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In biochemistry and nutrition, monounsaturated fatty acids (abbreviated MUFAs, or more plainly monounsaturated fats) are fatty acids that have one double bond in the fatty acid chain with all of the remainder carbon atoms being single-bonded. By contrast, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have more than one double bond.
Fatty acids are long-chained molecules having an alkyl group at one end and a carboxylic acid group at the other end. Fatty acid viscosity (thickness) and melting temperature increases with decreasing number of double bonds; therefore, monounsaturated fatty acids have a higher melting point than polyunsaturated fatty acids (more double bonds) and a lower melting point than saturated fatty acids (no double bonds). Monounsaturated fatty acids are liquids at room temperature and semisolid or solid when refrigerated.
Common monounsaturated fatty acids are palmitoleic acid (16:1 n−7), cis-vaccenic acid (18:1 n−7) and oleic acid (18:1 n−9). Palmitoleic acid has 16 carbon atoms with the first double bond occurring 7 carbon atoms away from the methyl group (and 9 carbons from the carboxyl end). It can be lengthened to the 18-carbon cis-vaccenic acid. Oleic acid has 18 carbon atoms with the first double bond occurring 9 carbon atoms away from the carboxylic acid group. The illustrations below show a molecule of oleic acid in Lewis formula and as a space-filling model.
Polyunsaturated fats protect against cardiovascular disease by providing more membrane fluidity than monounsaturated fats, but they are more vulnerable to lipid peroxidation (rancidity). On the other hand, some monounsaturated fatty acids (in the same way as saturated fats) may promote insulin resistance, whereas polyunsaturated fatty acids may be protective against insulin resistance. Furthermore, the large scale KANWU study found that increasing monounsaturated fat and decreasing saturated fat intake could improve insulin sensitivity, but only when the overall fat intake of the diet was low. Studies have shown that substituting dietary monounsaturated fat for saturated fat is associated with increased daily physical activity and resting energy expenditure. More physical activity was associated with a higher-oleic acid diet than one of a palmitic acid diet. From the study, it is shown that more monounsaturated fats lead to less anger and irritability.
|As weight percent (%) of total fat|
|Rice bran oil||25||38||37|
|Ice cream, gourmet||62||29||04|
|Ice cream, light||62||29||04|
|Fish, orange roughy||23||15||46|
|Hot dog, beef||42||48||05|
|Hot dog, turkey||28||40||22|
|Burger, fast food||36||44||06|
|Cheeseburger, fast food||43||40||07|
|Breaded chicken sandwich||20||39||32|
|Grilled chicken sandwich||26||42||20|
|Almonds dry roasted||09||65||21|
|Cashews dry roasted||20||59||17|
|Macadamia dry roasted||15||79||02|
|Peanut dry roasted||14||50||31|
|Pecans dry roasted||08||62||25|
|Walnuts dry roasted||09||23||63|
|Sweets and baked goods|
|Candy, chocolate bar||59||33||03|
|Candy, fruit chews||14||44||38|
|Cookie, oatmeal raisin||22||47||27|
|Cookie, chocolate chip||35||42||18|
|Fats added during cooking or at the table|
|Margarine, light tub||19||46||33|
|Dressing, blue cheese||16||54||25|
|Dressing, light Italian||14||24||58|
|Egg yolk fat||36||44||16|
|Unless else specified in boxes, then reference is:|
|* 3% is trans fats|
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