Top 10 Foods Highest in Omega 6 Fatty Acids

Photo of Daisy Whitbread Written by Daisy Whitbread
BSc (Hons) MSc DipION
Photo of Dr. Thomas Kutner Medically Reviewed by
Dr. Thomas Kutner
Evidence Based. References sourced from PubMed.
Powered by USDA Nutrition Data.
Top 10 Foods Highest in Omega 6 Fatty Acids

Omega-6 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat naturally occurring in nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils. Consumption of omega-6 fatsis increasing due to the wide use of refined vegetable oils and their addition to processed and fast foods. (1)

The increase in consumption of omega 6 fats changes the omega 6 to omega 3 fat ratio. A higher omega 6 to omega 3 ratio is linked to health problems, including an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammation. (2)

Increasing omega 3 fats and limiting omega-6 consumption (especially from unhealthy sources) is advisable. See the list of foods with a good omega 3 to omega 6 ratio.

Unhealthy foods high in omega-6 fats include processed snacks, fast foods, cakes, fatty meats, and cured meats. Healthier sources of omega-6 fats include tofu, walnuts, and peanut butter. The adequate intake (AI) for omega-6 foods is 17g per day for men and 12g for women. (3)

Below are the top 10 foods highest in omega 6 fats.

Printable One Page Sheet

Click to Print
Printable list of foods high in omega 6 fats. Foods high in omega 6 fats include unhealthy foods like processed snacks, fast foods, cakes, fatty meats, and cured meats. Other Omega 6 foods are healthier including tofu, walnuts, and peanut butter.

How much Omega 6 fats do you need every day?

Below are the daily adequate intakes (%AI) established for omega 6 foods. Adequate intakes are used when there is not enough data to formulate a recommended dietary allowance (RDA). The adequate intake of omega 6 fats ranges between 4g - 17g per day for most people.

Life StageRDA
0-6 months old4.4g
7-12 months old4.6g
1-3 years old7g
4-8 years old10g
9-13 years old12g
14-18 years old16g
19-50 years old17g
51+ years old14g
9-13 years old10g
14-18 years old11g
19-50 years old12g
51+ years old11g
14-50 years old13g
14-50 years old13g

Use the ranking tool links below to select foods and create your own food list to share or print.

View more nutrients with the nutrient ranking tool, or see ratios with the nutrient ratio tool.

Data Sources and References

  1. Harris WS, Klurfeld DM. Changes in consumption of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the United States during the 20th century Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 May;93(5):907-8. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.014365. Epub 2011 Mar 23. 21430117
  2. Simopoulos AP. The importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2008 Jun;233(6):674-88. doi: 10.3181/0711-MR-311. Epub 2008 Apr 11. 18408140
  3. National Academies Press. Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids
MyFoodData provides free nutrition data tools and articles to help you organize and understand the foods you eat.

Try the recipe nutrition calculator, or daily meal planner.

Create a free account to log and track foods.