From a chemical standpoint, monounsaturated fats are simply fats that have one double-bonded (unsaturated) carbon in the molecule. Monounsaturated fats are typically liquid at room temperature but start to turn solid when chilled. Olive oil is an example of a type of oil that contains monounsaturated fats.
You may ask how monounsaturated fats affect my health? I’m glad you asked.
Monounsaturated fats can have a beneficial effect on your health when eaten in moderation and when used to replace saturated fats or trans fats. Monounsaturated fats can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. They also provide nutrients to help develop and maintain your body’s cells. Monounsaturated fats are also typically high in vitamin E, an antioxidant vitamin most Americans need more of. You may be wondering if monounsaturated fats are better for you than saturated fats or trans fats the answer is yes.
Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats can have a positive effect on your health. When eaten in moderation. The bad fats - saturated fats and trans fats - can negatively affect your health.
Foods that contain monounsaturated fats include vegetable oils such as olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil and sesame oil. Other sources include avocados, peanut butter, and many nuts and seeds. Monounsaturated fats like all fats contain nine calories per gram.
The amount of monounsaturated fats you should eat a day should not total more than 25-35 percent of the calories you eat in a given day…. And for good health, the majority of those fats should be monounsaturated or polyunsaturated. Eat foods containing monounsaturated fats and or polyunsaturated fats instead of foods that contain saturated fats and /or trans fats.
For more information contact Lethia Lee, EFNEP Assistant with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service at 910-592-7161.