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Almond vs Hazelnut - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Almond
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Hazelnut

Introduction

Have you ever wondered how your favorite foods stand against each other in terms of nutrition?  We will discuss two members of the culinary nut group: hazelnut and almond. Both nuts are irreplaceably used in culinary, particularly, in baking, desserts, and dishes.

Varieties

Hazelnuts, also known as filberts or cobnuts, belong to the genus Corylus. The most common hazelnut types are American Hazelnut and European Hazelnut. Almonds, also known as Prunus dulcis, belong to the Prunus genus. They are not true nuts, but stone fruits, also known as drupes. Almonds have two varieties; sweet almond and bitter almond. Both are used in cooking.

Taste and Uses

Overall, hazelnuts are nutty, with slight notes of musty and earthy. Hazelnuts can be used in baking and desserts or, in combination with chocolate for chocolate truffles. The most popular products are Nutella and Frangelico liqueur

Almonds have a mild earthy flavor, while their skin might taste bitter. Almonds are used as snacks or as ingredients in various dishes, desserts, and so on.

Nutrition

The nutritional values below are presented for raw almonds and hazelnuts.

Macronutrients

The difference between the amounts of micronutrients in these nuts is not big. However, almonds contain more protein, carbs, and fiber, whereas hazelnut contains more monounsaturated fats and fewer sugars.

Minerals

Hazelnuts contain more iron, copper potassium, and less sodium than almonds. On the other hand, almonds have more magnesium, calcium, zinc, and phosphorus than hazelnuts. Both nuts have an equal level of potassium. Both hazelnut and almond can be sources of minerals required for daily required consumption. 

Vitamins

Hazelnuts are relatively richer in vitamins than almonds. It has 9 times more Vitamin A, 3 times more Vitamin B6, and 2 times more Vitamin B1. They are also richer in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B5, and folate.

In comparison, almonds have 9 times more Vitamin B2, more Vitamin E, and Vitamin B3 than hazelnuts. Both of these nuts contain no  Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D.

Potassium

In the human body, potassium can help to reduce the risk of kidney stones, normalize water balance and blood pressure. Both almonds and hazelnuts have an equal amount of potassium: 730 g per 100 g.

Glycemic Index

Nuts are considered low glycemic index food. The glycemic index of hazelnut is higher than that of almonds. It has a GI equal to 15, whereas the GI of almonds is 0.

Calories

Both nuts are rich in calories, however, hazelnuts contain more calories than almonds. They have 628 calories per 100 g, whereas almonds have 579 calories per 100 g.

Acidity

The pH value of hazelnuts is tantamount to 1.9, whereas the acidity of almonds, depending on their type, is equal to 2.3.  Both nuts are acidic.

Health Benefits

Weight Loss

Almonds and hazelnuts are rich in dietary fiber, protein, and healthy fats, therefore they can play an important role in a healthy diet.  Almonds are the better choice for low-calorie and low fats diets, while hazelnuts fit better into a low-carb diet. If you are on a low carbs diet, like the Keto diet, hazelnuts are the better choice. Besides, hazelnuts have a low glycemic index, which is good in the case of Low GI or Medium GI diets [1] [2].

Diabetes

According to the studies, oleic acid in hazelnuts can be beneficial to insulin sensitivity in 11 people with type 2 diabetes. Based on results, a diet rich in these nuts can prevent the reduction of HDL-C concentrations in patients with type 2 diabetes.  An increased intake of almonds has been studied to reduce the risk of heart disease in people with type 2 diabetes [3] [4].

Cancer

Numerous studies have shown that antioxidants can help with fighting cancer. Hazelnuts are rich in tocopherols, such as Vitamin E, which are excellent dietary sources of natural antioxidants. In this case, antioxidants can help with fighting cancer. Besides, hazelnuts contain Vitamin B6, which also can help to fight several types of cancer. Similarly, various studies show that almonds reduce the risk of breast, endometrial, pancreas, colon, and colon cancer [5] [6].

Cardiovascular Health

Research suggests that eating nuts may be good for your heart. For example, almonds are rich in potassium, which is required to keep your heart beating by keeping electricity flowing throughout your body. On the other hand, hazelnuts are rich in antioxidants, such as oleic acid, phytosterols, vitamin E, and squalene, which can keep electricity flowing throughout the human body and lower cholesterol levels in the blood [7] [8].

Improving Hair and Skin Health

Almond oil is an anti-inflammatory and may help ease swelling of the skin. Also, it is high in zinc and calcium, which helps promote collagen formation to make hair healthy and keep hair in its proper state.

On the other hand, hazelnut oil is a great product for maintaining good hair growth and perfect for scalp massages to stimulate the hair follicles and nourish them. Moreover, hazelnuts are rich in Vitamin E, which can help to keep your skin looking young and vibrant [9] [10].

Brain Protection

According to the study, the tocotrienol and vitamin E-rich supplements may help to protect brain cells from conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.  Both nuts are full of these compounds. Besides, almonds contain omega-3 and six fatty acids which boost intellectual capacity [11].

Downsides and Risks 

While nuts have tremendous health benefits and can be part of a healthy diet, they do have some potential drawbacks.

Allergy

Allergy to hazelnuts is often found in patients with tree pollen allergies. Symptoms of almond and hazelnut allergies are not different from other food allergies. Commonly, symptoms can include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps, oral allergy syndrome, and in rare cases, anaphylactic shock [12].

