Walnut vs. Hazelnut — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison
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.
Table of contents
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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  .
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  .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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  .
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 .
Hazelnuts may also beneficially affect the gut microbiome; however, there are limited studies, and further research is required .
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 .
Downsides and Risks
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 .
Fat Type Comparison
Carbohydrate type comparison
Comparison summary table
|Lower in Sugar|
|Lower in Glycemic Index|
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in price|
|Rich in vitamins|
|Lower in Cholesterol||Equal|
|Rich in minerals||Equal|
All nutrients comparison - raw data values
|Vitamin A RAE||1µg||1µg|
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low Calories diet|
|Low Glycemic Index diet|
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Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
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.
- Walnut - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170187/nutrients
- 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.