Eli5: what are the 4 types of fats?

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Im reading a book and it just kinda casually mentioned them, but didnt explain well and cant find anything other than “these are the good fats” and “these are the bad ones” which is both not what I wanted to know and unnuanced


In: Biology

4 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

I believe the book is referring to

1. Monounsaturated fats
2. Polyunsaturated fats
3. Saturated fats
4. Trans fats

Anonymous 0 Comments

The “saturated” part refers to how “saturated” the carbon chains are with hydrogen.

At a simple level, fats have some long chains of carbon. If the carbon molecules are all joined together with single bonds only, then the carbon atoms will be “saturated” with hydrogen – in other words, they are bound to as many hydrogen atoms as possible. This makes the fats hard at room temperature.

If there is one (and only one) between c/two carbon atoms in the chain, then that chain of carbon will hold less hydrogen, and so is “unsaturated”.

If there are multiple double bonds between various carbon atoms I. The chain, then it holds even less hydrogen, and is “polyunsaturated”.

If memory serves, the more double bk ds, then the less viscous the oil, however someone who has been involved in chemistry more recently than me can clarify better.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The four types are unsaturated, saturated, poly saturated, and trans.

Unsaturated fats are the healthy ones and are liquid at room temperature. i.e. olive oil

Saturated and poly saturated fats are the bad ones, and they are solid at room temperature. i.e. butter

Trans fats are the worst of the lot, and are formed through industrial processes that turn the unsaturated fats into a form that is solid at room temperature. i.e. margarine or vegetable shortening

Anonymous 0 Comments

The four types of fats are saturated, unsaturated (including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated), trans fats, and omega-3 fatty acids. Each type has different chemical structures and impacts on health. To understand them better, consider their sources, effects on cholesterol levels, and association with heart health. Consult reputable sources or consult a nutritionist for tailored advice.