Saturated And Unsaturated Fatty Acids - What Are They?

Unless you live the life of a hermit or are extremely diet conscious, the chances are we will be ingesting a lot of saturated and unsaturated fatty acid. Conventional wisdom has it that as far as food intake goes, unsaturated fatty acids are better than saturated fatty acids. So what are saturated and unsaturated fatty acids and which food contains saturated fat and which contains the unsaturated? To live a healthy life we need to know the answers to these basic questions.

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What is fatty acid?

A fatty acid is a carboxylic acid with a long chain of unbranched aliphatic tail which can be saturated or unsaturated. Fatty acids have hydrocarbons in the aliphatic chain and it consist of elements carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) which are arranged as a carbon chain skeleton with a carboxyl group (-COOH) at one end hence the head and tail. The lengths of these chains may vary depending on the number of carbons that they contain and they can range from a ten carbon chain to a thirty carbon chain but the most common ones are those with carbons between twelve and eighteen.

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