Foodstruct
Advanced Nutrition Search | Diet Analysis | Glycemic index chart | Insulin index chart

Walnut vs Cashew - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

Compare
Walnut
vs
Cashew

Introduction

Even though walnut and cashew share the same clade e.g., Angiosperms, they may not seem so similar. Further, we will discuss the differences and similarities of these nuts, concentrating on the nutrition and impact on health. Both nuts have been widely used for ages in traditional medicine. Unlike cashew, walnut is distributed almost all around the world, hence it is more popular in traditional medical practices.

Classification

Walnut and cashew share the same clade: Angiosperms, but their families are different. Walnut belongs to the family Juglandaceae, genus Juglans while cashew belongs to the Anacardiaceae family, genus Ancaridium.

Appearance

Talking about the appearance, it is quite easy to distinguish one from another. Walnut occurs within shells, whereas cashews usually grow on so-called cashew fruits or cashew apples. Outside of the shell walnuts look like the human brain, hence the opinion that walnuts have a good impact on the brain, specifically on memory. Unlike walnuts, cashew nuts look more like yellowish beans. Before the cashews are ripe, they are distributed on cashew fruits, which may look like pears.

Taste and Use

Cashews have a creamy mild taste, whereas walnuts if consumed with skin, have a bitter flavor. However, the walnut itself tastes earthy and tart. Walnuts and cashews may be consumed raw or mixed with salads and soups.

Growing conditions

Cashews and walnuts grow in completely different conditions. Cashews originated from Northern Brazil, whereas the origin of walnuts is considered Southern Europe, Near China, the Himalayas. Nowadays walnuts are disturbed worldwide, which makes them one of the most accessible nuts in the world. The main exporter of walnuts is China.

Nutrition

Further in the article, we are going to discuss the nutritional aspects of Persian Walnut and Cashew. As it is quite obvious, both nuts contain a really small amount of water: 4.07 g for walnuts and 5.2 g for cashews. Unlike the cashew, the walnut is covered with skin, which contains relatively high amounts of iodine

Calories

Walnut and cashew contain almost the same number of calories per 100 g, 654 kcal for the walnut, 553 for the cashew.

Proteins and fats

Both cashew and walnut are not rich in proteins, and both of them contain about the same amount per 100 g, 15.2 g, and 18.2 g respectively. In the case of total fat, walnut is slightly richer, with the number of 65.2 g per 100 g, compared to cashew, which contains 43.8 g of total fat. Talking about the polyunsaturated fat the ultimate winner is the walnut, with the number of 47,174 mg per 100g, which is about 10 times more than cashew.

Carbohydrates

Cashew contains double the amount of carbohydrates that walnut does, with 30.2 g per 100g. But the walnut contains slightly more total dietary fiber 6.7 g per 100g, whereas cashew contains only 3.3 g.

Vitamins

Both cashew and walnut are not rich in vitamins, both of them lack B-12 vitamins, but walnuts contain double the amount of vitamin C in the cashew, about 1.3 mg per 100g. In the case of Vitamin, K cashew contains almost 15 times more than walnut, about 34.1 ug per 100g. The amount of vitamins contained in cashew and walnut per 100 g is below the suggested daily intake values.

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
Walnut
6
:
4
Cashew
Contains more Vitamin C +160%
Contains more Vitamin A +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +158.6%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +28.8%
Contains more Folate +292%
Contains more Vitamin E +28.6%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +24%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +51.6%
Contains more Vitamin K +1163%
Equal in Vitamin B3 - 1.062
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%
Vitamin C Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Vitamin B12 Vitamin K Folate 2% 0% 19% 0% 106% 14% 20% 52% 97% 0% 86% 19%
Contains more Vitamin C +160%
Contains more Vitamin A +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +158.6%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +28.8%
Contains more Folate +292%
Contains more Vitamin E +28.6%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +24%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +51.6%
Contains more Vitamin K +1163%
Equal in Vitamin B3 - 1.062

Minerals

Cashew and walnut are rich in minerals, however, a deeper look reveals that walnut contains more calcium, 98 mg per 100 g, whereas cashew is richer in potassium (660 mg), magnesium (292 mg), copper(2.195mg), zinc(5.79mg) and phosphorus(593 mg) per 100 g. They may differ by the amounts of minerals, but both of them can be considered as minimal sources of daily required minimum consumption.

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
Walnut
2
:
6
Cashew
Contains more Calcium +164.9%
Contains less Sodium -83.3%
Contains more Iron +129.6%
Contains more Potassium +49.7%
Contains more Magnesium +84.8%
Contains more Copper +38.4%
Contains more Zinc +87.1%
Contains more Phosphorus +71.4%
Iron Calcium Potassium Magnesium Copper Zinc Phosphorus Sodium 110% 30% 39% 113% 529% 85% 149% 1%
Iron Calcium Potassium Magnesium Copper Zinc Phosphorus Sodium 251% 12% 59% 209% 732% 158% 255% 2%
Contains more Calcium +164.9%
Contains less Sodium -83.3%
Contains more Iron +129.6%
Contains more Potassium +49.7%
Contains more Magnesium +84.8%
Contains more Copper +38.4%
Contains more Zinc +87.1%
Contains more Phosphorus +71.4%

Glycemic Index

In general, nuts usually stand as foods with a low glycemic index. The Glycemic index for cashew is estimated to be 25.

