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cis fatty acid
An unsaturated fatty acid with a bent carbon chain. Most naturally occurring unsaturated fatty acids are these.
Trans fatty acid
An unsaturated fatty acid with a straighter chain than a cis fatty acid, usually as a result of hydrogenation; these fatty acids are more solid than cis fatty acids
Alpha linolenic acid
An essential omega-3 fatty acid that contains 18 carbon atoms and 3 carbon-carbon double bonds (18:3)
A type of "hardening of the arteries" in which cholesterol and other substances in the blood build up in the walls of arteries. As the process continues, the arteries to the heart may narrow, cutting down the flow of oxygen-rich blood and nutrients to the heart
C-reactive protein (CRP)
A protein released by the body in response to acute injury, infection, or other inflammatory stimuli. It is associated with future cardiovascular events
A term for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control. These cells can invade nearby tissues and can spread through the bloodstream and lymphatic system to other parts of the body
A nitrogen-containing compound that is part of phosphatidylcholine, a phospholipid. It also is part of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. The body can synthesize it from the amino acid methionine
A large lipoprotein formed in intestinal cells following the absorption of dietary fats. It has a central core of triglycerides and cholesterol surrounded by phospholipids and proteins
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
A polyunsaturated fatty acid in which the position of the double bonds has moved, so that a single bond alternates with two double bonds
A class of hormonelike substances formed in the body from long-chain essential fatty acids
Essential fatty acids (EFAs)
Fatty acids that the body needs but cannot synthesize and must obtain from the diet
Compounds that imitate the functional and sensory properties of fats, but contain less available energy than fats
Compounds containing a long hydrocarbon chain with a carboxyl group (COOH) at one end and a methyl group (CH3) at the other end
High-density lipoproteins (HDL)
The blood lipoproteins that contain high levels of protein and low levels of triglycerides. Synthesized primarily in the liver and small intestine, it picks up cholesterol released from dying cells and other sources and transfers it to other lipoproteins. It sometimes is called "good cholesterol"
A chemical reaction in which hydrogen atoms are added to a fat; it produces more saturated fatty acids and converts some unsaturated fatty acids from a cis form to a trans form
Intermediate-density lipoproteins (IDL)
The lipoproteins formed when lipoprotein lipase strips some of the triglycerides from VLDL
Soft, downy hair that covers a normal fetus from the fifth month but is shed almost entirely by the time of birth. It also appears on semistarved individuals who have lost much of their body fat, serving as insulation normally provided by body fat
In the body, a phospholipid with the nitrogen-containing component choline. In foods, it is a blend of phospholipids with different nitrogen-containing components
An essential omega-6 fatty acid that contains 18 carbon atoms and 2 carbon-carbon double bonds (18:2); a thin liquid at room temperature
A complex that transports lipids in the lymph and blood. These consist of a central core of triglycerides and cholesterol surrounded by a shell composed of proteins, cholesterol, and phospholipids. The various types differ in size, composition, and density
Lipoprotein a [Lp(a)]
A substance that consists of an LDL "bad cholesterol" part plus a protein (apoprotein a) whose exact function is currently unknown
The major enzyme responsible for the breakdown of lipoproteins and triglycerides in the blood
Low-density lipoproteins (LDL)
The cholesterol-rich lipoproteins that result from the breakdown and removal of triglycerides from intermediate-density lipoprotein. This is sometimes is called "bad cholesterol"
A cluster of at least three of the following risk factors for heart disease: hypertriglyceridemia (high blood triglycerides), low HDL cholesterol, hyperglycemia (high blood glucose), hypertension (high blood pressure), and excess abdominal fat
Tiny emulsified fat packets. They are composed of emulsifier molecules (phospholipids) oriented with their fat-soluble part facing inward and their water-soluble part facing outward toward the surrounding aqueous environment
Nonessential fatty acids
Fatty acids that your body can make when they are needed. It is not necessary to consume them in the diet
Excessive accumulation of body fat leading to a body weight in relation to height that is substantially greater than some accepted standard. BMI at or above 30 kg/m2
A fat replacer made from a sucrose backbone with six to eight fatty acids attached. The fatty acid arrangement prevents breakdown by the digestive enzyme lipase, so the fatty acids are not absorbed. It can withstand heat and is stable at frying temperatures. Its trade name is Olean
Oxygen attaches to the double bonds of unsaturated fatty acids. It causes fats to become rancid
A chemical group that contains phosphate (-PO4) attached to a larger molecule. Attaching this, along with two fatty acids, to a glycerol backbone forms a phospholipid
Compounds that consist of a glycerol molecule bonded to two fatty acid molecules and a phosphate group with a nitrogen-containing component. These have both water-soluble and fat-soluble regions, which make them good emulsifiers
Sterols found in plants. These are poorly absorbed by humans and reduce intestinal absorption of cholesterol. They recently have been introduced as a cholesterol-lowering food ingredient
Saturated fatty acid
A fatty acid completely filled by hydrogen, with all carbons in the chain linked by single bonds
A category of lipids that includes cholesterol. These are hydrocarbons with several rings in their structures
Very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDL)
The triglyceride-rich lipoproteins formed in the liver. This enters the bloodstream and is gradually acted upon by lipoprotein lipase, releasing triglyceride to body cells
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