Foods containing omega-9 include avocados, peanuts, sesame oil, virgin olive oil and canola oil. Omega-9 is also found in nuts such as almonds, pecans, pistachios, cashews, hazelnuts and macadamia. Omega-9 fatty acids are monounsaturated fats that have many health benefits.
Omega-9 is not considered a true essential fatty acid because the body can synthesize it from other foods. However, consuming foods containing omega-9 fatty acids, also known as oleic acids, is recommended as part of a healthy diet because they have been shown to protect against heart disease, stroke and cancer. Oleic acid has the ability to increase "good" HDL cholesterol and reduce "bad" LDL cholesterol. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that consuming foods rich in omega-9 fatty acids can also improve mood and increase metabolism.
To achieve the most health benefits from these food sources, it is important to purchase fresh, high-quality avocados, oils, nuts and seeds. Olive oil should be virgin or extra-virgin. Raw, organic nuts and seeds should be purchased in small batches and stored in the freezer, since they can quickly turn rancid. These important omega-9 monounsaturated fats should not be added to saturated fats in the diet, but should replace them to achieve maximum health benefits. Omega-9 can also be obtained by taking supplements.