Nutrition Facts

The Many Health Benefits Of Macadamia Nuts

by Ashleigh Frank

macadamia nut havest up closePerhaps the best reason to enjoy macadamia nuts is that, in addition to helping your body reduce cholesterol, they themselves are 100 percent cholesterol free. And, as if you needed any more convincing, macadamia nuts are a source of vitamin A, iron, protein (two grams per serving), thiamine, riboflavin and niacin. They also contain small amounts of selenium (an antioxidant), calcium, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium.

One of the biggest proponents of macadamia nut health benefits comes from a study conducted at the University of Hawaii in 2000. The research study compared three different types of diets – a typical American diet that was high in fat and calories, a diet in which the fat calories came solely from macadamia nuts and a “heart-healthy” diet recommended by the American Heart Association. The study compared 15 men and 15 women, ages 18 to 59, as they followed each of the three diets for a period of 1 month.

Results from this study showed that the test subjects who followed the macadamia nut diet had lower cholesterol levels than those on the typical American diet and similar levels to those on the American Heart Association’s low-fat diet. In addition, participants on the macadamia nut diet showed lower levels of triglycerides (a type of blood fat) than either of the other diets. Surprisingly, the participants on the macadamia nut diet (which was high in fat) experienced no significant changes in their cholesterol levels or weight.

If you want to incorporate macadamia nuts into your diet without gaining weight, you will need to substitute them for other fatty foods. So if you’re looking for an excuse to stock up on your favorite brand of white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, you’re out of luck.

open husk in treeIt’s easy to incorporate macadamia nuts into your diet. Munch on a handful at work for a nutritious and energizing mid-day snack. Sprinkle macadamias into salad or use [in your favorite recipes].

Online you’ll find everything from banana macadamia nut bread to macadamia-crusted chicken breast recipes. If you’re looking for a healthy, satisfying dessert, try dark chocolate [with your] macadamia nuts, for a double dose of antioxidants.

Still can’t get your fill of fun macadamia nut facts? Take a crack at these:

  • Macadamia nuts are hand-harvested after they fall to the ground.
  • Macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs, inducing a temporary yet severe weakness.
  • The macadamia nut’s high amount of palmitoleic acid makes it a common ingredient in skincare cosmetics.

Macadamia nuts are both delicious and nutritious! From the nut itself to macadamia nut oil, the health benefits of this cholesterol-free food are too big to ignore. Whether you’re trying to lower your cholesterol or lose weight, find ways to incorporate the macadamia nut into a healthy diet. Your taste buds and your heart will thank you.

macadamia nut
Harvested macadamia nuts
Aloha Fresh Macadamias - Hand seasoned and roasted in Kauai

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