Sesame seeds contain a remarkably high nutrient density, meaning they pack an abundance of nutrients in a small amount of weight. The majority of the weight in sesame seeds exists in the form of lipids. Lipids are important nutrients that provide energy, insulate vital organs, store and transport vitamins, and suppress hunger. Sesame seeds are free of trans fat and cholesterol, and most of the fat content present is of the healthy, unsaturated variety.
Total Fat Content
A 1 oz. serving of roasted sesame seeds contains 13.61 g of total fat, according to the USDA's National Nutrient Database. Fat should make up about 20 to 35 percent of your total caloric intake, and most adults need between 44 and 78 g of this macronutrient each day. This same serving size of roasted sesame seeds provides about 31 percent of the typical adult's minimum daily fat requirement.
About 1.9 g of saturated fat is present in a 1 oz. serving of roasted sesame seeds. Saturated fat is a lipid that consists of single carbon bonds attached to hydrogen. Saturated fats are believed by numerous health organizations, including the American Heart Association (AHA), to elevate blood cholesterol levels and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. While the relationship between saturated fat and cardiovascular disease may be up for debate, the AHA recommends consuming less than 7 percent of your total fat from saturated sources.
A 1-oz. serving of sesame seeds contains 5.14 g of monounsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats contain one double bond in their carbon chain, and are not "saturated" with hydrogen. These fats are healthy and can lower blood cholesterol levels, decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. The majority of your fat intake should come from unsaturated fatty acids, such as monounsaturated fat.
Nearly 6 g of polyunsaturated fats are present in 1 oz. of sesame seeds. Polyunsaturated fats contain two or more double bonds in their carbon chains, and are also not saturated with additional hydrogen atoms. Like monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats can help reduce blood cholesterol levels. These fats also help regulate blood glucose levels, and can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Along with monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats should make up the majority of your dietary fat intake.
- USDA: National Nutrient Database
- "Essentials of Exercise Physiology"; William D. McArdle; 2006
- Institute of Medicine; Dietary Reference Intakes: Macronutrients; 2005
- American Heart Association; Know Your Fats; May 2011
- MayoClinic.com; Dietary Fats: Know Which Types to Choose; February 2011