Omega 9 fatty acids are monounsaturated, meaning they only have one double bond.
It’s located nine carbons from the omega end of the fatty acid molecule.
Oleic acid is the most common omega 9 fatty acid and the most common monounsaturated fatty acid in the diet.
Omega 9 fatty acids aren’t strictly “essential,” as the body can produce them.
However, consuming foods rich in omega 9 fatty acids instead of other types of fat may have health benefits.
A 2015 study found that feeding mice diets high in monounsaturated fat improved insulin sensitivity and decreased inflammation.
The same study found that humans who ate high monounsaturated fat diets had less inflammation and better insulin sensitivity than those who ate diets high in saturated fat.
Omega 9 fats are nonessential fats that the body can produce. Replacing some saturated fats with omega 9 fats may benefit your health.
Which foods contain these fats?
You can easily obtain omega-3, -6, and -9 fatty acids from your diet, but you need the right balance of each. The typical Western diet contains more omega-6 fats than necessary and not enough omega 3 fats.
Here’s a list of foods that are high in omega-3, -6, and -9 fatty acids.
Foods high in omega 3 fats
Oily fish is the best source of omega-3s EPA and DHA. Other marine sources include algal oils. ALA mainly comes from nuts and seeds.
There are no official standards for daily omega-3 intake, but various organizations offer guidelines. Most experts recommend an intake of 250–300 milligrams per day.
According to the Food and Nutrition Board of the U.S. Institute of Medicine, the adequate intake of ALA omega-3s per day is 1.6 grams for adult males and 1.1 grams for adult females aged 19 years and over.
Here are the amounts and types of omega-3s in one serving of the following foods:
- salmon: 4.0 grams EPA and DHA
- mackerel: 3.0 grams EPA and DHA
- sardines: 2.2 grams EPA and DHA
- anchovies: 1.0 grams EPA and DHA
- chia seeds: 4.9 grams ALA
- walnuts: 2.5 grams ALA
- flaxseeds: 2.3 grams ALA
Foods high in omega-6 fats
High levels of omega 6 fats are present in refined vegetable oils and foods cooked in vegetable oils.
Nuts and seeds also contain significant amounts of omega-6 fatty acids.
According to the Food and Nutrition Board of the U.S. Institute of Medicine, the adequate intake of omega-6s per day is 17 grams for males and 12 grams for females ages 19–50 years.
Here are the amounts of omega-6s in 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of the following foods:
- soybean oil: 50 grams
- corn oil: 49 grams
- mayonnaise: 39 grams
- walnuts: 37 grams
- sunflower seeds: 34 grams
- almonds: 12 grams
- cashew nuts: 8 grams
Foods high in omega-9 fats
Omega 9 fats are common in:
- vegetable and seed oils
There are no adequate intake recommendations for omega-9s since they’re nonessential.
Here are the amounts of omega-9s in 100 grams of the following foods:
- olive oil: 83 grams
- cashew nut oil: 73 grams
- almond oil: 70 grams
- avocado oil: 60 grams
- peanut oil: 47 grams
- almonds: 30 grams
- cashews: 24 grams
- walnuts: 9 grams
The best sources of omega-3s are oily fish, whereas omega-6s and omega-9s are present in plant oils, nuts, and seeds.