Zinc0.51 mg4.53 mg

The Final Word

Acorns and pecans are highly nutritious and excellent sources of plant-based protein and healthy fats.

Although they are relatively high in calories, they are essential to a healthy, plant-based diet and are linked to many health benefits.

Both acorns and pecans are high in specific vitamins and minerals, and including them in your diet will give you the most benefits they offer.

Nuts and seeds are versatile foods, and can be part of any meal or salad, just be sure to eat them moderately, as they are loaded with calories.

Nuts and seeds are versatile foods and can be part of any meal or salad, just be sure to eat them moderately, as they are loaded with calories.


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