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Macadamia vs Hazelnut - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Elen Khachatrian by Elen Khachatrian | Last updated on March 13, 2021
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Macadamia
vs
Hazelnut

Summary

Hazelnuts contain more vitamins, minerals, protein, fewer sugars, and more sodium than macadamias. Hazelnuts contain 27 times more Vitamin E and two times more potassium than macadamias. On the other hand, macadamias are lower in price, have a lower glycemic index, and low level of carbs.

Introduction

Hazelnut and Macadamia nuts are prevalent and used in daily life. They are used in baking and desserts and in combination with chocolate, but here their similarities end. In this article, you can find a detailed guide about the differences between macadamia nuts and hazelnuts.

Varieties

Hazelnuts, known as filberts or cobnuts, are the fruit of the hazel and therefore include any nuts of genus Corylus, especially the nuts of the species Corylus avellana. Hazelnuts are nutty, with slight notes of musty and earthy.

Macadamia nuts belong to the Macadamia genus. Macadamia nuts are native to Australia. It was first commercially produced on a wide scale in Hawaii. Macadamia nuts taste like solid and creamy butter.

Uses

Hazelnuts are used in baking and desserts and used in combination with chocolate for chocolate truffles. The most popular products are chocolate bars, hazelnut cocoa spread such as Nutella, and Frangelico liqueur. The flavored hazelnut oil is used as a cooking oil. Macadamia nuts are also used in baking or breading for fish or chicken. The wood is used decoratively for small items [1] [2].

Nutrition

Although these nuts have a similar appearance, nutritionally, they are different. We created the nutrition infographic to understand the difference better and explore the nutritional aspects of these nuts. Have a look below.

Calories

Macadamia nuts contain more calories than hazelnuts. Each macadamia nut has about 718 calories per 100 g, while each hazelnut contains 628 calories per 100 g [3].

Vitamins

Hazelnuts significantly have a higher amount of vitamins than macadamia nuts. Hazelnuts are richer in Vitamin C, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, and the amount of Vitamin E is 27 times higher than in macadamia nuts. Hazelnuts are also rich in Folate. Conversely, some vitamins in macadamia have a higher level than in hazelnuts: Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, and Vitamin B3. Macadamia nuts lack Vitamin K and Vitamin A. Both of them contain no Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D [4].

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
:
Contains more Vitamin B1 +85.8%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +43.4%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +37.4%
Contains more Vitamin A +∞%
Contains more Vitamin E +2683.3%
Contains more Vitamin C +425%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +21.1%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +104.7%
Contains more Folate +927.3%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 0% 11% 0% 4% 299% 38% 47% 46% 64% 9% 0% 0%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 2% 301% 0% 21% 161% 27% 34% 56% 130% 85% 0% 36%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +85.8%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +43.4%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +37.4%
Contains more Vitamin A +∞%
Contains more Vitamin E +2683.3%
Contains more Vitamin C +425%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +21.1%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +104.7%
Contains more Folate +927.3%

Potassium

Potassium is a mineral, which has many functionalities in the human body. For example, it may help reduce the risk of kidney stones. Hazelnut contains two times more potassium than macadamia nuts. It contains 680 mg potassium per 100 g, while macadamia nuts contain 368 mg per 100g [5].

Minerals

Overall, hazelnuts are richer in minerals than macadamia nuts. The copper, potassium, and phosphorus levels are almost three times higher in hazelnuts than in macadamia nuts. This nut also contains more iron, calcium, and magnesium. On the other hand, macadamia nuts contain more sodium than hazelnuts. People with high blood pressure should avoid macadamia nuts due to their high sodium content [6] [7].

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Contains more Calcium +34.1%
Contains more Iron +27.4%
Contains more Magnesium +25.4%
Contains more Phosphorus +54.3%
Contains more Potassium +84.8%
Contains less Sodium -100%
Contains more Zinc +88.5%
Contains more Copper +128.2%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 26% 139% 93% 81% 33% 1% 36% 252%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 35% 177% 117% 125% 60% 0% 67% 575%
Contains more Calcium +34.1%
Contains more Iron +27.4%
Contains more Magnesium +25.4%
Contains more Phosphorus +54.3%
Contains more Potassium +84.8%
Contains less Sodium -100%
Contains more Zinc +88.5%
Contains more Copper +128.2%

Glycemic Index

The relative ranking of carbohydrates in foods that affect blood sugar levels is called the Glycemic Index. The estimated glycemic index of hazelnuts is 15. Macadamia nuts have a low glycemic index10. According to studies, both nuts fall under the category of having a low GI value [6] [7].

