The Importance of Fat and Oil in Our Body

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fat and oil
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Known Facts on Fat and Oil

Fat and oil are the most concentrated forms of storage of energy than carbohydrate. They are found in the adipose tissue of animals. In the presence of an adequate supply of carbohydrate, fat is stored in the adipose tissue. Fat is one of the three main macronutrients, fat, carbohydrate and protein. Fats, also known as triglycerides, are esters of three fatty acid chains and the alcohol glycerol.

The Definition!

The term oil, fat and lipid are often confused. Oil normally refers to a fat with short or unsaturated fatty acid chains that is lipid at room temperature. While fat may specifically refer to fats that are solids at room temperature. Lipid is the general term, as a lipid is the general term, as a lipid is not necessarily a triglyceride. Fats, like other lipids, are generally hydrophobic, and are soluble in organic solvents and insoluble in water.

Chemical composition

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Fat is a complex molecule which constitutes a mixture of fatty acid and alcohol, generally glycerol. It contains carbon, hydrogen and oxygen differs with more carbon, hydrogen and less oxygen. One gram of fat will give 9kcal when oxidized.

Classification of fat

Simple lipids- called neutral fats and chemically made up of triglycerides.

Compound lipids- chemically made up of simple lipids containing phosphorus. (Phospholipids), (glycolipids).

Other classifications include Derived lipids and un-saponified lipids like steroids.

Classification of fatty acid

Saturated fatty acids- a fatty acid whose carbon chain cannot absorb any more hydrogen atoms. Saturated fatty acids are solid at room temperature. Most saturated fats are from animal products. Although all fat have the same amount of calories some are more harmful than others. Saturated and trans fat is harmful to human being. Examples meat, dairy products and eggs and it is found in some plant sources such as coconut, palm oil and palm kernel oil. Saturated fatty acids / trans-fat raises the total low density lipoproteins (LDL)- known as bad fat and cholesterol. It is advisable to avoid them or take them minimally.

Trans-fat/ hydrogenated fats- there are actually are unsaturated fats, but there can raise total LDL and cholesterol level while also lowing the high density lipoproteins (HDL) which are good cholesterol level. Trans-fat are used to extend the shelf life that is used as preservatives. Examples cakes, cookies, fries and doughnuts. Any item that contains hydrogenated oil likely contains trans-fats.

Unsaturated fatty acids

Mono and polyunsaturated fats they are derived from vegetables and plants. Monounsaturated fats included olive oils, peanut oil, canola oil and avocados. Studies show that this type of oil actually lowers the LDL (Bad fat/ cholesterol) and maintain the HDL (good fat and cholesterol).

Poly unsaturated fatty acids- there are liquid at room temperature they include safflower oil, corn seed oil and soybean oil. They lower LDL and also tend to lower HDL.

Omega 3 fatty acids – essential fatty acid which is critical for our health, but our body cannot manufacture them. It is found in fish, flax seed, soya bean and wallnuts. These oils can reduce the risk of chronic heart diseases and boost our immune system.

Essential fatty acid– linoleic acid abundant in plant fats and oil, linolenic acid occurs in some plant oil.

Nonessential fatty acid – palmitic acid major fat in meat and dairy products. Oleic acid found in olive oil and canola oil. Butyric acid an unpleasant smelling fatty acid found especially in butter.

Functions of fat and oil

It supplies heat.

It carries fat soluble vitamins.

It provides energy.

It helps in growth, healthy skin and metabolism.

It adds flavor to food.

Deficiency

Absence of polyunsaturated acid causes failure in growth and reproduction. As seen in rats.

It can cause dry, scaly skin.

Excess

Obesity

Abnormally slow digestion and absorption of food.

It can cause ketosis.

BEWARE OF THE FOLLOWING

Meats and Cheeses-

 They are very calorie dense foods (fattening), and they have no fiber.

Trans-fats-

Formed when oil is partially hydrogenated making the spreadable (like margarine and shortening). These fats raise blood levels about as much as saturated fat.

Saturated fats-

They raise cholesterol levels in the blood, increasing the risk of heart disease and colon and prostate cancer. So keep meat, cheese, pizza, ice cream, whole milk butter and most pies, cakes and pastries in the doghouse.

Olestra-

Not absorbed by the body, this fat can cause diarrhea and snare important vitamins and drag them out of the body.

Fat-free foods-

Many people feel safe in eating large amounts of fat and oil-but these foods may still be high in calories, especially from sugar.

Fat and oil are good though, but make sure they are consumed in a healthy ways.

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