Oils, Plant-Derived - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Plant Sciences

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Healthy Fats and Oils

Animal fats contain the sterol cholesterol. The human body naturally produces all the cholesterol it needs; therefore, overconsumption of fatty foods rich in cholesterol is believed to encourage artery disease. Artery disease is also influenced by the fatty acids we consume. Fats and oils are considered healthy if they contain low proportions of saturated fatty acids with chain lengths of twelve to sixteen carbons. The animal fats lard, tallow, and milk fat and the plant oils palm, palm kernel, and coconut contain significant proportions of these less-desirable fatty acids. An atherogenicitiy index (AI) for fats and oils has been proposed to predict their tendency to cause artery disease.

AI [%12:0 4 (%14:0) %16:0] / % all unsaturates where %12:0 represents the weight percent of a fatty acids with twelve carbons and no double bonds, and so on.

A low index value is desirable. The AI of animal fats range from 0.6 to...

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This section contains 963 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Oils, Plant-Derived Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Plant Sciences
Oils, Plant-Derived from Macmillan Science Library: Plant Sciences. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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