It’s all fat, but does it make you fat? In this coursework I am going to explain the health implications of eating saturated and hydrogenated fats by investigating individual types of oils and margarines and their affects. My research into different types of fats will explain which fats should be eaten more or less of and the reasons for this. I will also talk about the fats we shouldn’t eat, what affects they have on our bodies and why we should avoid eating them.
I am then going to form an for and against argument about why hydrogenation in the industry can harm our bodies and then come to a conclusion whether I think we should or shouldn’t eat hydrogenated fats. In this part of the task am going to find out and explain what is meant by monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated fats/oils. Triglyceride Molecule A triglyceride is a molecule that contains one glycerol molecule and three fatty acids, which is mainly constituted in vegetable oils and animal fats. The chemical formula is RCOO-CH2CH (-OOCR’) CH2-OOCR”, where R, R’, and R” are longer alkyl chains.
The three fatty acids RCOOH, R’COOH and R”COOH can be all different, all the same, or only two the same. This part of my coursework will explain what is meant by Monounsaturated, Polyunsaturated and Saturated fats or oils. Monounsaturated Fat Monounsaturated fats or (Monounsaturated fatty acids) are fatty acids that only contain one double bond in the chain and the rest of the remaining carbon atoms in the chain are single bonded. Fatty acids are long chained molecules with a methyl group at one end and a carboxylic acid group at the other. The fluidity of the fatty acids increases with the increasing number of double bonds.
Monounsaturated fats have a higher melting temperature than polyunsaturated fats but lower than saturated fats. Monounsaturated fatty acids are liquids at room temperature and semisolid or solid when refrigerated. Monounsaturated fats are found in natural foods such as nuts and avocados and are the main component of tea seed oil and olive oil (Oleic acid). Macadamia nut oil, grapeseed oil, groundnut oil (peanut oil), sesame oil, corn oil, popcorn, whole grain wheat, cereal, oatmeal, safflower oil, sunflower oil, tea-oil Camellia and avocado oil are also sources of monounsaturated fats.
Oleic acid is typical monounsaturated fatty acid which has 18 carbon atoms with the first double bond occurring 9 carbon atoms away from the methyl group. Other typical monounsaturated fatty acids include Palmitoleic acid which has 16 carbon atoms with the first double bond occurring 7 carbon atoms away from the methyl group and 9 carbons from the carboxyl end and Vaccenic acid which has 18 carbon atoms. Oleic Acid Polyunsaturated Fat Polyunsaturated fat or (Polyunsaturated fatty acids) are fatty acids which contain more than one double bond within the molecule.
It has two or more points on its structure capable of supporting hydrogen atoms that are currently not part of the structure. Depending on the geometry of the double bond the polyunsaturated fatty acids can assume a cis or trans conformation. They can be divided into two categories Omega – 3 fats which can be found in fish, seafood, and lean meat, plant foods such as cereal grains, seeds, nuts, legumes, dark green leafy vegetables, figs and also in plant oils including soybean, canola, linseed and walnut.
Oily fish such as mackerel, salmon, trout, tuna, sardines, herring and gemfish contains more omega – 3 fatty acids than white fish. Omega – 6 fats which is the second category are mostly found in nuts, seeds and plant oils such as corn, soy and safflower. There many benefits of omega fats, some of which are lowering blood cholesterol levels and in doing so reduces risk of coronary heart disease. The melting point of the compound is significantly lower because the strength of the intermolecular forces is reduced due to the lack of hydrogen atoms on the molecules surface.
Trans fats solidify at a higher temperature than cis fats making them more similar to saturated fats than cis fats. A typical polyunsaturated fat is Linoeic acid; both of the double bonds in Linoeic acid are cis. Linoeic Acid Saturated Fat Saturated fat is fat that consists of triglycerides that only contain saturated fatty acids radicals. There are several natural occurring saturated fatty acids which differ by the number of carbon atoms; they range from 3 carbons (Propionic Acid) to 36 carbons (Hexatriacontanoic Acid).
Chains of saturated fatty acids have no double bonds which makes them fully saturated with hydrogen atoms. Foods containing a high proportion of saturated fats include dairy products especially cream and cheese and also butter and ghee. Others foods also include animal fats such as suet, tallow, lard and fatty meat, coconut oil, cottonseed oil, palm kernel oil, chocolate and some prepared foods. A typical saturated fatty acid is Stearic acid. Stearic Acid Fats that we should eat more of and why?
We should eat more non-saturated fats which are Polyunsaturated and Monounsaturated fats, these types of fats and oils have numerous health benefits. It transports fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K throughout the body and also cushions and protects internal organs. Essential fatty acids (EFA’s) benefit your heart, metabolism and immune system. Some EFA’s are used by the body for structural, hormonal and electrical functions rather than energy. These EFA’s increase metabolic rate and increase fat burn off resulting in loss of weight. Fat is a concentrated source of energy.
It can also prevent irregular heart beats and reduces inflammation. We should avoid eating Saturated fats as they are bad for health and they clog up arteries causing heart disease and strokes. However health warnings to avoid saturated fat have been misinterpreted which makes people thinks ‘avoid all fat’. Polyunsaturated and Monounsaturated fats are actually good for you if eaten sensibly. Diets high in saturated fat have been correlated with an increased incidence of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. Saturated fats increase cholesterol levels in your body which increases the risk of heart disease.