An unhealthy diet, high in saturated fat, sugar, salt and processed foods may affect your health, especially your bad cholesterol levels. Adding macadamias as part of a healthy diet, may help you lower bad cholesterol levels. Read on to find out why.
The Health Benefits of Macadamias
LDL cholesterol is considered the “bad” cholesterol, because it contributes to atherosclerosis (accumulation of fat on arteries walls). Macadamias contain omega-7 fatty acids which are a type of monounsaturated fat, also known as healthy fat. Evidence showed that replacing saturated fats (non-healthy fats) with unsaturated fats may help lower bad cholesterol. So, due to the high content of monounsaturated fat [1,2], macadamias may help you reduce bad cholesterol .
Macadamia nuts are also valued for their subtle, buttery flavor, velvety-soft crunch texture and their oil profile. Due to their versatility, macadamias are used as snacks or as an ingredient in bakery and confectionery products. In addition, macadamia oil is used for cooking or in many cosmetic formulations.
Where Do Macadamias Come From?
The macadamia tree is a member of the Proteaceae family and native to the subtropical, coastal rainforest of eastern Australia. According to the Australian Macadamia Society, the Aboriginal people called the macadamia with different names: Kindal Kindal, Boomera, Jindill or Baupal. In the 1850s, these trees were noticed by Ferdinand Von Meuller, a British botanist, and Walter Hill, the Director of the Botanical Gardens of Brisbane, Australia. The genus Macadamia was named after a prominent scientist of that time, Dr. John McAdam.
The largest producers of macadamia nuts are South Africa Australia, and Kenya, representing about 75% of the world production. They are followed by China, USA, Guatemala, Malawi, Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia and others.
Trivia About Macadamias
Macadamia nuts have an exceptionally hard shell compared with the rest of the tree nuts, which provides a great protection of the kernel.
Also, did you know that in Australia, macadamia nuts were considered a delicacy? They were used for trade between tribes and as special ceremonial gifts at inter-tribal gatherings.
 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central, 2019. fdc.nal.usda.gov. Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods. Griel, A. E., Cao, Y., Bagshaw, D. D., Cifelli, A. M., Holub, B., & Kris-Etherton, P. M. (2008). A macadamia nut-rich diet reduces total and LDL-cholesterol in mildly hypercholesterolemic men and women. The Journal of nutrition, 138(4), 761-767.