Foods High in Linoleic Acid

Linoleic acid (LA) is an omega-6 fatty acid. "Linoleic" is a Greek word that means flax. LA is an important fatty acid that your body does not produce. Without adequate LA, you may have dry skin, dry hair, hair loss and poor wound healing. The American Heart Association recommends a daily intake of 12 to 22 g of omega-6, depending on body weight and daily activity.



Cold-water oily fish, such as salmon, herring and mackerel, are good sources of linoleic acid, according to the American Heart Association. Tuna is also a good source ,but contains less LA. Cold water fish are more nutrient-dense fish compared to warm water fish. Salmon contains 1.1 to 1.9 g of omega-6 per serving and tuna contains 0.21 to 1.1 g per serving.


Oils used for cooking and flavor enhancement are great sources of linoleic acid. One of the highest premier sources of linoleic acid is safflower oil, which comes from the thistle-like safflower plant. It is odorless and colorless. Safflower oil is very similar to sunflower oil; it can be used as a cooking oil and is also found in salad dressings and margarine. Sunflower oil is widely known and more available than safflower oil. It has a have a nice flavor and is considered a healthful liquid in a vegetable oil form. Other oils that contain LA, but are less available are flax/linseed oil, primrose oil and soybean oil.

Conjugated Linoleic Acid

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is in the linoleic acid family. It is present in many foods and is made naturally in some animals including cows and goats. Cattle also have a diet high in linoleic acid because they consume various seeds, grass and plants. For this reason, CLA can be found in the meats we eat such as beef. Dairy products rich in CLA include cow's milk, goat's milk, cheeses and yogurts.


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