My watch list  

A Guide to the Different Types of Fat


© Compound Interest

A Guide to the Different Types of Fat

Fat is an important nutrient in our diets, but there’s a lot of talk of different types of fats, and whether these types are beneficial or harmful to our health. These different fat classifications have their roots in chemistry – and chemistry can also help explain their effects. This graphic takes a look at the different classifications, their sources, and briefly about how they act in our body.

Firstly, it’s worth emphasising that fat has an important role to play in a balanced diet. The fat in our diets is a source of some ‘fatty acids’ that are termed ‘essential’: that is, the body is unable to make them itself, and relies on our diets as their source. They’re required because they help the body absorb vitamins that are fat-soluble. We’ve looked at vitamins before in a previous post – the vitamins that fats help to absorb are vitamins A, D, E and K. Additionally, fats help provide us with energy, and they are also important for a variety of functions in the body.

Fats also play an important role in the body with respect to cholesterol. Cholesterol is a substance we produce in our livers, and it is also present in some foods. Animal cells require cholesterol to maintain their cell membranes, and it’s transported in the blood by lipoproteins. There are a number of types of these proteins, but the carriers we’re mainly interested in when discussing fats are low density lipoproteins (LDL) and high density lipoproteins (HDL).

  • blood cholesterol
  • olive oil
  • lipoproteins
  • triglycerides
More about Compound Interest
  • Infographics

    2018’s biggest science stories

    As we head into 2019, it’s time to take a look back at some of the biggest science news stories over the past year. This year’s science news featured water on Mars, the effects of e-cigarettes, new types of isomerism and bonding, and more! 2018 saw a number of significant discoveries in sci ... more

    Unleashing our immune systems against cancer

    The first of the 2018 Nobel Prizes is awarded. The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo for their discovery of cancer therapy by stimulating the immune system to attack tumour cells. This graphic takes a look at the prize-winning research. more

    The creation of tools made from laser light

    After the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine has been awarded, it is physics' turn. The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Arthur Ashkin, Gérard Morou and Donna Strickland for their pioneering innovations in the field of laser physics. Strickland is only the third woman to recei ... more

Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE