Are Macadamia Nuts Superior to All Other Nuts?

Nuts offer a lot of nutrition. They are full of healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and are even a somewhat decent source of protein. In addition, just about all nuts are rich in omega 6 fatty acids. We need these lovely things but too much of the 6 and too little of the 3 can lead to trouble.

Many believe the golden ratio is 1:1. Others say a ratio of 4:1 in favor of omega 6’s is fine. Most Americans’ ratio is around 10:1 or even 20:1. When you follow the primal/paleo eating plan, your ratio naturally improves for the better. Eating grass-fed, pastured meats improves the ratio even more.

If you eat plenty of seafood then you are golden. Most of us are not able to afford wild-caught fish from quality sources as much as we wish. Supplementing with fish oil helps a lot.

Would it be easier to simply cut out as much omega 6 fatty acids as possible?

I think so.

What is an easy way to accomplish this?

Limit your intake of nuts. Nuts, except for macadamia nuts, are loaded with omega 6 fatty acids and contain little to no omega 3 fatty acids. For those of you who are skeptical of this please check out the following stats for nuts. All my information is coming from Nutrition Data.

Omega 3 vs Omega 6 in Milligrams

  • Macadamias – 60 vs 360
  • Almonds – 2 vs 3400
  • Hazelnuts – 20 vs 2200
  • Pistachios – 70 vs 3700
  • Brazil Nuts – 5.1 vs 5800
  • Cashews – 7 vs 2200
  • Walnuts – 2500 vs 10,100
  • Pine Nuts – 31 vs 9400
  • Pecans – 280 vs 5800

Do you now see why it may be smart to limit your intake of nuts even though they are filled with nutrition? Walnuts may have 2,500 mg of ALA omega 3 fatty acids but 10,000 of omega 6 fatty acids?! That’s going overboard.

When we think of eating like our ancestors the general rule is lean meats, seafood, veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds. Lean meats as in grass-fed beef, pastured pork, etc. People who are trying to lose weight limit their intake of fruits for good reason. Fruits may have a lot of vitamins and minerals but they are loaded with sugar. Leafy greens and other fiber rich veggies beat fruits any day.

What about nuts? Macadamia nuts?

I love almond butter. Costco carries a large container for a measly $5 (maybe $7?). I can buy half the size and pay a little more at Meijer, the major supermarket in Michigan. After finding this great deal I started to take spoonfuls of the almond butter right out of the jar as a snack and/or treat. I discovered that it does not agree with my body as much as I thought it would which is why I decided to look for an alternative.

I had known about the high omega 6 content in nuts within the first couple months I went primal, and knew that macadamia nuts were particularly low. I decided to lower my intake of nuts but I still ate them regularly since I was in the “beginning stages” of eating the primal way.

My 2, 12 oz. bags of macadamia nuts should arrive this week and once they do I will say goodbye to all other nuts for at least a while except for the occasional garnish.

Whether or not you do the same is completely up to you. My theory is that macadamia nuts are superior to all other nuts. But, who really knows? If you want to buy them inexpensively then check them out on Amazon. Pick and choose your vendor as there are plenty.

What is your opinion on nuts? Do you eat them? Did you know they had this much omega 6 fatty acids? Will you change your habits?

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Comments

  1. says

    When I started going Primal I was eating almonds as my snack every day sometimes twice a day. I had no idea they had as wacky a ratio as that. This past week I wanted to pick up some macadamias but a 6 oz. bag at my grocery store was 7 bucks. The amazon looks like a great deal, thanks for the link.

    • says

      Yea the ratio is outrageous. And I can get all my nutritional needs from meats and veggies so even though almonds have a lot of magnesium, vitamin e, etc. doesn’t really matter. I am all about balancing out that ratio right now. Eating macadamias will help me do that.

      And, yes, macadamias are very expensive in stores. I am finding more and more primal gems on Amazon as I look.

  2. says

    Thanks for the post Toad. I don’t eat a lot of nuts and will likely not be adding them to my diet.

    I looked up acorns at the link you provided above (1200 mg O6 and no O3). I know that many Native Americans relied on acorns for subsistence. Maybe in an environment of lean food availability, the PUFAs were getting metabolized quickly (not stored) and therefore weren’t causing harm….

    • says

      1200 mg of 06 is not too bad at all if that is per serving. It may have no 03 but all nuts have little to none. Its really all about keeping your 06 intake low. Eating only macadamias as your nuts will help you do this. It seems as if acorns will do as well.

      One avocado has about 1200 mg of omega 6 I believe too and I eat one daily because it is full of nutrition. For now, I am going to stick with macadamias.

  3. says

    As a college student who is stuck on campus in classes all day, I sometimes need some sort of a snack to keep me paying attention in classes. Nuts are usually my go to answer. I’ve been living primal for a fews months now and am well aware of the omega 6, omega 3 ratio and am currently in the process of cutting back on my nut intake. I’m not too worried about my ratio due to the amount of fish I eat, but I think I still eat way too many nuts. I always want to buy macadamia nuts, but they are so expensive and I’m broke, to say the least haha so thanks for the site suggestion and keep it up!

