Here are the top 25 interesting facts about lipids and fats:
#1 Lipids are fat-like substances which are crucial parts of the membranes found in the myelin sheath which protects and coats the nerves between and within each cell.
#2 Some lipids are used as structural components of cell membranes, others serve for energy storage, and some are vital hormones. Lipids include phospholipids, fats, and steroids.
#3 Phospholipids are the 1st group of lipids and are the components of the cell membrane. They are structurally similar to fats, however, they have only 2 fatty acids attached to the glycerol and in place of the 3rd fatty acid is a phosphate group.
#4 Steroids have 4 connecting carbon rings and a functional group that determines which steroid molecule it is. Steroids include chlorophyll, cholesterol, and hormones. Our bodies use cholesterol to make the hormones estrogen (female hormones) and testosterone (male hormones).
A fatty acid is just a long chain of carbon atoms connected to each other. High levels of triglycerides in the blood are strongly associated with adverse health conditions.
#6 Cholesterol is extremely important. It forms an outer coating on the cells. Moreover, cholesterol is a part of bile acids which help in food digestion in the small intestine and stomach.
High LDL and total blood cholesterol are bad news. For instance, about 40 million people in the United States have levels which may considerably increase their risk of cardiovascular disease.
Types Of Fats
#7 Saturated fat is a type of dietary fat. These fats are usually solid at room temperature. It is one of the unhealthy fats, along with trans fat.
#8 Foods like palm and coconut oils, butter, cheese, eggs, and meat have high amounts of saturated fat. More importantly, eggs contain cholesterol, that worsens the effects of the saturated fat.
#9 A regular diet high in saturated fat may raise your low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. Ultimately, this will raise your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Saturated fats should account for less than five percent of an adult’s daily caloric intake. This equates to no more than 10g of saturated fat for a person consuming 2000 calories per day.
#10 Trans fatty acids, more commonly called trans fats, is a type of fat created when a liquid fat is hydrogenated. This type of fat is very effective at elevating LDL and total cholesterol levels and is commonly found in fast foods and commercially baked products.
#11 Hydrogenated oils are used by food manufacturers to improve the taste, shelf life, and culinary properties of processed foods such as cakes, biscuits, pies, and other foods.
Removing this type of foods from the diet can help keep your weight in check as well as lose weight faster and healthier. Staying at a normal BMI can reduce your risk for heart disease and other life-threatening conditions.
#13 Monounsaturated fats (like olive and safflower oils) have one double-bonded carbon in the molecule. Therefore, due to their different chemical structure, they do not stack up as neatly as saturated fats, and this is the reason why saturated fats are liquid at room temperature.
#14 Consuming monounsaturated fats instead of saturated and trans fats may lower LDL and total cholesterol levels, as well as help people with type 2 diabetes to manage their blood sugar better.
#15 Polyunsaturated fats are simply fat molecules which have more than one unsaturated carbon bond in the molecule. They are usually found in plant-based foods, such as vegetable oils, grains, legumes, nuts, avocados, and seeds.
#16 According to research, a diet lower in saturated and trans fats and higher in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats may reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and other health problems.
#17 Fat is the main storage form of energy in the body. Although there are different types of fats (trans, saturated, poly- and monounsaturated) and some have more benefits for your body than others, they are all the single most calorie-rich component of food, and should be used sparingly.
#18 Fat molecules contain 9 dietary calories per gram, that is denser than protein or carbohydrates. Lipids can be generated from the regular diet. Nevertheless, they can be synthesized from the biosynthetic pathways.
#19 Fat helps the body absorb some vitamins better, like vitamin A, D, E, and K. For example, vitamin A plays an essential role in maintaining healthy neurological function, vision, and a healthy skin.
#21 Sandhoff disease is a rare, inherited lipid storage disorder which progressively destroys nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain. The 1st symptoms of the infantile form of this rare disease usually start between the ages of three to 6 months.
#22 You have a fixed number of fat cells as an adult. New fat cells are constantly created and destroyed, but the body always remains below a fixed limit, which is set during adolescence. For instance, during adulthood, about 8 percent of fat cells die per year only to be replaced by new ones.
#23 According to a recent study, the protein mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) stimulates the production of fats in liver tumors to satisfy the increased energy needs and nutrient turnover of cancer cells.
#24 A new family of fats which have an essential role in controlling clot formation (the process by which blood changes from a liquid to a gel) has been discovered by the scientists at Cardiff University. This discovery could lead to new methods of reducing the risk of excess clotting, potentially preventing deaths from strokes, heart attacks, and deep vein thrombosis.
#25 Scientists at the University of Basel in Switzerland have identified how liver cancer cells obtain their supply of fat. This finding could lead to the production of new liver cancer medications which stop fat synthesis.