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fatty acids

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consist of chains of carbon atoms with two hydrogen atoms attached, and at one end a carboxyl group, which makes it an acid. Animal fats like lard and butter·are made up of a high percentage of saturated fatty acids and can be converted by the body to cholesterol. Unsaturated fatty acids contain one or more carbon double bonds and so do not have the maximum number of hydrogen atoms bonded to each carbon atom. Polyunsaturated fatty acids contain more than one double bond. These latter fats may lower cholesterol in the body, reducing the risk of heart disease. Essential fatty acids are those we need to eat because our bodies cannot make them. Most fats and oils contain a combination of fatty acids.

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