Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFAs) are good fats. When the Monounsaturated Fatty Acids are chilled they turn solid and at room temperature, they turn liquid. The most common sources of Monounsaturated Fatty Acids are avocados, nuts, and olive oil.
What Are Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFAs)?
We can get Monounsaturated fatty acids in the animal flesh like red meat, nuts, milk products. You can also eat high-fat fruits like avocados and olives. Olive Oil has 75% monounsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats are the fats which have double bonds in their chemical structure.
Monounsaturated fatty acids are one of the types of unsaturated fat. There are many types of Monounsaturated Fatty Acids MUFAs. One of the most common types is Oleic acid, in the diet around 90% of it is found. Other Monounsaturated fatty acids are palmitoleic acid and vaccenic acid.
There is lots of food which are high in MUFAs but many consists of different fats. Very fewer foods contain only one type of fat. Example, Olive Oil is very high in MUFAs and also other types of fat. The foods which are high in unsaturated fats like Olive Oil are liquid at room temperature. And the food which is high in saturated fats like butter, coconut oil, are solid at room temperature.
As the fats are different, it affects the health and disease differently. Monounsaturated fats have plenty of health benefits. ALSO READ: Best Home And Natural Remedies For Stomach Ulcer
MONOUNSATURATED FATTY ACIDS: THAT MEANS GOOD, RIGHT?
Monounsaturated Fatty Acids are good fats. They turn solid when they are chilled and turn liquid at room temperature. Monounsaturated Fatty Acids are healthy.
Benefits Of Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFAs)
- Monounsaturated Fatty Acids Help You to Lose Weight.
- They May Help Reduce Risk Factors for Heart Disease
- They May Help Reduce Cancer Risk
- Monounsaturated Fats May Help Improve Insulin Sensitivity
- They May Reduce Inflammation
- Reduced cholesterol levels
- Less severe pain and stiffness for sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Reduced belly fat
Monounsaturated Fatty Acids Help You To Lose Weight
According to the studies, switching to monounsaturated fat from diets with polyunsaturated fats and trans fats helps you in losing weight.
All the fats give the same amount of energy. Carbs and proteins give 4 calories per gram while other fats give 9 calories per gram. So, if you reduce the amount of fat in the diet it can be an effective way to reduce the calorie intake and will lose weight.
Anyhow, a diet which has moderate-to-high amounts of monounsaturated fats also helps in losing weight. Until you eat less calories and burn more calories. There are few studies which say that when you take the same calorie, diets high in MUFAs led to losing weight.
For example, we can say, 124 people who are overweight or are eating a high MUFA diet for one year leads to weight loss of around 8.8 pounds (4 kg). Therefore, High MUFAs diets are effective in losing weight when calories are replaced rather than adding calories to the diet.
They May Help Reduce Risk Factors for Heart Disease
There is a big discussion in nutrition about the extremely saturated fats which increase the risk of heart disease. Though, there is a proof which increases MUFAs in your diet which reduces the risk of heart disease. It changes especially when you replace the saturated fat.
If there is too much cholesterol in the blood then there is a risk of heart disease. If more cholesterol is there, it clogs the arteries and leads to heart attack. Few studies have shown which says high intake of monounsaturated fats can reduce the cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.
One study of 162 healthy people compared it three months of high MUFA diet with a high-saturated fat diet to see the effect on cholesterol. This study found that the diet which is high in saturated fat increases the LDL cholesterol by 4%. And the High MUFA diet reduced the LDL Cholesterol by 5%.
The diets which are high in MUFA can also help in lowering the blood pressure. A group of study of 164 people had high blood pressure which found in a high MUFA diet lowered the Blood pressure and the risk of heart disease. Same results were found in people with diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
It is important to see that the positive effects of high MUFA diets are only seen when they replace the saturated carbs or fat in the diet.
They May Help Reduce Cancer Risk
In Sweden, a study of women found that the diets which are higher in monounsaturated fats give the result of reducing the breast cancer.
There are some proofs which show that the diets which are rich in MUFAs help in reducing the risk of cancer. For example, Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in Men, especially in old age men. Many studies say whether men who eat a good amount of Monounsaturated Fatty Acids have increased or decreased the rates of prostate cancer. Still, the result is not clear.
As there are many studies who played the role of high-MUFAs diets in prostate cancer, each of them has got different results. Few of them show no effect, some shows the protective effect and some harmful effect.
From all the studies one suggests that the other components of high MUFA food may cause the protective effect. So, it is not clear how it affects to prostate cancer.
Monounsaturated Fats May Help Improve Insulin Sensitivity
A hormone called Insulin controls the blood sugar by moving it from the blood to the cells. The making of insulin is important for preventing high Blood sugar and type 2 diabetes.
As per the studies, high diets of MUFA can improve insulin sensitivity with and without high blood sugar. One study found that eat high MUFA diet for three months improves insulin sensitivity by 9%.
Likewise, a similar study of 472 people with metabolic syndrome found that people who ate a high diet of MUFA for 12 weeks have reduced the insulin resistance.
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They May Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is a system which helps your body fight infection. But many times inflammation happens slowly after a long period of time. It can give chronic diseases like heart disease.
High saturated fat diets and western diets, high MUFA diets reduce the inflammation. One of the studies found that high MUFA diets reduce inflammation in the patients with metabolic syndrome which is compared to high saturated fat diets.
If the inflammation is reduced, high MUFA diets help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Which Foods Contain These Fats?
- Olive oil: 73.1 grams
- Almonds: 33.6 grams
- Cashews: 27.3 grams
- Peanuts: 24.7 grams
- Pistachios: 24.2 grams
- Olives: 15 grams
- Pumpkin seeds: 13.1 grams
- Pork: 10.7 grams
- Avocados: 9.8 grams
- Sunflower seeds: 9.5 grams
- Eggs: 4 grams
Monounsaturated Fat vs. Polyunsaturated Fat
Both these unsaturated fats have few things in common but both are important in their own way. Given below is how monounsaturated fatty acids and Polyunsaturated fatty acids collect up with one another:
- Both the fatty acids can reduce LDL cholesterol and increases HDL cholesterol.
- They show the proof of positively impacting mood.
- Both contains nine calories per gram.
- MUFAs helps in reducing the risk of many cancers while PUFAs have more effect on brain health and cognitive function.
- PUFAs have two separate types of fatty acids: omega-3s and omega-6s
- MUFAs don’t have different fatty acid profiles
Natural Sources of Monounsaturated Fats
Oil is a natural source of MUFAs. The Monounsaturated Fatty Acids are Avocado, macadamia, and olive oils. While rapeseed, peanut, almond, sesame, sunflower, and rice bran oil have few MUFAs but are predominantly omega-6 fats.
One of the good sources of Monounsaturated fats is Nuts.
- Macadamia nuts
- Brazil nuts (dried)
- Pine nuts (dried)
3) Other Foods
- Red meat
- Whole fat milk products (milk, cheese)
Side Effects of Monounsaturated Fats
They don’t have any side effects on their own. The nut is a good source of MUFA, it can be allergic to someone. If more fat is taken then it can increase calorie consumption and you can gain weight.
MUFAs are healthy fats and are mostly found in nuts, seeds, olive oil and few animal-based foods. The diets which are high in Monounsaturated Fatty Acids helps in weight loss and reduces the risk of heart disease. Until the extra calories are not added to the diet. The foods like Olive Oil may help in reducing the risk of cancer, inflammation and insulin resistance.
It is important to eat other types of fat. If you replace unhealthy fats with MUFAs it gives you lots of health benefits.