Fats and oil are another group of macro nutrients that is required by the body. It composes of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. Excess carbohydrates and proteins can be converted into fats and stored under the skin. The structural unit of fats and oils are glycerol and fatty acid.
Differences between fats and oils
|1. Fats are solid at room temperature.||Oils are liquid at room temperature.|
|2. Fats contain saturated fatty acid.||Oils contain unsaturated fatty acids.|
|3. Fats are obtained from animals.||Oil is obtained from plants and vegetables.|
Functions of fats and oils
- It serves as source of heat and energy.
- It acts as insulator, thus preventing heat loss from the body.
- It acts as cushion to the delicate internal organs, hence, it protects them against shock and damage.
- It contribute to flavor and palatability of food.
- It provides satiety, hence, delay the onset of hunger because they are not digested easily.
- It facilitates the absorption of fat soluble vitamins.
- It promotes healthy hair and skin.
Although, fairly large amount of fat and oil are needed by the body but the excessive consumption can lead to overweight or obesity.
Food sources of fats and oils are margarine, butter, edible oils such as: palm oil, groundnut oil, corn oils, soybeans oil, vegetable oil etc.