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Unsaturated fatty acids are a type of fatty acids that have at least one double bond between carbon atoms in their molecular structure. They are called “unsaturated” because they do not have the maximum number of hydrogen atoms in their structure, as is the case with saturated fatty acids, which contain only single bonds between carbon atoms.

Fatty acids are divided into two main types: saturated and unsaturated.

Saturated fatty acids (which contain only single bonds between carbon atoms) are often solid at room temperature and are primarily of animal origin, such as fats in meat, butter, and lard.

Unsaturated fatty acids (which contain at least one double bond) can be divided into two categories:

  • Monounsaturated fatty acids (containing one double bond) are often called “monounsaturated.” An example is oleic acid found in olive oil.
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids (containing more than one double bond) are often called “polyunsaturated.” Examples include omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential for the human body and are found in fish, nuts, chia seeds, and vegetable oils.

Unsaturated fatty acids are important for health as they play a role in many biological processes, such as synthesizing cell membranes, regulating cholesterol levels, brain function, and they also play a crucial role in many metabolic processes. Therefore, it is essential to include them in the diet. Additionally, their impact on the brain includes supporting cognitive function and safeguarding mental health.

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