Is This the World’s Healthiest Nut?
Nuts are great for boosting various aspects of your health.
That’s why you see manufacturers slapping health claims all over the packages on their nuts showing studies support eating nuts for heart health, brain health, stronger muscles and more.
For quite some time, the healthcare industry frowned at nuts. All this because nuts are high in fat and the belief about fat being unhealthy persisted for some time.
Fortunately, over the past few decades the health of nuts isn’t suspect and more and more research actually shows them to be necessary for better health.
Which leads to a question.
Is there a world’s healthiest nut?
And the answer is, “no.”
All nuts provide different nutrients so singling out a single nut and saying “oh, this is the best nut for health,” isn’t possible.
However, I do think there is one nut in particular that may be one of the best nuts for consumption while on the ketogenic diet.
It’s the macadamia nut.
Let me show you why I believe they’re great for a ketogenic diet and also show you how to get one of their main nutrients in the most-concentrated form possible.
3 Great Reasons to Eat More Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts aren’t the most popular nut in the world. And neither are peanuts, only because peanuts aren’t nuts, they’re legumes.
Macadamias are slightly pricier than many other nuts, but as you’ll see in a moment, the price shouldn’t scare you away.
Because they’re high in fat and low in protein, they’re wonderful nuts to snack on as they knockout appetite while improving health at the same time.
Let me show why I believe they’re one of the best nuts you could eat.
1 – They Keep Cells Healthy and Fight Free Radicals:
Easily one of the best ways to stay in great health is to eat a diet full of antioxidants. And macadamias are rich in several different kinds of flavonoids that act as antioxidants in the body.
Of all tree nuts, macadamias have some of the highest levels of flavonoids and phenolic compounds. These compounds help shield the sensitive genetic material in your cells so they don’t get damaged by free radicals and their future reproduction and operation aren’t corrupted.
Macadamia nuts also provide you with exceptional amounts of tocotrienols. These compounds are a dietary form of vitamin E and research indicates they function as antioxidants in your body. Even more encouraging is tocotrienols don’t just keep your cells safe from genetic damage, they have been shown to positively affect cholesterol which promotes a healthy cardiovascular system.
2 – They Can Keep Blood Sugar Healthy
Maintaining healthy blood sugar is a key to perfect health.
Macadamia nuts help to promote better blood sugar via two unique mechanisms. The first is macadamia nuts are rich in fiber which probiotics in your gut need desperately to thrive.
And healthy probiotic levels are associated with better blood sugar levels and eventual weight loss.
There’s another way macadamias may keep your blood sugar healthy, too.
And this ties in closely with point #3 and macadamia fat content.
Macadamia nuts contain a kind of fat which your body uses to tap into fat reserves for energy.
This fat is called palmitoleic acid, and palmitoleic has been shown to increase fat metabolism for energy.
When this happens your body turns to fat for energy as opposed to glucose (blood sugar) which helps to blunt a rise in blood sugar, balance insulin levels and make you more insulin sensitive.
3 – Contains High Levels of Healthy Fat:
One of the reasons I like the macadamia nut so much is because they’re incredibly high in healthy fats while also being quite low in protein.
Many people who are on a ketogenic diet, struggle to limit protein intake, especially when eating nuts, which is why I think the macadamia nut might be one of the best nuts to incorporate into your diet.
Not only do they contain an ample number of different, healthy fats, the available content is probably the healthiest you can find in the “nut kingdom.”
While nuts like almonds, pistachios, pecans and others might contain a high number of healthy fats, they also contain quite a bit of protein. And if you’re on a ketogenic diet you really want to keep protein consumption to a minimum.
Fortunately macadamias are almost all fat. 1 serving of macadamia nuts, which would be around 1 oz. gives you 21.3 grams of fat and just 2.2 grams of protein. Compare that to 1 oz of almonds which offer 14.2 grams of fat and 6 grams of protein.
Almonds have 300% more protein and 36% less fat per serving.
They also contain 0 grams of carbohydrates, which anyone on the ketogenic diet knows, is a great attribute.
But here’s where macadamia nuts really shine.
Of that 21.3 grams of fat, 16.7 grams are monounsaturated fats, which are believed to be the healthiest kinds of fat you can eat.
Plus there’s only 0.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat and just 3.4 grams of saturated fat. All of which are healthy, but should be consumed in smaller amounts than monounsaturated fats.
This is why eating macadamias is so important.
In addition to containing so much healthy fat, they’re calorie dense, so you don’t need to eat many of them to unleash all the energy they contain. That calorie-denseness and the high fat content will help fuel a ketogenic diet, make you feel fuller, longer, while also keeping your heart and brain healthy.
One More Interesting Way to Get the Benefits of Macadamia Nuts
Another thing I should note about macadamia nuts is the oil made from these nuts is fast becoming one of the preferred cooking oils in the culinary world…
As well as one of the best oils to use for salads in a dressing.
That’s because it has a high-cooking temperature and imparts a nice, delicate flavor in dishes.
Not to mention how healthy all the fat in macadamia oil is.
Verywell Fit broke down the fat content of macadamia nut oil and as you can see, it’s potent and nutritious.
- Oleic acid (approximately 55-67 percent), a monounsaturated fat that can improve cardiovascular health when used in place of saturated fats or refined carbohydrates.
- Palmitoleic acid (approximately 18-25 percent), a monounsaturated fatty acid that may have beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity, cholesterol and metabolism.
- Palmitic acid (approximately 7-9 percent), a saturated fatty acid that may increase LDL cholesterol and have a negative effect on heart health.
- Stearic acid (approximately 2-5 percent), a saturated fatty acid that can decrease LDL cholesterol (although not as effectively as unsaturated fats).
- Linoleic acid (approximately 1-4 percent), or omega-6 fatty acids, these polyunsaturated fats are sometimes associated with weight loss, although evidence is lacking.