Good Fat?     
Basic Needs 2    
Saturated Fat 2    
Finding Good Fat 2    
The Good News 2    

Reading List     

Vitamins
A, D, E & K
are fats.

Fat Facts

 

 

 

 

 




  Saturated vs. Unsaturated Fats

You may have heard the terms saturated and unsaturated fat. This simply refers to the structure of the fat. All fats contain long chains of carbon atoms. These carbon atoms may be linked together by either a single or a double bond as represented below. Unsaturated fats have one or more double bonds that give them chemical properties that are very useful to the body.
Carbon chain
It is an oversimplification to say unsaturated fats are the good fats and saturated are the bad fats, but there is some truth to it; the body utilizes the curved structure of unsaturated fats to a) form pathways in and out of cells, and b) to transmit electric impulses. Double bonds (cis) have a slight charge where single bonds and straightened (trans) double bonds do not.1 Fats with no double bonds are called saturated and are straight.

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Double-bond Configuration
cis double bonds in fats

Trans-fatty acids have straightened double bonds and thus act like saturated fat.

 


   1 Erasmus, Udo, Fats that Heal Fats that Kill (Burnany BC Canada: Alive Books, 1993), p. 39-40.

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