Ready for an Oil Change? Omega-9s Are Hot

January 11, 2010
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

omega-9Surprise: Olive oil and nuts contribute to both weight loss and wellness.

For decades, scientists have linked the Mediterranean diet with cardiovascular health and longevity. But only recently have they recognized that one staple of this regional diet—olive oil—may be as beneficial as fruits and veggies or omega-3-rich fish and seafood. And not just because it’s a healthier alternative to saturated fats or dangerous trans fats!

Olives, their oil (if carefully pressed), certain nuts and seeds (plus their oils), and avocados are sources of the hottest “good” fat—omega-9—or oleic acid. The specific kind of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) in omega 9 are not considered essential because some can be produced in the body. But increasingly, research is finding that they’re useful in weight loss and critical to overall wellness.

A new Spanish study points to a wide range of benefits from olive oil, helping to explain the low rate of cardiovascular mortality in Mediterranean countries—despite a high prevalence of coronary heart disease risks. For starters, omega-9 fats lower cholesterol, protect against hardening of the arteries, and fight insulin resistance (improving blood sugar balance).

Research in Diabetes Care also finds that a diet high in omega 9s can even contribute to a flat belly. If that’s not reason enough to make olive and other omega-9 oils part of your daily diet, consider that they support the immune system and may reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Dr. Ann Louise’s Take:

I’ve been writing about the benefits of monounsaturated fats for decades, explaining how to choose the healthiest of these oils. With olive oil, for example, look for “cold pressed” oil, extracted by hand or with hydraulic presses that use no heat.

Extra-virgin olive oil is made with the finest olives from the first pressing, while virgin olive is the second best grade (also made from the first pressing, though the quality of the olives is not as fine). “Pure” olive oil may sound good but is actually a combination of refined—and usually heat processed—oils, which can destroy some of the health benefits.

Just named a “Top 10 Notable New Diet Book” by Time, Fat Flush for Life, The Year-Round Super Detox Plan to Boost Your Metabolism and Keep the Weight Off Permanently includes olive, macadamia nut, and sesame oils in its menu plans and many of the recipes. These omega-9 oils are wonderful flavor carriers, which makes them doubly useful in Winter Fat Flush.

While their reputations as healthy foods were much maligned during the low-fat craze, avocados and nuts are other sources of omega-9 fats. A relatively small amount of avocado (sliced or mashed into guacamole) offers a substantial satiety response, helping you feel full for a long time.

Eating a handful of nuts—almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts (if you’re not sensitive), pecans, and pistachios—does much the same, while adding important minerals that most Americans lack. A now-famous study of over 26,000 Seventh Day Adventists who consumed nuts at least five times a week had half the heart attack risk of people who rarely eat nuts!

Another “Hot” Omega-9
Macadamia nuts are incredibly rich in manganese, providing 200% of the daily allowance of a mineral that helps balance blood sugar and supports strong bones. If you’re not already familiar with it, add macadamia nut oil to your diet. It contains 80% omega-9 fats—even higher than olive oil—with a smoke point that’s twice as high, so this nut oil is great for cooking a huge range of foods.

Best of all, this oil adds an exquisite nutty aroma and flavor to foods, making it especially useful for winter detox in Fat Flush for Life. Macadamia nut oil also raises healthy (HDL) cholesterol, lowers triglycerides, and helps increase omega-3 fatty acid levels at the cellular levels.

Troubled by Yeast Infections?
Omega-9s can also keep candida yeast from reproducing and overgrowing, which is an often overlooked cause of bloating and weight gain. Yeast infections are common this time of year, after a holiday season filled with baked goods, candy, other sweets, and refined carbs, plus liberally imbibing in alcohol.

Candida albicans infection is widespread but difficult to diagnose. If you feel “sick all over,” tired and fatigued, are bothered by hormonal problems (PMS, menstrual irregularities, sexual dysfunction), have itchy or tingling skin, suffer from abdominal discomfort (pain, constipation, diarrhea), complain of memory problems or have trouble concentrating, you may have a yeast infection—especially if you’ve taken antibiotics recently.

Avoid foods containing yeasts and molds: raised baked goods, alcohol, malt-containing foods (cereals and malted milk), buttermilk and cheese, dried fruits, melons, refined and sugary carbs. Read labels on your nutritional supplements, especially B vitamins, as some are yeast-based.

Fat Flush for Life offers a wealth of seasonal foods—along with omega 9 fats—to help control yeasts and sweep toxins out of your body. Probiotics also tamp down yeast overgrowth—while contributing to effective weight loss. In addition, many of my clients turn to Y-C Cleanse, a clinically proven homeopathic treatment for Candida albicans and related yeast infections, especially when they know they’re going to overindulge.

Fat Flush for Life,28804,1950966_1950979_1951008,00.html

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Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Dimitrinka Agnello / nick name Mimi /

    Dear Ann,
    I am your fan for a longtime. I have most of your books, I have been on your diet and feel
    very well. My concern is my thyroid problem. I am taking the same dose of”Synthroid” for 4 years. Recently my tests are better because I start to take your recommendation for additional supplement / B complex,vitamins A,E,minerals Zn, Se,Iron,whey protein which contains thyrosine / and supporting foods like seaweeds, whole grains, tahini…
    Thanks a lot for you excellent advises. Everyone of us appreciate greatly them.
    I will be very please if you could give me the e- mail or another clue I to reach the woman Kathryn Carey. She wrote a nice e-mail in the block ” 10 ways to have a super 2010″ – Sure -Fire Tips for a new you in the New Year and mention that she has be cured from hypothyroidism by alternative phisician. I would like to be cured, too.

  2. Dorothy

    Annalouise,why do i’ve heart burn all the time

  3. A. T.

    When can avocados be introduced into the Fat Flush Plan?

  4. Ann Louise Gittleman

    Heartburn is a digestive issue – usually connected with too little stomach acid or a hiatal hernia. I would suggest you check out the latter or consider the HCL + 2 or a similar product and start by splitting the tab in half. Thanks, Dorothy, for your post.

    Avocadoes are a phase 3 addition, A.T. Thanks for your post.

  5. Ellen S.

    I LOVE the Fat Flush plan and am so grateful to you for it..I lost 30 pounds on it last year, feel empowered about my life, and have redefined my body shape too. I cannot find macadamia nut oil here (I live in Santa Fe) and wonder if you will ask Uni-key to carry it.

    Thanks again so very much,

  6. Lisa

    I am just finishing phase I of the fat flush and love it. I have typically been a pretty healthy eater, but this plan has opened up so many new options of cooking for me.
    The one thing that I used to eat a lot of, especially for breakfast, is quinoa. It is very high in protein and makes a great breakfast and side dish. Can this be added to the flush plan?

  7. Joel

    Lisa- Quinoa can be added in Phase 3.

  8. Donna

    Can I eat prunes for constipation in phase 1 and 2?
    Can I eat macadamia nuts in phase 1 and 2?

    • liz

      For constipation try taking 400mg or more of magnesium or a fiber supplement like Super G-I cleanse. Prunes are not recommended because of their high sugar content. Macadamia nuts are a phase 3 food.


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