Do you know what is fat actually made up of? what is trans fat? why some foods have more fats but they are good for our health and vice versa e.g Olive oil is made up of 100% fat and on the other hand pancake is made up of only 11% fat, but olive oil is good for your health while pancake is not.  But how?

The amount of fat we eat doesn’t impact our weight or cholesterol or our risk of heart diseases but what type of fat we eat (i.e Trans or saturated fat)

What is Fat?

In Salmon fish fat molecule is made up of molecules called Triglycerides.

Structure of Triglyceride: It consist of backbone called Glycerol holding long chain fatty acids.

Fatty acid types:

  • long
  • short

May contain double bond (Unsaturated) or single bond (Saturated). Well unsaturated fatty acids are good for you and saturated are bad in excess.

triglycerol.jpg

Cis and Trans fat:

Unsaturated fats are of two types due to the arrangement of double bonds in them There are two ways to arrange every double bond between them.

  1. Cis Molecules (If atoms are on the same side)
  2. Trans Molecules (If atoms are on the opposite side)

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That bond arrangement make it completely different substances. They behave completely different inside of us. Cis fat are good fats while trans fats are not. They don’t go rancid and are more stable during deep frying and they can change the texture of food more than any other fat. They are also terrible for your health far worse than saturated fats. In FDA standards there should be 0 gram of trans fat. 

But how would you come to know that a food has a trans fat in it?

The only label which can tell you is “Partially Hydrogenated” in the ingredients list. Hydrogenation is a process in which we make fats by adding Hydrogen in the fatty acid chains which prevent them to go rancid. In FDA standards there should be 0 gram of trans fat.

That is why Olive oil is 100% fat and pancake is 11% fat but olive oil is good for us because it is composed of unsaturated fats and no trans fat in it. While More than half type of fat in pancake mix is saturated or trans fat. So, there are many foods that have same fat profile as pancake fat.


FASCINATING SCIENCE MAG