Omega 9 Benefits, Foods, Risks and Side Effects
It’s no wonder that there’s much puzzlement about what oils, fish and nuts are considered healthy fats and which ones are not. Most have heard of omega 3 fatty acids and maybe even omega-6 fatty acids, but what do you know about omega 9 fatty acids and the omega 9 benefits available in this type of fat?
Omega 9 fatty acids are from a family of unsaturated fats that are commonly found in vegetable and animal fats. These fatty acids are also known as oleic acid, or monounsaturated fats, and can often be found in canola oil, safflower oil, olive oil, mustard oil, nut oils and, nuts such as almonds. However, unlike omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, fatty acids can be produced by the body, which means the need to supplement is not as important as the popular omega 3.
So what makes omega 9s something to pay attention to, particularly if our body can produce them on its own? It’s important to understand these fats because omega 9 benefits the body in a few key ways.
Omega 9 Benefits
Omega 9 benefits the heart, brain and overall well-being when consumed and produced in moderation. Here are three key omega 9 benefits to your health.
1. May Help Reduce the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke
Research has shown that omega 9 fatty acids can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Omega 9 benefits heart health because omega-9s have been shown to increase HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol) and decrease LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol). This may help eliminate plaque buildup in the arteries, which we know as one of the causes of heart attacks and strokes.
Canola oil, for example, is high in monounsaturated fat, low in saturated fat and has zero trans fat, but, it’s really tough to get non-GMO canola oil. While the industry is changing, it may be best to prepare foods at home. Other good omega 9s are avocados and almonds. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved a Qualified Health Claim suggesting that the daily intake of healthy fats may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to the unsaturated fat content. However, it also suggests moderating how much you take in daily.