Types of Food that Contain Linoleic Acid

In today's article, we're going to tell you about the types of food that contain linoleic acid in their composition and what this fatty acid is for. Its properties are rather interesting, so you must incorporate it into your diet.
Types of Food that Contain Linoleic Acid
Saúl Sánchez Arias

Written and verified by the nutritionist Saúl Sánchez Arias.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

There are several types of food that contain linoleic acid. You must know that this lipid has many health benefits for your cardiovascular health. In fact, some people suggest it could be an ally in any weight loss plan.

As you can see, linoleic acid is an essential nutrient that must be present in a well-balanced diet. After all, it’s crucial in the prevention of chronic diseases. Some nutrition professionals recommend adding linoleic acid supplement to one’s diet, especially if you can’t obtain it through your diet.

There’s linoleic acid in vegetables

Plants are the major sources of linoleic acid, specifically nuts and seeds. However, it’s also possible to obtain it from eggs and some cereals.

Seed oils contain this fatty acid, although some “experts” advise against its regular consumption and warn against frying food with this type of fat. This is because the adverse effects of the other lipid components may outweigh the benefits.

In order to guarantee the correct intake of linoleic acid in your diet, you must ensure it’s a well-balanced one. As a general rule, introducing nuts as mid-morning and afternoon snacks is a good way to fulfill this purpose.

In any case, keep in mind that this lipid belongs to the group of omega 6 fatty acids. You may not be aware of it but the intake of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids must be balanced in order to avoid inflammatory states in the body. At least according to research published in the Nutrients journal. In fact, losing this balance could be a risk factor in the development of obesity.

A bowl of nuts.
Nuts are the best source of linoleic acid.

Read about the Five Signs You’re Deficient in Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids

Eating food high in linoleic acid reduces the risk of disease

Studies, such as the one published in the Public Health Nutrition journal associate the regular consumption of foods rich in linoleic acid with a reduction in some types of cancer – breast cancer in particular. However, the evidence for this relationship isn’t entirely robust and needs further investigation.

More recent reviews also link regular consumption of this nutrient to a lower risk of developing obesity and atherosclerosis. In fact, an article published in 2019 in the Nutrients journal establishes a possible long-term correlation for the reduction of risks in chronic non-communicable diseases.

It seems clear that consuming healthy fats is a protective factor against the development of various diseases. This type of lipid includes all those that haven’t been subjected to heat treatments. This is because this process turns them into trans fats and takes away their nutritive qualities.

You may also be interested in knowing What Are Omega Fatty Acids 3, 6, and 9?

Moderation is key

Despite the benefits attributed to the consumption of linoleic acid, specialists don’t recommend artificial supplements. The inclusion of foods that contain linoleic acid in its composition is enough to obtain health benefits.

Don’t forget, as we mentioned above, that this lipid belongs to the group of omega 6. Thus, if there’s an imbalance of fatty acids in the body, its anti-inflammatory effects will be null.

As you can see, you must include products rich in omega 3 lipids in your diet (avocado, extra virgin olive oil, and bluefish) in order to promote cardiovascular health. Select smaller fish as they contain fewer heavy metals.

Types of seeds that contain linoleic acid.
You must moderate your linoleic acid consumption in order to obtain its maximum benefits.

Eat the types of food that contain linoleic acid

In order to improve your health and reduce the incidence of diseases such as obesity and cardiovascular disease, you must introduce linoleic acid through the food you eat. This is because these nutrients have positive effects when you consume them on a regular basis.

As we said above, plant-based products such as nuts, seeds, or even whole grains are the best sources. However, avoid buying processed ones as their nutrients are no longer the same.

However, and despite the benefits of this lipid on people’s health, there’s no evidence to suggest that artificial supplements are useful for treating chronic diseases.

The fatty acids obtained through a well-balanced diet should be enough to cover your basic requirements. Thus, focus on adding linoleic acid to your diet and enjoy its health benefits.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this article.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Simopoulos AP., An increase in the omega 6/omega 3 fatty acid ratio increases the risk for obesity. Nutrients, 2016.
  • Zhou Y., Wang T., Zhai S., Li W., Meng Q., Linoleic acid and breast cancer risk: a meta analysis. Public Health Nutr, 2016. 19 (8): 1457-63.
  • Hartigh LJ., Conjugated linoleic acid effects on cancer, obesity and atherosclerosis: a review of pre clinical and human trials with current perspectives. Nutrients, 2019. 11 (2): 370.
  • Leizer, Cary, et al. “The composition of hemp seed oil and its potential as an important source of nutrition.” Journal of Nutraceuticals, functional & medical foods 2.4 (2000): 35-53.
  • Naughton, Shaan S., et al. “Linoleic acid and the pathogenesis of obesity.” Prostaglandins & other lipid mediators 125 (2016): 90-99.
  • Viladomiu, Monica, Raquel Hontecillas, and Josep Bassaganya-Riera. “Modulation of inflammation and immunity by dietary conjugated linoleic acid.” European Journal of Pharmacology 785 (2016): 87-95.
  • Jandacek, Ronald J. “Linoleic acid: a nutritional quandary.” Healthcare. Vol. 5. No. 2. Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2017.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.