Everything you need to know about lipid(fat), classification of lipids, cholesterol and importance of lipids.

Everything you need to know about lipid(fat), classification of lipids, cholesterol and importance of lipids.

 Let me tell you first what is lipid(fat)?

Table of Contents

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A lipid (from the Greek lipos, meaning “fat”) molecule has the identical structural elements as carbohydrate but differs in its linkage and number of atoms.
• Any of a group of substances that in general are soluble in organic solvents, but are not soluble in water. 
• The term fats and lipids used interchangeably
• Approx. 98 % of dietary lipids exist as triglyceride
• 90% of body total fat stored in adipose tissue. 
Fat is essential nutrients, you body does not produce fat by itself. Fat is healthy nutrient which is important for your brain and heart.

Example of good fat:- almonds, fish oil, walnuts, peanuts, cashew, olive oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, peanut butter and almond butter. They are all healthy source of fat for your heart and brain.

According to common classification, lipids belong to one of three main groups: simple lipids, compound lipids, and derived lipids.

Classification of lipids:-

1  .      Simple lipids
2 .      Compound (phospholipids)
3 .      Derived (cholesterol)
Saturated fatty acids:
  A saturated fatty acids contains only single covalent bonds b/w carbon atom. It is solid and semi – solid at room temperature. A fatty acid carrying maximum number of hydrogen atoms.
  Source –Occur primarily in animal products (cheese,meat,beef , lamb, pork, chicken, egg yolk)
Vegetable oils high in saturated fats.
• Saturated fatty acids from plant kingdom includes coconut and palm oil.
Palm oil – 50% saturated , Coconut oil – 92% saturated
• saturated fatty acids has high melting points.
Raise the cholesterol level  in the blood as well as LDL (bad cholesterol)
Unsaturated fatty acids
 Unsaturated fatty acids contain one or more double bonds along their main carbon chain.

 Monounsaturated- contains 1 double bond along the main carbon-chain 

Example- Olive oil, peanut, almond oil. 
  • Monounsaturated fatty acids  liquid at room temperature.
  • Source- mostly from plants(olive oil and peanut oil).
  • Canola oil had both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
  • Fish oil- Omega -3 polyunsaturated fatty acids that come from fish. They did not have much effect on cholesterol. They lower the total amount of fat in the blood(reduce triglycerides). They help prevent blood clots.

• Polyunsaturated-   Polyunsaturated fats liqud at room temperature. Its contain 2 or more double bond along the main carbon-chain,  eg. Sunflower oil, corn oil.

 They lower the cholesterol, but also reduce HDL (good cholesterol). They  supply essential fatty acids to the body.

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Trans fatty acids:-
The process  of adding hydrogen to unsaturated fats  to make it more solid and resistant to chemical change. Trans  fatty acids occurs naturally at low levels in meat and dairy foods. Trans fats we eat are often due to hydrogenation of vegetable oil to make shortening, margarine, and fats for  frying.

Trans fats raise blood cholesterol level as much as saturated fat.
Hydrogenation:– Hydrogenation is the process of replacing some double bonds of polyunsaturated fats with hydrogen atoms, which makes them more saturated. The process  by which vegetable oil becomes margarine.
When vegetable oils are hydrogenated, some double bonds undergo a change in configuration and are concerted to “trans fatty acids” .
The “trans” fatty acids (formed during hydrogenation) may raise LDL and lower HDL level.
Example:-Butter – Margarine (partially hydrogenated vegetable oil) .Hydrogenated oil behaves like a saturated fat; the most common hydrogenated fats include lard substitutes and margarine.
Some information about refined oils.

Why refined oil is bad for health ?
The answer lies in preparation of oil. Because refined oils are prepared by hydrogenation process. This process is explain below:-

Refined oil refers to spoiled oil.
The refining oil under go many stages:-

       1.  First, the refining of oils:- oil is extracted at high temperature using chemicals. In this stage vital nutrients are lost. In this stage,the healthy fatty acid bonds are broken and fats are formed.
      2. Second stage:- The oil again heated at very high temperature to neutralization of taste and deodourlisation.
      3.  At this stage, preservatives and anti-foaming agents  are added which may cause adverse affects on health.
      4. At  the end, colorless, odorless, tasteless, nutrition less fluid is left behind which is bad and we called as refined oil. The oil losses all natural properties when gone through refined process. 
      Healthy fats turns into trans fat which has adverse affects on our health and create serious problem in long run.


Cholesterol is an odorless, white, waxy powdery substance.
Cholesterol is present in every cell in your body . It is needed to make bile acid, to make cell membrane, many hormones(such as sex hormone), and vitamin D.
Cholesterol is found only in foods of animal origin-egg yolks,meat, organ meats , poultry , fish, milk, and milk products. Lower- fat milk products contain less cholesterol than full fat milk products.
We take in about 200 to 400 milligrams of cholesterol daily and the liver and body cells also make cholesterol about 700 milligrams, therefore it is not an essential nutrient.

