Celebrating my favorite nut on National Macadamia Day

I know I do a lot of these “National (Insert Food) Day” posts here on the blog. I try not to do them all, because that would be impossible and annoying, but I do like writing up posts on the ones that mean something to me, like National Bacon Day this past Saturday.

This Wednesday, September 4th was “National Macadamia Nut Day!”

mac nutsThough I don’t eat a TON of nuts — mainly because they are like Pringles: Once you pop, you can’t stop — (remember that one?!) macadamias are definitely in my top five, if not my favorite.

In fact, if I had to make a list of my Top 5 Favorite Nuts (let’s just do it while we’re at it):

1) Macadamia
2) Almond
3) Brazil nut
4) Pecan
5) Walnut

Pecans and walnuts may be replaced by cashews and peanuts if we’re not being Paleo.

mac nuts2I’ve learned macadamia nuts originated with the Aborigines in Australia, and is the hardest nut to crack, which is why they took so long to come into commercial production.

As for macadamia nuts and the Paleo lifestyle, macadamia nuts are low in total PUFA compared to other nuts, with a total of only 1.5 grams per 100 grams and most of their fat being monounsaturated.

What in the heck is PUFA?!

It’s an acronym for polyunsaturated fat — especially the OMEGA-6 polyunsaturated fat.

According to an article on PaleoDietLifestyle.com entitled “Are nuts and seeds healthy?” “excess OMEGA-6 and PUFA intake (along with excess fructose and consumption of toxic grains and legumes) can lead to things like diabetes, heart disease and obesity.”

Additionally, nuts contain lectins that can irritate the gut lining and nuts contain phytic acid that binds to minerals and blocks their absorption.

The good news: Soaking your nuts in salty water overnight can help to make your nuts more healthful, and less disruptive to your digestive system.

mac nuts3According to the article on PaleoDietLifestyle.com, when it comes to macadamia nuts: “The amount of total PUFA is low enough that the omega-6/omega-3 ratio is not a concern. They are a good source of thiamine, copper and manganese. Macadamia nuts are also very low in antinutrients like phytic acid. They are healthy even in higher amounts.”

I would advise being careful with that last sentence! Though they are healthy, even in higher amounts, it is incredibly easy to overeat nuts — which is why I try not to have them in my house 🙂

Those who are trying to lose weight, who find themselves eating a lot of nuts (thinking they are a super healthy snack) could find that the nut consumption is instead impeding their weight loss.

You just have to know your body, and enjoy your nuts in moderation.

CLICK HERE for additional information on nut consumption, and info. on PUFA/lectin levels in other popular nuts via PaleoDietLifestyle.com.

A few Paleo recipes featuring macadamia nuts for your enjoyment:

1) Via PaleoDietLifestyle.com: Macadamia Nut HUMMUS!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped;
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice;
  • 2 tbsp olive oil;
  • 1 clove garlic;
  • About 1/2 tsp sea salt;

Preparation

  1. Place the nuts, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic in a food processor or high-performance blender and process to breakup the nuts somewhat. Add the sea salt.
  2. Add about 1/2 cup water and process again until smooth. Add more water of the mixture is too thick.
  3. Taste for seasoning and add more lemon juice or sea salt if needed.
  4. Place in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes before enjoying.

2) Via SomeLikeItPaleo.com: Macadamia Nut-Crusted Chicken with Prosciutto and Arugula

Photo Courtesy SomeLikeItPaleo.com

Photo Courtesy SomeLikeItPaleo.com

3) Via SleepLoveEat.com: Halibut Macadamia

Photo Courtesy SleepEatLove.com

Photo Courtesy SleepEatLove.com

4) Via CivilizedCavemanCooking: Macadamia Nut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Photo Courtesy CivilizedCavemanCooking.com

Photo Courtesy CivilizedCavemanCooking.com

5) Via PaleoOMG.com: Macadamia Nut Banana Bread

Photo Courtesy PaleoOMG.com

Photo Courtesy PaleoOMG.com

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