Heart-y Macadamias

Q. Are macadamia nuts heart-healthy?

A. Research suggests they are, but you won’t find the heart-healthy claim for nuts on cans of the treat, which hails from Hawaii and Australia. The approved health claim states that eating one ounce of nuts a day may reduce your risk of heart disease. The Food and Drug Administration specifically excludes macadamias, cashews and Brazil nuts from using the claim because of their high saturated fat content. All three contain three to five grams of saturated fat per ounce of nuts versus one to two grams for almonds, pecans and walnuts, for instance.
   However, macadamias are also very high in monounsaturated fats?ounce for ounce almost eight times higher than olives. That could explain why several studies found that eating a lot of the rich nuts (as much as 15% of calories) actually lowers total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL, the ?bad? cholesterol).

EN‘s Bottom Line. Macadamia nuts are heart-healthy, despite no label claim. Just be sure to factor in the calories. A one?ounce serving (10 to 12 nuts) provides about 200 calories, a bit more than other nuts.

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