Chemistry - Saturated and unsaturated fats
Saturated and unsaturated fats
Unlike proteins, and many carbohydrates, fats and vegetable oils are not
polymers. The differences between saturated  and unsaturated fats can
have significant health implications. The degree of saturation of fats and
oils is believed to be important in the control of cholesterol levels. Over
consumption of saturated fats have been shown to increase cholesterol
levels in the blood and the risk of heart attack.
Unsaturated fats (and oils) have particular storage problems.
Carbon-carbon (C=C) double bonds are particularly reactive and can be
attacked by atmospheric oxygen. This may result in unpleasant odours and
tastes. The oxidation of unsaturated fats can be prevented by adding
antioxidants  to particular foods.
Fats and oils are non-polar and therefore insoluble in water. This affects
their digestion in the body.
Previous | Next