Lipids: Types of Lipids with Examples

Types of lipids
Types of lipids

The lipids are a part of the diet of all people, particularly the part that usually comes given by fats, which along with carbohydrates represents the largest source of energy for the body. The lipids are organic molecules that are mainly composed of carbon and hydrogen, and having the main characteristic insoluble in water but soluble in other be organic compounds such as benzene and chloroform.

What function do they fulfill?

In this sense, it can be said that the main function of lipids is energy since they are a very good way to store energy: their caloric content is 10 kilocalories per gram.

However, lipids also have a function within the body as a water reserve, since they have a greater degree of reduction than in carbohydrates.

On the other hand, heat storage also has to do with lipids, as well as various structural, informative, or catalytic functions of the body.

Lipid and fat classification

The most common classification of lipids is between saponifiable and non-saponifiable: the former are synthesized in organisms from the successive apposition of units of two carbon atoms, while the latter is synthesized from one basic unit of five carbon atoms.

In the group of saponifiable are fatty acids, which in turn are usually classified between saturated and unsaturated. The saturated fats are those which have an animal origin, while the fat unsaturated are those arising from vegetables, and have a healthy use on replacing saturated.

Read Also: Antioxidants 

Participation in diet and excesses

For the nutrition of people, it is recommended that fats provide between twenty and thirty percent of daily energy needs.

However, the body does not make equal use of all types of fat, so it is better to say that the body must have ten percent saturated fat, five percent unsaturated fat, and five percent polyunsaturated fat.

If you consume a greater quantity of fats than the recommended one, it is most likely that the supplement with the consumption of other nutrients will end up causing an excess of the recommended calorie limit. If, on the other hand, what happens is an excess in the consumption of saturated fats, what increases is the risk of suffering cardiovascular diseases?

Storage diseases

On the other hand, there are several diseases that can appear due to the storage of lipids in some cells and tissues of the body.

The most common is Gaucher disease, which is caused by a deficiency in the enzyme glucocerebrosidase, and it affects men and women equally. Other diseases of this type are those of Niemann-Pick, Fabbri, or gangliosidosis.

All of these diseases are inherited, as parents carry a faulty gene that regulates a particular protein in a class of cells in the body. Although the treatment of these diseases in many cases is not yet available, enzyme replacement therapy or blood transfusions are usually used.

Examples of Lipids

The following list also includes foods that contain a lot of lipids:

Butter Cortisone
Olive oil Omega 6 fats
Margarine Paraffin wax
Soy Bee wax
Progesterone Walnuts
Sunflower oil Prolactin
Omega 3 fats Gel
Canola seeds LDL cholesterol
Estrogens Colic acid
Canola oil Phosphatidic acid
Estrogens Glycosphingolipids
Corn Lard

More information

  • Examples of Fats
  • Examples of Carbohydrates
  • Protein Examples
  • Examples of Trace Elements

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