    • says

      Yea if you eat a lot of fish then you don’t have to worry too much. Try “drizzling” nuts on your other foods or eat 1 oz as a snack and no more. Or, simply go for macadamias!! When you buy on Amazon they are not that expensive. If you had only macadamias for a meal then that meal would cost under $3!

  4. Joy says

    I agree Todd,
    Since going Primal I have had all nuts in my diet, and spooning
    Almond butter for a snack but I do think it does not agree with me. I was a HUGE PB lover (all nutural ) and can’t believe I don’t crave it. AB has helped but I have not touched AB or ANY nut in almost a month. HUGE for me. I have lots of nuts left and AB but once it is gone I will do the same and only have Macs :))
    Thanks for sharing :))

  5. Michael says

    I generally eat a lot of nuts but have been rethinking that recently, so found your post interesting.

    However, I’m confused a little by you opting for macadamias. If the ratio of Omega 6:3 is what’s important, then (using the figures you quote) wouldn’t walnuts be a better option than macadamias?

    Macs 60 v 360 is a ratio of 1:6 for Omega 3 v 6
    Walnuts 2,500 v 10,100 is a ratio of 1:4 for 3 v 6 and is therefore better?

    Have i misunderstood something?

    Thanks. Michael

    • says

      The ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 is important AT THE END OF THE DAY. Most foods have very very little omega 3’s. So, if you eat a serving of walnuts you are at 10 grams of omega 6. It is nearly impossible to consume 10 grams of omega 3!!

      But, if you eat a serving of macadamia nuts then you are at only .36 grams of omega 6. Eat one ounce of salmon or some grass-fed ground beef and you have balanced your ratio!

      And, the EPA and DHA is way more important then the ALA that is found in nuts.

      Did I answer your question? Let me know if I did not!

      • Michael says

        Hi Toad and thanks

        I had to think about it for a couple of days (!) but yes you answered my quesion and I now understand. It’s about getting your whole diet to a satisfactory ratio, so I can see that consuming any food that’s very high in 6 despite the 3:6 ratio (such as walnuts) makes it difficult to get the overall 3:6 ratio to where you want it.

        Macadamias it is then! The only problem i have now then is that macadamias are much more expensive than other nuts in the UK. Is this also true in the States? I’ll actually be on holiday in California in April so maybe I’ll have to stock up on them then!!

        Thanks, Michael

        • says

          Glad I could help. It is more about balancing the ratio in your diet. This is why I will eat a lot of macadamias and then simply sprinkle all other nuts on my food once in a while. I may enjoy some almond butter once in a great while after my 30 day challenge is up to. TIme will tell.

  6. Duncan says

    Hi
    I agree with your comments on the omega 6 ratio being important. Omega 6’s – steal your youth and are found in many processed foods. Over the years, i have found a saying that helps “I’d rather be vaguely right, than precisely wrong”. All nuts are good for you, and if you want to get the ratio correct for your daily food intake, look at cutting down on processed foods.

    If you are interested in Omega’s – Look up Omega 7’s. This is also another essential fatty acid required by the body. It helps with heart diesease and also keeps you young! Macadamia nuts have one of the highest concentrations in the natural world. Keep on eating those Macadamia nuts!

    • says

      I’ve never heard of omega 7… interesting. I wonder why no one ever talks about it. Do you have more information on it?

      • Duncan says

        Omega 7 is very rare in nature – only a handful of natural sources, and hence why you have not heard much about it. Try google Omega 7 and you will see how important it is for anti aging and heart health.

    • says

      Walnuts have 10 grams of omega 6 and macadamia nuts have .36 grams. Macas are thus way better in this department. It’s easier to balance the ratio throughout the day and week with a serving of macas a day compared to walnuts. You want to LIMIT your omega 6 consumption. The omega 3 in plant foods is ALA which our body does not really care about. So, the ratio is kind of 10 to 0. Not good!

  7. says

    This is great news for me, macadamias always been my favorite. I do eat way too many nuts though, brazil nuts and walnuts, not a very big fan of almonds at all, use to like them but now just don’t care about them. I’ve been skipping macadamias lately because I thought they had the least amount of protein and more fat, but they still are my favorite. If I can just eat macadamias and skip all others that would be just perfect!

  8. Lauren says

    I eat a lot of nuts and nut butters, so I totally freaked out when I learned that they’re loaded with omega-6s. However, no one (including your source, Nutrition Data) seems to dispute that all nuts have an overall anti-inflammatory effect. What’s your take on this?

      • Kaabi says

        But the Omega-6 found in nuts is different from how most Americans consume their Omega-6s, which is in grain-fed meat and vegetable oils. People should not worry as much about the Omega-6/Omega-3 issue when they are eating an all-natural and highly organic diet. Also, as primarily a vegan, it is very difficult to get the necessary calories without eating nuts every day, which has never been a problem for me.

