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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 April 18, 2024
Medically reviewed by Arpi Gasparyan Article author photo Arpi Gasparyan
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 hazelnuts 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 hazelnuts. On the other hand, hazelnuts contain more carbs and monounsaturated fats than walnuts.

Vitamins

Hazelnuts contain 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 hazelnuts. 

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" charts 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 Choline +16.3%
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 Choline Vitamin K 2% 301% 0% 21% 161% 27% 34% 56% 130% 85% 0% 25% 36%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 2% 14% 0% 5% 86% 35% 22% 35% 124% 74% 0% 22% 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 Choline +16.3%
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, and potassium and, in addition, have less sodium than walnuts. 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" charts 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 Manganese +80.9%
Contains more Phosphorus +19.3%
Contains more Zinc +26.1%
Contains more Selenium +104.2%
Equal in Magnesium - 158
Equal in Copper - 1.586
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 35% 177% 117% 125% 60% 0% 67% 575% 806% 14%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 30% 110% 113% 149% 39% 1% 85% 529% 446% 27%
Contains more Calcium +16.3%
Contains more Iron +61.5%
Contains more Potassium +54.2%
Contains less Sodium -100%
Contains more Manganese +80.9%
Contains more Phosphorus +19.3%
Contains more Zinc +26.1%
Contains more Selenium +104.2%
Equal in Magnesium - 158
Equal in Copper - 1.586

Potassium

Potassium can help reduce the risk of kidney stones and normalize your body's water balance and blood pressure. 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

Section reviewed by cardiologist Astghik Grigoryan Article author photo Astghik Grigoryan

Hazelnuts and walnuts are two types of nuts that offer a range of benefits for cardiovascular health, although they have slightly different nutrient profiles and potential impacts.

Hazelnuts are rich in monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, magnesium, and arginine. Monounsaturated fats are known for their ability to lower LDL (“bad” cholesterol) levels, thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals and potentially reducing the risk of atherosclerosis. Magnesium plays a crucial role in regulating blood pressure and maintaining heart rhythm, while arginine is an amino acid that helps improve blood vessel function and circulation. These combined benefits make hazelnuts a valuable addition to a heart-healthy diet  [3, 4, 5, 6, 7].

On the other hand, walnuts are notable for their high content of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid found in plants. Omega-3 fatty acids have been extensively studied for their cardiovascular benefits, including reducing inflammation, improving blood vessel function, and lowering the risk of heart disease. Walnuts also contain other polyunsaturated fats, which may contribute to lowering LDL (“bad” cholesterol) levels. Additionally, walnuts provide antioxidants such as ellagic acid and polyphenols, which help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. Plant sterols found in walnuts can further aid in lowering cholesterol absorption in the gut, contributing to overall heart health  [8, 9, 10, 11].

In summary, both hazelnuts and walnuts offer unique nutritional profiles that can support cardiovascular health. Including a variety of nuts, including hazelnuts and walnuts, in your diet can provide a range of beneficial nutrients and help reduce the risk of heart disease. Adding a handful of nuts to your daily diet as a snack or incorporating them into meals can be a flavorful and heart-healthy choice.

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 [12].

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 [13].

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 [14].

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 [15] [16].

Gut Health

Section reviewed by gastroenterologist Arpi Gasparyan Article author photo Arpi Gasparyan

Studies suggest that walnuts can be good for your gut microbiome, thus, health overall. For example, a study demonstrates daily intake of 43 grams of walnut for eight weeks decreased harmful bacteria and increased beneficial bacteria, including those that produce butyric acid and have probiotic effects [17].

Hazelnuts may also beneficially affect the gut microbiome; however, there are limited studies, and further research is required [18]. 

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 [19].

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, and 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 [20].

Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: April 18, 2024
Medically reviewed by Arpi Gasparyan

Infographic

Hazelnut vs Walnut infographic
Infographic link

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Carbs +21.8%
Contains more Water +30.5%
Contains more Other +28.7%
Equal in Protein - 15.23
Equal in Fats - 65.21
15% 61% 17% 5% 2%
Protein: 14.95 g
Fats: 60.75 g
Carbs: 16.7 g
Water: 5.31 g
Other: 2.29 g
15% 65% 14% 4% 2%
Protein: 15.23 g
Fats: 65.21 g
Carbs: 13.71 g
Water: 4.07 g
Other: 1.78 g
Contains more Carbs +21.8%
Contains more Water +30.5%
Contains more Other +28.7%
Equal in Protein - 15.23
Equal in Fats - 65.21

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains less Saturated Fat -27.1%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +411%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +495.6%
8% 79% 14%
Saturated Fat: 4.464 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 45.652 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 7.92 g
10% 14% 76%
Saturated Fat: 6.126 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 8.933 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 47.174 g
Contains less Saturated Fat -27.1%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +411%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +495.6%

Carbohydrate type comparison

Carbohydrate type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Starch +700%
Contains more Sucrose +72.8%
Contains more Glucose +14.3%
Contains more Fructose +28.6%
10% 87%
Starch: 0.48 g
Sucrose: 4.2 g
Glucose: 0.07 g
Fructose: 0.07 g
Lactose: 0 g
Maltose: 0 g
Galactose: 0 g
2% 91% 3% 3%
Starch: 0.06 g
Sucrose: 2.43 g
Glucose: 0.08 g
Fructose: 0.09 g
Lactose: 0 g
Maltose: 0 g
Galactose: 0 g
Contains more Starch +700%
Contains more Sucrose +72.8%
Contains more Glucose +14.3%
Contains more Fructose +28.6%

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the 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
Manganese 6.175mg 3.414mg Hazelnut
Selenium 2.4µg 4.9µg Walnut
Vitamin A 20IU 20IU
Vitamin A RAE 1µg 1µg
Vitamin E 15.03mg 0.7mg Hazelnut
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
Choline 45.6mg 39.2mg Hazelnut
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
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

Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score

The summary scores indicate the extent to which this food can fulfill your daily vitamin and mineral requirements if you consume 3 servings, consisting of 100 grams of each (an approximation of 3 serving sizes).
Vitamins Daily Need Coverage Score
67%
Hazelnut
32%
Walnut
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
197%
Hazelnut
152%
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

All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food 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.