By Kelly Springer RD, MS, CDN, Kelly’s Choice CEO
Chances are that you have heard about Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids. These polyunsaturated fats are referenced a lot in various media sources as healthy fats. And they are great for you! But there is another type of healthy fat that isn’t talked about so much—oleic acid, which is a type of Omega-9 Fatty Acid. I want you to know about this one too! Oleic acid can be made by the body, but it also can be found in foods. The highest levels are found in olive oil and other edible oils.
A recent meta-analysis published in the peer-reviewed journal, Advances in Nutrition, reviewed several studies on oleic acid-enriched diets, finding that the subjects lost substantial weight and also reduced their belly fat, decreasing their risk of type diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, and other chronic diseases. Scientists have also discovered that oleic acid can help reduce blood pressure, again decreasing your risk of heart disease. Using oils, such as Black Walnut oil, that provide about 20 grams of oleic acid in place of dietary fats with higher amounts of saturated fat might reduce the risk of heart disease.
There are a variety of foods rich in oleic acid, and one is olive oil. I suggest making your own salad dressing with olive oil and either balsamic vinegar or citrus juice. You won’t want to cook with olive oil because it has a low smoke point, meaning that it will transform into trans fat if it gets too hot. One of the most versatile foods with a high amount of oleic acid is Hammons Black Walnuts. You likely know about traditional walnuts, the light tan ones; these are English Walnuts. I am talking about the black walnuts you may find on the ground during the fall season. Don’t worry, you don’t have to go scavenging for these nutritious nuggets from the ground.
Hammons Black Walnuts can be purchased in whole Black Walnut, oil, or powder form. I love adding whole Black Walnuts to my oatmeal and salads and they are delish in chicken dishes. I use the powder in my smoothies all the time to boost protein and omega-3 content. Hammons Black Walnuts are so amazingly delicious with a beautifully bold flavor!
While Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids have rightfully earned their reputation as essential fats, it’s time we shine a spotlight on the often-overlooked hero in the world of healthy fats—oleic acid. The evidence is clear, with research showing its remarkable benefits in weight management and reducing your risk of chronic diseases. By incorporating oleic acid-rich foods like olive oil and Hammons Black Walnuts into your diet, you’re not only enhancing your health but also savoring the delicious flavors they bring to your meals. So, take a proactive step towards a healthier lifestyle by embracing the power of oleic acid, and you’ll be nourishing both your body and your tastebuds.