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What Is Omega-9?

Olive oil is an excellent source of omega-9.
Omega-9 can be found in avocados.
Pecans contain omega-9.
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  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 19 December 2014
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People tend to think negatively of fat, but the body needs certain types to work correctly. Omega-9, sometimes called oleic acid, refers to a family of fatty acids that a person needs to maintain good health. These fatty acids are believed to play a role in disease prevention and the proper functioning of other necessary fats.

Fatty acids are chemicals that are needed if the bodily systems and organs are to function properly. There are other fatty acids that the body also needs, including omega-3 and omega-6. Although omega-3, -6 and -9 are commonly grouped together, there are noteworthy differences between them.

Omega-3 and -6 are essential fatty acids. They are considered essential because the body needs them but cannot produce them under any circumstances, which means that they must be obtained either through a person’s diet or through supplements. Omega-9, however, is not truly an essential fatty acid. The reason is because a limited amount of it is produced by the body, but this production is only possible when the other omega fats are present.

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Oleic acid is believed to play an important role in reducing the likelihood of certain conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and stroke. It is also believed that it aids in lowering cholesterol and improving the immune system. If there is a deficiency, a person may experience a number of side effects, including skin eruptions, hair loss, and painful joints. Reproduction may also be affected, causing male sterility or a woman to miscarry.

It is commonly believed that omega-3 and -6 produce more benefits than -9. Researchers think that these fatty acids cannot function to their full potential without omega-9, however. In many instances, the limited amount of oleic acid that is produced by the body is not sufficient for a needs. Most people, therefore, need to consume more.

One of the best food sources from which a person can obtain oleic acid is olive oil. It is also found in other vegetable and animal fats, such as sesame oil and chia seed oil. Other foods that contain it include avocados, macadamia nuts, and pecans. A person can also obtain the necessary amount from supplements, which have no widely recognized side effects.

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serenesurface
Post 8

This is an article that people who try to eliminate all fats from their diet to lose weight need to read.

You need fat people! Fat is not evil, it's a necessary nutrient. So have your olive oil, have your eggs and nuts and natural butter. Don't punish your body by eliminating these foods from your diet completely.

SteamLouis
Post 7

@burcidi-- I think the reason for that is because our body produces some Omega-9 and Omega-9 is found in more easily-accessible foods for Americans. So even though many people do not get the recommended amount of Omega-3 daily, they usually get the needed amount of Omega-9.

The best Omega-3 is found in certain fish like salmon and their oil. How many Americans eat salmon every day? We are more likely to have vegetable oils and nuts that are rich in Omega-9.

burcidi
Post 6

@bluespirit-- I know! I think there is a lack of attention for Omega-9, especially in the media. Media has become a huge factor in making Americans health-conscious and the media is always talking about Omega-3. That's not a bad thing, but they rarely mention Omega-6 and Omega-9 which are equally important in my opinion.

Even if you go to the supplement isle of the store, there is so many different brands of Omega-3 being sold but very few Omega-9 supplements. I just don't understand this.

aLFredo
Post 5

@tolleranza - You are in luck if you would like to add more Omega 6 to your diet. Omega 6 can be found in a lot of foods and oils, and ones you might happily add to your diet such as... peanut butter!

Other foods include - pork, vegetable oil, sunflowers, frozen pizza, flax seed, and hushpuppies and lots more.

I'm with you - this article was dietarily enlightening - I did not know Omega 9's existed. And it was especially important because it seems it could be an easy nutrient to miss.

tolleranza
Post 4

@bluespirit - I had never heard the rule about olive oil at room temperature either. But if you are looking for another source of omega 9 - you will have to stick to the other suggested sources in the article (certain nuts, sesame oil, avocados, and supplements).

Did you know that there are Omega 6 fats as well that are essential? This article was an eye opener.

From what foods do we get Omega 6 fats?

bluespirit
Post 3

@sunshine31 - I had never heard that you had to eat olive oil at room temperature to get most of the benefits. My husband and I make it a point to cook with extra virgin olive oil (or EVOO as Rachel Ray calls it).

I probably get some EVOO in my salad dressings but I will have to start paying attention!

I had heard of Omega 3 but never have I read in any of the health magazines I read about Omega 9's.

What are some other sources of Omega 9?

stolaf23
Post 2

People worry a lot about whether or not vegetarians get enough Omega 9, but really it isn't so hard. The foods with good fats also have many other helpful nutrients, and are delicious to cook and eat. Supplements also help, of course, but it's really possible to get enough Omega 9 and other Omega acids without a supplement.

sunshine31
Post 1

I will have to ask my doctor about Omega 9 supplements. I take Omega 3 fish oil pills daily because my cholesterol was a little high when I went to the doctor.

I had a reading of 214 and I should really have it under 200. My kids take Omega 3 supplements also, but they take these gummy supplements that taste more like candy.

I also heard that olive oil is good for the heart, but I didn’t know that it was a source of Omega 9. I read that in order to get the full benefits of olive oil, you really have to ingest it at room temperature. If you cook with it you will lose most of the benefits. I usually pour some on my salad and use it that way.

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