Related topics: obesity · fat cells · fatty acids · diet · body mass index

Monitoring the body's fat burning by sampling breath

Your breath holds the key to monitoring fat burning, and now a research group from Tohoku University has created a compact and low-cost device that can measure how our body metabolizes fat.

Researchers create new form of cultivated meat

McMaster researchers have developed a new form of cultivated meat using a method that promises more natural flavor and texture than other alternatives to traditional meat from animals.

Fats fighting back against bacteria

Droplets of fat inside our cells are helping the body's own defence system fight back against infection, University of Queensland researchers have discovered.

Sex cells have a sweet tooth, and they pass it on to the brain

Our job seems easy when compared with that of our cells. While they are hard at work, breaking some molecules and building others, we mainly have to do one thing—feed them. But what exactly should we feed them? This is ...

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Fat

Fats consist of a wide group of compounds that are generally soluble in organic solvents and largely insoluble in water. Chemically, fats are generally triesters of glycerol and fatty acids. Fats may be either solid or liquid at normal room temperature, depending on their structure and composition. Although the words "oils", "fats", and "lipids" are all used to refer to fats, "oils" is usually used to refer to fats that are liquids at normal room temperature, while "fats" is usually used to refer to fats that are solids at normal room temperature. "Lipids" is used to refer to both liquid and solid fats, along with other related substances. The word "oil" is used for any substance that does not mix with water and has a greasy feel, such as petroleum (or crude oil) and heating oil, regardless of its chemical structure.

Fats form a category of lipid, distinguished from other lipids by their chemical structure and physical properties. This category of molecules is important for many forms of life, serving both structural and metabolic functions. They are an important part of the diet of most heterotrophs (including humans). Fats or lipids are broken down in the body by enzymes called lipases produced in the pancreas.

Examples of edible animal fats are lard (pig fat), fish oil, and butter or ghee. They are obtained from fats in the milk, meat and under the skin of the animal. Examples of edible plant fats are peanut, soya bean, sunflower, sesame, coconut, olive, and vegetable oils. Margarine and vegetable shortening, which can be derived from the above oils, are used mainly for baking. These examples of fats can be categorized into saturated fats and unsaturated fats.

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