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Unsaturated fat

From Academic Kids

An unsaturated fat is a fat or fatty acid in which there is one or more double bonds between carbon atoms of the fatty acid chain. Such fat molecules are monounsaturated if each contains one double bond, and polyunsaturated if each contain more than one. In living organisms, such bonds, which are sometimes referred to as unsaturated bonds, may be either cis or trans. Cis isomers are the most common in unprocessed food stuffs.

Hydrogenation converts unsaturated fats to saturated fats, while dehydrogenation accomplishes the reverse. Unsaturated fats tend to melt at lower temperatures than saturated fats, which tend to be solid at room temperature.

Both kinds of unsaturated fat can replace saturated fat in the diet. Substituting unsaturated fats for saturated fats helps to lower levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in the blood.

See also: Trans fat

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