How Do I Choose the Best Fatty Acid Foods?

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  • Written By: Helena Reimer
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 05 February 2020
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The best fatty acid foods are those that contain good amounts of polyunsaturated oils, such as omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. It is also important that the foods contain a healthy ratio between the two fatty acids, which is between two and four omega 6 to one omega 3. Good fatty acid foods include fish, meat, and many nuts and seeds.

Many animal products are good sources of fatty acid foods, provided that you are not on a restricted diet, such as a vegetarian diet. Some of the best sources are salmon, tuna, and many other fish, as they generally do not contain any saturated fats that work contrary to the healthy omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Eggs, dairy products, and many meats are also good sources; however, make sure that you choose lean meats because they are not as high in saturated fat.

Many plant-based foods are excellent fatty acid foods as well. Nuts and seeds, particularly walnuts and sesame seeds, are good sources if you are not allergic to them. Healthy fats are also found in whole grains, such as pasta, rice, and many breakfast cereals. Just remember to read the labels on the breakfast cereal because many of them are high in processed sugar, which takes away from the benefits. Most leafy greens also contain fatty acids; however, the amount is significantly less than in meat and fish.


The fatty foods to refrain from are the saturated and trans fats that are found in many processed foods. Unhealthy saturated fats are found in fatty meats, butter, and many cheeses. Trans fats are found in many candy bars, commercially packaged baked goods, and chips. These are unhealthy fats and have a negative effect on the body.

Essential for helping the body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, fatty acid foods help people get the most from vitamins A, D, E, and K. Therefore, using a healthy oil in leafy green or garden salads can help the body to absorb more nutrients from the produce. Examples of healthy oils are flaxseed oil, walnut oil, and soybean oil.

The healthy fats are good for every cell and organ in the body. Unlike saturated fats that contribute to high cholesterol, polyunsaturated oils can help to lower high cholesterol levels. Furthermore, polyunsaturated oils help in building up the immune system so that the body can fight off viruses and infectious diseases. Other benefits of fatty acid foods include protection against certain types of cancer, diabetes, and mental problems, such as depression and Alzheimer's.


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