If you have diabetes, choosing healthy snacks is an important part of managing your blood sugar levels and overall health. So are pecans a healthy option for diabetics?

We’re happy to report that the answer is yes. The health benefits of pecans are off the charts, making them great for snacking as a diabetic. They contain low carbohydrates, high fiber, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals.

Eating a handful of pecans every day may help keep the doctor away. Take a closer look at these pecan nutrition facts and how they can help everyone maintain a healthy, balanced diet.

Photo of a handful of shelled pecans

Pecans are Low in Carbohydrates

One of the key health benefits of snacking on raw pecans is that they’re low in carbohydrates. Unlike other popular snack foods like chips or crackers, pecans won't cause your blood sugar levels to spike. This is because pecans have a low glycemic index, which means they’re digested slowly, releasing glucose into your bloodstream more gradually. Eating low-glycemic-index foods can help regulate blood sugar levels, making them an ideal choice for people with diabetes.

Cracked shelled pecans in a paper bag

Pecans are High in Fiber and Healthy Fats

Pecans are also an excellent source of fiber and healthy fats. A one-ounce serving of pecans (about 19 pecan halves) contains about 3g of fiber, which can help slow sugar absorption into your bloodstream. This can help prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes, which are common in people with diabetes.

Pecans are also high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are considered "healthy" fats. These fats can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, which is important for people with diabetes who are at higher risk for heart problems.

Pecans Have Essential Vitamins and Minerals

Infographic of the vitamin and mineral content in pecans

In addition to being low in carbohydrates and high in fiber and healthy fats, pecans also contain more than 19 essential vitamins and minerals – including vitamin A, vitamin E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, several B vitamins and zinc.

Pecans are a good source of vitamin E, which has been shown to have antioxidant properties that can protect against cell damage. When compared to other nuts, pecans have shown the highest levels of gamma-tocopherols, a form of vitamin E that has been found to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

A single serving of pecans also contains 8% daily value of magnesium, which is important for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Magnesium helps the body use insulin more effectively, which can help prevent insulin resistance, a common problem in people with type 2 diabetes.

How to Incorporate Pecans into Your Diet

Photos of pecan recipe ideas for oatmeal, salad, yogurt and trail mix

Now that you know why pecans are a great snack option for people with diabetes, you may be wondering how to incorporate them into your diet. Shelled pecans can be enjoyed on their own as an easy, on-the-go snack, or they can be added to a variety of dishes to improve flavor and nutrition. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Sprinkle pecans on top of oatmeal or yogurt for a filling and nutritious breakfast.
  • Use chopped pecans as a topping for salads or roasted vegetables.
  • Add pecans to your favorite trail mix for a snack that will keep you feeling full and satisfied.
  • Use pecans as a coating for baked chicken or fish to add crunch and flavor.
  • Mix pecans with other nuts and dried fruit for a homemade snack mix.

Photo of pecan trail mix

By adding pecans to your diet regularly, you can enjoy a worry-free snack that will help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels and taste delicious while doing it!