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What you don't know about lipid

Amanda Yu

Most girls in the world are anxious about their figure,such as not having a small waist,not having a good waist-to-hip ratio, and some of them even say that “they gain weight even when they drink water!”, which leads to weight and body anxiety. What is the real cause of these anxieties? It is just because of the accumulation of fat.

  • What are lipids

Lipids are chemical compounds that contain hydrocarbons in our body, and they make up the building blocks of the structure and function of living cells, so that they are essential to many body functions. It includes fats, oils, waxes, and certain vitamins. Because they are fatty or waxy substances, they are insoluble in water.

  • Classification of lipids

Based on their chemical composition, lipids can be classified into three groups: simple lipids, complex lipids and derived lipids.

  1. Simple lipids

They are created from similar lipid substances such as fatty acids, which are long-chain carboxylic acids that are insoluble in water. They represent about 99% of the fats and oils in the food and human body. It can be divided into three groups, which are fatty acids, waxes and triglycerides.

Fatty acids: fatty acids are the simplest form of simple lipids, they consist of a long chain of hydrocarbons carrying a carboxyl group. They are the components of our body fats and the fat in food. During digestion, our body breaks fat into fatty acids and then absorbs them into our blood. Fatty acids always like being a group of three which can form triglycerides.

Waxes: waxes are a ester of long chain fatty-acids and long chain alcohol, they are nonpolar which means they are totally water insoluble, and they remain solid when they are at room temperature. Waxes are synthetic from animals and plants, the most famous wax is beeswax that contains triacontanyl palmitate which is a major molecule in beeswax, bees use beeswax to build their hives.

Triglycerides: triglycerides are formed by three fatty acids and a glycerol combined together. They are the most common type of fat in the human body, they are also found in the bloodstream which enable blood sugar and fat transfer from liver in both directions, and also are the major components of human skin oil.

  1. Complex lipids

They consist of more than two kinds of structural components. They are esters of fatty acids with other groups of components other than alcohol and fatty acids. It can be divided into three groups: phospholipids, glycolipids and lipoproteins.

Phospholipids: phospholipids are a major membrane lipids that consist of lipid bilayer. It has a hydrophilic phosphate head and two hydrophobic lipid tails. This basic cellular structure acts as a barrier that controls what goes in and out of the cells.

Glycolipids: glycolipids are formed by a carbohydrate attached to a glycosidic bond, it is the third major component of membrane lipids. They help to retain the stability of cell membranes and to promote cell recognition, which is important for the immune response.

Lipoproteins: Lipoproteins are lipid-protein complexes, which can be divided into low-density lipoprotein (LDL) that is bad for your body and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) which is generally good for your body. These are essential for our bloodstream and our body health.

  1. Derived lipids

They can be derived from the hydrolysis of simple and complex lipids, they are also chemical originated components that appear in plants and animals. They include steroids and eicosanoids.

Steroids: steroids have a fuse ring structure, they are not similar as other lipids but they are also hydrophobic and insoluble in water. They can help in growth, reproduction, development and sexual differentiation.

Eicosanoids: eicosanoids originate from 20-carbon and include prostanoids and leukotrienes. They usually play an important role in neural function, sleeping induction and inflammation.

  • Functions of lipids

Apart from the fact that lipids tend to make us fat, they also have various functions that we need to mention.

Energy storage: the surplus energy in the food we consume is converted into fatty tissue after digestion. In the absence of water, lipids can be tightly packed together to store more energy in a small space. Lipids can hold more energy than carbohydrates.

Insulation and protection: they provide us with protection when we suffer physical injury from activities such as skating and skiing.

Structural components of cells: Lipids are the main components of cell membranes. In our cell membranes, phospholipids bind together to form a bilayer that helps our cells control what goes in and what comes out.

  • The effects of fat accumulation in our bodies

The accumulation of fat in our bodies over time can lead to many diseases and even threaten our lives. Not only does fat make us fat, dramatically alter our body shape and build up in the small of our back, it can also lead to obesity, blocked blood vessels, fatty liver and much more. Clogged blood vessels can lead to coronary heart disease and other deadly diseases such as heart disease. A fatty liver is caused by an excessive accumulation of fat in the liver cells for various reasons and this can eventually lead to more serious diseases such as liver cancer, cirrhosis and liver failure.

  • What exactly makes us fat?

Eating fats and lipids does not make us fat. The main reason for gaining weight is the imbalance between the amount of energy we take in (calories) and the amount of energy we use (calories). When we take in more energy than we consume in a day, this leads to a calorie surplus, which is the main reason why we gain weight.

Therefore, we do not need to worry about how many calories our food contains, but we must be aware of the total number of calories we consume throughout the day in order to create a balanced diet for the day.

  • Conclusion

After reading so many tips about fat, do you have some relevant knowledge in your mind? Don't worry about growing fat and weighing in, it's okay to have a big meal once in a while, as long as you keep a light diet the next day, maintain a good balance of calorie intake and consumption, and keep a good mindset, it won’t be easy to get fat!

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