Foods High in Linoleic Acid 2022

Linoleic acid is a type of fat, or fatty acid, found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and animal products. An essential omega-6 fatty acid, linoleic acid is required by the human body in small amounts. Too much, however, can be detrimental to your health. Consumers of a standard American diet are much more likely to get too much linoleic acid than too little.

The majority of Americans might be misled by official health recommendations to eat “healthy” vegetable oils. Even the term “vegetable oil” is misleading because it gives you the impression that you are receiving vegetable micronutrients when these oils are actually highly toxic, industrially-processed seed oils. Seed oils are some of the most dangerous items you could eat. This is even more of an issue today as the high amounts of oxidative stress these oils cause seriously impair your immune system and radically increase your risk of all infections including COVID-19.
 

food high in linoleic acid

What Is Linoleic Acid? 

Linoleic acid is a polyunsaturated fatty acid -- one of two fatty acids that humans cannot produce themselves and must obtain from food sources. As the "parent" of the omega-6 fatty acid family, linoleic acid is used by the body to make other types of omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6s are essential in some amount; but most Americans consume too much of them, which can trigger chronic inflammation and other health issues.

Broadly speaking, there are three types of fats:
  • Saturated fats, which have a full complement of hydrogen atoms
  • Monounsaturated fats, which are missing a single hydrogen atom
  • PUFAs, which are missing multiple hydrogen atoms
There are quite a few types of omega-6 fatty acids, the most important one is Linoleic Acid (LA).  They're largely synonymous, as LA makes up the bulk — about 60% to 80% — of omega-6 and is the primary contributor to disease.

Care must be taken to not confuse it with Alpha Linolenic Acid, or ALA, which is an Omega 3.
 

Common Sources

The biggest sources of linoleic acid in the American diet tend to be processed foods. The top sources of dietary linoleic acid in America include chicken and chicken dishes, grain-based desserts, salad dressing, potato and corn chips, pizza, bread, french fries and pasta dishes, according to the National Cancer Institute. Mayonnaise, eggs, popcorn and processed meats are also significant sources.

Vegetable Oils

The reason many of the above foods contain linoleic acid is because they're made with vegetable oil. In America, "vegetable oil" tends to refer to soybean, corn and safflower oils, all of which contain a high percentage of linoleic acid. About 75 percent of the fatty acid content in safflower oil comes from linoleic acid; for corn and soybean oil, it's between 55 and 60 percent. One tablespoon of safflower oil contains about 10 grams linoleic acid. Sunflower oil contains about 9 grams linoleic acid per tablespoon; corn and soybean oil 7 grams; and sesame oil 6 grams.

Other Sources

Other top sources include commercial salad dressings, virtually all processed foods and any fried fast food, such as french fries.

According to the National Cancer Institute, the top sources of dietary linoleic acid in America include chicken and chicken dishes, grain-based desserts, salad dressing, potato and corn chips, pizza, bread, french fries and pasta dishes. Mayonnaise, eggs, popcorn and processed meats are also significant sources.

Nuts and seeds with high linoleic acid content include sunflower seeds at 10 grams per 1-ounce serving; pine nuts, 9 grams; pecans, 6 grams; and Brazil nuts, 6 grams. The linoleic acid content of dairy and meat products varies based on the diets and lifestyles of the animals they come from. The linoleic acid content of cheeses ranges from 4 to 8 grams per serving. Blue, brie and Swiss cheeses had higher linoleic acid content than other types. The linoleic acid content in milk ranged from 3 to 6 grams per serving.

Avoiding Omega-6 Fats Is Key for Good Health

While considered an essential fat, when consumed in excessive amounts, which over 99% of people do, LA (an omega-6 polyunsaturated fat or PUFA) acts as a metabolic poison.

Most clinicians who value nutritional interventions to optimize health understand that vegetable oils, which are loaded with omega-6 PUFA, are something to be avoided. What most fail to appreciate is that even if you eliminate the vegetable oils and avoid them like the plague, you may still be missing the mark.

Chances are you're still getting too much of this dangerous fat from supposedly healthy food sources such as olive oil and chicken (which are fed LA-rich grains).

Another common mistake is to simply increase the amount of omega-3 that you eat. Many are now aware that the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio is very important, and should be about equal, but simply increasing omega-3 can be a dangerous strategy. You really need to minimize the omega-6.
   
In the video above, Dr. Chris Knobbe, an ophthalmologist and founder and president of the Cure AMD Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to the prevention of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), gives an excellent synopsis of why seed oils are the unifying mechanism behind westernized chronic diseases like heart disease, obesity, cancer and diabetes.

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