Have You Discovered The Health Benefits of Macadamia Nuts?
The unique taste and crunch of macadamia nuts hide a delicious secret. Every 100g of these nuts contain 74g oils, of which over 80% are in the form of beneficial monounsaturated fats – the highest level of any food. Monounsaturated fats are also found in rapeseed oil (64%), almond oil (73%) avocado oil (74%) olive oil (75%) and hazelnut oil (77%).
Monounsaturated fats are good for you because they are metabolised in the body to lower ‘bad’ LDL-cholesterol, raise ‘good’ HDL-cholesterol, reduce abnormal blood clotting and improve the ability of blood vessels to dilate. Together, these effects lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. The benefits are seen quickly, with reductions in total and LDL cholesterol levels occurring within three weeks when eating as little as 20 grams of macadamias a day.
Many people worry about the calories present in nuts, but 10% of the weight of macadamias consists of protein and 6% is fibre both of which help you feel full. As a result, the trials looking at the health benefits of macadamia nuts found that people who ate a handful of them every day actually showed slight reductions in weight because they ate less over all.
Not surprisingly, these health benefits mean that people at high risk of heart attack – such as those with type 2 diabetes – are now advised to increase their intake of monounsaturated fat. While for many this means using more olive oil, you can also enjoy a handful of macadamia nuts as a regular, healthy treat. Add them to cereals, desserts, yoghurts, salads, and use macadamia oil in salad dressings.
Image credit: Tatters https://www.flickr.com/photos/tgerus/863763645
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