Almonds vs Macadamia Nuts: (Protein and Nutrition Comparison)

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Both almonds and macadamia nuts make for a great snack, but there are some big differences in their nutritional profiles.

To find out how much of each you should include in your diet, I created this short head-to-head comparison.

Note that all nutritional data on this page is per 100 grams of each nut.

Nutritional Value Comparison of Almonds and Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts have a smoother texture compared to other nuts, and that’s partly explained by their macronutrients.

  Almonds Macadamia nut
Energy (kcal) 579.6 717.9
Protein (g) 21.1 7.9
Total Lipid (g) 49.9 75.8
Carbohydrate (g) 21.6 13.8
Fiber (g) 12.6 8.7
Sugars (g) 4.4 4.6

It’s clear that:

  • Macadamia nuts are much higher in calories and fat
  • Almonds have almost 3 times as much protein
  • Almonds have more carbohydrates, but also more fiber.

In general, almonds have a better nutritional profile for most people, perhaps with the exception of people on a ketogenic diet.

Omega 3 and 6 Fat Ratios of Almonds and Macadamia Nuts

high fat nuts

Even though macadamia nuts have a lot of fat, not all fat is created equally.

Most nuts have a terrible omega 6 to 3 fat ratio, which can lead to inflammation if you eat them in large quantities.

Despite having a higher quantity of fat, macadamia nuts are much lower in omega fats and have a good ratio.

  Almonds Macadamia nuts
Omega 3 Fats 0.052 0.196
Omega 6 Fats 14.5 1.3
Omega 6:3 Ratio 278.85 6.63

You can see that macadamia nuts only have about 1.5 grams of total omega fats (out of 76) in a serving.

Meanwhile, almonds have a poor omega fat ratio and should only be eaten in limited quantities.

Vitamins and Minerals of Almonds and Macadamia Nuts

Now let’s look at the micronutrient profiles of both these nuts.

I’ve sorted them roughly in order of the percent of the general RDA for adults of each nutrient. Significant differences have been highlighted in bold.

  RDA Almonds Macadamia nut
Manganese (mg) 2.3 2.2 4.1
Vitamin E (mg) 15 25.6 0.5
Thiamin (mg) 1.2 0.2 1.2
Riboflavin (mg) 1.3 1.1 0.2
Phosphorus (mg) 700 481.5 188.1
Magnesium (mg) 400 270.4 129.9
Potassium (mg) 2000 733.3 368.7
Zinc (mg) 11 3.1 1.3
Niacin (mg) 16 3.6 2.5
Calcium (mg) 1200 268.5 85.1
Iron (mg) 18 3.7 3.7
Vitamin B-6 (mg) 1.3 0.1 0.3
Folate (µg) 400 44.4 10.4
Choline (mg) 550 52.0 0.0
Selenium (µg) 55 4.1 3.6

It’s clear that almonds are significantly better in terms of vitamin and mineral content.

Almonds have a lot more phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and calcium than macadamia nuts. Those are all among the most “important” minerals (i.e. hard to get in some cases).

Macadamia nuts still have a pretty decent nutrient profile and are a “healthy” food, they just don’t have the same level of most nutrients as almonds.

Almonds vs Macadamia Nuts: Which is Healthier?

Almonds have fewer calories, more protein, and significantly more vitamins and minerals. In small quantities, almonds are healthier than macadamia nuts.

However, macadamia nuts have a good omega fat ratio, while almonds have a bad omega fat ratio. Because of this, you could argue that macadamia nuts are healthier if eating a large amount of nuts.

Are Almonds or Macadamia Nuts Better for Weight Loss?

Almonds are better than macadamia nuts due to having significantly fewer calories. In a 100 gram serving, almonds have 580 calories compared to 720 in macadamia nuts. However, both are caloric dense foods that should be limited when trying to lose weight.

Are Almonds or Macadamia Nuts Better for Bodybuilding?

With almost 3 times as much protein, almonds are much better than macadamia nuts for bodybuilding. Due to the poor omega 3 to 6 fat ratio in almonds, they should be used as a supplementary snack to get extra protein rather than a main staple.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned.