Difference Between Saturated Fats and Unsaturated Fats

Main Difference

Usually the fats are known as the food type that makes you obese or rises your cholesterol level. Actually they are more notorious than damaging, they are important constitute of body and their adequate intake is always necessary. Fats can mainly be divided into two types, saturated and unsaturated fats. Saturated fat is the type of fat in which fatty acids form single bonds, whereas unsaturated fat is the type of fat in which there is one or more double bond in the fatty acid food chain. Saturated fat, and trans fat intake raises your blood cholesterol level, whereas unsaturated fats (Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats) can help your improve your LDL cholesterol: Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, commonly referred to as ‘bad’ cholesterol.

Comparison Chart

Saturated FatUnsaturated Fat
BondSaturated fat is the type of fat in which fatty acids form single bonds.Unsaturated fat is the type of fat in which there is one or more double bond in the fatty acid food chain.
Physical State at Room TemperatureSolidLiquid
SourcesAnimal products such as beef, lamb, pork poultry with skin, butter, cream, cheese and other dairy products.Fishes such as salmon, trout and herring, avocados, olives, walnuts and liquid vegetable oils such as soybean, corn, safflower, canola, olive and sunflower.
Recommendation for Healthy PeopleUpto 10% of total calories per day from the saturated fatsUpto 30% of total calories from unsaturated fats per day.
For Heart PatientsNoYes
RancidityLowerHigher

What is Saturated Fat?

Saturated fat is the type of fat in which fatty acids form single bonds. As saturated fats have strong bonds in between them they occur as solid at room temperature. A fat is composed up of two smaller molecules: monoglyceride and fatty acids. Long chains of carbon (C) atoms get combine to form the saturated fat. Generally all animal fats are said to be saturated fats, and all the fats of plants and fishes are called unsaturated fats. Although its exactly not the very same as as coconut oil and palm kernel oil derived from the plants are rich in saturated fat. The prominent sources of saturated fats are taken from the animal products such as beef, lamb, pork poultry with skin, butter, cream, cheese and other dairy products. Those who want to lower their cholesterol they are recommended to avoid saturated and trans fat or they are advised to reduce the saturated fat to no more than 5 to 6 percent of total daily calories. On the other hand, healthy people are asked to take up to 10% of total calories per day from the saturated fats.

What is Unsaturated Fat?

Unsaturated fat is the type of fat in which fatty acid chain forms one or more than one double bond. A fat molecule containing one double bond is called monounsaturated whereas the fat molecule containing more than one double bond is called polyunsaturated. As the inter molecular forces are weaken in between these bonds as compare to the saturated fat bonds, they exist as liquid at the room temperature. When unsaturated fats are exposed to atmosphere they have very high chance of rancidity. The one suffering from heart disease is often recommended to cut off trans and saturated fat and replace it by the unsaturated fats or oils. The major sources of unsaturated fats are fishes such as salmon, trout and herring, avocados, olives, walnuts and liquid vegetable oils such as soybean, corn, safflower, canola, olive and sunflower. A healthy person can intake upto 30% of total calories from unsaturated fats per day.

Saturated Fats vs. Unsaturated Fats

  • Saturated fat is the type of fat in which fatty acids form single bonds, whereas unsaturated fat is the type of fat in which there is one or more double bond in the fatty acid food chain.
  • Saturated fats exist as solid at room temperature, while unsaturated fats appear as liquid at room temperatures.
  • Major sources of saturated fats are: Animal products such as beef, lamb, pork poultry with skin, butter, cream, cheese and other dairy products. On the other hand, major sources of unsaturated fats are: fishes such as salmon, trout and herring, avocados, olives, walnuts and liquid vegetable oils such as soybean, corn, safflower, canola, olive and sunflower.
  • Healthy person is asked to take upto 10% of total calories per day from the saturated fats, whereas A healthy person can intake upto 30% of total calories from unsaturated fats per day.
  • The one suffering from heart disease is often recommended to cut off trans and saturated fat and replace it by the unsaturated fats or oils.

Comparison Video

YouTube video
Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

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