Phytic Acid

Phytic acid can be found in certain nuts, legumes, and oils. This substance may bind to micronutrients, such as zinc and iron, preventing their absorption. Overusing foods high in phytic acid can lead to iron and zinc deficiencies, resulting in anemia, growth stagnation, and impaired immune functions. Almonds tend to be higher in phytic acid than hazelnuts [13].

Summary

In comparison, almonds are richer in minerals, protein, fiber, carbs, have less saturated fats, lower GI, and are cheaper than hazelnuts. On the other hand, hazelnuts contain more vitamins, fewer sugars, and have less sodium than almonds.

References

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15466943/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4116579/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3793377/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20580779/
  5. https://www.ishs.org/ishs-article/445_39
  6. https://academic.oup.com/nutritionreviews/article/73/7/409/1942256
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27897978/
  8. https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-020-08642-4
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4828511/
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5796020/
  11. http://www.bourre.fr/pdf/publications_scientifiques/259.pdf
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7811165/
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4325021/
Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Profession: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: June 23, 2021

Infographic

Almond vs Hazelnut infographic
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Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Almond
5
:
Contains more Calcium +136%
Contains more Magnesium +65.6%
Contains more Zinc +27.3%
Contains more Phosphorus +65.9%
Contains more Iron +26.7%
Contains more Copper +67.3%
Contains less Sodium -100%
Equal in Potassium - 680
Iron Calcium Potassium Magnesium Copper Zinc Phosphorus Sodium 140% 81% 65% 193% 344% 86% 207% 1%
Iron Calcium Potassium Magnesium Copper Zinc Phosphorus Sodium 177% 35% 60% 117% 575% 67% 125% 0%
Contains more Calcium +136%
Contains more Magnesium +65.6%
Contains more Zinc +27.3%
Contains more Phosphorus +65.9%
Contains more Iron +26.7%
Contains more Copper +67.3%
Contains less Sodium -100%
Equal in Potassium - 680

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Almond
3
:
Contains more Vitamin E +70.5%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +907.1%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +101%
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin A +900%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +213.7%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +94.9%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +310.9%
Contains more Vitamin K +∞%
Contains more Folate +156.8%
Vitamin C Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Vitamin B12 Vitamin K Folate 0% 1% 513% 0% 52% 263% 68% 29% 32% 0% 0% 33%
Vitamin C Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Vitamin B12 Vitamin K Folate 21% 2% 301% 0% 161% 27% 34% 56% 130% 0% 36% 85%
Contains more Vitamin E +70.5%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +907.1%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +101%
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin A +900%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +213.7%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +94.9%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +310.9%
Contains more Vitamin K +∞%
Contains more Folate +156.8%

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
82
Almond
71
Hazelnut
Mineral Summary Score
139
Almond
144
Hazelnut

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
127%
Almond
90%
Hazelnut
Carbohydrates
22%
Almond
17%
Hazelnut
Fats
230%
Almond
280%
Hazelnut

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Almond Hazelnut
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in glycemic index ok
Lower in price ok
Rich in minerals ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Almond Hazelnut
Low Calories diet ok
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low glycemic index diet ok

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Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Sugar?
Hazelnut
Hazelnut is lower in Sugar (difference - 0.0099999999999998g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Hazelnut
Hazelnut contains less Sodium (difference - 1mg)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Hazelnut
Hazelnut is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Almond
Almond is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.662g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Almond
Almond is lower in glycemic index (difference - 15)
Which food is cheaper?
Almond
Almond is cheaper (difference - $0.8)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Almond
Almond is relatively richer in minerals
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Almond Hazelnut Opinion
Calories 579 628 Hazelnut
Protein 21.15 14.95 Almond
Fats 49.93 60.75 Hazelnut
Vitamin C 0 6.3 Hazelnut
Carbs 21.55 16.7 Almond
Cholesterol 0 0
Vitamin D 0 0
Iron 3.71 4.7 Hazelnut
Calcium 269 114 Almond
Potassium 733 680 Almond
Magnesium 270 163 Almond
Sugar 4.35 4.34 Hazelnut
Fiber 12.5 9.7 Almond
Copper 1.031 1.725 Hazelnut
Zinc 3.12 2.45 Almond
Starch 0.72 0.48 Almond
Phosphorus 481 290 Almond
Sodium 1 0 Hazelnut
Vitamin A 2 20 Hazelnut
Vitamin E 25.63 15.03 Almond
Vitamin D 0 0
Vitamin B1 0.205 0.643 Hazelnut
Vitamin B2 1.138 0.113 Almond
Vitamin B3 3.618 1.8 Almond
Vitamin B5 0.471 0.918 Hazelnut
Vitamin B6 0.137 0.563 Hazelnut
Vitamin B12 0 0
Vitamin K 0 14.2 Hazelnut
Folate 44 113 Hazelnut
Trans Fat 0.015 Hazelnut
Saturated Fat 3.802 4.464 Almond
Monounsaturated Fat 31.551 45.652 Hazelnut
Polyunsaturated fat 12.329 7.92 Almond
Tryptophan 0.211 0.193 Almond
Threonine 0.601 0.497 Almond
Isoleucine 0.751 0.545 Almond
Leucine 1.473 1.063 Almond
Lysine 0.568 0.42 Almond
Methionine 0.157 0.221 Hazelnut
Phenylalanine 1.132 0.663 Almond
Valine 0.855 0.701 Almond
Histidine 0.539 0.432 Almond
Fructose 0.11 0.07 Almond

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Almond - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170567/nutrients
  2. Hazelnut - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170581/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000 calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.