Reducing Monounsaturated Fats

Balanced Dietary Fat Intake

There are several main types of fats that are a part of a typical diet.
These include:

  • Saturated fats
  • Polyunsaturated fats (omega 3s and 6s)
  • Monounsaturated fats (omega 7s and 9s)

A significant part of this program has focused on way’s to improve the important balance between omega 3s and omega 6s, which is important for more stable immune function and inflammation.

Relative Intake of Monounsaturated Fats and Barrier Function

Another important balance of dietary fats, not often discussed, relates to dietary monounsaturated fats. These fats have gained significant popularity in the modern diet and are often referred to as healthy fats.

The most prominent monounsaturated fatty acid found in the modern diet is oleic acid. Unlike essential fatty acids, dietary intake of oleic acid is not considered essential as it can be efficiently synthesized within the body.

In the presence of a PUFA deficiency, the skin has been shown to utilize oleic acid in it’s place leading to abnormal skin barrier function [pubby id=“739761,3922424,3651483,6615869”]. Accordingly, if the fats present in diet are mainly monounsaturated, it can be presumed that skin barrier abnormalities may result.

One specific finding in this area is that dietary monounsaturated fat appears to have one of the significant negative impacts on skin surface pH [pubby id=“12540393”]. And as was discussed in the previous week, skin surface pH is a critical factor in epidermal barrier stability.

Another finding from the above study was that intake of both saturated fats and monounsaturated fats had a direct inverse relationship with skin hydration. This means that if PUFA (polyunsaturated fats) are kept stable, increasing dietary saturated and/or monounsaturated will reduce skin hydration. And again, this is another important factor in epidermal stability.

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Free Oleic Fatty Acids are at the Core of Seborrheic Dermatitis Symptoms

In susceptible individuals, oleic acid application directly to the skin surface has been shown to trigger the primary symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis, irrespective of malassezia yeast presence [pubby id=“16382685”].


Most Common Sources of Oleic Acid

The following oils have some of the highest oleic acid content:

  • High oleic sunflower oil
  • High oleic safflower oil
  • Canola oil
  • Olive oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Palm oil
  • Almond oil
  • Rice bran oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Avocados

And these oils are commonly used in a variety of packaged (convenience) foods and restaurants.

Objective Summary

In conclusion, the main goal of this objective is to reduce the relative amount of dietary monounsaturated fats. While at the same time, keeping PUFA’s (omega 3s and 6s) in balance and overfall fat intake stable.

Which Omega 6 fat sources do you include in your diet?