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  • Triglyceride

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    Example of an unsaturated fat triglyceride (C55H98O6). Left part: glycerol; right part, from top to bottom: palmitic acid, oleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid. A triglyceride (TG, triacylglycerol, TAG, or triacylglyceride) is an ester derived from glycerol and three fatty acids (from tri- and glyceride). Triglycerides are the main constituents of body fat in humans and other animals, as well as vegetable fat. They are also present in the blood to enable the bidirectional transference of adipose fat and blood glucose from the liver, and are a major component of human skin oils. There are many different types of triglyceride, with the main division between saturated and unsaturated types. Saturated fats are "saturated" with hydrogen — all available places where hydrogen atoms could be bonded to carbon atoms are occupied. These have a higher melting point and are more likely to be solid at room temperature. Unsaturated fats have double bonds between some of the carbon atoms, reducing the number of places where hydrogen atoms can bond to carbon atoms. These have a lower melting point and are more likely to be liquid at room temperature.

  • Low-fat diet

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    USDA's Food Pyramid New Version of the Food Guide Pyramid A low-fat diet is one that restricts fat and often saturated fat and cholesterol as well. Low-fat diets are intended to reduce the occurrence of conditions such as heart disease and obesity. For weight loss, they perform similarly to a low-carbohydrate diet, since macronutrient composition does not determine weight loss success. Reducing fat in the diet can make it easier to cut calories. Fat provides nine calories per gram while carbohydrates and protein each provide four calories per gram, so choosing low-fat foods makes it possible to eat a larger volume of food for the same number of calories. This effect is countered by the rapidity of digestion of carbohydrates compared to fats. The Institute of Medicine recommends limiting fat intake to 35% of total calories to help prevent obesity and to help control saturated fat intake. A low-fat diet is not well defined, but a very low fat diet is one that gets less than 15% of daily calories from fat.

  • Cholesterol

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    Cholesterol (from the Ancient Greek chole- (bile) and stereos (solid), followed by the chemical suffix -ol for an alcohol) is an organic molecule. It is a sterol (or modified steroid), a type of lipid molecule, and is biosynthesized by all animal cells, because it is an essential structural component of all animal cell membranes. In addition to its importance for animal cell structure, cholesterol also serves as a precursor for the biosynthesis of steroid hormones, bile acid and vitamin D. Cholesterol is the principal sterol synthesized by all animals. In vertebrates, hepatic cells typically produce the greatest amounts. It is absent among prokaryotes (bacteria and archaea), although there are some exceptions, such as Mycoplasma, which require cholesterol for growth. François Poulletier de la Salle first identified cholesterol in solid form in gallstones in 1769. However, it was not until 1815 that chemist Michel Eugène Chevreul named the compound "cholesterine".

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