What Is Stearic Acid (18:0) & What Foods Can I Find It In?

Drk chocolate in nice pieces
Dark chocolate contains stearic acid

Stearic acid, also known as octadecanoic acid, is a crucial saturated long-chain fatty acid derived from fats and oils.

Considered essential for our well-being, stearic acid has demonstrated positive health benefits.

Commercially, stearic acid is often a blend of stearic and palmitic acids.

However, opting for natural or purified stearic acid is preferable from a health perspective.

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Essential Role of Stearic Acid

Stearic acid, classified as an essential fatty acid, is a nutrient vital to our body, necessitating dietary intake.

It forms a crucial component of the lipids in every cell's plasma membrane.

Ubiquitous Presence of Stearic Acid

As a saturated long-chain fatty acid, stearic acid is among the most prevalent fatty acids.

It can be found in vegetable fats like coconut oil, palm oil, and safflower oil, as well as in animal fats like beef, pork, and milk. (source )

Abundance in Animal Fat

Animal fats boast a higher abundance of stearic acid, reaching up to 30%, in contrast to vegetable fats that typically contain 5% or less.

Cocoa butter and shea butter, for instance, contain stearic acid in the range of 28–45%. (source )

Recommendation: Enriching Foods with Stearic Acid

Researchers advocate for the food industry to enrich products with stearic acid instead of palmitic acid and trans fatty acid due to its non-toxic and biocompatible nature within the human body. (source )

Foods You Can Find Stearic Acid (18:0) In

You find Stearic Acid (18:0) mostly in fats and oils, beef, sweets, lamb, veal, and game products.

Examples of food sources include

Foods in our nutrition tool

You can find regularly updated top-ranked lists of foods for over 200+ nutrients in our nutrition tool.

If you are interested in what foods contain the most Stearic Acid (18:0) we recommend you visit our tool.

Here's our top-ranked list of foods that contain Stearic Acid (18:0).

Sara Niemelä

co-founder Care Omnia, Head Content Creator

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Nutrition is my passion. I've spent thousands upon thousands of hours reading, analyzing, categorizing and comparing research studies.

I’m a wife and a mother of three. I enjoy the outdoors, cooking, and spending time with my family.