Macadamia nuts have gained popularity for their many health benefits, healthy fatty acids, and delicious taste. But what are the health benefits of macadamia nut oil? Can it be a healthy alternative to vegetable oil and other unhealthy forms of fat? There are many macadamia oil health benefits, including their ability to:
- Reduce type 2 diabetes severity and risk
- Lower cholesterol
- Reduce oxygen radicals that cause diseases like cancer
- Reduce inflammation
So let’s take a look at some macadamia nut health benefits, especially looking at macadamia nut oil.
Health Benefits of Macadamia Nut Oil
Macadamia nuts are high in monounsaturated fats
Monounsaturated fats are the healthy type of fat for you, compared to saturated and trans-fats. We need some fat to keep our body running correctly, and macadamia nuts can be an excellent and healthy source of wholesome fats [1, 2, 3]. These fats can reduce your risk of coronary heart disease and keep you feeling healthy every day . By making small changes like using a blend of healthier oils in your deep-fat fried foods, you can begin your journey to a healthier you .
Macadamia nut oil is high in vitamin E (an antioxidant)
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that can prevent many diseases and its role as a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin E has been shown to prevent cardiovascular disease, cancer, cataracts, Alzheimer’s disease, and HIV severity. It can also boost your immune system, preventing illness, though little specifics are known about this currently .
Vitamin E’s antioxidant role is important for eliminating our free oxygen radicals produced by our metabolism . These radicals normally would cause disease but instead are turned into harmless compounds by antioxidants like vitamin E . This can prevent conditions like atherosclerosis, cancer, ocular disease, and skin problems .
Macadamia nut oil can reduce inflammation
Chronic inflammation can occur as a side-effect of obesity or other conditions and can be a life-long problem with serious health implications. Sometimes, those with weight or health problems are required to take anti-inflammatory medications to control their high levels of inflammation. Inflammation is great when you have a wound that needs to heal. But, when the inflammation (redness, swelling, etc., at the site) doesn’t go away after the healing is finished, it becomes a chronic problem .
Macadamia oil reduced chronic inflammation in obese mice consuming a high-fat diet. The mice also experienced a reduction in cholesterol and insulin sensitivity (more on this later) . This suggests that a dose of macadamia nut oil on occasion might be just what you need to combat chronic inflammation naturally.
Monounsaturated fat in macadamia nut oil can lower cholesterol
In studies done in hamsters and humans alike, there is a cholesterol-lowering benefit to macadamia nut oil. A study performed on Syrian hamsters showed the palmitoleic acid (an unsaturated fatty acid found in macadamia nut oil) lowered the hamster’s cholesterol, including both non-HDL cholesterol and triglycerides in their blood .
Translated to humans, macadamia nuts lower the high cholesterol levels in men eating the nuts routinely . A third study examined macadamia nut consumption in men and women with only slightly high cholesterol and found the same effect . It seems macadamia nut oil fatty acids are excellent cholesterol-lowering aids, regardless of whether your levels are slightly or very elevated 
Palmitoleic acid can improve insulin resistance
Insulin resistance is a case when your cells can no longer properly respond to insulin. Think of insulin as the key that unlocks the cells so glucose can get in. If the insulin response is impaired, you can eat forever, and your cells won’t have the adequate energy they need to function. Eventually, insulin resistance becomes type 2 diabetes which must be treated with daily medication .
The good news is that macadamia nuts can help here as well. Tree nuts in general (including macadamia nuts) have shown in clinical trials that they can reduce insulin resistance and are part of a healthy diet that can improve your diabetes control or reduce your risk of developing diabetes . “The World Healthiest Nuts.”
It appears to be palmitoleic acid behind this effect, improving the immune interactions that can increase diabetes risk and improving insulin resistance . Tree nuts like macadamia nuts are great for improving general health, weight control, and decreasing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease .
In Conclusion, Health Benefits Of Macadamia Nut Oil
Macadamia nut oil has many health benefits (and macadamia nuts in general). Just remember that a small handful of these high-fat nuts goes a long way. Enjoy your macadamia nuts and nut oil in various dishes and snacks for better health and decreased disease risk.
You might be interested in the “9 Healthiest seeds.”