There are 3 types of fatty acids: saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated -- otherwise known as Omega -3, Omega-6 and Omega-9.
Omega-3 and Omega-6 are essential fatty acids. They can be found in fish, nuts, seeds and vegetable oils.
Triglyerides are the largest class of lipds. They add flavor, texture and calories to the diet. They are a major energy source and calorie reserve, they insulate the organs and help with a variety of other functions throughout the body.
Omega-3 can be found in soybeans, canola oil, walnut oil, flaxseed oil, salmon and mackerel.
Omega-6 can be found in seeds, nuts and vegetable oils.
Phospholipds only make-up 2% of dietary lipids. They are created in the body so there is no need to go out of your way to eat it; however, it is found in egg yolk, liver, soybeans and peanuts in small amounts.
The American Heart Association recommends eating a diet of 20-35% fat. Good sources include Omega-3 and Omega-6 (nuts, plant-oil, some fish).
Fatty acids are either essential (because the body cannot manufacture the acid) or non-essential (because the body does manufacture it).
Unsaturated vs. Saturated
Chains of fatty acid range from 4 to16 carbon atoms in length -- the shortest chains are liquid at room temperature (ie: milk) and the longest chains are solid at room temperature (ie: butter).
Saturated fat is solid at room temperature (butter) because it has a high melting point.
Unsaturated fat (monounsaturated, polyunsaturated) is liquid at room temperature (milk) because they have a low melting point.
Diets high in monounsaturated fat protect against heart disease.
Diets that are high in saturated or trans-saturated fat lead to heart disease.
The American Heart Association recommend you consume no more than 10% saturated or trans fat per day.
Diets high in saturated and trans-saturated fat raise bad cholesterol (LDL), which clogs your blood vessels with plaque and leads to heart disease.
The process of manufacturing commercially processed fats, such as butter, margarine, some cooking oils and baked goods, damages the dietary fat and turns it rancid. It damages your tissue, particularly the blood vessels.
Saturated and transsaturaed fat increases weight gain and promotes cancer. (The China Study)
Sterols do not contain fatty acid, but the group is better known as cholesterol.
Sterol, or Cholesterol, differ from Triglycerides and phospholipids because they do not contain a fatty-acid.
It’s created by the body so there is no reason to eat it.
It is very important structural component of cell membrane, and is used for other purposes throughout the body.
The body creates sterol in the liver, and the intestines contribute to the process.
HDL is the good cholesterol and LDL is the bad cholesterol.
LDL is only found in animal meat.
It is broken down in the stomach, and the digestion occurs in the small intestine.
Many heavy meat eaters experience gastro-intestinal issues.