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Hazelnut vs Walnut - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Hazelnut
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Walnut

Introduction

This article aims to provide you 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 better understand their impact on health.

Varieties

Hazelnuts are round brown hard-shelled nuts whereas walnuts are wrinkled with lighter pale brown in color. 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. Walnut and walnut oil can be used 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, 3 times more Vitamin C, and 4 times more Vitamin K. The levels of Vitamin B1, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, and folate are also higher in hazelnut. On the other hand, walnuts are richer in Vitamin B2. Both nuts have equal amounts of Vitamin A and Vitamin B6, and both completely lack Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D.

Minerals

Talking about minerals, it is difficult to say which nut is richer. 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.

Potassium

Potassium can help to reduce the risk of kidney stones, 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, tantamount 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, they also can be used in case of 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 that is considered a major 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 great sources of Vitamin E and Vitamin B6, which are 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 great 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 compared with non-nut consumers based on self-report, as well as 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 great sources of zinc, which is an important 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].

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.

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
Profession: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: June 16, 2021

Infographic

Hazelnut vs Walnut 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
:
2
Walnut
Contains more Iron +61.5%
Contains more Calcium +16.3%
Contains more Potassium +54.2%
Contains less Sodium -100%
Contains more Zinc +26.1%
Contains more Phosphorus +19.3%
Equal in Magnesium - 158
Equal in Copper - 1.586
Iron Calcium Potassium Magnesium Copper Zinc Phosphorus Sodium 177% 35% 60% 117% 575% 67% 125% 0%
Iron Calcium Potassium Magnesium Copper Zinc Phosphorus Sodium 110% 30% 39% 113% 529% 85% 149% 1%
Contains more Iron +61.5%
Contains more Calcium +16.3%
Contains more Potassium +54.2%
Contains less Sodium -100%
Contains more Zinc +26.1%
Contains more Phosphorus +19.3%
Equal in Magnesium - 158
Equal in Copper - 1.586

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 C +384.6%
Contains more Vitamin E +2047.1%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +88.6%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +60%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +61.1%
Contains more Vitamin K +425.9%
Contains more Folate +15.3%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +32.7%
Equal in Vitamin A - 20
Equal in Vitamin B6 - 0.537
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%
Vitamin C Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Vitamin B12 Vitamin K Folate 5% 2% 14% 0% 86% 35% 22% 35% 124% 0% 7% 74%
Contains more Vitamin C +384.6%
Contains more Vitamin E +2047.1%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +88.6%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +60%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +61.1%
Contains more Vitamin K +425.9%
Contains more Folate +15.3%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +32.7%
Equal in Vitamin A - 20
Equal in Vitamin B6 - 0.537

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 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

Which food is preferable for your diet?

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

People also compare

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.

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

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

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.