        • says

          Yes you are right in that the main problem is rancid omega 6’s but nuts can go rancid very easily. I personally do a lot better when I avoid nuts as my body simply does not digest them fully but some can do find with nuts.

  9. says

    I drink Almond milk regularly. Would this be something I should consider stopping? I also take Omega3 D oil supplement. Thanks!

    • says

      How much? Is it homemade? If not, what brand and type? Almond milk is no concern with a good balance of fatty acids. One cup has about 1 gram of omega 6. Do you drink more than 2 cups a day on average?

  10. Rebecca Noel says

    You should check out hemp seeds. They weren’t on your list but they have the perfect omega-3 to omega-6 ratio too.

    • says

      Hemp seeds have ALA form of omega 3. It must be converted to EPA then DHA for us to be able to utilize it. The rate is less than 10% for just about everyone. Thus, the ratio is really out of whack.

  11. philis diller says

    I know this is an old post, but I’ve adapted to eating a lot of macadamia nuts. the thing is I’m extremely picky with them and only one brand tastes good to me after trying it. I’m going to assume you’ve had Mauna Loa brand macadamia nuts. If you haven’t you’re seriously missing out. whenever I can find them at costco (rarely) I stock up because it’s 16.99 for a 24 oz tub! best nuts ever I swear

  12. Louise says

    there are a lot of people who have an intolerance for nuts as I have, however I can eat Macademia nuts without having severe digestive problems. I would like to know what makes macademia nuts so different from other nuts. Does anybody have an answer?

    • says

      They have less omega 6 than any other nut but I don’t see why this would help with digestion. I think they overall have less anti-nutrients and what not. It turns out that my body does not like macadamias either.

  13. Pooja says

    I often will have maybe a handful of almonds for a snack as well as almond butter with apple slices. And in evenings before bed I usually have a glass of almond milk. I also have avocado usually once (maybe twice) a day but only part of it, not a whole one. 1 avocado probably lasts me for about 3-4 days. Oh, and I also take a fish oil supplement daily so I do get omega 3s from that. As for meat, I mainly eat chicken, turkey, and occasionally have salmon and tuna. Other than that I eat a lot of veggies and beans and have fruit maybe once a day. I only just now found out that it’s not good to have so many omega 6s! So I’m worried and now looking for alternatives. Do you agree that these options I listed are giving too many omega 6s? I will replace the almonds with macadamias but should I not have almond butter or almond milk on the days I have macadamias as a snack? Please advise. Thanks! :)

    • says

      I need to revise this post. I think you are doing just fine. Please don’t worry about eating real food that makes you feel good. That you enjoy eating that you believe is healthy. The main problem is rancid omega 6 fatty acids. So cooking with soybean oil, canola oil, etc. BUT it’s not like a little bit will kill us. It’s about balance and our mindset is huge when it comes to our health. Let go of the worry. :)

  14. TOM says

    THE OMEGA 3 AND OMEGA 6 AT THE SITE YOU GET YOR INFO FROM HAS, OMEGA 3=276, OMEGA 6= 1737. ANY NUT YOU EAT WILL GIVE YOU HIGH VALUE OF OMEGA-6 TO OMEGA-3. IF YOU CKECK OUT MOST NUTS YOU WILL FIND VERY HIGH VALUES OF OMEGA 6. KNOWING OMEGA 6 CAUSES INFLAMATION(THIS IS NOT GOOD FOR YOU), SO FOR BETTER HEALTH( IN MY OPINION) SKIPS THE NUTS.

  15. says

    I have been wondering for a while about almond milk. I make my own milk but I went through a long stage when I didn’t strain the milk because I like the taste of the bits of nuts which didn’t blend.

    I now strain the nutmilk since hearing of the unbalanced Omegs 3 to 6.

    Does straining the milk lessen the amount of omega 3 and omega 6 providing I don’t use the strained fibre?

  16. Ashley says

    This is great information, thanks! I am recovering from an inflamed bowel due to bacterial imbalance. Anything to promote anti-inflammation is well worth it, omega-3’s being part of that. I used to eat a lot of almonds, almond butter, and peanut butter, but I realized I wasn’t feeling so hot after eating quite a few spoonfuls or handfuls of each. I’m going to try macadamias for my nut-snack-a-day, and see how my body likes that. I did it for the first time today, and so far my body seems to like them! They are even soft and don’t have skins, which helps my already irritated gut… and they taste good, to boot.

Trackbacks

  1. […] My favorite nut is macadamias. Per one ounce serving they contain only .36 grams of omega 6′s. If you eat this nut more than the others and limit your total nut intake to 1 oz a day (2 oz is ok too) then you should not have to worry much about your ratio. Nuts provide a lot of nutrition and so if you can handle them (some can’t) then by all means eat them. Just understand that meat, seafood, eggs and veggies are a better food choice. […]

  2. […] High in omega 6 fatty acids. Another problem with peanuts and all true nuts (aside from macadamias) is that they are super high in omega 6 fatty acids. These are essential fats but your genes prefer […]

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