Saturated fat


Saturated fatty acids are called so because all the carbon atoms molecule of fat are covered in hydrogen atoms. This means that each fatty acid is very rigid and when several saturated fatty acids are put together they fit very efficiently, packing together tightly. Saturated fat is therefore quite solid at room temperature and it is most common in animal products such as butter, cheese and the white fat found on meat. Many processed foods such as cakes, biscuits, pastries and crisps also contain high levels of saturated fat because of their butter or margarine content. Eating lots of saturated fats over a long period of time can be associated with increased health problems such as cardiovascular disease and stroke. This is because the fat we eat gets incoporated into our cell membranes, which makes our cell membranes very rigid and slowly affect cell communication, as well as the passing of nutrients and waste products in and out of the cell. Saturated fats can be obtained from the diet or made by the body from carbohydrate and protein.

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