Fats are group of organic compounds that are soluble in organic solvents and genetically insoluble in water.Chemically fats are triglycerides,trimesters of glycerol and any of several fatty acids.Fats can be seen as solid or liquid at room temperature depending on their structure and composition.
Fats are biological molecules also called as oils and lipids.However words like oils,fats,lipids all are used to refer to fats,reality is fat is a subset of lipid.
Usually “Oils” is used to refer to fats that are liquids at normal room temperature while “fats” is usually is used to refer to fats that are solid at normal room temperature.”Lipids” is used to refer to both liquid and solid fats along with other related substances which are usually in biochemical or medical context,which are insoluble in water.
The word “oil” is used for any substance that doesn’t mix with water and has a greasy quality like heating oil,petroleum( or crude oil),essential oils regardless of its chemical structure.
Fats are forming 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.
Examples of animal fats: Ghee,butter,fish oil,lard,butter,whale blubber.
Example of plant fats : peanut,soya bean,coconut,olive oil,sesame,sunflower and cocoa butter.
Fats are also categorized into saturated fats and unsaturated fats and trans fats.These fats can be found in various types of food,they are present in proteins, carbohydrates and dairy products.
The fats that have fatty acid chains of one double bond chemical structure or more are called as unsaturated fats.
There are two types of unsaturated fats
Mono-unsaturated: These type of fats contain one double bond between two elements.The foods which contain the highest amount of monounsaturated fats are avocado,nuts,olive oil,sunflower oil,peanut oil (groundnut oil),canola,vegetable oils etc.
In poly-saturated fats,fatty acid chains contain more than one double bond and are thicker,found in fish,legumes,nuts.They seem to be good for your health as they reduce heart disease and important part of the healthy diet.There are 3 types of polyunsaturated fats.
Omega 6 fatty acid,Omega 3 fatty acid and Omega 9 fatty acid.This type of fat is mainly found in vegetable oils,which are the primary sources of polyunsaturated fatty acids like
soybean,sunflower,safflower,sesame,corn oils etc.
Saturated fats :
These kind of fats contain double-bonds or the chains are saturated in hydrogen.Usually they are found in animal fat and linked with diseases such as cancer when considering which type of fat you should eat,it is wise to always choose healthier fat.Overall poly-unsaturated fats are considered more beneficial.
Primary Sources of saturated fats
- Meats( beef,mutton)
- Whole fat Dairy products( milk,cream,cheese)
- Vegetable oils(ex. Palm oil,coconut oil)
Trans Fats :
These are sometimes found as artificial fats,made through hydrogenating plant oils.They also occur naturally in some foods like milk,they often linked with serious heart risks and health issues such as liver dysfunction,obesity,cancer etc.Commonly these are used as cooking oils in restaurants and fat alternatives for delicious dishes.Trans fats are mostly used to prevent the food from spoiling in a long time.
Which fats are harmful to our body?
Saturated and trans fats both are harmful because they increase the LDL cholesterol which causes type 2 diabetes,coronary heart disease,hypertension etc. But unsaturated fats protect from coronary heart disease and decrease the LDL cholesterol and kepp our body healthy But taking saturated fats in moderate amount doesn’t make you unhealthy.
How does fat stored in our body?
“What is fat” we understood now “how it is form in our body” ,there is process of creating a new body fat known as Lipogenesis,where as lipo means fat and genesis means creation.Having genesis in mind,in the beginning there was food,
and food is classified according to their dominant macronutrient.
- Sea food
- Lean meat
- Whey protein powder
- Egg whites
- Fat-free/low fat cottage cheese
- Fat-free/ low fat plain greek yogurt
- Nuts and milled flaxseeds
- Whole eggs
- Fatty meat
- Whole fat dairy
- Everything else
Fruits,vegetables,most dairy,beans and everything else is carbohydrates.They are not proteins or fats,so what else they could be?
The moment our body gets it’s hands on protein,
fat and carbohydrates,it converts them into amino acid,fatty acids and glucose respectively.
So once the fat is converted into fatty acids and if there are there are more fatty acids than our need currently,all of them are sent off to be stored as body fat.The glucose we get from carbohydrates doesn’t work in that way,glucose from carbohydrates can not be as fat without the hormone insulin. Now there is amino acids from proteins which should be converted into glucose and then they need insulin,otherwise they can not be stored as body fat.
Now let’s assume the insulin hormone is following it’s on cycle and we have glucose on its way to fat cells.At this point all the remaining glucose will be converted into fatty acids and we are one step away from formation of new body fat.During the last step of this process,all the fatty acids combines with glycerol molecule to form triglycerides i.e. body fat.This is known as esterificarion and it is not possible without the substance called glycerol -3 phosphate.
Now you must have understood why we get belly fat or fat at other parts of the body.After reading this blog it will be easy for you to start your weight loss journey.