ARTICLES & GUIDES

MONOUNSATURATED AND POLYUNSATURATED FAT

What It Is?

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are found in higher proportions in plants and seafood and are usually liquid at room temperature. The exceptions are certain tropical plant oils, such as coconut oil, palm oil, and palm kernel oil (which are high in saturated fat) and partially hydrogenated oils (which contain trans fat).

Where Is It Found?

Monounsaturated fats are found in a variety of foods, including:

  • Avocados
  • Mayonnaise and oil-based salad dressings
  • Nuts (such as almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, and pecans)
  • Olives
  • Seeds (such as pumpkin and sesame seeds)
  • Soft margarine (liquid, spray, and tub)
  • Vegetable oils (such as canola, olive, peanut, and safflower oils)

Polyunsaturated fats are found in a variety of foods, including:

  • Fish (such as herring, mackerel, salmon, trout, and tuna)
  • Mayonnaise and oil-based salad dressings
  • Nuts (such as pine nuts and walnuts)
  • Seeds (such as flax, pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds)
  • Soft margarine (liquid, spray, and tub)
  • Vegetable oils (such as corn, cottonseed, soybean, and sunflower oils)

What It Does?

  • Like all dietary fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats provide calories and help the body absorb certain vitamins, cushion and insulate the body, and support many body processes.
  • Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats contribute vitamin E to the diet.
  • Polyunsaturated fat is a source of two essential fats. These fats are considered essential because they are required for normal body functioning, but they cannot be made by the body and must be obtained from food. Essential fats play a role in many body processes, including immune and nervous system function, blood clotting, and blood pressure regulation.

Source: “Factsheets Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated Fat.” Accessdata.fda.gov

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