Unsaturated fat

From The School of Biomedical Sciences Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Unsaturated fat are fats that contain at least one double carbon bond in its fatty acid chain that also tend to be liquid at room temperature[1]. This is due to their chemical structure, double bonds are stronger than single bonds and they are also shorter, which creates kinks in the structure of the fatty acid chain which disrupts the Van der Waals intermolecular forces between the fat molecules[2]. This causes the unsaturated fats melting point to decrease as less energy is needed to break the intermolecular forces, meaning the transition state between solid and liquid is at a lower temperature and it is liquid at room temperature compared to saturated fats. 

There are in fact different categories of unsaturated fats, for example monounsaturated (contain 1 carbon-carbon double bond) and polyunsaturated fats (contain more than 1 carbon-carbon double bond). According to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, higher intakes of polyunsaturated fatty acids and carbohydrates from whole grains were significantly associated with a lower risk of Coronary Heart Disease[3] .


  1. http://www.floraproactiv.co.uk/article/detail/1055354/saturated-and-unsaturated-fats
  2. https://chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/4058/saturated-vs-unsaturated-fats-structure-in-relation-to-room-temperature-state
  3. Journal of the American College of Cardiology Volume 66, Issue 14, 6 October 2015, Pages 1538-1548 Journal of the American College of Cardiology Special Focus Issue: Population Health Promotion Original Investigation Saturated Fats Compared With Unsaturated Fats and Sources of Carbohydrates in Relation to Risk of Coronary Heart Disease: A Prospective Cohort Study Yanping Li PhD, Adela Hruby PhD, MPH, Adam M.Bernstein MD, ScD, Sylvia H.Ley PhD, Dong D.Wang MD, Stephanie E.Chiuve ScD, Laura Sampson RD, Kathryn M.Rexrode MD, MPH, Eric B.Rimm ScD, Walter C.Willett MD, Dr PH, Frank B.Hu MD, PhD http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0735109715046914
Personal tools