Fats Explained: Non-essential Fatty Acids – Omega-5, Omega-7, Omega-9

Macadamia Nuts

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Whether you suffer from Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating, Obesity, emotional eating, or have problems with weight management due to restricting or overeating, you need to know about what fats do in your body once and for all. In other words whether you are obese, underweight or a normal weight, if you are having problems regulating food intake in healthy ways, this series on fat is a must.

Omega-3, 5 & 6 fatty acids are poly-unsaturated fats while Omega-7 and Omega-9 fatty acids are mono-unsaturated fats. The name “Omega” indicates how far from the end of the molecule (i.e. the omega position is the last letter in the Greek alphabet) the first double bond occurs. In an Omega-3 fat it occurs on the third carbon atom from the end of the molecule, in an Omega-5 it occurs 5 from the end of the molecule and so on.

Non-essential Polyunsaturated Omega-5 Fatty Acid

While Omega-5s are polyunsaturated like Omega-3 and Omega-6, they are not considered essential, i.e. our bodies need them to function but can produce them without receiving them directly from food. Omega 5s from healthy sources are believed to have a positive effect on weight, cardiovascular health and blood sugar balance. Omega-5’s can potentially ease the symptoms of menopause due to their phytonutrient content. The most common Omega-5s are Punicic Acid (PA) and Myristoleic Acid (MA).

Some food sources of Omega-5 include:

  • Full-fat/grass-fed dairy
  • Tropical oils (unrefined, cold-pressed coconut and palm kernel)
  • Saw palmetto
  • Wild-caught salmon
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Pomegranate seeds or unrefined, cold-pressed pomegranate oil

Non-Essential Monounsaturated Fatty Acids, Omegas 7, & 9

The majority of people get enough of these Omegas from dietary sources, so the need for supplementation is rare.

Polyunsaturated Non-essential Omega-7 Fatty Acids have been shown to have a positive effect on healthy weight loss and bowel regularity. Due to the antioxidant and anti-aging properties, Omega-7s also play a role in nourishing healthy cells, especially in the digestive tract. The most common Omega-7s are Vaccenic Acid (VA) and Palmitoleic Acid (PA).

Common food sources are:

  • Grass-fed/Grass-finished meat
  • Full-fat, grass-fed dairy
  • Wild caught salmon
  • Sea buckthorn berries
  • Macadamia nuts

Polyunsaturated Non-essential Omega-9 Fatty Acids are linked to healthy cardiovascular systems, healthy cholesterol levels, improved immune function and healthy blood sugar levels. The most common Omega-9s are Oleic Acid (OA), Eicosatrienoic acid (ETE), and Erucic acid (EA).

Natural sources of good Omega-9s include:

  • Olives
  • Expeller pressed olive oil
  • Avocado
  • Grass-fed/grass-finished meat
  • Sprouted nuts

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of obesity and eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED) and the Director of The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is the Director of The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2013, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2013, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’.

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