Triglycerides, Phospholipids and Sterols


Lipids- a set of compounds including triglycerides, phospholipids and sterols Functions
• • • • • •

Energy source Regulator of body processes Insulator Organ protector Transport of fat-soluble nutrients Cell structure

Triglycerides- fats/oils
• Composed of one glycerol and 3

fatty acids • A fatty acid is composed of a chain

of carbons (usually 4 to 24, even number) with a methyl group at one end and an acidic group at another end; fatty acids are classified according to:
• Length of carbon chain: long chain fatty acids, medium chain fatty acids and short chain fatty acids • Degree of unsaturation: saturated and unsaturated (monounsaturated fatty acids-MUFA, polyunsaturated fatty acidsPUFA) • Location of double bonds: omega 3 and
omega 6 fatty acids

Unsaturation of fats

Firmness: the more unsaturated the softer the fat at room temperature, the shorter the carbon chain, the softer the fat at room temperature Stability: the more unsaturated

the less stable, the more easily oxidized
• Addition of antioxidants to prevent

rancidity • Hydrogenation to prevent rancidity and improve texture, but results in trans fatty acids.


Phospholipids (e.g. lecithin) have a glycerol with two fatty acids attached and a phosphate and nitrogen containing group Lecithin and other phospholipids, which can dissolve in both water and fat, are major components of cell membranes assisting in the transport of fat-soluble nutrients

in and out of the cell

• Sterols are compounds with multiple

ring structures like cholesterol • Both animals and plants contain sterols but only animals have cholesterol • Sterols are important in making body compounds (sex hormones, vit D, bile acids) • Enough cholesterol is synthesized in the body (endogenous); exogenous cholesterol is therefore not needed

Food Sources
• Animal • Fatty meats • Lard • Butter

• Cheese • Cream; whole milk • Egg yolk • Plant • Vegetable oils • Nuts • Chocolate • Avocados • Olives • Margarine

Visibility of fats
• Visible • Fats that are noticeable such as butter, margarine, vegetable oils, lard, pork rind • Invisible • Fats that are not noticeable such as those that are in egg yolk, mayonnaise, salad dressing, cream, cheese

• In the mouth, fats melt when they reach body temperature; lingual lipase in infants digests short and medium chain fatty acid in milk • In the stomach, gastric lipase digests short chain fatty acids • In the small intestine, fat stimulates release of CCK ->bile is released -> emulsification of fats which enables pancreatic and intestinal lipases act on lipids yielding monoglycerides, glycerol, fatty acids from triglycerides, fatty acids and remaining component phosphate & nitrogen containing group from phospholipids and fatty acids attached to sterols

• Glycerol, short and medium chain

fatty acids are directly absorbed into the blood stream

• Monoglycerides and long chain fatty

acids form micelles to enter intestinal cells; inside the cells, they form new triglycerides and other large lipids such as cholesterol and phospholipids are packed into chylomicrons which enter the lymphatic system then the bloodstream thru the thoracic duct near the heart then distributed to the rest of the body

• Lipoproteins are groups of lipids with proteins that serve as transport vehicle for lipids in the lymph and blood; four types differ by their size and density • Chylomicrons: largest and least dense; transport •
lipids (triglycerides) from intestine to the rest of the body VLDL (Very-Low-Density Lipoproteins): transport lipids (triglycerides) from liver to the rest of the

• •

body LDL (Low-Density Lipoproteins): transport cholesterol to cells of all tissues; “BAD CHOLESTEROL” HDL (High-Density Lipoproteins: transport cholesterol and other lipids from the cells to the liver for recycling or disposal: “GOOD CHOLESTEROL”

To improve LDL:HDL, weight control, PUFAs an MUFAs than SAFAs, soluble fibers, antioxidants, moderate alcohol consumption, physical activity

Essential fatty acids
• Linoleic acid (18:2)- primary member of the omega6 family which can be the base for making arachidonic acid (20:4)

• •

Sources: vegetable oils (corn, sunflower, safflower, soybean, cottonseed), poultry fat Arachidonic acid from meats

• Alpha linolenic acid (18:3)- primary member ofr the
omega 3 family which can be made into EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid- 20:5) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid-22:6)

Sources: oils (flaxseed, canola, wallnut, wheat germ, soybean), nuts and seeds (butternuts, walnuts, soybean kernels) vegetables (soybean)

EPA and DHA from human milk, shellfish and fish (salmon, tuna, anchovy, mackerel, sardines etc)

• Essential fatty acids make eicosanoids which are
hormonelike substances that participate in immune response to injury and infection producing fever, inflammation and pain, and they help in regulating blood pressure, blood clot formation

Fatty acid deficiencies

Essential fatty acids should be at least 3 percent of energy intake Deficiencies usually occur in people with chronic intestinal diseases resulting tin growth failure, reproductive failure, skin lesions, kidney and liver disorders A deficiency of DHA and EPA is associated with depression

Health Effects of Lipids

• Heart disease: cholesterol accumulates in the •
arteries, restricting blood flow and raising blood pressure Risks from saturated fats- SAFAs like lauric(12C), myristic(14C) and palmitic acids(16C) increase LDLs; Stearic acid increase risk of heart disease as well; Sources: red meat, high-fat milk products, chocolate Risks from trans-fats: raise LDLs and lower HDLs Benefits from MUFAs: diets high in MUFAs tend to lower LDLs; examples are olive oil and canola oil Benefits from omega-3 PUFAs: a diet rich in omega 3 lowers blood cholesterol Cancer: dietary fat may not initiate but promote cancer; prostate cancer is associated with fat intake; association appears to be due to SAFAs from meats Obesity: people with high fat diets tend to store body fat efficiently

• • • •

• Reduce total fat intake to 30% or less of total • •
energy Reduce saturated fat intake to less than 10% of energy intake Reduce cholesterol intake to less than 300

• •

milligrams daily Reduce SAFAs and trans fatty acids Balance omega-3 and omega-6: between 1:5 to 1:10; ADA recommends two 3-ounce serving of fatty fish meal a week; fish oil should come from fish not supplements; high intakes of fish oil supplements increase bleeding time, interfere with wound healing, worsen diabetes and impair immune functions. Select lean meats and nonfat milks, eat plenty of vegetables, fruits and grains and use fat as oils sparingly.

Fat Replacers
• Carbohydrate-based fat replacers: imitate the texture of fat; can be used for baking but not frying; may provide up to 4 kcal/g. • Protein-based fat replacers: made from eggwhites, soy or milk proteins that imitate texture and taste of fat; provides 4 kcal/g; used for making fat-free ice cream • Fat-based fat replacers: same properties as fats but providing less calories (~5kcal/g) examples are caprenin and salatrim • Synthetic fat replacers: artificial fat olestra

(sucrose molecule wih 6-8 fatty acids attached) can be used for deep frying; olestra does not provide kcalories

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