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Hazelnut vs Walnut - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Elen Khachatrian by Elen Khachatrian | Last updated on June 16, 2021
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Hazelnut
vs
Walnut

Summary

Hazelnuts are richer in vitamins, iron, potassium, fiber, carbs, have less saturated fats, less sodium, lower glycemic index than walnuts. On the other hand, walnuts contain more protein, phosphorus, zinc, fewer sugars than hazelnuts.

Introduction

This article aims to provide you with detailed information about walnuts and hazelnuts and compare their nutritional values. Both nuts are packed with healthy compounds that have beneficial effects on your health. However, let's look at each of them individually to understand their impact on health better.

Varieties

Hazelnuts are round brown hard-shelled nuts, whereas walnuts are wrinkled with lighter pale brown. Hazelnuts belong to the genus Corylus; they are the fruit of the hazel. The most common hazelnut types are American Hazelnut and European Hazelnut.

Walnuts belong to the genus Juglans. The most well-known types of walnut are the Persian walnut and the black walnut.

Use and Taste

Hazelnuts are nutty, with notes of earthy. This nut itself is earthy and mild, but its skin might be slightly bitter. It is because the skin contains relatively high amounts of iodine.

Hazelnuts are used in desserts, baking, chocolate truffles, and so on. The most popular hazelnut products are hazelnut cocoa spreads such as Nutella and Frangelico liqueur.

Moreover, you can use walnut and walnut oil in different dishes, salads, desserts such as brownies, ice creams, and sauces.

Nutrition

The nutritional values are presented for raw hazelnut and raw walnuts. At the bottom of this page, you can find nutrition infographics of these nuts.

Micronutrients

Hazelnuts and walnuts contain almost equal levels of protein and fats. However, the levels of these micronutrients are higher in walnuts. Walnut also has fewer sugars than hazelnut. On the other hand, hazelnuts contain more carbs and monounsaturated fats than walnuts.

Vitamins

Overall, the amount of vitamins in hazelnut is higher than that of walnut. It contains 20 times more Vitamin E, three times more Vitamin C, and four times more Vitamin K. Vitamin B1, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, and folate are also higher in hazelnut. On the other hand, walnuts are more affluent in Vitamin B2. Both nuts have equal amounts of Vitamin A and Vitamin B6, and both lack Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D.

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
:
1
Walnut
Contains more Vitamin E +2047.1%
Contains more Vitamin C +384.6%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +88.6%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +60%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +61.1%
Contains more Folate +15.3%
Contains more Vitamin K +425.9%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +32.7%
Equal in Vitamin A - 20
Equal in Vitamin B6 - 0.537
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 2% 301% 0% 21% 161% 27% 34% 56% 130% 85% 0% 36%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 2% 14% 0% 5% 86% 35% 22% 35% 124% 74% 0% 7%
Contains more Vitamin E +2047.1%
Contains more Vitamin C +384.6%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +88.6%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +60%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +61.1%
Contains more Folate +15.3%
Contains more Vitamin K +425.9%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +32.7%
Equal in Vitamin A - 20
Equal in Vitamin B6 - 0.537

Minerals

Hazelnuts are richer in iron, calcium, potassium, and in addition, have less sodium than a walnut. On the other hand, walnuts contain more zinc and phosphorus.

These nuts have equal amounts of magnesium and copper.

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
Contains more Calcium +16.3%
Contains more Iron +61.5%
Contains more Potassium +54.2%
Contains less Sodium -100%
Contains more Phosphorus +19.3%
Contains more Zinc +26.1%
Equal in Magnesium - 158
Equal in Copper - 1.586
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 35% 177% 117% 125% 60% 0% 67% 575%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 30% 110% 113% 149% 39% 1% 85% 529%
Contains more Calcium +16.3%
Contains more Iron +61.5%
Contains more Potassium +54.2%
Contains less Sodium -100%
Contains more Phosphorus +19.3%
Contains more Zinc +26.1%
Equal in Magnesium - 158
Equal in Copper - 1.586

Potassium

Potassium can help reduce the risk of kidney stones and normalize water balance and blood pressure in your body. In this case, hazelnuts have a higher amount of potassium than walnuts. They contain 680 g of potassium per 100g, while walnuts contain 441 g per 100g.

Glycemic Index

In general, nuts are regarded as low glycemic index food. However, hazelnuts have a higher GI than walnuts. The estimated glycemic index of hazelnuts is equal to 15, whereas the GI of walnuts is 0.

Acidity

The pH value of walnuts is more acidic, equivalent to 5.6, whereas the acidity of hazelnut, depending on their type, is equal to 1.9. Hazelnuts are more alkaline.

Calories

In general, hazelnuts and walnuts have almost equal numbers of calories. Each hazelnut has about 628 calories per 100 g, and each walnut has 654 calories per 100 g.

Health Benefits

Weight Loss

Both hazelnut and walnut are high in calories; however, you can also use them in some diets due to their healthy fats and fiber content.

If you are on a low carbs diet, such as the Keto diet, walnuts are a good choice. On the other hand, hazelnuts are more suitable for a low-carb and a low glycemic index diet [1] [2].

Cardiovascular Health

Studies show that eating walnuts is beneficial for your heart health. Walnuts can help lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure and decrease low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Hazelnuts are rich in potassium, and 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 [3] [4].

Cancer

Hazelnuts are excellent sources of Vitamin E and Vitamin B6, excellent dietary sources of natural antioxidants. Natural antioxidants have anti-cancer effects on the human body. According to the study, hazelnuts are also rich in neolignans that can inhibit the growth of human cancer cells [5].

