First Do No Harm

Healthier than Olive Oil

Oils and fats (fatty acids) have been a constant bugaboo of physicians over the past fifty years. Because they’ve never actually studied nutrition, they’ve had to fall back on the little they’ve been told in medical school which, for the most part, has been absolute bunk.

For example, we’ve been told for decades that cholesterol is bad. Then one day, they decided separated cholesterol into two categories, good and bad, while keeping the cholesterol we ate in the bad category.

Actually, science shows us that “bad” cholesterol is trying to save your life by forming "bandages" over injuries to your arteries, and it is also an anti-inflammatory; not as anti-inflammatory as the so-called good cholesterol, but still “bad” cholesterol has anti-inflammatory properties.

In our introduction to our cardiovascular section (The Heart of the Matter), we point out that one of the first physician gurus on heart health, Dr Dean Ornish, promulgated that eating nuts was bad for the heart because of the oils they contained. We knew right away this was wrong because the oils in most nuts are cardio-protective, but Ornish was leaning on his medical school teachings that all fats are bad for us.

I assume that Dr Ornish has mended his ways since he originally preached this, but the bottom line about fatty acids that conventional medicine needs to learn is that “not all fats are created equal.”

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I want to tell you about one of the healthiest oils on the planet. It’s just a tad spendy right now, but with its popularity growing, its price will start to come down. It comes from a nut, and we've actually given it a mention in our article Chronic Inflammation (see the hint in the image on the right) when we spoke about the new super-monounsaturated fatty acid, palmitoleic acid, the omega-7.

Macadamia Nut Oil

Macadamia Nut Oil contains more monounsaturated fatty acids than olive oil. It contains very little of your omega-3 fatty acids, which might seem like a “negative” at first, but because of this very small amount, macadamia nut oil does not go rancid quickly. In fact, it has a two year shelf life after you’ve opened it, and it does not have to be refrigerated. Another reason for its long shelf life is the antioxidant content in the form of tocotrienols. And if you read our newsletter, you’ve recently learned that tocotrienols reduce cholesterol levels, if that is something you worry about.

Though personally I don’t worry about my cholesterol levels, if you do, you should know that studies out of the University of Hawaii show that a diet rich in macadamia nut oil will lower your cholesterol levels. More important to me is the fact that the antioxidants in macadamia nut oil will keep your cholesterol from oxidizing because, contrary to what your doctor has been told, cholesterol is not "bad" for you, but oxidized cholesterol is bad for you.

Once more, as posted at many places at this site, it is the ratio of HDL to LDL that you want to maintain. Eating less omega-6 fatty acids maintains a healthy ratio as does increasing your omega-3 intake. Because macadamia nut oil contains very little omega-6 fatty acids and much, much more monounsaturated fatty acids than olive oil, this is one way a healthy ratio of HDL to LDL is maintained. It’s not your overall number that’s a danger, but people with a low HDL or a high LDL do tend to be at a greater risk for heart disease. So maintain that good HDL:LDL ratio.

I suppose most important to you health nuts out there is the amount of Palmitoleic Acid macadamia nut oil contains: 18% to 22.7% depending on the batch and the company processing it. Yes, sea buckthorn oil contains about 36% palmitoleic acid, but sea buckthorn oil also contains a whopping 35.5% palmitic acid. Macadamia nut oil contains just 8.9% palmitic acid.

Editor’s Note: We have posted a page for Cardia-7, here: There’s a New Omega Fatty Acid on the Block.

If you keep your eyes open you will start to see a lot of skin products with macadamia nut oil in them. Just be careful since not all macadamia nut oil is created equal either. Personally, I used to buy NOW Foods Macadamia Nut Oil, but they quit making it and started selling a more expensive brand from France. I went to eBay and bought a gallon of "organic" Macadamia Nut Oil from some place in Chicago, some place calling themselves Dr Adorable Inc. It had no odor; in fact, it smelled kind of old, and it sure didn't taste like macadamia nut oil. So, I've asked readers of our newsletter if they'd be interested if Simply the Best began selling it. Some said yes, and so now Simply the Best sells Virgin, Organic, Cold Pressed Macadamia Nut Oil at the best price on the web.

As an ex-massage therapist, I can tell you that if macadamia nut oil had been around years ago, I would have been using it because it is so quickly absorbed by the skin. Macadamia nut oil is great for the skin for a number of reason, one being the phytosterols it contains, which are just like steroids, but, of course, from plants. On your skin, they will quickly help reduce irritation that shows up in the form of redness and itchiness. Another chemical is squalene (an antioxidant), which helps with chapped and cracked skin, and even helps initiate regeneration. Squalene also has some antibiotic and anti-cancer properties.

But it’s the palmitoleic acid that makes it perfect for your skin, moisturizing and softening your skin like few products on the market.

If you are putting a moisturizer on daily, take a look at the ingredients. If it contains any alcohol, mineral oil, or petrochemicals, you are going to need it daily because it is drying out your skin.

A good moisturizer isn’t needed daily if you use it regularly at first and then when needed.

In cooking, macadamia nut oil has a higher smoke point than olive oil; right around 410 degrees Fahrenheit, so it’s a much cheaper way to deep fry than using coconut oil.

However, in cooking, the really great thing is its buttery and nutty flavor. I have just made the best tasting mayo ever with macadamia nut oil. It might also be the healthiest mayo ever when you consider that for every tablespoon of mayo you’re getting just under a quarter teaspoon of palmitoleic acid (omega-7).

Because one batch of oil can differ from another (as well as the extraction process) I thought I’d post the nutritional figures found in one testing done at the University of Hawaii.

Composition of 1/4 pound of
macadamia nuts
(about 40 nuts)

Fatty Acid
Composition of
macadamia nut oil

Nutritional Values


Fatty Acid




About 18 per nut


Potassium, mg.





Protein, g.



Phosphorous, mg.





Fat, g.



Magnesium, mg.





Carbohydrates, g.



Calcium, mg.





Thiamine, mg.



Sodium, mg.





Riboflavin, mg.



Iron, mg.





Niacin, mg.



Zinc, mg.








Manganese, mg.





Copper, mg.




Macadamia Nut oil is primarily Mono-unsaturated. Consequently,
there is no cholesterol and your body does not turn it into cholesterol.

Source: Dr. Catherine G. Cavaletto, University of Hawaii.
Published in the 1983 Yearbook of the California Macadamia Society.

For another very complete summary of this oil’s nutrition, try this: 

Fun Macadamia Nut Fact: they’ve been used to treat sexual phobias.

Finally, you will have to make some macadamia nut oil mayonnaise. Here is my recipe. It was just delicious and has the longest refrigerator lifespan of any mayo I’ve made thus far, but then, it really didn’t last that long (with people showing up to try it).

References and Further Reading


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