Saturated fatty acids do not contain double bonds C-C (only single bonds), whereas unsaturated fatty acids contain one or more double bonds C=C. The chain length of most common fatty acids is of 16-18 number of carbon. The triglyceride is considered as the common and simple type of fat, having three fatty acids and glyceride. By the chemical structure of fatty acid chain, the division is done.
Fatty acids are the carboxylic acids with the side chain of hydrocarbon and also the simplest form of lipids. These lipids are considered as the concentrated chief fuel reserve of the body. Lipids are not polymers, they are small molecules and are the heterogeneous group of compounds. The most common diversifying feature of the lipids is their insolubility in water.
To remain healthy both saturated as well as unsaturated fats are necessary, but it is suggested by the dietary, that the unsaturated fats should be consumed in high proportion as compared to saturated fats, as unsaturated fatty acids are said to maintain the cholesterol level in the body.
Content: Saturated Vs Unsaturated Fatty Acids
|Basis for Comparison||Saturated Fatty Acids||Unsaturated Fatty Acids|
|Meaning||Saturated fatty acids contain single chain of carbon atoms with no double bond.||Unsaturated fatty acids contain carbon chains with one or more double bond.|
|Type of Bond||Hydrocarbon chain without double bond (only single bond).||Hydrocarbon chain with one or more double bonds (C=C).|
|Physical appearance||Solid at room temperature.||Liquid at room temperature.|
|Type of chain||Straight chain.||Bend chains at double bond.|
|Melting point||Relatively higher.||Relatively lower.|
|Sources to obtain||Animal fats, palm oil, coconut oil.||Plant and vegetable oil, avocado, sunflower oil, walnuts, flax, canola oil and fish oil.|
|Solubility in vitamins||Soluble in vitamins.||Insoluble in vitamins.|
|Effect of hydrogenation||No effect.||They get converted into saturated state due to hydrogenation.|
|Effect in human||Increased blood cholesterol, deposited in the inner wall of an artery and are harmful to health.||Lowers the blood cholesterol and are associated with health benefits.|
|Shelf life||They do not get spoil quickly and are long-lasting.||They get spoil quickly.|
Definition of Saturated Fatty acids
Saturated fatty are simple forms, having no double bonds. They are made up of two small molecules which are fatty acids and monoglyceride. Saturated fatty acids contain long, unbranched chains of carbon atoms.
These are abundantly found in animal fat, coconut oil, palm oil, whole milk, butter. These are solid at room temperature. The over consumption of the saturated fatty acids is harmful to the health as it affects the blood cholesterol by increasing the level of it.
Definition of Unsaturated Fatty acids
Unsaturated fatty acids contain both single as well double bonds. But this type is known by the presence of at least one double bonds in their chain. These are mostly found in vegetable oil, plants, avocado, fish oil. By the double bonds (C=C), they are divided into two categories, which are – monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). Such fatty acids which contain only one double bond (C=C) in their chain is called as monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), on the other hand, such fatty acids which contain two or more double bonds (C=C).
Key Differences Between Saturated and Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Coming are the important points, which differentiate the saturated fatty acids to that of unsaturated fatty acid:
- Saturated fatty acids contain the single chain of carbon atoms with no double bond (only single bond), they are solid at room temperature, having the higher melting point. Unsaturated fatty acids contain carbon chains with one or more double bond (C=C), they are liquid at room temperature, and have the lower melting point.
- Saturated fatty acids are obtained from the animal fat, palm oil, coconut oil, while unsaturated fatty acids are obtained from plants and vegetable oils, avocado, sunflower oil, walnuts, flux, canola oil and fish oil. Saturated fatty acids do not get spoil quickly and are long- lasting, but unsaturated fatty acids get spoil quickly.
- Saturated fats are soluble in vitamins, but unsaturated are not. There is no effect of hydrogenation, rather unsaturated fatty acids get converted into saturated fatty acids due to hydrogenation.
- Consumption of saturated fats increased blood cholesterol, deposited in the inner wall of the artery and are harmful to health, while unsaturated fats lower the blood cholesterol and are associated with health benefits.
- Both are fats (lipids).
- Hydrogen and oxygen are present in the chains.
- Contains fatty acids and glycerol.
- Both are made of carboxylic acid.
- Act as the energy provider and also help in storing the energy.
- They are insoluble in water.
From the above description and differences, we conclude that not all fats are bad and are meant to obese us. Though we need some specific amount in our daily diet, one should know the goods and the bads of them and their effects on health. As saturated fats increase the level of cholesterol in the blood, also clogs the arteries which raise the chances of attacks or stroke. But unsaturated fats may protect the heart, and its consumption can give a better and healthy life.