What is Fat?
Fat is a compound made of glycerol which is
So, that's what fat is, by definition. However, there is more to fat than meets the simple definition. For example, the word "fat" may refer to a solid or liquid (normal
state); and may include oils and lipids (technically, fats are considered lipids in the broader sense).
Specific fats vary at the molecular level, based on the fatty acids which make them up, and the number of hydrogen and carbon atoms in the molecular structures, and how those atoms are bonded to one another.
Briefly put, the longer the chain of bonded carbon atoms, the more energy the molecule will provide when metabolized in the body. And, when the number of bonded hydrogen atoms is greater than the carbon atoms, the fat is said to be saturated (with hydrogen). When the number of bonded carbon atoms is greater, the fat is said to be unsaturated.
Fat is an important part of human nutrition and diet, since it provides essential fatty acids, and is necessary for proper digestion and absorption of certain fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K). Fat also supports healthy hair and skin, as well as cellular function, and fat is needed to help insulate and maintain body temperature.
Fat also acts as a storehouse for energy in the body. Additionally, fats are important in helping to protect vital body organs against many diseases, by becoming temporary holding areas for toxins in the bloodstream, until the body can metabolize and/or excrete the offending substances.
Today's images for toned and ripped bodies often suggest that fats should be avoided so muscles can abound and be seen. However, some fat is necessary in a healthy diet, in order to ensure adequate supplies of the essential fatty acids, some of which cannot be produced by the body from other sources.