It seems to me like we are always hearing about the latest and greatest “superfood.” Whether it’s acai berries, kale, pomegranate juice, or the cure-all grapefruit diet, there is always some “healthy” new trend, which at first sounds great, but then research goes on to prove that it was definitely over-rated. Sure, acai berries are great for you, and are loaded with antioxidants, which have proven health benefits. But will these magical berries help you lose weight, cleanse your digestive system, reduce skin wrinkles and help you live forever? Nope. They are just another healthy fruit. It’s hard to have faith in the new trends and superfoods, which seem to pop up every few months.
That being said, there is one healthy trend that is backed by research, and I feel hasn’t received enough exposure. By now, most of us know that healthy fats are good for all sorts of things in the body, such as lowering cholesterol, reducing inflammation, and reducing the risk of heart disease, along with tons of other benefits. I know plenty of people who cook with olive oil, eat extra salmon, and take fish oil capsules every day. This is all good and well, however, the majority of people don’t include macadamia nut oil in their daily diets, which would be a pretty good substitute for olive oil or flaxseed oil.
Here are some benefits of using macadamia nut oil, which I recommend you use instead of olive oil (in certain cases).
Macadamia nut oil has higher levels of monounsaturated fat than olive or flaxseed oil, two popular alternatives. As far as healthy fats go, this is one of the best kinds for us. It has 11 grams per tablespoon, compared to 9.8 grams in olive oil.
Oleic acid has been shown to reduce inflammation, boost memory power, increase testosterone, and reduce symptoms of asthma. It is also one of the good cholesterol sources, as it helps lower LDL levels (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (good cholesterol).
Trans fat is bad right? Well, macadamia has less of it than olive oil. Per tablespoon it has 120 calories, the same as extra virgin olive oil, however it has zero trans fat and only 0.3 grams of polyunsaturated fat, compared to the 1.4 grams in olive oil. Trans fat is never a good thing, so anytime we can remove it from our diet, we should.
Macadamia nut oil typically has a smoke point about 40 degrees higher than olive oil. This means you can cook it at a higher temperature without burning out the good fats and benefits associated with them. I suggest using macadamia nut oil instead of olive oil when cooking with frying pans or greasing baking pans.
It might have a bit of a bitter aftertaste, but going down it tastes like macadamia nuts! I have tried drinking olive oil, fish oil, and flaxseed oil plain, and all three almost brought my lunch back up. Disgusting. I probably wouldn’t substitute macadamia nut oil if I was baking with a recipe that called for olive oil, simply because the nutty flavor could potentially throw things off. I would however substitute it for greasing pots and pans, and using on salad.
Now I’m not saying you should drink macadamia oil plain, but it tastes great on salads or in oatmeal as a healthy fat; it gives your food a nice “nutty” flavor. Try a salad with lettuce, a little bit of feta cheese, and a few shaved pecans with plain macadamia nut oil for dressing... healthy and delicious! Balsamic vinegar and olive oil seems to be a pretty standard “healthy” dressing, but I would definitely recommend trying plain macadamia nut oil instead. Not only do you save yourself from consuming the sugars found in balsamic vinegar, but also it’s easier to mix and tastes much better. It’s also good in oatmeal, with a little brown sugar or sugar free maple syrup. It gives it a nice nutty taste.
There is only one minor catch, it can be a little tricky to find at your local grocery store. I usually get mine at Whole Foods, but I have seen it at “regular” grocery stores as well, and supplement stores. If you really can’t find any I would go ahead and order some online, it’s cheap and definitely worth a try.
There it is folks, macadamia nut oil, the super-fat. I believe it should be added to the cooking arsenal of anyone serious about getting healthy, in fact I hardly ever buy olive oil anymore. Worst-case scenario, you spend a little money, try the oil, and if you don’t like it then the bottle sits with all the other condiments you don’t use or need. Best case, you love it, start consuming it regularly, and get fantastic health benefits!
Note: most of the benefits aren’t things you will necessarily “feel.” The fact that it is high in monounsaturated fat and oleic acid is great, and these two things will bring a whole host of benefits. Just enjoy the taste, and trust that your body is running smoother with this oil.