Almonds vs Walnuts: Nutrition, Protein, Omega Fats


Nuts like almonds and walnuts are great sources of plant-based nutrition and can be a good inclusion in most diets.

However, figuring out which is best for you depends on the situation.

I’ve created a detailed side-by-side comparison on this page to help you determine where almonds or walnuts fit in your diet.

Nutritional Value Comparison of Almonds and Walnuts

Let’s start with the macro profiles of these two nuts. The data in the table below (and on the rest of this page) is per 100 grams of each food.

  Almonds Walnuts
Energy (kcal) 579.6 654.7
Protein (g) 21.1 15.2
Total Lipid (g) 49.9 65.2
Carbohydrate (g) 21.6 13.7
Fiber (g) 12.6 6.7
Sugars (g) 4.4 2.6

Even though the general profiles are what you would expect in nuts, there are many significant differences:

  • Almonds have approximately 40% more protein
  • Walnuts have about 13% more calories and 30% more fat
  • Almonds are higher in carbohydrates, but also fiber. Both nuts have a similar amount of net carbohydrates

Omega 3 and 6 Fats in Almonds and Walnuts

Omega 3 and 6 fats play an important role in your body when it comes to inflammation.

Practically speaking, you want as many omega 3 fats and as few omega 6 fats as you can get. Ideally your entire diet should aim for an omega 6:3 fat ratio of 4 or below.

  Almonds Walnuts
Omega 3 Fats 0.052 8.49
Omega 6 Fats 14.5 35.7
Omega 6:3 Ratio 278.85 4.20

It turns out that walnuts have the best omega 3 to 6 fat ratio of any common nut. On the other hand, almonds have a poor ratio, which means they should really be limited in most diet plans.

See my omega 3 to 6 fat ratio of common nuts if you want to see others.

Vitamins and Minerals Comparison


Next let’s look at the vitamins and minerals in walnuts and almonds.

I’ve included a general RDA column which is based on the recommended amount of adults. This is just a reference value that helps us sort them, but your specific RDA may differ.

I’ve highlighted the nutrients with the biggest differences between the 2 nuts.

  RDA Almonds Walnuts
Vitamin E (mg) 15 25.6 0.7
Manganese (mg) 2.3 2.2 3.4
Riboflavin (mg) 1.3 1.1 0.2
Phosphorus (mg) 700 481.5 345.3
Magnesium (mg) 400 270.4 157.3
Vitamin B-6 (mg) 1.3 0.1 0.5
Potassium (mg) 2000 733.3 441.0
Zinc (mg) 11 3.1 3.1
Thiamin (mg) 1.2 0.2 0.3
Folate (µg) 400 44.4 97.4
Niacin (mg) 16 3.6 1.1
Calcium (mg) 1200 268.5 97.4
Iron (mg) 18 3.7 2.9
Selenium (µg) 55 4.1 5.0
Choline (mg) 550 52.0 39.1

Overall they both have a lot of nutrients in them and similar profiles.

However, almonds have significantly more:

  • Vitamin E
  • Riboflavin
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Calcium

These are fairly important nutrients.

Almonds vs Walnuts: Which is Healthier?

Almonds are healthier than walnuts in small amounts. They have more protein, fewer calories, and a significantly higher amount of important minerals like magnesium and potassium. 

However, walnuts have a great omega 3 to 6 fat ratio, while almonds have a terrible ratio. Therefore almonds should be limited to smaller amounts, while walnuts can be consumed in larger amounts and are still a healthy food.

Are Almonds or Walnuts Better for Weight Loss?

Almonds are better than walnuts for weight loss. They have significantly fewer calories per serving, and also have more fiber which is more filling. However, both nuts are very calorie dense and should only be eaten in small portions if trying to lose weight.

Are Almonds or Walnuts Better for Bodybuilding?

Almonds are better than walnuts for bodybuilding since they contain about 40% more protein per the same serving size. However, walnuts do contain significantly more calories, so if weight gain is a higher priority than protein content for a particular situation, walnuts may be the better choice.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned.