Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are known by another name: omegas. There are three types of omega fatty acids: omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are two types of polyunsaturated fats. All three omega fatty acids play specific roles in overall health, which is why they also are considered good fats.
Fatty acids are considered essential for human health because the body cannot manufacture them. People must obtain omega-3 fatty acids from foods such as salmon, mackerel, flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts and some plant-based oils, including canola oil.
Omega-3 fatty acids are now known to be a “good fat” and are considered a vital part of a balanced diet. Evolving research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids are a crucial part of cell membranes. Our bodies have trillions of cells, and omega-3 fatty acids help many of these cells function properly. Omega 3’s have the potential ability to:
Fatty acids are also essential for human health because the body cannot manufacture them. People must obtain omega-6 fatty acids by consuming foods such as meat, poultry and eggs, as well as nut- and plant-based oils, including canola, corn, soybean and sunflower oils.
Omega-6 fatty acids play an important role in cell structure and tissue health. Once digested, these fatty acids also help form other compounds that regulate a variety of our body’s responses, including inflammation.
Omega-9 fatty acids are from a family of unsaturated fats commonly found in vegetable oils. These monounsaturated fats are described as omega-9 fatty acids because the double bond is in the ninth position from the omega end. Unlike omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, the body can produce omega-9 fatty acids, but they are beneficial when obtained in food. The primary omega-9 fatty acid is oleic acid. Oleic acid is commonly found in canola, olive, peanut, safflower and sunflower oils, as well as in avocados, olives and nuts, including almonds, cashews, macadamias, peanuts, pecans, pistachios and walnuts.
Consuming monounsaturated fats may induce a variety of positive health outcomes. Research shows monounsaturated fats may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke due to their ability to increase “good” HDL cholesterol, decrease “bad” LDL cholesterol and eliminate plaque buildup in arteries.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that there is credible evidence to support a qualified health claim that consuming oleic acid in edible oils, such as Omega-9 Canola Oil, may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
The fatty acid profile of Healthy Oils from Corteva Agriscience help create healthier products.