Fat

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The word "fat" can also mean that someone is obese.
The obese mouse on the left has a lot of adipose tissue. In many animals, adipose tissue is used to store energy. For comparison, a mouse with a normal amount of adipose tissue is shown on the right

Fat is one of the three main types of nutrient.[1] Fats are found in many foods.They are made of macromolecules called lipids. Lipids are based on long-chain fatty acids. Some of these are essential because the body cannot make them.

Important types of fatty acids[change | change source]

The different types of fats are saturated, unsaturated and trans fats.

Unsaturated fatty acids are very important. They are called by where their double bond is placed. Omega-3 fatty acids (ω-3) and omega-6 fatty acids (ω-6) are essential: you need them both. They help build longer molecules which do cell signalling in different tissues. There are over 20 different signalling paths that control a wide array of bodily functions.

Diet[change | change source]

Fats also provide long term energy for humans and, in cold climates, a layer of insulation to keep the body warm. They help the body use the vitamins found in foods. Fats are also good for the skin and hair. Olive oil is an especially healthy fat. Many types of fish also contain healthy fat, for example salmon, sardines, herring, and tuna. But if too much fat collects in the body, a person can become too heavy. The energy given by fats is used by moving around or exercising. Some vegetables like celery or carrots contribute much less to the bodies fat supply. Though being very important for the human body, it can also harmful in large amounts.

Notes[change | change source]

  1. The others are proteins and carbohydrates.