What Are Oleic Acids?
Like other omega-9 fatty acids, consuming a moderate, healthy amount of oleic acid in your daily diet contributes to a multitude of natural health benefits for your body — both internally and externally. By changing the cell membrane composition and altering the receptor on the membranes, oleic acid serves as a building block in both the brain and nervous system. Studies show that the following are the tangible health benefits of oleic acid:
- Reduces Cholesterol: An appropriate intake of healthy fats like oleic acids can help to lower transport protein production and dangerous cholesterol levels.
- Improves Heart Health: By decreasing blood cholesterol levels and affecting insulin, blood pressure and blood vessels, oleic acid can help to prevent heart disease and other related heart conditions.
- Lowers Blood Pressure: Consuming oleic acids in moderation — along with a reduced saturated fat intake — can help increase the body's supply of the receptors that lower blood pressure.
- Prevents Obesity: Monounsaturated fats like oleic acid can help to decrease belly fat stores and prevent obesity.
- Improves Insulin Sensitivity: By decreasing blood glucose and insulin levels, oleic acid can be especially beneficial to people with diabetes.
- Improves the Immune System: By reaching cell membranes, interacting with immune cells and affecting inflammation responses, healing processes and the body's defenses, oleic acid can help the immune system to work more effectively.
- Assists Brain Function: Crucial to nerve repair, myelin production and inflammation reduction, oleic acid is essential to healthy brain functions.
- Improves Mood: Higher levels of oleic acid in the blood can lead to a decrease in anger levels and an increase in physical activity, contributing to a healthier mental state and a better mood.
- Decreases Effects of Aging: Monounsaturated fats have been shown to reduce the effects of age-related cognitive decline and prevent DNA damage caused by free radicals, causing the cells to be less susceptible to damage and preventing physical signs of aging, as well.
- Potentially Fights Cancer: By decreasing oxidative stress in the cells and protecting cells from DNA damage, oleic acid can lead to a lower risk of developing cancer.
- Decreases Pain: By inhibiting pain perception receptors and promoting the growth of new nerve cells, oleic acid can alleviate pain and decrease the damage of conditions like chronic nerve pain and rheumatoid arthritis.
What Are the Risks of Too Much Oleic Acid?Sure there are many benefits of oleic acid but like anything good, you can have too much of a good thing. Although oleic acid is extremely healthy for your body in the right amount, it is recommended to monitor your intake to avoid any potential adverse effects. Consuming even 1 - 2 tablespoons of these oleic acids daily should be enough to give you the benefits without the possible risks:
- Negative Heart Health: While a healthy level of oleic acid betters your heart health, consuming too much of this omega-9 fatty acid can lead to the development of some deficiencies. Just like a diet too heavy in trans fats, a diet composed primarily of omega-9s could eventually lead to heart failure.
- Negative Drug Interactions: When combined with medications like diabetes or blood pressure medication, too much oleic acid could interact to cause adverse outcomes like the blood pressure dropping too low. Always consult with a doctor when on medication and adjusting your diet.
Foods High in Oleic AcidsTo make sure you consume the right amount of oleic acid from the right sources, try to incorporate the following foods into your daily diet:
- Olives and olive oil
- Peanut oil
- Almond oil
- Canola oil
- Sesame oil
- Sunflower oil
- Avocados and avocado oil