Nutrients are the components present in the food that are required for normal functioning, growth and development of our body cells, tissues and organs. These compounds present in food provide us with energy that facilitates repair and growth and helps to carry out different life processes.
In general, nutrients are of two types: macronutrients and micronutrients.
- Carbohydrates, fats and proteins are grouped into macronutrients, as these food components are required in larger amounts and function by providing energy for the proper functioning of the cells, tissues and other organ systems in our body.
- Minerals and vitamins are grouped into micronutrients, as these components are involved in building and repairing damaged tissues in order to control the body process. These nutrients are required by the body in small amounts.
Explore more: Difference Between Micronutrients and Macronutrients
What Are Fats?
In simple words, fats can be defined as the most essential part of the diet as they play an important role in maintaining a healthy life. They are the source of energy and are required for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.
There are four different types of fats:
- Trans Fats
- Saturated Fats
- Monounsaturated Fats
- Polyunsaturated Fats
The human body is well-designed to produce different types of fats, which are essential for the proper functioning of the body. They are also obtained from different food sources we consume.
Also Read: What Are Fats?
There are more interesting facts to learn about fats.
Here are some amazing facts about fats that we all need to know.
Interesting Facts about Fats
Fats are complex molecules, which contain glycerol and fatty acids. These macronutrients are involved in the absorption and transportation of vitamins A, D, E, and K through the bloodstream.
In the human body, fats play a major role in controlling inflammation, blood-coagulation, brain development and also in digesting nutrients and producing essential hormones.
Healthy sources of fats include walnuts, fish, vegetable-based oil, etc. Fats are the most concentrated source of energy in the diet, which provide about 8 to 9 calories per gram.
Refer more: Food sources
Saturated fat is responsible for bad cholesterol and is found in high amounts in animal products, including cheese, butter, red meat, etc. Food sources, which are high in saturated fats, should be consumed in very little quantities.
Trans fats are present in many processed foods such as baked food items, including cakes, pastries, cookies, crackers, snacks, deep-fried foods and other junk food. The trans fats are semi-solid in nature and they are produced by hydrogenation of vegetable oils.
Monounsaturated fats are abundantly found in peanuts, avocados, macadamia nuts, olives and olive oils. They are healthy fats, which play a vital role in protecting the functioning of the heart, maintaining a healthy weight, supporting insulin sensitivity, storage of fat and healthy energy levels.
Polyunsaturated fats (PUFA) also called unsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6) are mainly involved in inhibiting the development of cancer cells and even in strengthening the immune system.
Consuming large quantities of saturated fats results in certain health disorders, including heart attacks, blockage in the arteries and other heart-related issues.
Also Read: Heart diseases
Trans fats are unsaturated fatty acids, that are present naturally in several food sources, including beef, butter, cheese, cream, milk, lamb and other dairy products.
Fat is one of the essential macronutrients, which should be included in our daily diet to keep us healthy and also to provide energy for the proper functioning of the metabolic system.
Refer more – Balanced Diet
This article concludes an introduction to fats, along with their amazing facts. To know more about fats, types, sources, deficiency diseases, important questions and other related topics, keep visiting our website at BYJU’S Biology.
Frequently Asked Questions on Facts about fats
What are Trans Fats?
Trans fat is produced by the hydrogenation of vegetable oil. It is present in packed foods.
What are polyunsaturated fats?
Polyunsaturated fatty acids have more than one double bond in the hydrocarbon chain of fatty acids. They are important for reducing bad cholesterol.
What are phospholipids?
The lipid with an attached phosphate group is called phospholipids. It is an essential component of cell membranes. E.g.: lecithin
Read more: Omega Oxidation of Fatty Acids