Life Extension Magazine®

Dusted macadamia nuts that contain monounsaturated fatty acids and boosting metabolism

Superfoods: Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts contain a monounsat­urated fatty acid that may boost fat metabo­lism and reduce body fat. Studies show moderate intake aids weight loss.

Scientifically reviewed by Holli Ryan, RD, LN/D, in August 2023. Written by: Life Extension Editorial Staff.

Macadamia nuts have the hardest shell of all nuts, taking 300 pounds per square inch to break open. It’s worth the effort, though, because cracking open their shell exposes one of the healthiest nuts on the planet.

These nuts are high in monounsaturated fat, which is a healthy fat that has been associated with improved heart health, and lower risk of fatal heart attacks, strokes, and all-cause mortality.1

In one study, when people with slightly high cholesterol ate a macadamia-rich diet, they experienced lower total and LDL cholesterol levels, compared to the average American diet.2

They contain a specific monounsaturated fatty acid called palmitoleic acid, that could potentially aid in fat metabolism and reduce stored body fat.

This could explain why studies have shown that, despite their high fat content, macadamia nuts have been found to aid in weight loss when eaten in moderate amounts.3

Because they are low in carbohydrates and sugar, macadamia nuts are considered a low-glycemic food. In fact, eating tree nuts like macadamia nuts has been associated with improved glycemic control in people with type II diabetes.4

Macadamia nuts are calorie dense, with one cup containing nearly 1,000 calories. A standard serving size is far less than that—just one ounce, or 10-12 nuts—and contains 200 calories.

Be aware that some macadamia nuts contain added oil, salt, or sugar. For the greatest health benefit, be sure to choose brands that contain only the nuts, without extra ingredients.


  1. Lipids Health Dis. 2014 Oct 1;13:154.
  2. J Nutr. 2008 Apr;138(4):761-7.
  3. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2004 Dec;31 Suppl 2:S37-8.
  4. PLoS One. 2014;9(7):e103376.