Macadamia vs. Hazelnut — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison
Hazelnuts contain more vitamins, minerals, and protein than macadamias. Hazelnuts contain 27 times more Vitamin E and two times more potassium than macadamias. On the other hand, macadamias are lower in glycemic index and have low levels of carbs.
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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.
Hazelnuts, known as filberts or cobnuts. Hazelnuts are nutty, with slight notes of musty and earthy.
Macadamia nuts taste like solid and creamy butter.
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).
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.
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).
Hazelnuts significantly have a higher amount of vitamins than macadamia nuts. Hazelnuts are richer in Vitamin C, Vitamin B5, and 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).
Potassium is a mineral that has many functions in the human body. For example, it may help reduce the risk of kidney stones (8). Hazelnut contains two times more potassium than macadamia nuts. It contains 680 mg of potassium per 100 g, while macadamia nuts contain 368 mg per 100g (5).
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).
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 index – 10. According to studies, both nuts fall under the category of having a low GI value (6) (7).
According to researchers, eating nuts may be healthy for your heart (10). Hazelnuts are rich in potassium, and potassium is important to keep the heart in rhythm. 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). In addition, there was a decrease in LDL and triglyceride levels with macadamia nut consumption (9).
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).
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
Hazelnut oil is an excellent product for maintaining good hair growth and is perfect for scalp massages to stimulate 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.
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 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).
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 neurotransmitter 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 to hazelnuts is often found in patients with tree pollen allergies. The symptoms usually include itching, swelling, and 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).
- Chemical composition of Macadamia integrifolia (Maiden and Betche) nuts from Paraguay
- A potential medicinal importance of zinc in human health and chronic disease
Fat Type Comparison
Carbohydrate type comparison
Comparison summary table
|Lower in Glycemic Index|
|Lower in price|
|Lower in Sugar|
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Rich in minerals|
|Rich in vitamins|
|Lower in Cholesterol||Equal|
All nutrients comparison - raw data values
|Vitamin A RAE||0µg||1µg|
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low Calories diet|
|Low Glycemic Index diet|
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Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.
- Macadamia - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170178/nutrients
- 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.