Omega 9: where to find them, what are their benefits?
A star of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil is widely known for its benefits for cardiovascular health. What is less known is that the precious oil is made up of 70%omega 9, a family of so-called monounsaturated fats, good for the cells of the human body. Unlike the so-called essential fatty acids -the famous omega 3-, omega 9 is found in many foods of animal and plant origin and can be produced by the body. Focus on these good fats with Dr. Laurence Plumey, nutritionist.
Omega 9: what kind of fat?
The main fatty acid of the family of omega-9 It is oleic acid, which is very naturally present in olive oil, hazelnut oil and peanut oil.
From a chemical point of view, a fatty acid is composed of a chain ofatoms carbon These atoms are connected by single or double bonds that modify their nature and their action on the organism. “Omega 9s have a carbon-carbon double bond on the ninth carbon atom from the beginning of the molecule. Unlike omega 3 and 6, omega 9 are not so-called “essential” fatty acids, because the body can make them from certain other fats, “explains Laurence Plumey, medical nutritionist, founder of a training school for, among others, to health professionals.
What are the recommended daily intakes?
Fuels for the cells of the human body, fatty acids must be consumed every day. lipids, cataloged in 3 large families omega 3, 6 and 9, are all important to function normally as long as a good proportion is respected. According to ANSES (National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety), our total energy intake should ideally consist of 35 to 40% lipids, distributed as follows:
- 50% monounsaturated fatty acids : omega 9, or 15 to 20% of total energy intake, which represents 40 to 50 grams per day, emphasizes Dr. Plumey.
- 25% polyunsaturated fatty acidsthat is, about 9% of the total energy intake, broken down as follows: omega 3 (2%) and omega 6 (7%),
- 25% saturated fatty acids : butter, cream, cheese, pork or beef fat, coconut oil, palm oil, etc.
Where to find them?
Omega 9 are present in practically all foods that contain lipids: butter, fresh cream, meat, fish, eggs. The main suppliers of omega-9 are vegetable oils, in particular olive oil, avocados and oilseeds (almonds, hazelnuts). Note that a handful of almonds (about 23 almonds) represents 7 g of omega 9. Therefore, Dr. Plumey advises eating it every day.
To reach 300 to 400 kcal of omega 9 per day, you must include in your plate:
- 100 g of fatty meat or fish
- 1 tablespoon olive oil + 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil + 1 tablespoon walnut oil
- 1 handful (25g) hazelnuts
- 2 teaspoons (20g) butter
- 1 egg
- 1 portion of cheese, 30 to 40 g
- 2 yogurts
Oleic acid content (in g per 100 g of food)
|extra virgin olive oil||73.1|
A necessary complement?
A supplemental supply of omega-9 is rarely helpful according to Laurence Plumey. “ It is very rare to be deficient in omega 9, because these fatty acids are present in meat, fish, egg yolks, oils”, reassures the specialist.
On the other hand, pharmacy shelves are full of omega 3-type food supplements, because “these essential polyunsaturated fatty acids are rare and are present only in fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines), walnuts, and rapeseed, flax, and camelina oil“, she adds.
What are the benefits?
In general, fatty acids will have a anti-inflammatory role and protector of the cardiovascular and cerebral system by integrating the body’s cells through blood circulation. “Omega 9 has a particularly beneficial action on the vessel wall and heart cells.”, explains Laurence Plumey. They are quite protective for cardiovascular function by reducing bad cholesterol (HDL-cholesterol), by increasing good cholesterol (LDL-c) according to several studies.
Expert: Dr. Laurence Hospital nutritionist, Founder, NAPSO School of Nutrition and Therapy.
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