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Fats consist of a wide group of compounds that are generally soluble in organic solvents and generally insoluble in water. Chemically, fats are generally triesters of glycerol and fatty acids. Fats may be either solid or liquid at room temperature, depending on their structure and composition. Although the words "oils", "fats", and "lipids" are all used to refer to fats, "oils" is usually used to refer to fats that are liquids at normal room temperature, while "fats" is usually used to refer to fats that are solids at normal room temperature. "Lipids" is used to refer to both liquid and solid fats, along with other related substances. The word "oil" is also used for any substance that does not mix with water and has a greasy feel, such as petroleum (or crude oil), heating oil, and essential oils, regardless of its chemical structure.[1] Fats form a category of lipid, distinguished from other lipids by their chemical structure and physical properties. This category of molecules is important for many forms of life, serving both structural and metabolic functions. They are an important part of the diet of most heterotrophs (including humans). Fats or lipids are broken down in the body by enzymes called lipases produced in the pancreas. Examples of edible animal fats are lard, fish oil, and butter or ghee. They are obtained from fats in the milk and meat, as well as from under the skin, of an animal. Examples of edible plant fats include peanut, soya bean, sunflower, sesame, coconut, olive, and vegetable oils. Margarine and vegetable shortening, which can be derived from the above oils, are used mainly for baking. These examples of fats can be categorized into saturated fats and unsaturated fats.

Chemical structure

A triglyceride molecule

There are many different kinds of fats, but each is a variation on the same chemical structure. All fats consist of fatty acids (chains of carbon and hydrogen atoms, with a carboxylic acid group at one end) bonded to a backbone structure, often glycerol (a "backbone" of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen). Chemically, this is a triester of glycerol, an ester being the molecule formed from the reaction of the carboxylic acid and an organic alcohol. As a simple visual illustration, if the kinks and angles of these chains were straightened out, the molecule would have the shape of a capital

letter E. The fatty acids would each be a horizontal line; the glycerol "backbone" would be the vertical line that joins the horizontal lines. Fats therefore have "ester" bonds. The properties of any specific fat molecule depend on the particular fatty acids that constitute it. Different fatty acids are composed of different numbers of carbon and hydrogen atoms. The carbon atoms, each bonded to two neighboring carbon atoms, form a zigzagging chain; the more carbon atoms there are in any fatty acid, the longer its chain will be. Fatty acids with long chains are more susceptible to intermolecular forces of attraction (in this case, van der Waals forces), raising its melting point. Long chains also yield more energy per molecule when metabolized.
Saturated and unsaturated

A fat's constituent fatty acids may also differ in the number of hydrogen atoms that are bonded to the chain of carbon atoms. Each carbon atom is typically bonded to two hydrogen atoms. When a fatty acid has this typical arrangement, it is called "saturated", because the carbon atoms are saturated with hydrogen; meaning they are bonded to as many hydrogens as possible. In other fats, a carbon atom may instead bond to only one other hydrogen atom, and have a double bond to a neighboring carbon atom. This results in an "unsaturated" fatty acid. More specifically, it would be a monounsaturated fatty acid, whereas, a polyunsaturated fatty acid would be a fatty acid with more than one double bond. Saturated and unsaturated fats differ in their energy content and melting point. Since an unsaturated fat contains fewer carbon-hydrogen bonds than a saturated fat with the same number of carbon atoms, unsaturated fats will yield slightly less energy during metabolism than saturated fats with the same number of carbon atoms. Saturated fats can stack themselves in a closely packed arrangement, so they can freeze easily and are typically solid at room temperature. But the rigid double bond in an unsaturated fat fundamentally changes the chemistry of the fat.
Trans fatty acids

There are two ways the double bond may be arranged: the isomer with both parts of the chain on the same side of the double bond (the cis-isomer), or the isomer with the parts of the chain on opposite sides of the double bond (the trans-isomer). Most trans-isomer fats (commonly called trans fats) are commercially produced rather than naturally occurring. The cis-isomer introduces a kink into the molecule that prevents the fats from stacking efficiently as in the case of fats with saturated chains. This decreases intermolecular forces between the fat molecules, making it more difficult for unsaturated cis-fats to freeze; they are typically liquid at room temperature. Trans fats may still stack like saturated fats, and are not as susceptible to metabolization as other fats. Trans fats may significantly increase the risk of coronary heart disease.[2]

Importance for living organisms

Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble, meaning they can only be digested, absorbed, and transported in conjunction with fats. Fats are also sources of essential fatty acids, an important dietary requirement. Fats play a vital role in maintaining healthy skin and hair, insulating body organs against shock, maintaining body temperature, and promoting healthy cell function. Fats also serve as energy stores for the body, containing about 37.8 kilojoules (9 calories) per gram of fat.[3] They are broken down in the body to release glycerol and free fatty acids. The glycerol can be converted to glucose by the liver and thus used as a source of energy.

