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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Fat Is a Nutrient and Is Crucial for Normal Body Functions

When you hear the word "fat" is the unwanted "excess" in your body that crunches down the scale. Truth is: fat is a nutrient and is crucial for normal body functions which we can't live without. It supplies our bodies with energy, and streamline the working of other nutrients. Consistent of a wide group of compounds, it is basically broken down to soluble in organic solvents and insoluble in water. Trieste's (one of three ester chemical groups) are chemical fats of glycerol and fatty acids.

Depending on the structure and composition of fats, some fats can be liquid at room temperature and others in solid form. Liquid fats are referred to as oil and solid fats as fats. Ever heard of a "Lipid"? The word lipid refers to both liquid and solid fat types. But not all fats are measured with the same yardstick and not knowing which fats are good for your body, may scare you a little to think that your body relies on fat. (Even more than you would like to.) Bearing in mind, that even if fats (some more than other) are good for you, it should be taken in moderation and according to your daily diet.

Saturated fats
Naturally occurring saturated fat congeals (turn solid) when cool. Each molecule is covered in hydrogen atoms, which causes the solidifying action. It is distinguished from unsaturated fat in that there are no double bonds between carbon atoms in its chemical makeup. The largest amounts of saturated fats are found in meat (beef, lamb etc.), meat and processed meat products, poultry skin, dairy products and many processed foods like cakes, biscuits, pastries and crisps. Saturated fat should only form a small part of your daily diet, because the intake of large quantities may result in high cholesterol levels.

Monounsaturated fat
Being the centre line of fats, monounsaturated fats stay liquid at room temperature and solidify when chilled. The fat molecules (having space for two hydrogen atoms only) are broken down more easily by the body than saturated fats. There are disputes into which category this fat should fall, but is basically taken as a neutral fat - they are neither good nor bad for you. These fats are the basis of the Mediterranean diet, because they are mostly found in olives, ground nut oil and avocados.

Polyunsaturated fat
This type of fat is typically liquid at room temperature and when chilled. From a chemical standpoint, they are simple fats that have more than one double-bonded carbon in the molecule, which makes it easier for your body to break down and convert into energy. Polyunsaturated are found in oily fish (sardines, mackerel, trout & salmon), sunflower oil, grape seed oil & most nuts. Polyunsaturated fats are the healthier alternative when it comes to essential fats.

Trans fat
Trans fats are created by an industrial chemical process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid. They are synthetically made, they do not naturally occur and are not essential for human life and they do not promote good health. These fats are mostly used by food companies because they are cheap and reusable, as they can be used in commercial fryers. Common sources of trans fats can be found in fried foods, doughnuts, pies, pastries, pizza dough, crackers etc.

So even if the word "fat" raise the hair in your neck, it's helpful to understand the types of fat, and what is essential for your well being. Bearing in mind, that even if fats (some more than other) are good for you, it should be taken in moderation and according to your daily diet.

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