What Is a Saturated Fat Molecule?

Chemistry of Saturated Fat

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You've heard of saturated fats in the context of foods, but do you know what it means for a fat to be saturated? It simply means the fat molecule is fully saturated with hydrogen atoms so that there are no double bonds between the carbon atoms.

Examples of Saturated Fats

Saturated fats tend to be waxes or greasy solids. Animal fats and some plant fats contain saturated fats and saturated fatty acids.

Saturated fats are found in meat, eggs, dairy, coconut oil, cocoa butter, and nuts. A saturated fat is made from a triglyceride bonded to saturated fatty acids. Examples of saturated fatty acids include a butyric acid in butter, stearic acid (shown) in meat in cocoa butter and palmitic acid in palm oil and cashews. Most fats contain a mixture of fatty acids. For example, you'll find palmitic acid, stearic acid, myristic acid, lauric acid and butyric acid in butter.

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Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "What Is a Saturated Fat Molecule?" ThoughtCo, Feb. 13, 2017, thoughtco.com/what-is-a-saturated-fat-molecule-608197. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2017, February 13). What Is a Saturated Fat Molecule? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-a-saturated-fat-molecule-608197 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "What Is a Saturated Fat Molecule?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-a-saturated-fat-molecule-608197 (accessed May 24, 2018).