Fats, Water, Vitamins and Minerals

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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 lipids liquid at room temperature. Mono-saturated fatty acids has one double bond between carbon atoms Poly-saturated fatty acids have two or more double bonds Nearly all fats and oils contain a mixture of the three types of fatty acids – saturated, mono-saturated, and poly-saturated. | | Digestion The body must digest and absorb fats before using them as an energy source. Most fat digestion takes place in the small intestine where bile keeps fats emulsified while the pancreatic enzymes break down triglycerides. Chylomicrons carry fats from foods into the bloodstream following digestion. Other types of lipoproteins help transport fats made in the body away from and back to the liver. | | Fats and Health Fats in the body can form deposits in the arteries, which can can lead to coronary heart disease. A number of factors contribute to a persons risk of CHD – age, gender, race, and hereditary are all beyond a persons control. Controllable heart-health risk factors include smoking, inactivity, stress, personality type, over-weight, diabetes, high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol. Learn to identify sources of visible and invisible fats from your diet. Limit fat intake to 35% of your total calories, with less than 10% coming from saturated fats. Avoid too much cholesterol. Your present eating habits were not formed in one day, so do not expect your fat consumption to drastically change in one day. With realistic goals and a determination to improve your state of wellness, you can succeed. | Water | Water is a vital nutrient you must replace daily, it is in every cell of your body and is the main component in all body fluids. Without water death occurs within 1-2 weeks. Water will make up over half of your body weight, for adults body weight is about 50-70% water – 10 to 12 gallons. Fat tissue is about 20-35% water whereas muscle tissue is about 75% water. Therefore, the total percentage of body weight from water...
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