Fat also serves as a useful buffer towards a host of diseases. When a particular substance, whether chemical or bioticreaches unsafe levels in the bloodstream, the body can effectively diluteor at least maintain equilibrium ofthe offending substances by storing it in new fat tissue. This helps to protect vital organs, until such time as the offending substances can be metabolized and/or removed from the body by such means as excretion, urination, accidental or intentional bloodletting, sebum excretion, and hair growth. While it is nearly impossible to remove fat completely from the diet, it would also be unhealthy to do so. Some fatty acids are essential nutrients, meaning that they can't be produced in the body from other compounds and need to be consumed in small amounts. All other fats required by the body are non-essential and can be produced in the body from other compounds.

Adipose tissue

The obese mouse on the left has large stores of adipose tissue. For comparison, a mouse with a normal amount of adipose tissue is shown on the right.

In animals, adipose, or fatty tissue is the body's means of storing metabolic energy over extended periods of time. Depending on current physiological conditions, adipocytes store fat derived from the diet and liver metabolism or degrade stored fat to supply fatty acids and glycerol to the circulation. These metabolic activities are regulated by several hormones (i.e., insulin, glucagon and epinephrine). The location of the tissue determines its metabolic profile: "visceral fat" is located within the abdominal wall (i.e., beneath the wall of abdominal muscle) whereas "subcutaneous fat" is located beneath the skin (and includes fat that is located in the abdominal area beneath the skin but above the abdominal muscle wall). Visceral fat was recently discovered to be a significant producer of signaling chemicals (i.e., hormones), among which are several which are involved in inflammatory tissue responses. One of these is resistin which has been linked to obesity, insulin resistance, and Type 2 diabetes. This latter result is currently controversial, and there have been reputable studies supporting all sides on the issue.

Fat facts / What are Good and Bad fats? Fats are also known as: Lipids

Monounsaturated fat Polyunsaturated fat Saturated fat From a calorie viewpoint there is no difference between monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated fat. ALL fats are high in calories. Please do not avoid fats altogether! Fat is a nutrient that is necessary for health. As fat performs a number of essential functions in the body a fat-free diet is not recommended. Fat is a major source of energy and also aids your body in absorbing fat soluble vitamins. Fat is important for proper growth and development and for keeping you healthy. Fat adds flavor and taste to foods and gives you satiety value Fats are an important source of calories and nutrients especially for infants and toddlers. Fats are known as triglycerides, both in food and in the body and they are the storage and transport form of fats.

Total fat consumption should be 15-30 per cent of total daily calorie intake. Monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat should account for a majority of this total fat intake, while saturated fat should make a very small part of this total. Fat Facts Saturated Fat Is The Main Dietary Cause Of High Blood Cholesterol Saturated fats are firm at room temperature and are found mostly in foods from animal sources and a few plant sources. Foods from animal sources that are rich in saturated fats include beef, beef fat, veal, lamb, pork, lard, poultry fat, butter, cream, milk, cheeses and other dairy products made from whole and 2 percent milk. All these foods also contain dietary cholesterol. Foods from plant sources that contain saturated fat include coconut, coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil (often called tropical oils), and cocoa butter. Fat Facts Is Butter Better Than Margarine? Because butter is rich in both saturated fat and cholesterol, it's potentially a highly atherogenic food (a food that causes the arteries to be blocked). Most margarine is made from vegetable fat and provides no dietary cholesterol but they contain Transfatty acids (TFA). However, the more liquid the margarine, i.e., tub or liquid forms, the less hydrogenated it is and the less TFA it contains. Fat Facts Hydrogenated fats & trans fats Fats like margarine and shortening are made of vegetable oils which have undergone a chemical process called hydrogenation. They contain a kind of fat called trans fatty acids (TFAs) which also raise blood cholesterol. TFAs are found naturally in small amounts in various animal products such as beef, pork, lamb and the butterfat in butter and milk. It appears that these naturally formed TFAs may not have the same effect on blood cholesterol as those produced by hydrogenation. The saturated fats & trans fat content of foods is printed on the Nutrition Facts label of packaged foods. Keep trans fat intake to less than 1 percent of total calories. For example, if you need 2,000 calories a day, you should consume less than 2 grams of trans fat. How are trans-fatty acids harmful? There are no labeling regulations for fast food, and it can even be advertised as cholesterol-free and cooked in vegetable oil. But, eating one doughnut at breakfast (3.2 g of TFA ) and a large order of French fries at lunch (6.8 g of TFA) will add 10 g of TFA to one's diet. So even if the food is advertised as healthy, dig a little deeper, and look at its ingredients. If hydrogenated appears there, know that it contains TFAs and should be eaten sparingly Polyunsaturated And Monounsaturated Fats Are The Two Unsaturated Fats. These fats are liquid at room temperature and found mainly in fatty fish, nuts, seeds and oils from plants. Examples of foods that contain these fats include salmon, trout, herring, avocados, olives, walnuts and liquid vegetable oils such as soybean, corn, safflower, canola, olive and sunflower. Monounsaturated fat is considered to be the healthiest type of fat and the use of both

polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats help lower your blood cholesterol level when you use them in moderation. Keep a total fat intake, maximum of 25 -30 percent of calories, with a major portion coming from fish and/or plant sources. Omega 3 Fatty Acids Omega 3 fats are a kind of polyunsaturated fats. They have traditionally been classified as "essential fatty acids" because the body is unable to manufacture them on its own and because they play a fundamental role in several physiological functions. What foods provide omega 3 fatty acids? Salmon, flax seeds and walnuts are excellent sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Very good sources of these healthy fats include scallops, cauliflower, cabbage, cloves and mustard seeds. Good sources of these fats include halibut, shrimp, cod, tuna, soybeans, tofu, kale, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts. Fat Facts Sources of Good and Bad Fats A few sources of good & bad fats with the serving sizes and their yield (Fat foods lists) Good fats - sources of MUFA, PUFA & Omega 3 fatty acids Good Fats Serving size Amount of Fat Canola Oil 1 tsp 4.5g Almonds 6 nos 4.5g Avocados 2 Tbsp 4.5g Olive oils 1 tsp 4.5g Cashews 6 nuts 4.5g Peanuts 10 nuts 4.5g Safflower oil 1 tsp 4.5g Pistachios 16 nuts 4.5g Soya bean oil 1 tsp 4.5g Salmon, trout 1.5 oz 4.5g Walnuts 2 whole or 4 halves 4.5g Sunflower oils 1 tsp 4.5g Bad fats sources of saturated & trans fats (Foods Rich in Fats) Bad Fats Serving size Amount of Fat Butter 1 pat or 1 square 4.06g Cream 1 Tbsp 4.5g Ghee 1 tsp 5g Mayonnaise 1 tsp 4.5g Croissant small 1.5 oz 8g Haldiram snacks 2 Tbsp 5g Bacon 1 slice 4.5g Sausage break fast 1 oz 8g French fries 1.3 oz ( 38 g) 6g Peanut butter 1 tsp 4.5g Creamy Salad 1 tbsp 5g

Mittais Pork Mutton & Chicken

1 square 1 oz

7 10g 8g

Fat Facts Use Healthy alternatives, low amounts of fat and/or non stick cookware (Sources of Good and Bad fats Fat foods lists) Avoid this Substitute with this instead Whole milk Skimmed milk Margarine Light or fat free margarine Mayonnaise reduced fat or fat-free mayonnaise Cream cheese light or fat-free cream cheese Regular cheese part skim or reduced fat cheese Whole egg two egg whites Whipped cream non-fat yogurt, or whipped topping made with skim milk Ghee or butter Low fat butter Ice cream Frozen dessert made with vegetable oil Fat Facts RDA of fat in the diet (Good and bad fats amounts) There is no definite amount or RDA set for fat After the age of 2 years everybody should eat foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol to maintain healthy blood cholesterol levels. Optimum levels of fat in the diet are given below: Less than 10 percent of calories should come from saturated fat. An average of 30 percent of calories or less should come from total fat. Dietary cholesterol intake should be less than 300 mg a day.

Other recommendations for good and bad fats amounts include: 10 percent or less of total calories should come from polyunsaturated fat intake 10 to 15 percent of total calories should come from monounsaturated fats.

Is there a minimum need for the different kinds of fats? You need a minimum of 10 to 20 percent of your overall calories as fat according to the Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization. Fat Facts Calories from FATS Age /person TOTAL CALORIES 2,500-2,000 2,500-2,000 CALORIES FROM FAT 750-900 600-750 450-600 300-450 GRAMS OF FAT 83-100 67-83 50-67 33-50 TSP OF FAT 17-20 13-17 10-13 6-10

Active adult male Adult male or active female Adult female or elderly 1,500-2,000 male Dieting adult or elderly 1,000-1,500 female

Fat Facts Good and Bad Fats in Meal Planning: A few suggestions: Choose fish, poultry, and lean cuts of meat with the fat and skin removed before cooking. Eat no more than 6 ounces per day or substitute vegetarian sources of protein for animal sources several times a week. Good sources include lentils and beans including soybeans Broil, bake, roast, steam or poach foods rather than fry them. Cut down on high fat processed meats Limit organ meats such as liver Use skim or low-fat milk, cheeses, and yogurt. Use all fats and oils sparingly. Use liquid or soft tub margarines or vegetable oils high in monounsaturated fats like canola and olive oil instead of butter. For dressings use no oil dressings or skimmed and low fat dressings instead of regular creamy dressings. Add condiments and spices like mustard, basil, ginger, garlic & cinnamon to increase flavor. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grain cereals, breads, rice and pasta made from whole grains. Stay away from packaged and processed foods, such as pies, cakes, cookies, doughnuts, croissants, and muffins that are high in saturated or hydrogenated fats Limit commercially fried foods, baked goods, shortenings as they will have lots of hydrogenated saturated & Trans fats which can be harmful. Always read food labels. Look for the Nutrition Facts on the label and choose products that are lowest in fat and saturated fat. Also avoid products that list hydrogenated fats high on the ingredient list. If you know you have a family history of Diabetes, Obesity, and Heart Disease and you find yourself gaining weight, then it is recommended you address the issue of eating a more balanced diet. One that is rich in fruits and vegetables but lean in fats and oils.