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Food Sources of Polyunsaturated Fat

author image Janet Renee, MS, RD
Janet Renee is a clinical dietitian with a special interest in weight management, sports dietetics, medical nutrition therapy and diet trends. She earned her Master of Science in nutrition from the University of Chicago and has contributed to health and wellness magazines, including Prevention, Self, Shape and Cooking Light.
Food Sources of Polyunsaturated Fat
Flax seed oil is rich in polyunsaturated fats Photo Credit: Darren McCollester/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Scientists once treated all fats the same, recommending that Americans follow a low-fat diet. Now that scientists realize fats are not created equally, the focus is on choosing healthy fats such as the polyunsaturated variety. This type of fat is liquid at room temperature and found primarily in vegetable oils, fish and seafood. Because the American diet is loaded with omega-6 polyunsaturated fats, it's best that you aim to increase your omega-3 PUFA consumption.

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Choosing Healthy Fats

Fresh salmon fillets
Fresh salmon fillets Photo Credit: anna liebiedieva/iStock/Getty Images

Polyunsaturated fats, when consumed in moderation can help promote healthy cholesterol levels, according to the American Heart Association. When it comes to plant oils, flaxseed oil is the richest source of omega-3 polyunsaturated fats, followed by walnut, canola and soybean oil. Use these on salads in place of traditional salad dressing. Fatty fish such as salmon, trout, herring, mackerel, black cod and sardines are excellent sources of omega-3 PUFAs. Most oils contain a combination of fats.

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