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Are Macadamia Nuts Keto?

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FACT CHECKED
  Published on March 4th, 2022
  Reading time: 3 minutes
  Last modified March 17th, 2022
Macadamia nuts are keto friendly

Buttery, creamy macadamia nuts are keto-friendly whether they’re roasted, salted, or prepared any other way. Macadamia nuts are low-carb and they’re widely used in baking and to boost the flavor of products like ice cream and cookies. Let’s discuss the benefits of these crunchy, fatty, plant-based treats.

What Are Macadamia Nuts?

Macadamia nuts are produced by the macadamia nut tree, which originated in Australia. Now you can find macadamia nut trees in lots of places worldwide, including Hawaii.

Producers remove the outer shell of these tasty nuts before processing. Processing usually involves roasting them or frying them in oil. The nutrition values of macadamia nuts vary depending on the processing method used.

Are Macadamias Keto?

Most nuts fit well into a keto diet, and macadamia nuts are some of the best nuts for those on a ketogenic diet, since they are low in carbs and high in healthy monounsaturated fat. Around 1 ounce (28g) or 10-12 macadamia nut kernels (unsalted, dry roasted) provides: [1]

  • 204 calories
  • 21.6g of fat
  • 1.13mg of sodium
  • 3.8g of carbohydrates
  • 2.3g of fiber
  • 1.2g of sugar
  • 2.2g of protein

Monounsaturated Fat

Almost 78% of the fat in macadamia nuts is monounsaturated. Monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) are found in plant sources and might improve cholesterol. Healthy monounsaturated fats provide plenty of benefits, from regulating hormones to fueling and repairing cells.

Lower in Carbs

Macadamias are lower in carbohydrates than most nuts with just under 4 grams per ounce, so they don’t spike blood sugar. They’re also rich in fiber, which can help you feel fuller for longer.

Good Quality Plant Protein

Macadamias also provide a good keto protein source and are rich in vitamins and minerals like manganese and thiamin. One ounce of nuts is the equivalent of two servings of protein. [2]

Benefits of Macadamias

The health benefits of macadamias come from their antioxidants, monounsaturated fat (MUFA), and vitamins. Some of the benefits include:

Lowers Inflammation

Macadamias contain flavonoids, a type of antioxidant that can decrease inflammation. Inflammation is a key player in a plethora of chronic diseases.

Better Glycemic Control

Several studies on tree nuts showed that higher consumption of all kinds of tree nuts, including macadamias, could improve blood sugar control for people with type 2 diabetes. Other research shows better glycemic control and improved body weight in participants with type 2 diabetes eating a diet high in MUFAs. [3]

Supports the Gut Microbiome

The gut microbiome refers to the fascinating microbial ecosystem of the human gut. Nuts like macadamias provide dietary fiber and plant compounds like polyphenols that are advantageous to the friendly bacteria in the gut. Supporting this friendly bacterium supports overall digestive health. [4]

Heart Health

Higher consumption of MUFAs is linked to less heart disease and improved cardiovascular health. A diet high in MUFAs could help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. For example, one study reviewed research on macadamia nuts and showed that consuming these nuts lowered cholesterol levels. [5] [6]

Adding Macadamia Nuts to Your Keto Diet

Macadamia nut milk

Store macadamias and other nuts in airtight containers at room temperature, and they should remain fresh for around three months. In the fridge, nuts should stay fresh for about five or six months, and they will last about a year in the freezer. Most people prefer to store them at room temperature.

Tree nuts are a common allergen, and this category includes macadamia nuts. People who are allergic to tree nuts in general might also react to macadamia nuts. Stay away from macadamias if you’re allergic to tree nuts, and talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about your diet and tree nut allergies. [7]

Try macadamia nut milk with keto cereal or pour some in your berry smoothie. Make these powdered keto donuts, nutty cheesecake balls, or chocolate bark using macadamia nuts or flour. Sprinkle macadamias over a salad, keto chocolate cookies, or this brownie mug cake or enjoy them in the form of creamy macadamia nut butter

You might be tempted by this dalgona horchata or homemade keto eggnog, made using macadamia milk! Use the oil to make a rich salad dressing with lemon and your favorite herbs. Some people also use macadamia oil topically to treat skin and hair.

How do you eat macadamias on keto? Share your favorite recipes and desserts with the keto community.

References

1.

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Nuts, Macadamia Nuts, Raw. FoodData Central (usda.gov)

2.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. How Much Protein Should I Eat? How Much Protein Should I Eat? (eatright.org)

3.

Estruch, R., Ros, E., Salas-Salvado, J., Covas, M-I., Corella, D., Aros, F…Serra-Majem, L. (2018). Primary prevention of cardiovascular disease with a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil or nuts. New England Journal of Medicine, DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1800389

4.

Kim, Y., Keogh, J. B., & Clifton, P. M. (2017). Benefits of nut consumption on insulin resistance and cardiovascular risk factors: Multiple potential mechanisms of actions. Nutrients, https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9111271

5.

DiNicolantonio, J. J., & Okeefe, J. (2019). Dietary fats, blood pressure, and artery health. Open Hearts, 6(1), http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/openhrt-2019-001035

6.

Hemler EC, Hu FB. Plant-based diets for cardiovascular disease prevention: All plant foods are not created equal. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2019;21(5):18. doi:10.1007/s11883-019-0779-5

7.

Stewart M. Macadamia nuts and cardiovascular disease risk factors: A review of clinical trials. FASEB J. 2015;29(1_supp):923-6. doi:10.1096/fasebj.29.1_supplement.923.6

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