HEALTH BENEFITS

Weight Loss

Hazelnuts contain a low level of calories and fats; they are better in low-calorie and low-fat diets [8].

Despite that macadamia nuts contain more calories and more fat than hazelnuts, they can also help your diet. Raw macadamia nuts are the healthiest ones. Macadamia nuts contain monounsaturated fat, which is essential for weight loss. Nevertheless, in the case of low carbs diets, such as the Keto diet, macadamia nuts are better choices [9].

Cardiovascular Health

According to researchers, eating nuts may be healthy for your heart [10]. Hazelnuts are rich in potassium, which is required to keep your heart beating by keeping electricity flowing throughout your body. Besides, hazelnuts are also high in antioxidants, which may lower cholesterol levels in the blood [11]. Macadamia nuts contain monounsaturated fat, which is good for your heart. According to a study in 2007, males who ate macadamia nuts for four weeks had lower risk factors for coronary artery disease [12].

Cancer

Hazelnuts are rich in tocopherols, especially Vitamin E, which are excellent dietary sources of natural antioxidants. In this case, antioxidants can help with fighting cancer. Similarly, hazelnuts contain Vitamin B6, which can also help fight several types of cancer [13]. According to studies, some neolignans (Cedrusin and Balanophonin and gallic acid) can inhibit the growth of human cancer cells [14]. Macadamia nuts also contain plant compounds called flavonoids, which can fight cancer [15].

Pregnancy

The essential fatty acid may help the body fight cellular inflammation. Macadamia nuts are a great source of omega-3s, which are essential during pregnancy. Overall, macadamia nuts have a high amount of monounsaturated fats and are low in carbs and sugar. These nuts have a moderate fiber content.

If you are not allergic to macadamia nuts, you can enjoy their many nutritional benefits, such as vitamins, minerals, and a low glycemic index. Macadamia oil is also an excellent oil for a baby massage [16].

Improving Hair Health

Zinc is an essential nutrient for human health. Zinc helps promote the formation of collagen to make healthy hair growth. Hazelnuts are a good source of this mineral. Hazelnut oil is an excellent product for maintaining good hair growth and perfect for scalp massages to stimulate the hair follicles and nourish them [17].

Calcium is also an element playing a significant role in keeping hair in the proper state, and women in particular in the perimenopause period are exposed to its deficiency [18].

Improving Skin Health

Overall, hazelnuts are a rich and inexpensive source of natural and effective phenolic antioxidants, decreasing oxidative stress and keeping skin healthy [19].

Besides, hazelnuts are a great source of Vitamin E, which can help to keep your skin looking young and vibrant.

Diabetes

Research shows that oleic acid in hazelnuts has beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity. Results show that incorporating hazelnuts into the diet can prevent the reduction of HDL-C concentrations in patients with type 2 diabetes [20].

On the other hand, macadamia nuts are a good source of dietary fiber and plant protein and contain antioxidants and flavonoids. These nutritional components have beneficial effects on diabetes. Another study shows that macadamia nuts can help improve glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes [21].

Brain Protection

According to the study, the tocotrienol-rich supplement may help to protect brain cells from conditions like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Research shows that macadamia nuts may increase neurotransmitters' production, and the monounsaturated fats in these nuts can protect the brain from oxidative stress [22] [23].

DOWNSIDES AND RISKS

Although nuts have hugely beneficial effects on human health and can be a part of a healthful diet, they have some drawbacks.

Depending on the context, try to avoid macadamia nuts if you are on a low-fat diet. [24].

Allergy

Allergy to hazelnuts is often found in patients with tree pollen allergies. The symptoms usually include itching, swelling, burning in the mouth and throat after ingesting hazelnuts or hazelnut-containing products.

Allergy to macadamias is rare, estimated to cause less than 5% of all tree nut allergies. In severe cases, the allergic reaction can cause anaphylaxis [25].

