Monounsaturated fat is considered to be probably the healthiest type of general fat. It has none of the adverse effects associated with saturated fats, trans-fats or omega-6 polyunsaturated vegetable oils.
Oils high in monounsaturates are better oils for cooking. Olive oil is the best as it has the highest oxidation threshold: i.e. it remains stable at higher temperatures and does not easily become hydrogenated or saturated.
Olive oil (73 per cent) rapeseed oil (60 per cent) hazelnuts (50 per cent) almonds (35 per cent) Brazil nuts (26 per cent) cashews (28 per cent) avocado (12 per cent) sesame seeds (20 per cent) pumpkin seeds (16 per cent).
The high consumption of olive oil in Mediterranean countries is considered to be one of the reasons why these countries have lower levels of heart disease.Monounsaturated fat is believed to lower cholesterol and may assist in reducing heart disease. Like polyunsaturated fat it provides essential fatty acids for healthy skin and the development of body cells.Monounsaturated fat is also believed to offer protection against certain cancers, like breast cancer and colon cancer.Monounsaturated fats are typically high in Vitamin E, the anti-oxidant vitamin which is usually in short supply in many Western diets.Cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, if not over-heated, provides a range of phyto-chemicals and phenols which help to boost immunity and maintain good health.
From a calorie viewpoint, however, there is no difference between monounsaturated, polyunsaturated fat and saturated fat. Because ALL fats are high in calories.