POLYUNSATURATED FATS

April 8, 2015

Lipids in which the constituent hydrocarbon chain possesses two or more carbon-carbon double bonds. Polyunsaturated fat can be found mostly in nuts, seeds, fish, algae, leafy greens, and krill.

The position of the carbon-carbon double bonds in carboxylic acid chainsĀ (containing carboxyl group COOH) in fats is designated by Greek letters. The carbon atom closest to the carboxyl group is the alpha carbon, the next carbon is the beta carbon and so on. In fatty acids the carbon atom of the methyl group (CH3) at the end of the hydrocarbon chain is called the omega carbon because omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet. Omega-3 fatty acids have a double bond three carbons away from the methyl carbon, whereas omega-6 fatty acids have a double bond six carbons away from the methyl carbon.

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