are fats and fatty acids?
are a group of chemical compounds that contain fatty acids. Energy is stored in
the body mostly in the form of fat. Fat is also needed in the diet to supply essential
fatty acids that are substances essential for growth but not produced by the body
itself. The terms fat and fatty acids are frequently used interchangeably.
are the main types of fatty acids?
are three main types of fatty acids: saturated, monounsaturated
and polyunsaturated. All fatty acids are chains of carbon atoms with hydrogen
atoms attached to the carbon atoms.
saturated fatty acid has the maximum possible number of hydrogen atoms
attached to every carbon atom. It is therefore said to be "saturated" with hydrogen
atoms, and all of the carbons are attached to each other with single bonds.
some fatty acids, a pair of hydrogen atoms in the middle of a chain is missing,
creating a gap that leaves two carbon atoms connected by a double bond rather
than a single bond. Because the chain has fewer hydrogen atoms, it is said to
be "unsaturated." A fatty acid with one double bond is called "monounsaturated"
because it has one gap. Fatty acids having more than one gap are called "polyunsaturated."
The fat in foods
contains a mixture of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.
In foods of animal origin, a large proportion of fatty acids are saturated. In
contrast, in foods of plant origin and some seafood, a large proportion of the
fatty acids are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. The structure of saturated
and unsaturated chemical bonds looks like the diagram below.
(i.e., saturated fatty acid)
(i.e., unsaturated fatty acid)
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are they found?
fat is found mostly in foods from animals and some plants.Saturated
fats are usually solid at room temperature.
from animals — These include beef, beef fat, veal, lamb, pork, lard,
poultry fat, butter, cream, milk, cheeses and other dairy products made from whole
milk. These foods also contain dietary cholesterol.
from plants — These include coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel
oil (often called tropical oils), and cocoa butter.
and monounsaturated fats — Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated
fats are the two unsaturated fats. They're found primarily in oils from plants.
fats — These include safflower, sesame and sunflower seeds, corn
and soybeans, many nuts and seeds, and their oils. These fats are usually liquid
at room temperature and in the refrigerator.
fats — These include canola, olive and peanut oils, and avocados.
These fats remain liquid at room temperature but may start to solidify in the