Walnuts contain more antioxidants than most other nuts; therefore, they are associated with cancer prevention in the human body. Besides, walnuts are a great source of omega-3 fats and 18-carbon α-linolenic acid, which may prevent or inhibit the growth of cancer cells [6].

Pregnancy

Studies show eating several nuts during early pregnancy provides long-term benefits for a child's motor and cognitive development. Moreover, both hazelnuts and walnuts are excellent sources of omega-3s, which are essential during pregnancy. Omega 3 fatty acids may reduce oxidative stress in the brain and help improve brain signaling and neurogenesis [7].

Diabetes

Hazelnuts contain oleic acid, a compound that has beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity. Adding hazelnuts into your diet can prevent the reduction of HDL-C concentrations in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Research shows that walnut consumers showed a lower risk for diabetes than non-nut consumers based on self-report and fasting blood glucose levels. One study showed that increased walnut intake significantly reduces the prevalence of diabetes [8] [9].

Gut Health

Studies suggest that walnuts can be good for your gut. This nut can support the health of your microbiota. Daily intake of 43 grams of this nut can increase beneficial bacteria, including those that produce butyrate, a fat that promotes gut health [10].

Hair and Skin Health

Hazelnuts are excellent sources of zinc, which is an essential mineral for human health. Zinc can help to promote the formation of collagen to make hair healthy. Using hazelnut oil for scalp massages may stimulate the hair follicles and nourish them. Besides, hazelnuts are rich in Vitamin E, which can help your skin look young and vibrant [11].

Downsides and Risks

Allergy

You may be allergic to hazelnuts and walnuts if you have an allergy to tree pollen. The symptoms are common and can include itching, swelling, burning in the mouth and throat.

In this case of being allergic to nuts, it is better to avoid eating all tree nuts, even if a healthcare professional has only diagnosed you as being allergic to one type [12].

References

  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jfbc.13235
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15466943/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27897978/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24500935/
  5. https://www.ishs.org/ishs-article/445_39
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25336096/
  7. https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/full/10.1164/rccm.200710-1544OC
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28115966/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3793377/
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29470389/
  11. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/223030639
  12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17125539/
Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: June 16, 2021

Infographic

Hazelnut vs Walnut infographic
Infographic link

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.
Hazelnut Walnut
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in glycemic index ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in price ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Rich in minerals Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Hazelnut Walnut Opinion
Net carbs 7g 7.01g Walnut
Protein 14.95g 15.23g Walnut
Fats 60.75g 65.21g Walnut
Carbs 16.7g 13.71g Hazelnut
Calories 628kcal 654kcal Walnut
Starch 0.48g 0.06g Hazelnut
Fructose 0.07g 0.09g Walnut
Sugar 4.34g 2.61g Walnut
Fiber 9.7g 6.7g Hazelnut
Calcium 114mg 98mg Hazelnut
Iron 4.7mg 2.91mg Hazelnut
Magnesium 163mg 158mg Hazelnut
Phosphorus 290mg 346mg Walnut
Potassium 680mg 441mg Hazelnut
Sodium 0mg 2mg Hazelnut
Zinc 2.45mg 3.09mg Walnut
Copper 1.725mg 1.586mg Hazelnut
Vitamin A 20IU 20IU
Vitamin E 15.03mg 0.7mg Hazelnut
Vitamin D 0IU 0IU
Vitamin D 0µg 0µg
Vitamin C 6.3mg 1.3mg Hazelnut
Vitamin B1 0.643mg 0.341mg Hazelnut
Vitamin B2 0.113mg 0.15mg Walnut
Vitamin B3 1.8mg 1.125mg Hazelnut
Vitamin B5 0.918mg 0.57mg Hazelnut
Vitamin B6 0.563mg 0.537mg Hazelnut
Folate 113µg 98µg Hazelnut
Vitamin B12 0µg 0µg
Vitamin K 14.2µg 2.7µg Hazelnut
Tryptophan 0.193mg 0.17mg Hazelnut
Threonine 0.497mg 0.596mg Walnut
Isoleucine 0.545mg 0.625mg Walnut
Leucine 1.063mg 1.17mg Walnut
Lysine 0.42mg 0.424mg Walnut
Methionine 0.221mg 0.236mg Walnut
Phenylalanine 0.663mg 0.711mg Walnut
Valine 0.701mg 0.753mg Walnut
Histidine 0.432mg 0.391mg Hazelnut
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Trans Fat g g
Saturated Fat 4.464g 6.126g Hazelnut
Monounsaturated Fat 45.652g 8.933g Hazelnut
Polyunsaturated fat 7.92g 47.174g Walnut

Which food is preferable for your diet?

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

People also compare

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
71
Hazelnut
33
Walnut
Mineral Summary Score
144
Hazelnut
131
Walnut

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
90%
Hazelnut
91%
Walnut
Carbohydrates
17%
Hazelnut
14%
Walnut
Fats
280%
Hazelnut
301%
Walnut

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Sugar?
Walnut
Walnut is lower in Sugar (difference - 1.73g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Walnut
Walnut is lower in glycemic index (difference - 15)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Hazelnut
Hazelnut contains less Sodium (difference - 2mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Hazelnut
Hazelnut is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 1.662g)
Which food is cheaper?
Hazelnut
Hazelnut is cheaper (difference - $1.8)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Hazelnut
Hazelnut is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
Which food is richer in minerals?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

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. Hazelnut - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170581/nutrients
  2. Walnut - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170187/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.