Lipids, commonly referred to as fats, are an essential macronutrient
required by the human body. They are a major source of energy, provide
insulation, and cushion organs. Fats are composed of fatty acids and
glycerol. According to the book “Human Anatomy & Physiology” by Elaine N.
Marieb and Katja Hoehn, fatty acids are long chains of carbon atoms with
hydrogen atoms attached. These chains can be saturated or unsaturated,
depending on the presence or absence of double bonds between carbon atoms.
Saturated fatty acids have no double bonds, while unsaturated fatty acids
have one or more double bonds. The type of fatty acid present in a
particular fat influences its properties and how it affects the body.
Glycerol, on the other hand, is a three-carbon alcohol that is a component
of triglycerides, the most common type of fat found in the body. Three
fatty acids are attached to each glycerol molecule, forming a triglyceride
molecule. The book “Anatomy & Physiology” by Gail W. Jenkins and Gerard J.
Tortora explains that triglycerides are important energy storage molecules
and also serve as insulators and shock absorbers. It is important to
remember that while fats are an essential part of a healthy diet,
consuming too much of them can lead to health problems such as obesity and
heart disease. Therefore, it is important to maintain a balanced diet and
consume fats in moderation.
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