Reference

  1. http://www.fao.org/3/x4484e/x4484e03.htm
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4125148/
  3. https://sci-hub.se/10.1017/S095442241100014X
  4. https://academic.oup.com/nutritionreviews/article-abstract/54/8/241/1818792
  5. https://sci-hub.se/10.1017/BJN20061862
  6. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0048969702006113
  7. Chemical composition of Macadamia integrifolia (Maiden and Betche) nuts from Paraguay
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15466943/-
  9. https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/138/4/761/4665045?login=true
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24398275/
  11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27897978
  12. https://aocs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1007/s11745-007-3042-8
  13. https://sci-hub.se/10.17660/ActaHortic.1997.445.39
  14. https://sci-hub.se/10.3390/ijms18020392
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4127821/
  16. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/415741
  17. A potential medicinal importance of zinc in human health and chronic disease
  18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4828511/
  19. https://sci-hub.se/10.1016/j.foodchem.2008.02.060
  20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3793377/
  21. https://sci-hub.se/10.1007/s11892-005-0097-x
  22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1790869/
  23. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4333972
  24. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1051227619303565
  25. https://sci-hub.se/10.1017/BJN20061869
Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: March 13, 2021

Infographic

Macadamia vs Hazelnut infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Macadamia Hazelnut
Lower in glycemic index ok
Lower in price ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Rich in minerals ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Macadamia Hazelnut Opinion
Net carbs 5.22g 7g Hazelnut
Protein 7.91g 14.95g Hazelnut
Fats 75.77g 60.75g Macadamia
Carbs 13.82g 16.7g Hazelnut
Calories 718kcal 628kcal Macadamia
Starch 1.05g 0.48g Macadamia
Fructose 0.07g 0.07g
Sugar 4.57g 4.34g Hazelnut
Fiber 8.6g 9.7g Hazelnut
Calcium 85mg 114mg Hazelnut
Iron 3.69mg 4.7mg Hazelnut
Magnesium 130mg 163mg Hazelnut
Phosphorus 188mg 290mg Hazelnut
Potassium 368mg 680mg Hazelnut
Sodium 5mg 0mg Hazelnut
Zinc 1.3mg 2.45mg Hazelnut
Copper 0.756mg 1.725mg Hazelnut
Vitamin A 0IU 20IU Hazelnut
Vitamin E 0.54mg 15.03mg Hazelnut
Vitamin D 0IU 0IU
Vitamin D 0µg 0µg
Vitamin C 1.2mg 6.3mg Hazelnut
Vitamin B1 1.195mg 0.643mg Macadamia
Vitamin B2 0.162mg 0.113mg Macadamia
Vitamin B3 2.473mg 1.8mg Macadamia
Vitamin B5 0.758mg 0.918mg Hazelnut
Vitamin B6 0.275mg 0.563mg Hazelnut
Folate 11µg 113µg Hazelnut
Vitamin B12 0µg 0µg
Vitamin K µg 14.2µg Hazelnut
Tryptophan 0.067mg 0.193mg Hazelnut
Threonine 0.37mg 0.497mg Hazelnut
Isoleucine 0.314mg 0.545mg Hazelnut
Leucine 0.602mg 1.063mg Hazelnut
Lysine 0.018mg 0.42mg Hazelnut
Methionine 0.023mg 0.221mg Hazelnut
Phenylalanine 0.665mg 0.663mg Macadamia
Valine 0.363mg 0.701mg Hazelnut
Histidine 0.195mg 0.432mg Hazelnut
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Trans Fat g g
Saturated Fat 12.061g 4.464g Hazelnut
Monounsaturated Fat 58.877g 45.652g Macadamia
Polyunsaturated fat 1.502g 7.92g Hazelnut

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Macadamia Hazelnut
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low glycemic index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
43
Macadamia
71
Hazelnut
Mineral Summary Score
82
Macadamia
144
Hazelnut

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
47%
Macadamia
90%
Hazelnut
Carbohydrates
14%
Macadamia
17%
Hazelnut
Fats
350%
Macadamia
280%
Hazelnut

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Macadamia
Macadamia is lower in glycemic index (difference - 5)
Which food is cheaper?
Macadamia
Macadamia is cheaper (difference - $0.2)
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Hazelnut
Hazelnut is lower in Sugar (difference - 0.23g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Hazelnut
Hazelnut contains less Sodium (difference - 5mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Hazelnut
Hazelnut is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 7.597g)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Hazelnut
Hazelnut is relatively richer in minerals
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Hazelnut
Hazelnut is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Macadamia - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170178/nutrients
  2. Hazelnut - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170581/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000 calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.