The 7 Health Benefits Of Macadamia Nuts For Weight Loss

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Health Benefits Of Macadamia Nuts For Weight Loss

When it comes to nuts, few can rival the universal appeal of macadamias. Beyond their rich flavor and adaptability in various dishes, macadamias are cherished for the array of health benefits they bring to the table.

Let’s uncover the health benefits of macadamia nuts for weight loss and their key nutrients that make them unique.

What Are Macadamia Nuts?

Macadamia nuts are the fruits of the macadamia tree, native to Australia. These nuts are small and are renowned for their rich, buttery flavor and creamy texture. Their mild nuttiness makes them a delicious enhancement for desserts, salads, and vegetables.

Macadamia nuts’ healthy fats are advantageous for individuals aiming to lose weight. These nuts offer a spectrum of health perks, including dietary fiber, protein, and various nutrients.

While macadamia nuts boast a higher fat content compared to popular nuts like cashews, almonds, and walnuts, the distinctive quality lies in their fat composition1. Approximately 80% of the fat in macadamia nuts is monounsaturated fat, a type of fat with recognized health benefits2. Furthermore, these nuts contain specific monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), a nutritional element not commonly found in many other foods.

In addition to their favorable fat profile, macadamia nuts are classified as low glycemic index foods3. With their array of health advantages, macadamia nuts can seamlessly integrate into any well-balanced and health-conscious diet.

Nutritional Value

Macadamia nuts are not only delicious but also packed with various nutrients that contribute to their nutritional value. Here is the approximate nutritional composition of macadamia nuts per 1 ounce (28 grams), which is about a handful or 10-12 nuts4:

  • Calories: Around 204 kcal
  • Fat: Approximately 23 grams
    • Saturated Fat: About 3.5 grams
    • Monounsaturated Fat: Around 16 grams
    • Polyunsaturated Fat: Approximately 1.5 grams
  • Protein: About 2 grams
  • Carbohydrates: Roughly 4 grams
    • Dietary Fiber: Around 3 grams
    • Sugars: Approximately 1 gram
  • Micronutrients:
    • Manganese: Approximately 58% of the Daily Value (DV)
    • Thiamine (Vitamin B1): Around 22% of the DV
    • Copper: Approximately 11% of the DV
    • Magnesium: About 9% of the DV
    • Iron: Approximately 6% of the DV
    • Vitamin B6: Around 5% of the DV

It’s important to note that while macadamia nuts are nutrient-dense, they are also calorie-dense, primarily due to their high-fat content. The majority of the fats in macadamia nuts are monounsaturated fats, which are considered heart-healthy. These nuts also contain small amounts of essential nutrients, providing a good source of certain minerals and vitamins.

When incorporating macadamia nuts into your diet, it’s advisable to do so in moderation due to their calorie density. However, the healthy fats, protein, and micronutrients they offer make them a nutritious choice when consumed as part of a balanced diet. Additionally, macadamia nuts can be a valuable option for those following low-carbohydrate or ketogenic diets.

Health Benefits Of Macadamia Nuts For Weight Loss

The growing interest in the health advantages of nuts, including raw macadamia nuts, is evident. While nuts were historically shunned due to their high-fat content, research now underscores the diverse health benefits they offer, particularly when consumed in moderation daily.

A 3-week study involving 71 young Japanese women who consumed daily bread with either 10 grams of macadamia nuts, coconut, or butter revealed that the macadamia group experienced a weight loss of 0.9 pounds (0.4 kg), while the other groups maintained their weight5.

The nutritional profile of macadamia nuts may also have a role in weight loss given its:

1. Rich in Healthy Fats – Macadamia nuts are abundant in monounsaturated fats, particularly oleic acid. These healthy fats have been associated with promoting heart health and may help in weight management6 by providing a source of satiety and preventing overeating.

2. Protein and Fiber Content – Despite their small size, macadamia nuts contain protein and dietary fiber. Protein and fiber are known to enhance the feeling of fullness, curb hunger, and contribute to a reduced calorie intake, all of which can support weight loss efforts7.

