The Benefits of Monounsaturated Fats – or – The MUFA Effect

By Dr Ernst
August 8, 2016

Monounsaturated Fatty Acids Reduce Belly Fat AND Cut Your Risk of Developing Metabolic Syndrome

When was the last time you ate a serving of “MUFA?” In a recent study, researchers found clear evidence that high fat plant oils significantly reduce your risks for metabolic syndrome and significantly burn fat in your body. Introducing the MUFA: monounsaturated fatty acids.

In this groundbreaking study, scientists noticed that individuals that ate higher amounts of MUFAs had significantly smaller bellies than those who didn’t

“The MUFAs in these specific vegetable oils appear to reduce abdominal fat, which in turn may decrease metabolic syndrome risk factors” says Penny Kris-Etherton, Professor of Nutrition at Penn State.

New To MUFAs?

You will find a plethora of MUFAs in the following oils:

  • Flaxseed
  • Coconut
  • Avocado
  • Olive
  • Hemp

You can start by simply consuming these oils on a daily basis. Drizzle flax seed, hemp or olive oil onto your salads or add 1 TBPS to your daily smoothie. Cook with coconut oil or eat it directly. Avocado oil is also a great cooking oil as it can handle high heat! As a word of caution – never heat an unstable oil as it destroys the healthy MUFAs.

Nuts & Seeds:

  • Cashew
  • Almond
  • Brazil
  • Hazelnut
  • Macadamia
  • Pecan
  • Pistachio
  • Walnut


  • Pumpkin
  • Sunflower

You can simply start eating these to increase your MUFA content. Select raw and uncooked when possible and note that each of the above can be easily made into their own “butter.” Word of caution: All nuts and seeds have an amount of naturally occurring sugars so choose wisely and do your research.

Check out these sugar measurements for reference:

  • Cashew 1 Cup: 1.7 grams
  • Walnut 1 Cup: 2.1 grams
  • Brazil 1 Cup: 3.1 grams
  • Almond 1 Cup: 3.6 grams
  • Pecan 1 Cup: 3.9 grams
  • Macadamia 1 Cup: 6 grams
  • Hazelnut 1 Cup: 6.1 grams
  • Pistachio 1 Cup: 9.0 grams
  • Pumpkin Seeds: 1.8 grams
  • Sunflower Seeds: 3.7 grams

Avocado and coconut plant fats are considered the healthiest source of MUFAs on the plant. Both are naturally nestled in a hard shell and have a fleshy meat. A fun way to increase your avocado consumption is to make a “Baked Avocado Egg.”

Try out this fun recipe.


  • 1 Haas organic Avacado
  • 2eggs
  • Salt/Pepper


Cut avocado in half, twisting to open and remove the seed from the opposing side. Lay face up on a baking tray and crack one egg into each half of the avocado, placing the egg within the seed cavity. (Note, if smaller than expected, scoop some of the avocado out to allow for space.)

Bake at 425F for 15/20 min and season to taste upon removing.

Dark chocolate is an unexpected source of MUFAs. Actually, dark chocolate is full of all sorts of healthy antioxidants and nutrients. Technically a seed, the chocolate bean is loaded with healthy fats that have been shown to do everything from elevate mood, enhance cardiovascular function and encourage fat burning. Note: Its best when you can find RAW or naturally bittersweet 90-99% dark chocolate as its found in its true form.

Enjoy these MUFA Bombs (Which are a great way to get more chocolate and coconut into your diet!)


  • 1 Cup Coconut Butter
  • 1 Cup Full Fat Coconut Milk – 1 TSP Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 TSP Nutmeg
  • 1/2 TSP Cinnamon
  • 1 TSP Stevia
  • 1 Cup Coconut Shreds
  • 1 Bar 90-95% Dark Chocolate


Place first 6 ingredients into a double boiler over medium heat mixing all ingredients until melted.

Remove from heat, stir in the coconut shreds until mixed evenly and then place in refrigerator (approximately 30 min) until hard enough to form into small balls.

Roll into small balls and place back in the refrigerator for another 30 min to harden individually.

While hardening, melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler and set aside when evenly melted. Dip each coconut ball into the chocolate covering the bottom 1/4 to 1/2 and place on parchment paper. Drizzle remaining chocolate sauce over the top if desired.

Return to the refrigerator to cool and serve after 1 hour.

And that’s how easy it is to get those incredible MUFAs into your system. You probably eat eggs and chocolate already–why not just make it a habit. Also, adding flax seeds to things is a great way to up your MUFA consumption. Throw them in your salads, put some in your smoothie. Toss a handful in with your mixed nuts. It’s as easy as that, and you’ll be so much healthier for it.

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