Maximise Your Heart Health With These Mufa And Pufa Rich Foods

Are you looking for delicious ways to boost your heart health? Incorporating foods rich in monounsaturated (MUFA) and polyunsaturated (PUFA) fatty acids can help improve overall health including heart health.

In this blog, we’ll introduce nutritious foods and oils that are loaded with these healthy fatty acids, and show you how to easily incorporate them into your daily diet. From creamy avocados, and crunchy nuts to healthy non-tropical oils, you’ll find plenty of inspiration to help you maximise your heart health with these MUFA and PUFA-rich foods. So, let’s dive in and get started!

What are MUFA and PUFA?

Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are types of unsaturated fatty acids that are beneficial for several functions and especially heart health. MUFAs and PUFAs help lower levels of bad cholesterol (LDL- C) in the blood, reduce inflammation, and improve blood vessel function. Including foods and oils in your diet which are rich in MUFAs and PUFAs benefits you by helping lower the risk of heart disease and help maintain cardiovascular health. According to ICMR/NIN, 2020, replacing saturated fatty acids with polyunsaturated fatty acids followed by monounsaturated fatty acids is beneficial for heart health.

Maintaining a healthy heart is essential for leading a long and active life. While balanced diets and adequate exercise are crucial factors in heart health, the type of fats we consume can also play a significant role. Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are known for their heart-healthy benefits, and incorporating foods and oils rich in these fats into your diet can help manage and improve heart health.

5 MUFA and PUFA-Rich Foods:

Here are 5 MUFA and PUFA-rich foods that you can include in your diet to maximise your heart health:

  • Nuts

Plain nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, and pistachios, are rich in MUFAs and PUFAs, making them heart-healthy snack options. Nuts are also rich in fibre, which on regular consumption, helps lower cholesterol levels in the blood. Walnuts are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and help reduce inflammation and improve heart health. Almonds are rich in healthy unsaturated fatty acids and exhibit antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, hence benefitting the heart and overall health. Pistachios contain protein and antioxidants such as Vitamin E, regulating cholesterol levels. Raisins offer fibre and iron, supporting digestion and oxygen circulation in the blood. You can enjoy them as plain snacks, in salads, smoothies, or baked goods for added nutrition. 

However, keep in mind that nuts are also high in calories, so be mindful of portion sizes. Consuming merely a handful of nuts early in the morning is beneficial. Soaked raisins and almonds help destroy compounds that lower the absorption of nutrients.   30 grams of nuts a day is good enough to ensure adequate protein. (ICMR NIN, 2020 (source)

  • Seeds

Seeds, such as flaxseeds, and chia seeds are rich in omega 3 PUFAs, making them a great addition to your diet to support heart health. They are also rich in fibre and antioxidants, which help reduce inflammation and protect your cells from damage. Seeds such as chia and flaxseed are not only rich in essential nutrients but also contain natural antioxidants. These antioxidants, including polyphenols and lignans, contribute to their heart-healthy properties.  (source)

  • Soybeans

Soybeans are a rich source of MUFAs and PUFAs, making them heart-healthy food. Soybeans are a particularly good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids, such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) have been associated with reducing the risk of heart disease, improving brain function, and supporting overall well-being. 

Write about the Benefit of omega 3. 

Soybeans, whether in their whole form, as soya nuggets, tofu, or soy milk are also rich in protein, fibre, and antioxidants, which help reduce inflammation and protect your cells from damage. Soybeans are a plant source of protein, being naturally free of cholesterol. Tofu is naturally low in saturated fat which makes it an amazing ingredient to include in your diet to lower any risk of heart disease. This nutrient-rich food is a good source of fibre too and helps you keep your diet in check and gives you a healthy gut. Add soybeans to your salads, stir-fries, or soups to maximise your heart health.


4. Fatty fish

Fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel, are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, a type of PUFA. Omega-3s are known to reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and decrease the risk of heart disease. Aim to eat fatty fish at least twice a week to maximise your heart health.

5. Avocado

Avocado is a rich source of MUFAs, making it a great addition to your diet to support heart health. It is also rich in fibre, potassium, and antioxidants, which help lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and protect your cells from damage. Add avocado to your salads, sandwiches, or smoothies to maximise your heart health.

Unlock the Heart-Healthy Power of MUFA and PUFA with These 5 Oils


  • Peanut oil:

 Indulge in the goodness of peanut oil, abundant in heart-friendly MUFAs. With a high smoke point, it’s perfect for frying, and its vitamin E content adds an extra layer of heart protection. (source)


  • Flaxseed oil: 

Packed with PUFA and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), flaxseed oil works wonders in reducing cholesterol levels. Give your heart a boost with this essential fatty acid powerhouse.


  • Sesame seed oil: 

Elevate your dishes with sesame seed oil, rich in both MUFA and PUFA. Its delightful nutty flavour makes it a perfect addition to salads and stir-fries while nourishing your heart.


  • Soybean oil: 

Opt for soybean oil, low in saturated fat and is high in PUFAs, especially omega-3 fatty acids. Enjoy the benefits of this versatile oil while cooking, knowing you’re making a smart choice for your heart.


5. Safflower oil: 

It comes in two forms, one high in Oleic Acid and the other high in Linoleic acid. The Oleic Acid variety is rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids, making it ideal for deep frying. On the other hand, the Linoleic variety is more suitable for dressings. Research suggests that consuming eight grams of Safflower Oil daily can have positive effects on health. 


  1. Rice Bran oil

It is an excellent source of poly- and mono-unsaturated fats, also known as the “good fats”. It has a good balance of MUFA & PUFA with natural antioxidants including oryzanol, tocopherol and tocotrienol that helps improve immunity. Rice bran oil can be used as a cooking oil for deep-frying or stir-frying.


Saffola Gold – For a Good Balance of MUFA and PUFA  

Saffola Gold is a remarkable choice to achieve a balanced intake of MUFAs and PUFAs. This unique blend of sunflower and rice bran oil combines the goodness of both oils, ensuring a favourable balance of fatty acids for optimal heart health. Thanks to Saffola Gold‘s dual-seed technology, you can enjoy the benefits of MUFA and PUFA in one oil, promoting better nutrition through healthy fats. Make Saffola Gold a part of your balanced diet to support your heart and overall well-being.


The Takeaway

While these MUFA and PUFA-rich foods can provide health benefits, they should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. The Dietary Guidelines for Indians, NIN-ICMR recommends SFA must not be more than 10% of total calories/day, PUFA must be 8-10% of total calories/day and MUFA can be consumed by difference usually 10%/calories/day. 

A diet rich in healthy fats, along with whole foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, can help promote overall health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Would like to learn more about MUFA and PUFA? Read on to What is MUFA and PUFA? Meaning, difference and importance.

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