3. Unique Fat Structure – Studies suggest that a portion of the fats in macadamia nuts may remain within the nut’s fibrous structure during digestion8. This phenomenon might result in fewer calories being absorbed than initially estimated, potentially contributing to weight management.

4. Low in Carbs – Macadamia nuts are low in carbohydrates, making them a suitable snack option for those following low-carb or ketogenic diets. Low-carb diets have been associated with weight loss, and macadamia nuts can be a valuable addition to such dietary plans.

5. Nutrient Density – Macadamia nuts are a nutrient-dense food, providing essential vitamins and minerals such as manganese, thiamine, copper, magnesium, and iron. Incorporating nutrient-dense foods into the diet can support overall health and may contribute to weight loss by ensuring the body receives the necessary nutrients.

6. Omega-7 Fatty Acid Content – Macadamia nuts contain palmitoleic acid, an omega-7 fatty acid that may play a role in preventing undesired weight gain. Experimental studies with mice fed high-fat diets enriched with macadamia oil, rich in palmitoleic acid, showed significantly smaller fat cells compared to those not receiving this product9.

7. Blood Sugar Regulation – The combination of healthy fats, protein, and low carbohydrate content in macadamia nuts may contribute to stable blood sugar levels. This can be particularly beneficial for those looking to manage their weight, as stable blood sugar levels are associated with reduced cravings and better appetite control.

The nutrient content of macadamia nuts may be diminished through roasting, particularly at higher temperatures, according to a study from 201510. As an alternative, it is advisable to consume the nuts in their raw form, soak them, or roast them at lower temperatures.

Contrastingly, a more recent study published in 2021 reached a different conclusion, suggesting that roasted macadamia nuts enhance the nutritional value, oxidative stability, and flavor of macadamia nuts11.

Risk Factors Of Macadamia Nuts

While macadamia nuts offer potential benefits for weight loss, it’s essential to consider certain risk factors and disadvantages associated with their consumption:

1. High Calorie Content – Macadamia nuts are calorie-dense, and consuming them in excessive amounts can contribute to a higher calorie intake. Overeating calorie-rich foods, even those with healthful fats may counteract weight loss efforts if not accounted for within an overall balanced diet.

2. Saturated Fat Content – Although macadamia nuts are primarily composed of monounsaturated fats, they also contain some saturated fats. While the impact of saturated fats on health is a topic of ongoing research, excessive intake may contribute to concerns related to heart health.

3. Risk of Allergies – Nut allergies are relatively common, and macadamia nuts can trigger allergic reactions in susceptible individuals. Allergic responses can range from mild symptoms, such as itching and hives, to severe reactions like anaphylaxis. People with tree nut allergy should avoid macadamia nuts and other tree nuts altogether.

4. Impact on Blood Sugar – While macadamia nuts have a low carbohydrate content, individuals with diabetes should be cautious about their intake. While nuts are generally considered a diabetes-friendly snack, portion control is essential to avoid any significant impact on blood sugar levels.

5. Interactions with Medications – Individuals on certain medications, especially blood-thinning medications, should be cautious with macadamia nut consumption. The high vitamin K content in these nuts may interfere with the effectiveness of such medications.

6. Potential Digestive Issues – The high-fat content in macadamia nuts may cause digestive issues for some individuals, particularly if consumed in large amounts. Overconsumption can lead to symptoms such as bloating, indigestion, or diarrhea.

To maximize the potential benefits of macadamia nuts for weight loss while minimizing risks, it is advisable to incorporate them into a well-balanced diet, practice portion control, and consider individual factors such as allergies and digestive tolerance. Consulting with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian can provide personalized guidance based on individual health goals and considerations.


In conclusion, macadamia nut consumption offers potential health benefits for weight loss. Despite their calorie richness, the combination of protein and fiber in macadamia nuts may contribute to a sense of fullness and reduced appetite.

Studies suggest that the fats in these nuts may undergo a unique digestion process, potentially resulting in fewer calories than initially estimated. Furthermore, regularly consuming macadamia nuts in a healthy diet, rich in monounsaturated fats like palmitoleic acid, may play a role in preventing undesired weight gain.

