What are they?
Fats, a popular term for the name of lipids, a varied group of organic compounds whose functional unit are fatty acids, characteristic for their high solubility in organic solvents and for the low solubility in water. In this sense, fatty acids can be divided through the presence or not of unsaturations giving rise to saturated fatty acids (SGA), monounsaturated (AGMI) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (AGPI). In addition, it is also possible to classify them as to the size of their chain, existing the short chain (AGCC), medium chain (AGCM) and long chain (AGCL) chain. Or also from which family this fatty acid belongs as the omega 3 (ω3), omega 6 (ω6), omega 7 (ω7) and omega 9 (ω9) family.
What’s the fats for?
The priority function of lipids is the storage of energy in a specific tissue (adipose). Therefore, each gram of fat has 9 Kcal and its recommendation by the Institute of Medicine for daily intake ranges from 20 to 35% of total calories. In the more, lipids can function as alternative components to glucose since they are biochemically more energetic. In addition to providing thermal, mechanical and electrical insulation to the body, they are structural components of biological membranes and give rise to numerous molecules such as hormones and prostaglandins.
How do fats work?
The fat present in food is composed mainly of triglycerides that in the body undergo the action of lipases present in saliva and gastric secretions, are subsequently emulsified with the aid of bile and pancreatic secretions, then are absorbed and transported until they are stored in fat cells in adipocytes, within the adipose tissue.
When do you need to supplement?
Many studies show the mechanisms of action of polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially omega 3 in reducing the levels of triglycerides, lipoproteins and cholesterol, and supplementation of this component is increasingly necessary since dietary intake in sufficient amounts is difficult in view of its origin. Thus, supplementation with EPA and DHA combined in different proportions is done in order to provide health benefits, in addition to omega 6 and 9 supplementation when necessary.
Shahidi, F., & Ambigaipalan, P. (2018). Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Their Health Benefits
. Annual review of food science and technology
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