Though the consumption of trans fats and saturated fats has been clearly linked to heart disease and other serious conditions, unsaturated fats offer a wide range of health benefits. Unsaturated fats come in two forms, mono unsaturated and poly unsaturated.
Both poly and mono unsaturated fats have been shown to reduce cholesterol and reduce heart disease risk.
Oils are always a mix of saturated and unsaturated components, so the healthiest ones are those with the highest levels of unsaturated fats. Olive oil, for example, is more than 75 percent mono unsaturated, and many studies support its role in reducing heart disease risk. Many nut oils contain high levels of poly unsaturated fats, including EFAs. Almond oil has shown efficacy in inhbiting LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol.
Fish oils contain high concentrations of omega-3, which is shown to support brain development, reduce inflammatory conditions and protect the heart. Plant-based sources of poly unsaturated oil include flaxseed and hemp oils, both high in omega-3s, which are less prevalent in dietary sources. Hemp oil also includes high levels of GLA (gamma-linoleic acid), an omega-6 which boosts metabolism and reduces inflammation. Other sources of GLA include evening primrose, borage and black currant seed oils.