- name of the term :
Fat is an essential nutrient that occurs in many different forms. Fats are split into vegetable and animal fats. If a fat is solid at room temperature, it is called fat; if it is a liquid, it is known as an oil. Besides carbohydrates, fats are the most important energy stores of a cell. A distinction is made between "saturated" and "mono- or polyunsaturated" fatty acids.
The polyunsaturated fatty acids linoleic acid (LA) and α-linolenic acid (ALA) belong to the omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, respectively. These two fatty acids are essential for the human body. It is able to produce the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and the omega-6 fatty acid arachidonic acid (ARA) from these two essential fatty acids. Infants are not yet fully capable of this process; in infancy, in phases of rapid growth or during illness, the supply of DHA must be ensured through the diet. DHA contributes to the normal development of vision in infants with a daily intake of at least 100 mg DHA (up to the age of 12 months).
Fat is important for many vital tasks in the body. It surrounds the heart, kidneys and nervous system, protecting our organs. The fatty tissue of the skin protects against mechanical stress and serves as a heat and cold insulator. This adipose tissue is known as our energy store. Fats are important in connection with vitamin absorption of the water-soluble vitamins A, D, E, K. Essential fatty acids are indispensable for the development of the brain, nerves and retina.