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These fats are derived from animal products such as meat, dairy and eggs. But they are also found
in some plantbased sources such as coconut, palm and palm kernel oils. These fats are solid at
room temperature. Saturated fats clog our arteries and directly raise total and LDL (bad)
cholesterol levels. Avoid them as much as possible.
Trans Fats or Hydrogenated Fats
Trans fats are actually unsaturated fats, but they can raise total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels
while also lowering HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Trans fats are used to extend the shelf life of
processed foods, typically cookies, cakes, fries and donuts. Any item that contains "hydrogenated
oil" or "partially hydrogenated oil" likely contains trans fats. Hydrogenation is the chemical process
that changes liquid oils into solid fats. The tide is turning against trans fats. Since January 2006, all
food manufacturers are required to list trans fat content on food labels.
Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are two types of unsaturated fatty acids. They are
derived from vegetables and plants.
Monounsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature but begin to solidify at cold
temperatures. This type of fat is preferable to other types of fat and can be found in olives,
olive oil, nuts, peanut oil, canola oil and avocados. Some studies have shown that these
kinds of fats can actually lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and maintain HDL (good)
Polyunsaturated fats are also liquid at room temperature. These are found in safflower,
sesame, corn, cottonseed and soybean oils. This type of fat has also been shown to reduce
levels of LDL cholesterol, but too much can also lower your HDL cholesterol.
A large amount of unsaturated fats is bad for your health even though a fair amount of these
fats can lower LDLs (bad cholesterols) and increase HDLs (good cholesterols).
Unsaturated fats lower cholesterol levels
Saturated fats increase cholesterol levels
Saturated fats are solid at room temperature, because they contain no double bonds, so the
molecules fit into each other very well.
Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature because they contain double bonds, so the
molecules do not fit together very well and they slide over each other.
Transfats are partially saturated molecules with some double bonds but more solid than
liquid (oil) .
The less double bonds a molecule has the more solid it is because the molecules fit
together more easily
The more double bonds a molecule has the more liquid it is because the molecule don't fit
Hydrogenation of vegetable oils
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Unstaurated oils contain double bond molecules which are liquids at room temperature.
The unsaturated molecules have lowish melting points. To increase the melting points
of these molecules we have to harden them in a reaction called hydrogenation.
This is done by reacting the oil with hydrogen in the presence of a heat catalyst at
about 60 degrees.
To control the degree of saturation in oils we react them with Hydrogen.…read more