Brazil Nuts vs Hazelnuts: Which is Healthiest?

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Brazil nuts and hazelnuts may not be the most common nuts to snack on, but do provide unique tastes.

Beyond taste, I wanted to compare the nutritional value of each nut side-by-side.

We’ll look at the biggest differences and similarities of brazil nuts and hazelnuts per 100 grams on this page.

Nutritional Value Comparison of Brazil Nuts and Hazelnuts

The macronutrient profiles for these nuts are very similar.

  Brazil nut Hazelnut
Energy (kcal) 658.6 628.1
Protein (g) 14.3 14.9
Total Lipid (g) 67.1 60.8
Carbohydrate (g) 11.7 16.7
Fiber (g) 7.5 9.6
Sugars (g) 2.3 4.3

The only significant difference is that hazelnuts are slightly higher in carbohydrates, while brazil nuts are a bit higher in fats.

Omega 3 and 6 Fat Ratios of Brazil Nuts and Hazelnuts

high fat nuts

I always consider omega fat content when looking at nuts because they often have a terrible ratio of omega 6 to 3 fats.

You can see a summary of the research on this topic and values for other nuts on my page of the omega 3 to 6 fat ratio of nuts. Ideally you’re looking for a ratio of 4:1 or lower (omega 6 to 3).

  Brazil Nuts Hazelnuts
Omega 3 Fats 0.036 0.087
Omega 6 Fats 23.9 7.83
Omega 6:3 Ratio 663.89 90.00

Both of these nuts have a terrible omega fat ratio, but hazelnuts have much fewer omega 6 fats. That means it’s easier to balance them out with other foods.

In this regard, hazelnuts are healthier than brazil nuts.

Vitamins and Minerals of Brazil Nuts and Hazelnuts

Both of these nuts have a fair amount of additional nutrients to offer, but they excel in different areas.

  RDA Brazil nut Hazelnut
Selenium (µg) 55 1917.0 2.4
Manganese (mg) 2.3 1.2 6.2
Phosphorus (mg) 700 724.8 290.4
Vitamin E (mg) 15 5.7 15.0
Magnesium (mg) 400 375.9 163.0
Thiamin (mg) 1.2 0.6 0.6
Vitamin B-6 (mg) 1.3 0.1 0.6
Zinc (mg) 11 4.1 2.4
Potassium (mg) 2000 658.6 680.0
Folate (µg) 400 22.6 112.6
Iron (mg) 18 2.4 4.7
Vitamin K (µg) 75 0.0 14.2
Calcium (mg) 1200 159.4 114.1
Niacin (mg) 16 0.3 1.8
Riboflavin (mg) 1.3 0.0 0.1
Choline (mg) 550 28.9 45.6
Vitamin C (mg) 90 0.8 6.4

Brazil nuts have an incredible amount of selenium in them (several times the RDA in a serving). Getting too much selenium can be dangerous, which is why it’s usually recommended to only eat a handful of brazil nuts on an occasional basis.

Aside from selenium, brazil nuts also have significantly more zinc and magnesium, two important minerals.

On the other hand, hazelnuts have more: manganese, vitamin E, vitamin B-6, folate, iron, vitamin K, and more.

Unless you specifically need selenium, hazelnuts have the arguably superior profile.

Brazil Nuts vs Hazelnuts: Which is Healthier?

I would argue that hazelnuts are healthier than brazil nuts. They have very similar macro profiles, but hazelnuts have a better omega 3 to 6 fat ratio, and a more balanced profile of vitamins and minerals.

However, if someone is looking to get more selenium, zinc, or magnesium in their diet, having a handful of brazil nuts on a semi-regular basis can be a good option.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. I've spent over 6 years as a freelance nutrition writer and researcher. During this time, I've tested over 50 vegan protein powders, and over 100 other types of vegan supplements.