In general, nuts are a great food to eat on the keto diet because they are high in good fats. But many nuts also contain a lot of carbs, which means that you have to watch your intake carefully.
Macadamia are one of the best nuts you can eat on the keto diet because they are both high in fat and low in carbs. So you can snack freely without worrying too much about your carb intake.
Along with having an ideal ketogenic macronutrient profile, macadamia nuts are full of several key vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals. Research shows that they help keep your brain and heart healthy, reduce inflammation, and can even promote weight loss.
Nutrition of Macadamia Nuts
Nuts tend to be high in calories. For this reason, many people avoid eating them while trying to lose weight. But keep in mind that nuts contain good fats and are low in carbs, which can help you lose weight. Keeping your portion sizes small means that you can (and should) enjoy them daily.
Here is the nutritional breakdown of a 100-gram serving of macadamia nuts (1):
|Nutrition Facts||100-gram serving of macadamia|
|Total Carbs||13.82 g|
|Net Carbs||5.22 g|
There are 5.22 grams of net carbs per 100-gram serving of macadamia nuts or 1.48 grams of net carbs per 1 ounce (10-12 kernels).
Yes the amount of net carbs in macadamia nuts is very small. Macadamia is very keto-friendly and you can eat it directly as a snack or use it in your keto recipes.
What Is Macadamia Good For?
Are macadamia nuts healthy? With their rich nutrient profile, macadamia nuts can be used to improve your health in a variety of ways. Here are the top 8 benefits of macadamia nuts that are scientifically proven.
#1. They reduce the risk of heart disease.
In general, nuts are good for your heart because of their healthy fat content. Macadamia nuts are no exception.
Research shows that macadamia nuts contain a unique fatty acid profile that benefits lipids and lipoproteins to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. They also reduce total and LDL or “bad” cholesterol (2).
One study found that when compared to the average American diet, a macadamia nut-rich diet lowered total cholesterol and improved the lipid/lipoprotein profile of hypercholesterolemic men, which reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
#2. They reduce inflammation.
Nuts are natural sources of antioxidants, which can be used to reduce inflammation in the body. One study found that a diet high in macadamia nuts and other mixed nuts reduces C-reactive protein and oxidative stress (3). Both factors are indications of underlying inflammation that can increase the risk of chronic diseases and contribute to various unwanted symptoms.
#3. They can help you lose weight.
There are several ways in which macadamia nuts can help you lose weight, First, macadamia nuts are high in fiber, which increases satiation and delays gastric emptying and absorption. In other words, they help keep you full for longer periods of time so you consume fewer calories (4).
Next, macadamia nuts contain unsaturated fats, which are more readily oxidized than saturated fats. This means that they are less likely to lead to fat accumulation (5). Additionally, the high fiber and unsaturated fat in macadamia nuts may lead to an increase in diet-induced thermogenesis and in resting energy expenditure to help you maintain your weight (6).
Finally, research shows that macadamia nuts lead to the loss of available energy due to increased fecal losses of fat because of the incomplete mastication of whole nuts (7). In other words, whole nuts aren’t digested as easily as nut butter is, which means you don’t absorb it as well.
#4. They are ideally suited for the keto diet.
Although they are high in fat, macadamia nuts are among the lowest in protein (8). They are also low in carbs, which makes them ideally suited for the keto diet.
Keep in mind that many nuts are high in carbs, fat, AND protein. But macadamia nuts meet the strict requirements of the ketogenic diet because they contain high amounts of fat and low amounts of protein and carbs so you can add them to your diet and stay in ketosis.
#5. They can help manage type 2 diabetes.
The fat and fiber found in macadamia nuts can help manage type 2 diabetes. Research shows that the monounsaturated fats in nuts such as macadamia nuts significantly reduce fasting plasma glucose in people with type 2 diabetes. Eating macadamia nuts also helps improve triglyceride markers, HDL cholesterol levels, body weight, and blood pressure (9).
Additionally, the fiber in macadamia nuts helps slow down blood glucose dumping to help keep your levels stable.All of these factors help reduce the risk factors associated with developing type 2 diabetes.
Another study found that eating monounsaturated fats, such as the ones found in macadamia nuts, is more effective at improving blood sugar levels when combined with exercise than exercising alone (10).
#6. They contain tocotrienols to help support the brain and protect against cancer.
Tocotrienols are antioxidants that belong to the vitamin E family. Macadamia nuts are high in vitamin E. When you eat them, you greatly increase your tocotrienols levels in the body.
Research shows that tocotrienols can be used to protect against cancer (11) and keep your brain healthy. They work by destroying free radical damage in the body to protect various parts of your health and reduce the risk of serious diseases (12).
One study found that tocotrienols also protect your brain cells from the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate (13), which contributes to anxiety and other neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
#7. They can help boost your immune system.
Macadamia nuts are high in antioxidants such as vitamin E and selenium, which helps neutralize free radical damage to boost immune health (14). Macadamia nuts are also high in fiber and have a prebiotic effect on the digestive system to increase your good gut bacteria (15).
This is important because almost 80 percent of your immune system resides in your gut. So keeping your gut healthy is an important part of boosting your immune health.
#8. They contain over 200 percent of your daily recommended intake of manganese (per 100-gram serving).
Manganese is an overlooked mineral with important functions in the body. It helps activate enzymes and acts as an antioxidant in the body (16). Manganese also aids in bone formation, wound healing, and metabolism.
A 100-gram serving of macadamia nuts provides you with more manganese than you need for the entire day. We realize that you’re unlikely to eat 100 grams in one given serving, but even half of the amount would give you what you need.
Macadamia Nuts on the Keto Diet
Macadamia nuts have a delicious buttery flavor. This is due to their high fat content. Because of this, it’s very easy to eat a handful of macadamia nuts by themselves as a snack. Their high fat and fiber content will fill you up between meals. They are also very satisfying by themselves without pairing them with berries or cheese as a snack.
You can also purchase macadamia nut butter and use it in your smoothies or to help thicken sauces.
Macadamia nuts and nut butters tend to be more expensive than other nut butters, but the price is worth it because they are so nutritious. As with all nut butters, you can use macadamia nut butter in your keto bar or fat bomb recipes.
They go great in desserts. Try our keto chocolate fudge with macadamia recipe or add them to breads in place of almond or peanut butter.
Macadamia nuts are a great low carb nut to eat on the ketogenic diet because they are made of mostly fat. Unlike other nuts, they are also low in carbs and proteins, which means they fit the strict requirements of ketosis.
Macadamia nuts have been shown to help protect your heart by lowering your cholesterol and blood pressure levels. They also help improve glucose markers and inflammation. Finally, macadamia nuts are great for helping you lose weight, boost your immune system, and keep your gut healthy.
Because of their delicious buttery flavor, you can eat macadamia nuts by themselves as a snack. You can also buy macadamia nut butter and use it in your favorite keto baked recipes, but keep in mind that macadamia nuts and nut butter is more expensive than other nuts.
You may want to buy in bulk and keep at your desk, in your car, or in your purse as a handy snack in between keto meals to help support your health goals.