Nutrition and DietWhat are fatty acids?

What are fatty acids?

Fatty acids are essential fats for our body and ultimately for our health. Find out what they are and what they consist of.

Within a varied, healthy and balanced diet, it is very important to choose fresh and natural foods, which ultimately provide us with all those essential nutrients that our body needs so much for its proper functioning and for our own health in general. We can mention vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins and fats. And within the group of fats, we must mention fatty acids, which are certainly the most important components of fats. That is, they are organic components of fats, which provide energy to our body and allow the development of different tissues.

From a more technical point of view, fatty acids are chemically linear substances, both saturated and unsaturated, with the carboxyl function, consisting of organic acids more than six carbons long. Depending on the amount of carbons present in the molecule, its melting point changes, so that the greater the amount its melting point also increases (something that also happens in reverse). In fact, fatty acids can be saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, which depends directly on the presence -or absence- of one or more pairs of carbon-carbon double bonds inside the molecule.

Why are they so important to our health?

Essential fatty acids are necessary and essential fatty acids in our diet, since, among other aspects, they provide us with energy and in turn allow the development of different tissues. Since our body is not capable of creating them by themselves, it is essential to obtain them from the diet, through the different foods that we consume every day.

It is true that our body is capable of manufacturing both saturated and unsaturated fatty acids from certain elements, but essential fatty acids (polyunsaturated) must be ingested directly from the diet.

Within the essential fatty acids we can find different families of fatty acids, such as Omega 3Omega 6 and Omega 9. In their most elemental form they are linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid.

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