Macadamia nuts are cholesterol-free and are the richest source of monounsaturates of any natural commercial food.
Research from Newcastle University and the Wesley Hospital, Brisbane shows that monounsaturated fats can assist in lowering blood cholesterol levels and reducing the incidence of heart disease. It was noted that just 6 - 20 macadamia nuts eaten daily can actively reduce the risk of heart disease. In clinical testing, a balanced diet supplemented with macadamias has been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels by up to 7% in 4 weeks.
Macadamias are an excellent source of protein, calcium, potassium, dietary fibre and antioxidants. They are also very low in sodium. All these are essential for good health and wellbeing.
Macadamias contain a large range of minerals. They are rich in iron, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium and contain significant levels of zinc, copper and selenium. Macadamias are also rich in vitamin E, thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2, niacin and also contain pantothenic acid (B5) and folate.
Tree nuts are an ancient food and studies of the Mediterranean diet recommend them to be eaten daily. The incidence of heart disease is significantly lower in people who eat nuts regularly (more than five times per week) than in those who eat nuts less than once a week.
Are macadamias fattening? 'Good' fats are essential in a healthy diet. They give food, taste and flavour. Monounsaturates may be metabolised differently from other fats in the intestine so that they do not produce 'fattening' biochemicals. Providing macadamias are substituted and not in addition to other foods, there is evidence that they will either not contribute to weight gain or will reduce weight. USA studies of frequent tree nut eaters show that they usually weigh less than control patients.