However, it is important to note that while experimental studies with mice have shown promising results, the extent to which these weight-related benefits apply to humans remains unclear. Additionally, the potential impact of macadamia nuts on digestion and gut health, as well as their role as a source of beneficial nutrients, adds to their overall nutritional profile.

As with any dietary component, moderation and a balanced approach are key to reaping the potential health benefits of macadamia nuts to lose weight and diet management.


1 CNN Food Central – Resources: Nuts Nutrition Comparison. (n.d.). http://edition.cnn.com/FOOD/resources/food.for.thought/meat/compare.nuts.html

2 O’Hare, T., Hong, H. T., Topp, B., Russell, D., Pun, S., Torrisi, C., & Liu, D. (2019). Assessing fatty acid profiles of macadamia nuts. Hortscience, 54(4), 633–637. https://doi.org/10.21273/hortsci13418-18

3 Viguiliouk, E., Kendall, C. W., Mejía, S. B., Cozma, A. I., Ha, V., Mirrahimi, A., Jayalath, V. H., Augustin, L. S., Chiavaroli, L., Leiter, L. A., De Souza, R. J., Jenkins, D., & Sievenpiper, J. L. (2014). Effect of tree nuts on Glycemic Control in Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Dietary Trials. PLOS ONE, 9(7), e103376. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0103376

4 FoodData Central. (n.d.). https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170178/nutrients

5 Hiraoka-Yamamoto, J., Ikeda, K., Negishi, H., Mori, M., Hirose, A., Sawada, S., Onobayashi, Y., Kitamori, K., Kitano, S., Tashiro, M., Miki, T., & Yamori, Y. (2004). SERUM LIPID EFFECTS OF a MONOUNSATURATED (PALMITOLEIC) FATTY ACID‐RICH DIET BASED ON MACADAMIA NUTS IN HEALTHY, YOUNG JAPANESE WOMEN. Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology, 31(s2). https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1440-1681.2004.04121.x

6 Jones, J. L., Sabaté, J., Heskey, C., Oda, K., Miles, F. L., & Rajaram, S. (2023). Macadamia nut effects on cardiometabolic risk factors: a randomised trial. Journal of Nutritional Science, 12. https://doi.org/10.1017/jns.2023.39

7 Leidy, H. J., Armstrong, C., Tang, M., Mattes, R. D., & Campbell, W. W. (2010). The influence of higher protein intake and greater eating frequency on appetite control in overweight and obese men. Obesity, 18(9), 1725–1732. https://doi.org/10.1038/oby.2010.45

8 Grundy, M. M., Grassby, T., Mandalari, G., Waldron, K. W., Butterworth, P. J., Berry, S., & Ellis, P. R. (2015). Effect of mastication on lipid bioaccessibility of almonds in a randomized human study and its implications for digestion kinetics, metabolizable energy, and postprandial lipemia. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 101(1), 25–33. https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.114.088328

9 Zhihong, Y., Pryor, M., Noguchi, A., Sampson, M., Johnson, B., Pryor, M., Donkor, K., Amar, M., & Remaley, A. T. (2019). Dietary palmitoleic acid attenuates atherosclerosis progression and hyperlipidemia in Low‐Density lipoprotein Receptor‐Deficient mice. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 63(12). https://doi.org/10.1002/mnfr.201900120

10 Schlörmann, W., Birringer, M., Böhm, V., Löber, K., Jahreis, G., Lorkowski, S., Müller, A. K., Schöne, F., & Glei, M. (2015). Influence of roasting conditions on health-related compounds in different nuts. Food Chemistry, 180, 77–85. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2015.02.017

11 Tu, X., Wu, B., Xie, Y., Xu, S., Wu, Z., Lv, X., Wei, F., Du, L., & Hong, C. (2021). A comprehensive study of raw and roasted macadamia nuts: Lipid profile, physicochemical, nutritional, and sensory properties. Food Science and Nutrition, 9(3), 1688–1697. https://doi.org/10.1002/fsn3.2143


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