Monounsaturared fatty acids properties

Benefits of monounsaturated fatty acids


What are monounsaturated fatty acids?

Sources of omega 9

Photo of foods rich in omega 9. The most important sources of omega 9 are olive oil and avocado. We also find them in nuts. Vegetables mostly contain unsaturated fatty acids, and their extractions (vegetable oils) are liquid at room temperature (unlike saturated animal fat, which is solid, such as butter or shortening)

Monounsaturated fatty acids are a type of fats that are characterized by the presence of a double bond between its carbon chains.

Oleic acid or omega-9 is the best known of monounsaturated fatty acids, due to its abundance in the diet (found in many foods, both animal and vegetable) and the benefits of omega 9 for health.

Monounsaturated fatty acids are classified within the group of unsaturated fats. Within this group are also polyunsaturated fats.

Unlike polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fatty acids are not essential fatty acids, because the human body is able to synthesize monounsaturated fats from other substrates such as carbohydrates, other fats, etc.

Essential fatty acids are those that belong to the group of polyunsaturated fats omega 3 (linolenic acid) and omega 6 (linoleic acid), which are those that the body can not synthesize and if they must be provided externally, through food.

Types of monounsaturated fatty acids

The most common monounsaturated fatty acids in food are usually those containing 16 and 18 carbons.

They are called palmitoleic acid and oleic acid respectively. They are designated by the following scientific nomenclature, corresponding to the number of carbons in the chain and the number of unsaturations: C16: 1 and C18: 1

Table of common monounsaturated fatty acids
Monounsaturated fatty acid Name
C10:1 Caproleic acid

Animal feed containing it

Milk of ruminants

C12:1 Lauroleic acid

Animal feed containing it

Cow milk

C14:1 Myristoleic acid
C16:1 Palmitoleic acid

Plant foods containing it

Most vegetable oils, coconut, macadamia nuts

Animal feed containing it

Most animal fats, meats, sausages, etc. Fish oils


Oleic acid


Plant foods containing it

Olive oil, avocado oil, high oleic sunflower oil, high oleic safflower, almond oil and walnut,…

Animal feed containing it

Butter, pork fat, sausages, mackerel

C18:1 Ricinoleic acid

Plant foods containing it

Castor oil

C20:1 Gadoleic acid

Animal feed containing it

Fish oils

C22:1 Erucic acid

Plant foods containing it

Raw rape seed oil

C24:1 Nervonic acid

Foods rich in omega-9 monounsaturated acids

Ordered from highest to lowest omega 9 fat content:

Per 100g. Monounsaturated fatty acids
Oleic acid

Omega 9


Olive oil 70
Hazelnuts 45,8
Peanut oil 44,8
Palm oil 37,1
Pistachios 34,8
Almonds 32,6
Corn margarine 32,6
Corn oil 29,4
Cashews 24,4
Butter 22
Peanuts 21,6
Soybean oil 20,8
Sunflower oil 20,2
Cod liver oil 18,3
Avocado 15,1
Walnuts 10,8
Sunflower seeds 10,7
Coconut oil 5,8
Hard cheese 5,3
Fresh cheese 3,6
Tunna in vegetal oil 3,6
Dried grated coconut 3,5
Veal 2,1

Content of the previous food in polyunsaturated fatty acids

Per 100g. Polyunsaturated fatty acids
Linoleic acid

Omega 6


Linolenic acid

Omega 3


Olive oil 9,1 0,85
Hazelnuts 8,5 0,11
Peanut oil 32 0
Palm oil 10,1 0,3
Pistachios 7,9 0
Almonds 12,6 0,26
Corn margarine 31,3 0,65
Corn oil 50,4 0,9
Cashews 7,2 0,15
Butter 1,8 0,53
Peanuts 12,8 0,35
Soybean oil 51,5 7,3
Sunflower oil 63,2 0,1
Cod liver oil 2,6 1,10
Avocado 1,7 0,17
Walnuts 34 8
Sunflower seeds 37,4 0,08
Coconut oil 1,8 0
Hard cheese 0,44 0,25
Fresh cheese 0,43 0,46
Tunna in vegetal oil 5,3 0,13
Dried grated coconut 1,5 0
Veal 0,35 0

* Related information:

Low-fat diets

Types of fats

Low fat foods

High fat foods

punto rojo More information on fats.

Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

26 March, 2020

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