Fats, Water, Vitamins and Minerals

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Fats, Water, Vitamins and Minerals

By | March 2013
Page 1 of 7
Fats What are Lipids and why do we need them? | Lipids are a broad term for a group of compounds that include fats, oils, lecithin and cholesterol. They provide essential fatty acids, a concentrated source of energy, and carry the fat soluble vitamins A,D,E and K. They are needed to form cell membranes and various secretions in the body. They also provide an internal blanket to hold in body heat and cushion the body’s' organs. Four main classes Fats Steroids Phospholipids Waxes | | There are three classes of lipids which are Triglycerides, Phospholipids and Sterols. Triglycerides A major and predominant type a fat found within foods and in the body. They consist of three fatty acids attached to a glycerol molecule. Fatty acids are organic compounds made up of a chain of carbon atoms to which hydrogen atoms are attached. The last carbon atom at one end of the chain forms an acid group with two oxygen atoms and a hydrogen atom. Fatty acid chains vary in length. The most common fatty acids in food have 16 to 18 carbons. → Saturated and Unsaturated Fatty Acids Saturated fatty acids have no double bonds in their chemical structure. They have a full load of hydrogen atoms. Meats and dairy products tend to be high in saturated fatty acids, including beef fat, lard and butter fat. The tropical oils such as coconut and palm oil and are exception to the rule about fats from plants – these oils are high in saturated fatty acids. A high percentage of saturated fatty acids tends to make lipids solid at room temperature. Unsaturated fatty acids have at least one double between two carbon atoms in each molecule. If a double bond is broken, two hydrogen atoms can be added to the molecule The number of double bonds and hydrogen atoms in the fatty acid chain determine the degree of saturation. Fats from plants are usually higher in unsaturated fatty acids, including olive and peanut oil. A high percentage of unsaturated fatty acids tends to make...