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.
Table of Contents
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.
|Total Lipid (g)||49.9||75.8|
It’s clear that:
- Macadamia nuts are much higher in calories and fat.
- Almonds have almost 3 times as much protein (mainly because macadamia have the least protein of any nut).
- 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.
While both nuts are high in calories, almonds are significantly lower in calories while also having more protein and more fiber. Macadamia nuts are relatively low in protein for nuts and very high in fat.
Omega 3 and 6 Fat Ratios of Almonds and Macadamia 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.
|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.
Almonds have a terrible omega fat ratio, which could lead to inflammation if eaten in large amounts. On the other hand, macadamia nuts have a nearly “good” omega fat ratio, so this isn’t a big concern for them.
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.
|Vitamin E (mg)||15||25.6||0.5|
|Vitamin B-6 (mg)||1.3||0.1||0.3|
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.
Both macadamia nuts and almonds have a significant portion of the RDA for several vitamins and minerals in a single 100 gram serving. However, almonds have significantly more of minerals that are typically harder to get and important like magnesium and potassium.
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.