Function of cholesterol:- .

  • Food of plant origin contain no cholesterol.
  • Cholesterol furnishes a key component for bile synthesis and plays a crucial role in forming tissues, organs, and body structures during fetal development
  • Cholesterol help in building plasma membranes and serving as a precursor in synthesizing vitamin D, adrenal gland hormones, and the sex hormones estrogens, androgen, and progesterone.

Classification of lipoproteins :-

• HDL high density lipoproteins:- (good cholesterol), produced in liver & small intestine , contain highest % of protein(50%) & least total lipid and cholesterol(20%).

Fat in bloodstream that is in route to the liver  where it is processed and excreted from the body.
HDL works to minimize the harmful effects of LDL by causing it to be the removed from the bloodstream and excreted.

 • VLDL very low density lipoproteins: – formed in liver from fats,  alcohol & cholesterol,

contain highest % of lipid(95%), fewest protein component.

• LDL (bad cholesterol)- contains 60-80% of total cholesterol, greatest affinity for cells of arterial wall.

Fat in the bloodstream that is on its way to cell for storage (including the cells that line the artery walls)
Saturated fat cause the body to produce LDL.

 Importance of lipids

1. Energy source & reserve- 
1. It carries a large quantity of energy per unit weight.
2. It transports and stores easily. 
3. It provides a ready source of energy . 
4.lipids is ideal cellular fuel to the body,provide the  80-90% of energy requirement of well nourished individual at rest.
The body mass of males consists of 15% of  fats and
 25% of that of females consists of fat.
5. Protection of vital organs – the body’s fat protects against trauma to vital organs (e.g., heart, liver, kidneys, spleen, brain, spinal cord). Fat stored just below the skin provides insulation, permitting individuals to tolerate extremes of cold.This insulatory layer of fat benefits deep-sea divers, ocean or swimmers.
 6.Vitamin carrier – Consuming  20 g of dietary fat daily provides a sufficient source and transport medium for the four fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E, and K. Severely reducing lipid intake depresses the body’s level of these vitamins and ultimately leads to vitamin deficiency.  Lipid also facilitates absorption of vitamin A precursors from non lipid plant sources such as carrots and apricots. It takes about 3.5 hours after ingesting lipids for the stomach to empty them.
Lipids and health
  • Heart disease
  •  Too much circulating cholesterol leads to plaque.
  •  Angina.
  • Myocardial infarction.
  • Stroke

·        Main source of cholesterol build up is LDL

What affects of cholesterol levels?
·         Saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol in diet.
·         Mono and poly unsaturated fat in diet.
·         Weight
·         Physical activity
·         Age and gender.
·         Heredity
Importance of fat during exercise:-
Fat contributes 50 to 70% of the energy requirement during light- and moderate-intensity exercise. Stored fat plays important role during prolonged exercise. Fatty acid molecules provide more than 80% of the exercise energy requirements. . Aerobic training increases long-chain fatty acid oxidation during mild-to-moderate–intensity exercise.

Source of healthy fats:-


Avocado is extremely high in healthy fats food  can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise good cholesterol. . Fat content in avocado even higher than animal foods. The fatty acid present in olice acid, which help to reduce inflammation and the risk of breast cancer.

Olive oil:-

Extra virgin olive oil contains healthy fat and antioxidants that improve cardiovascular health.

Cold pressed oil:- 

Cold pressed oil are good for health and for cooking the food. Not heat is involved in extracting the oil. It retain all the vitamins and minerals. Cold pressed oil has the seed aroma. Cold pressed oil is naturally foam of oil. Example:- mustard oil, sesame, coconut and ground nut oils.

Fish oil:-

The good fat in fish like salmon, sardines keeps heart healthy and brain sharp.Fish is great source of omega -3 fatty acids, which is good for heart, brain, eye, and joint health. Fish oil can help to reduce the risk of heart disease, improve mental health and combat depression.

Coconut oil:-

everything you need to know about lipids. 
Coconut is made up of medium chain fatty acids that actually increase the good cholesterol.Coconut oil has been healthiest oils in the world.Consuming this type of fat can help suppress appetite and boost metabolism, improving eating habits and help in weight loss.


Nuts are rich in healthy fat , fiber,vitamin and are good for healthy, but moderation is key.Nuts contain high amount of monounsaturated fat, which s great for heart health. Nuts also contain protein that helps you feel satisfied for longer time.


Seeds like flax seed are loaded with healthy fats especially omega-3 and have numerous health benefits.

Almond butter:-

Almond butter is full of heart health fats, protein and dietary fiber but used natural butter which are preservative free.


Walnuts are high in polyunsaturated fats and rich in omega -3 fatty acids.

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