FATTY ACIDS

admin | Food & Beverages | 26 Jan 2020 03:00:21

Fatty Acids

Fatty acids examples would be fats, oils, steroids and cholesterols. In fact, fatty acids are carboxylic acids with long aliphatic chain, which can be saturated. It is containing only single bonds or unsaturated containing multiple bonds between carbon atoms. Few examples of saturated fatty acids are Palmitic acid, stearic acid.

Types of Fatty Acids

There are three types of fatty acids; saturated, monosaturated and polysaturated. The basic differences between each of type is the number of carbon atoms with or without two hydrogen atoms bonded to them. Fatty acids generally consist of a straight chain of an even number of carbon atoms. Hydrogen atoms are along the length of the chain and at one end of the chain and a carboxyl group at the other end. It is that carboxyl group that makes it an acid.

Triglycerides are also made in our bodies from the carbohydrates that we eat. Fatty acids have many important functions in the body, including energy storage. If glucose is not available for energy, then the body uses fatty acids to fuel the cells.

Fatty Acids Biology

A fatty acid is a subunit of fats, oils, and waxes. It pertains to any long chain of hydrocarbon, with a single carboxylic group and aliphatic tail. Fatty acids are subgroup of lipids. Other types of lipids are glycerol, glycerophospholipid, sphingolipid, sterol lipid, and prenol lipid. Fatty acids may vary in terms of length and structure. However, they all have three basic characteristics. They are a carboxyl group for reactions, an even number of carbons. either linear or kinked chains.

Fatty Acids in Human Body

There are two types of fatty acids prevalent and essential in human body. Alpha-linolenic acid or an omega-3 fatty acid and linoleic acid which is an omega-6 fatty acid.

You can get adequate amounts of omega-3s by eating a variety of foods. The variety includes fish and other seafood especially cold-water fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, herrings and sardines. Nuts and seeds such as flaxseed, walnut, cashews and almonds are also rich in omega-3 fats.

Foods High in Omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acids have various benefits for your body and brain. Therefore, many mainstream health organizations recommend a minimum of 250–500mg of omega-3s per day for healthy adults. High amounts of omega-3 fats are obtained from fatty fish, algae, and several high-fat plant foods.

Mackerel are small fatty fish in Western countries are smoked and may be eaten as whole fillets. These fish are easy to prepare and delicious. Mackerel are incredibly rich in nutrients.
 
Salmon is one of the most nutrient-dense foods too. It contains high-quality protein and a variety of nutrients, including large amounts of vitamin D, selenium, and B vitamins. Studies show that people who regularly eat fatty fish have a lower risk of diseases like heart disease, dementia, and depression.
 
Cod liver oil is more of a supplement than a food. It is oil extracted from the livers of codfish. Cod liver oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids and loaded with vitamin D and A.

However, cholesterol is produced by your liver, which regulates your body’s cholesterol production according to your dietary cholesterol intake. When you eat cholesterol-rich foods, your liver responds by producing less. Therefore, foods high in cholesterol only have a minor effect on your total blood cholesterol levels

Plant Food Fatty Acids

Walnuts are very nutritious and loaded with fibre. They also contain high amounts of copper, manganese and vitamin E. Walnuts are better without removing the skin. Skin is packed with antioxidants. Soybeans are a good source of vegetable protein and fibre. They are also a good source of other nutrients, including riboflavin, folate, vitamin K, magnesium, and potassium.
 
Seaweed, nori, and spirulina are different forms of algae that many people eat for their health benefits. These are important sources of omega-3 for people who are vegan and vegetarians. They are one of the few plant groups that contain DHA and EPA. Seaweed is also rich in protein and it may have antioxidant, antidiabetic and antihypertensive properties.
 
Chia seeds are also excellent plant-based source of ALA omega-3 fatty acids. They are also high in fibre and protein. You can use these seeds as an ingredient in granola, salads, or smoothies. Alternatively, you can mix them with milk or yogurt to make chia pudding. Mixing chia seeds with water also creates an egg substitute that vegans can use.
 
Flaxseeds are one of the healthiest seeds that you can eat. They are rich in fibre, protein, manganese and magnesium. Flaxseeds also help reduce blood pressure and improve heart health. It can be mixed with water to create a vegan egg replacement. Flaxseeds are also easy to incorporate into the diet by adding them to oatmeal, cereal, or salad.

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