Unsaturated Fatty Acid

∞ generated and posted on 2016.08.19 ∞

Linear carboxylic acid possessing less than maximum number of hydrogens and at least one double bond between carbon atoms.

Unsaturated fatty acids can be distinguished into monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids, both of which are good to have in your diet and which can be distinguished from saturated fatty acids in terms of physical properties because both tend to be liquids at room temperature. That is, fats made up of unsaturated fatty acids tend to exist as oils.

Note that fatty acids also can be described as cis fatty acids versus trans fatty acids, which is a description of the geometry of their double bonds. While cis fatty acids are normal, naturally occurring unsaturated fatty acids, and important components of diets, trans fatty acids by and large are artificial constructs and should be avoided if at all possible, such as by not consuming hydrogenated vegetable shortening.