Macadamia Nuts vs Brazil Nuts: Nutrition Comparison [DATA]


This page is a simple side-by-side comparison of macadamia vs brazil nuts.

There are some significant differences when it comes to nutrition and omega fat content.

Note that all data is per 100 grams of each nut.

Nutritional Value Comparison of Macadamia Nuts and Brazil Nuts

Let’s start by looking at the macronutrient profiles of both of these nuts:

  Macadamia nut Brazil nut
Energy (kcal) 717.9 658.6
Protein (g) 7.9 14.3
Total Lipid (g) 75.8 67.1
Carbohydrate (g) 13.8 11.7
Fiber (g) 8.7 7.5
Sugars (g) 4.6 2.3

As expected of any nut, they are high in fat and also have a decent amount of protein.

However, there are a few noticeable differences:

  • Brazil nuts are significantly higher in protein (about 75% more)
  • Macadamia nuts are a bit higher in fat, which may be useful on a diet like keto

Macadamia nuts have more carbohydrates, but also more fiber, so the amount of net carbohydrates is very similar in either case.

Omega 3 and 6 Fat Ratios of Macadamia Nuts and Brazil Nuts

high fat nuts

Most nuts have poor omega 3 to 6 fat ratios, which is why it’s generally recommended to not eat too many on a regular basis.

Macadamia nuts are one of the few exceptions in this regard, as they actually have a decent ratio of omega 3 to 6 fats.

  Macadamia nuts Brazil Nuts
Omega 3 Fats 0.196 0.036
Omega 6 Fats 1.3 23.9
Omega 6:3 Ratio 6.63 663.89

Long story short, current research suggests that a ratio between omega 6 and 3 fats of 4 or below is ideal. Macadamia nuts fall just outside that threshold, while brazil nuts have an absolutely terrible ratio.

You can see a summary of the research along with data on other nuts on my page of the omega 3 to 6 fat ratios of nuts if you’d like to learn more.

Vitamins and Minerals of Macadamia Nuts and Brazil Nuts

The final area of nutrition that we can look at here is the amount of vitamins and minerals in both of these nuts.

While both have significant amounts of the same vitamins and minerals, they excel in different areas.

  RDA Macadamia nut Brazil nut
Selenium (µg) 55 3.6 1917.0
Manganese (mg) 2.3 4.1 1.2
Phosphorus (mg) 700 188.1 724.8
Thiamin (mg) 1.2 1.2 0.6
Magnesium (mg) 400 129.9 375.9
Vitamin E (mg) 15 0.5 5.7
Zinc (mg) 11 1.3 4.1
Potassium (mg) 2000 368.7 658.6
Vitamin B-6 (mg) 1.3 0.3 0.1
Iron (mg) 18 3.7 2.4
Niacin (mg) 16 2.5 0.3
Calcium (mg) 1200 85.1 159.4
Riboflavin (mg) 1.3 0.2 0.0
Folate (µg) 400 10.4 22.6
Choline (mg) 550 0.0 28.9

While brazil nuts do have an impressive nutritional profile, they have a ridiculous amount of selenium. You get the RDA of selenium in just a couple brazil nuts.

This brings up a unique limitation – getting too much selenium can be dangerousWhen you see brazil nuts recommended by dieticians, it’s usually in small amounts (i.e. a handful here and there) for this reason.

Macadamia Nuts vs Brazil Nuts: Which is Healthier?

Brazil nuts are arguably healthier than macadamia nuts in small amounts. They have more protein, fewer calories, and more of most vitamins and minerals. But they also have so much selenium that they shouldn’t be eaten in large quantities.

However, macadamia nuts are healthier if you’re eating a significant amount of nuts as they have a much better omega 3 to 6 fat ratio, and brazil nuts.  

Are Macadamia Nuts or Brazil Nuts Better for Weight Loss?

Brazil nuts have about 10% fewer calories per serving, making them slightly better for creating a caloric deficit for weight loss. However, both nuts are very high in fat and calories, and should only be consumed in small portions if someone is trying to lose weight.

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.