Living in Hawaii, I am also proud to note that (Hawaiian) macadamia nuts may decrease risk of heart disease. To be honest though, this is true of a number of types of nuts. For example, half a cup of walnuts a day lowered cholesterol—without causing weight gain.
In this study, macadamia nuts reduced low-density cholesterol (bad cholesterol)—a lot.
"We looked at macadamia nuts because they are not currently included in the health claim for tree nuts, while other tree nuts are currently recommended as part of a heart healthy diet," says Dr. Amy E. Griel Ph.D. "Macadamia nuts have higher levels of monosaturated fats, like those found in olive oil compared with other tree nuts."
"Epidemiological studies showed that people who are frequent nut consumers have decreased risk of heart disease," says Penny Kris-Etherton, co-author and distinguished professor of nutritional sciences.
Adding just 1.5 ounces a day—a small handful—of macadamia nuts to a standard American diet reduced total cholesterol by 9.4% and low-density lipoprotein by 8.9%.
"We found that the reduction in LDL or bad cholesterol we observed was greater than would be predicted by just the healthy fats in the nuts alone," says Griel. "This indicates that there is something else in the nuts that helps lower cholesterol. I think the bottom line is that macadamia nuts probably should be included in the list of nuts to have a qualified health claim," says Kris-Etherton.
Medical Research News April 14, 2008
Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of four research studies on their treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.