Some Important Info About Fats

Fats or lipids are solid at 20 degree Centigrade and fats are called “oils” if they are liquid at that temperature (20 degree centigrade). Fats and oils are very high source of energy and yield 9 kcal of energy per gram (compare to other two major sources of energy, carbohydrates and proteins which both yield about 4 kcal of energy per gram). Fats can be classified as (a) simple lipids like triglycerides, (b) compound lipids like phospholipids and (c) derived lipids like cholesterol.

Our body can synthesize cholesterol and triglycerides endogenously (within our body). Almost all of our body fat (about 99%) is stored in adipose tissue in the form of triglyceride. One kilogram of adipose tissue is equivalent to about 7700 kcal. So for loosing weight one has to burn 7700 kcal of energy just to loose 1 kg of body weight and loosing weight become extremely difficult. Adipose tissue constitute about 10-15 percent of body weight in normal subjects.

Fatty acids

Fats on hydrolysis convert to fatty acids and glycerol. There are two types of fatty acids, saturated fatty acids and unsaturated fatty acids. Examples of saturated fatty acids are palmitic acid, stearic acid, lauric acid etc. Unsaturated fatty acids are further subdivided into mono unsaturated fatty acids (e.g. oleic acid) and poly unsaturated fatty acids (e.g. linoleic acid, linolenic acid, arachidonic acid etc.).

Animal fats contain very high percentage of saturated fatty acids and are not good for health. Polyunsaturated fatty acids are mainly of vegetable origin and good for health. But there are exceptions to this rule and fish oil contain large percentage of mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 fatty acids) and some vegetable oils like coconut oil and palm oil contains high percentage of saturated fatty acids. So palm oil and coconut oil are not good for health but animal fat like fish oil is very good for health.

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