Second Session Study Guide 1

Study Guide

Lesson One

(Kinds of Fats)

          Fats are complex molecules made up of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. They are a source of calories and are necessary to our bodies but they are not the primary source of fuel that our bodies want. Fats are what our body stores for future use and it stores fats very, very easily. There is almost no change required for our body to simply pack that fat right into our cells. It is important to know that because the fat we eat sticks with us… and everyone can see it.


Kinds of Fats

There are two categories of fats: saturated fats, found mostly in animal tissues, and unsaturated fats, found mostly in plant tissues. Saturated fats never liquefy until you heat them to a high temperature. Some examples are butter, bacon grease or coconut oil. They are very stable, have a long shelf life and tolerate high heat. That is why the food industry loves them. Unfortunately they raise cholesterol and LDL levels.

Plant foods with saturated fats are coconut oil, palm oil and cocoa butter. Chocolate is solid at room temperature because it contains saturated fat. Tropical oils are higher in saturated fat than lard and butter. Yikes! I’ll pass on the coconut oil.

Most fats can be synthesized by our own bodies from carbohydrates as they are needed. Those that cannot are called “essential fatty acids” because we must get them from our foods.


Lesson One Q and A

  1. Are fats necessary for good health?
  2. Are fats easily stored in our body?
  3. What is meant by “essential” fatty acids?
  4. Why do we want to avoid a lot of saturated fat?

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