100 Calories of Pecans & Helpful Comparison Chart of Nut Nutrition

pecan photoThrow pecans into casseroles or roasted vegetables or even soups to give it some texture. Just be careful — like all nuts, pecan calories add up with little volume.

I was curious last year about which nuts had the best ratio of fat and protein to calories. I looked up nutritional information on the web and calculated those ratios. You can see my calculations in the table below, sorted by best ratio of protein to calorie. The higher the ratio, the better the protein content. For fat to calorie ratio, a lower number is more desirable if you are trying to reduce fat intake.  The important take-away for me was the discovery of the overall best choices: peanuts, pistachios, almonds, cashews, in that order. I am very pleased that pistachios are high on the list for best choices in both categories.

You might notice I did not include walnuts. You are on your own there; I have a walnut allergy and did not bother to research a food I will never eat. Also, please note that these are just estimates and that I am going by values gleaned off the internet. Use at your own risk.

I also did a chart of nutritional values of seeds, but I’ll save that for another day.

Nut Serving protein : calorie fat : calorie
Peanuts 1/2 cup raw, 2.5oz 0.045 0.087
Pistachios 1/2 cup shelled, 2oz 0.037 0.080
Almonds raw, unblanched, 1/2 cup, 2.5oz 0.037 0.088
Cashews 1/2 cup dry-roasted, 2.4oz 0.027 0.081
Brazil nuts 1/2 cup, shelled (16 kernels), 2.5oz 0.025 0.117
Hazelnuts (filberts) 1/2 cup shelled, 2.5oz 0.024 0.097
Pecans 1/2 cup, halves, 2.4oz 0.013 0.104
Macadamia nuts 1/2 cup, 2.3oz 0.011 0.106
Coconut meat 1/2 medium coconut (4.5″ d, 7 oz) 0.009 0.095
Chestnuts 15-18 nuts, 2.5oz 0.008 0.006

100 Calories of Popcorn and Butter

popcorn kernalsIt turns out, popcorn with butter is my ‘perfect food’ for breaking a 2.5 day calorie-curtailment.  I’m not going to use the word ‘fast’ because I did eat a little each day: carrot juice, broth, and seitan.  Sadly, I made the mistake of guessing how many calories are in popcorn and butter instead of weighing them out.  I ended up eating about 800 calories of popcorn and butter.  Oops!

My conclusion about “fasting” is that while it isn’t particularly difficult, over time it was no more effective at weight loss than a smaller daily caloric reduction.  However, I felt good about the self-control involved.  A small good thing in these troubling times of revolution and natural disaster.

Pat o' ButterWhen I started paying more attention to what I was eating, I began to eat higher quality foods.  The increase in price is offset by the reduction in quantity.  Now I enjoy things like Danish butter.  I vastly prefer the flavor and texture to the more commonly available brands.

100 Calories of Dry-Roasted Salted Pistachios


Relatively speaking, pistachios are a good choice of nut when compared with others on the basis of calories, protein, and fat per weight.  But don’t be fooled; pistachios are still little (delicious!) fat and calorie bombs.  Still, if you are going to eat nuts, pistachios are a good choice.