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Fatty acids

An essential component of fats

Fats are good sources of energy, they have the highest calorific value and provide about twice as many calories as proteins or carbohydrates. Certain components of fats, e.g. the so-called essential fatty acids, are very important nutrients for the body. Fatty acids are an essential component in the chemical composition of fats. In a fat molecule, either one, two or three fatty acids can be found; they differ, among other things, in the so-called degree of saturation. The degree of saturation means the number of double bonds between the carbon atoms. A distinction is made between saturated, mono- and poly-saturated fatty acids. These differences in chemical structure also essentially determine the difference in quality between the various fats

ungesättigte Fettsäuren, mehrfach ungesättigte Fettsäuren

Saturated fatty acids

Saturated fatty acids consist of, among other things chain of carbon atoms, which are linked to each other by single bonds bonds. They are found not only, but primarily in animal foodstuffs animal foods. Some of them can have an unfavourable effect on blood lipid levels and should therefore be should therefore only be eaten under certain conditions

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids

Mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids consist, among other things, of a chain of carbon atoms with one or more double bonds. They are found, for example, in high-quality vegetable oils, nuts or seeds, but can also be partially formed in the body from saturated fatty acids. An exception are the omega-3 fatty acids, which are very important for the body (learn more under Omega-3 fatty acids), which are found in fatty fish or krill, for example. The intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids has a favourable effect on blood lipid levels.

Unsaturated fatty acids are best

Unsaturated fatty acids are the healthiest. Of the fatty acids consumed, no more than one third should be saturated fatty acids and the rest unsaturated fatty acids.