From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Saturated fat is fat that consists of triglycerides containing only saturated fatty acids. Saturated fatty acids have no double bonds between the individual carbon atoms of the fatty acid chain. That is, the chain of carbon atoms is fully "saturated" with hydrogen atoms. There are many kinds of naturally occurring saturated fatty acids, which differ mainly in number of carbon atoms, from 3 carbons (propionic acid) to 36 (hexatriacontanoic acid).
Various fats contain different proportions of saturated and unsaturated fat. Examples of foods containing a high proportion of saturated fat include animal fats such as cream, cheese, butter, and ghee; suet, tallow, lard, and fatty meats; as well as certain vegetable products such as coconut oil, cottonseed oil, palm kernel oil, chocolate, and many prepared foods.[unreliable source?]
While nutrition labels regularly combine them, the saturated fatty acids appear in different proportions among food groups. Lauric and myristic acid are most commonly found in "tropical" oils (e.g., palm kernel, coconut) and dairy products. The saturated fat in meat, eggs, chocolate, and nuts is primarily the triglycerides of palmitic and stearic acid.
Examples of saturated fatty acids
Some common examples of fatty acids:
* Butyric acid with 4 carbon atoms (contained in butter)
* Lauric acid with 12 carbon atoms (contained in coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and breast milk)
* Myristic acid with 14 carbon atoms (contained in cow's milk and dairy products)
* Palmitic acid with 16 carbon atoms (contained in palm oil and meat)
* Stearic acid with 18 carbon atoms (also contained in meat and cocoa butter)
Association with diseases
Fats that are high in saturated fatty acids (including meat fats, milk fat, butter, lard, coconut oil, palm oil, and palm kernel oil) are commonly considered to be potentially less healthful than fats with a lower proportion of saturated fatty acids and higher proportions of unsaturated fatty acids like olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, avocados, safflower, corn, sunflower, soy, and cottonseed oils.
Share this article