Monounsaturated fats can help the heart if consumed in moderation and used as a substitute for saturated and trans fats.
For good health, most of the fat consumed must be mono- or polyunsaturated. Eat foods that contain monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats instead of foods that contain saturated or trans fats.
What are monounsaturated fats?
Monounsaturated fats are chemically pure fat molecules with an unsaturated carbon bond in the unit, which is also known as a double bond. Oils containing monounsaturated fats are generally liquid at room temperature but start to solidify as they cool. Olive oil is an example of a type of oil that contains monounsaturated fats.
What are the effects of monounsaturated fats on health?
Monounsaturated fats can help lower bad cholesterol in the blood, which can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. They also provide nutrients to support the development and maintenance of body cells. Oils with a high content of monounsaturated fats also provide nutritional vitamin E, an antioxidant vitamin that most Americans need most.
Are monounsaturated fats healthier than saturated fats or trans fats?
Yes. While all fats provide nine calories per gram, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can have health benefits if taken in moderation. Bad fats (saturated and transgenic) can be harmful to health.
What foods contain monounsaturated fats?
Most foods contain a combination of different fats.
Some examples of foods that are high in monounsaturated fats are liquid vegetable oils such as:
- olive oil
- Rapeseed oil
- peanut oil
- Safflower oil
- sesame oil
Other sources are avocados, peanut butter, and lots of nuts and seeds.