Weight Loss & Diets

Cashew and walnut are not considered a food with high calories. Theoretically, none of them would have a high impact on weight gain. A study performed in 2005 proves that daily walnut or cashew consumption does not significantly affect weight gain (1)(2). This interesting fact scientists connect with the low metabolic properties. Cashew and walnut can be freely used in low-carb diets, being foods with a little number of carbohydrates, moreover, both of them can be used in Keto-diets, due to the low content of carbohydrates and healthy fat.

Health Impact

Cashew and walnut are rich in micronutrients, dietary fiber, rich in energy, which does not highly affect weight gain. Studies performed in 2018 show that daily intake of 43-gram walnuts for eight weeks impacts positively on gut microbiota, enhancing the probiotics.

Cardiovascular Health

The daily intake of walnuts affects positively many cardiovascular disease factors. Long-term consumption of walnuts (43 – 85 grams per day) has been demonstrated to decrease the total and LDL-cholesterol concentration, decrease blood pressure, boost endothelial function, lower both oxidative stress and inflammatory functions. (3) Cashew nuts benefit the systolic and diastolic blood pressure without critical effects on other cardiometabolic factors (4).

Diabetes

A study performed in 2018 evaluated the impacts of walnut intake both in the healthy group and the group diagnosed with diabetes, results show that there is no evidence of impact on diabetes blood makers (5). Another group of scientists studied the impact of cashew nuts on patients with type 2 diabetes, and demonstrated that substituting 10 % of daily total calorie intake with cashews, decreases the serum insulin level, as well as LDL-C/HDL-C ratio, which the author believes, has no negative impact on patients (6).

Cancer

Walnuts were studied on having association with cancer, and the experiments have shown that walnuts do not have any effect on development or negatively affecting the cancer development risk, moreover, the meta-analysis shows that walnuts are capable of decreasing the risk of cancer (7). However, there are no statistically significant studies that prove the positive impact of cashew nuts on cancer development it is estimated that cashew nuts contain antioxidants, which can have a good impact on reducing cancer risk (8)

Downsides and Risks

Talking about the positive impacts of cashew and walnut, it is also important to mention that some people develop food allergies to both of the nuts, however, there are no significant studies regarding the cashew allergy rates, but even small amounts consumed may cause severe allergic reactions (9).

Walnut allergies are studied further. The studies estimate that about 3 – 34 % of the population in the USA has an allergy to walnuts, making it one of the most popular allergens (10). In both cases it is crucial to learn about the indemnification of the first allergy symptoms, not to delay the necessary help.

Summary

Walnuts are richer in calories, Vitamin C, Calcium, fiber, and Vitamin A. Cashew may not contain as many calories as walnuts, but it is rich in the contents of microelements, like potassium, magnesium, iron. Walnut has a better positive impact on the cardiovascular system.

Sources

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16277792/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5748761/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24500935/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6573847/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29927053/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6408729/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4560032/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5932493/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24734868/
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5875412/
Article author photo Razmik Sargsyan
Profession: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: September 9, 2021

Infographic

Walnut vs Cashew infographic
Copy infographic link

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
33
Walnut
34
Cashew
Mineral Summary Score
131
Walnut
209
Cashew

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
91%
Walnut
109%
Cashew
Carbohydrates
14%
Walnut
30%
Cashew
Fats
301%
Walnut
202%
Cashew

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

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Walnut Cashew
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 - 3.3g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Walnut
Walnut contains less Sodium (difference - 10mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Walnut
Walnut is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 1.657g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Walnut
Walnut is lower in glycemic index (difference - 25)
Which food is cheaper?
Cashew
Cashew is cheaper (difference - $2.5)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Cashew
Cashew is relatively richer in minerals
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
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 Walnut Cashew Opinion
Calories 654 553 Walnut
Protein 15.23 18.22 Cashew
Fats 65.21 43.85 Walnut
Vitamin C 1.3 0.5 Walnut
Carbs 13.71 30.19 Cashew
Cholesterol 0 0
Vitamin D 0 0
Iron 2.91 6.68 Cashew
Calcium 98 37 Walnut
Potassium 441 660 Cashew
Magnesium 158 292 Cashew
Sugar 2.61 5.91 Walnut
Fiber 6.7 3.3 Walnut
Copper 1.586 2.195 Cashew
Zinc 3.09 5.78 Cashew
Starch 0.06 23.49 Cashew
Phosphorus 346 593 Cashew
Sodium 2 12 Walnut
Vitamin A 20 0 Walnut
Vitamin E 0.7 0.9 Cashew
Vitamin D 0 0
Vitamin B1 0.341 0.423 Cashew
Vitamin B2 0.15 0.058 Walnut
Vitamin B3 1.125 1.062 Walnut
Vitamin B5 0.57 0.864 Cashew
Vitamin B6 0.537 0.417 Walnut
Vitamin B12 0 0
Vitamin K 2.7 34.1 Cashew
Folate 98 25 Walnut
Trans Fat
Saturated Fat 6.126 7.783 Walnut
Monounsaturated Fat 8.933 23.797 Cashew
Polyunsaturated fat 47.174 7.845 Walnut
Tryptophan 0.17 0.287 Cashew
Threonine 0.596 0.688 Cashew
Isoleucine 0.625 0.789 Cashew
Leucine 1.17 1.472 Cashew
Lysine 0.424 0.928 Cashew
Methionine 0.236 0.362 Cashew
Phenylalanine 0.711 0.951 Cashew
Valine 0.753 1.094 Cashew
Histidine 0.391 0.456 Cashew
Fructose 0.09 0.05 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. Walnut - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170187/nutrients
  2. Cashew - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170162/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.