Lipid nutrition is essential in the diet for proper functionality and metabolism of the body. They are important in the diet as energy sources and as sources of essential fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins, which tend to be associated with fats. They also contribute satiety, flavor, and palatability to the diet.
Lipid nutrition innovates/markets scientifically sound lipid ingredients from natural origin that improve and maintain health and well-being. The lipids of nutritional importance are phospholipids (lecithin), triglycerides (fats and oils), and sterols (cholesterol). Dietary lipids transport four fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) and aid in their absorption in the small intestine.
Functional lipids such as medium chain triglycerides, conjugated linoleic acids, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and phytosterols have many beneficial effects on human health such as help manage/treat blood pressure, depression, cardiovascular health, etc.
Lipids are fats that make up the bodies’ cells. Lipids are made up of triglycerides, cholesterols, and lipids themselves. They are vital for cellular respiration and transport of nutrients within the body. They are accountable for providing the body with the basic framework, for example, cholesterol forms the basis of both cholesterol and bile acids and is used to build blood vessels.
The major functions of lipids in the human body are: controlling the amount of cholesterol in plasma and blood, providing an internal coat to some parts of the body, acting as a protective coat to many internal organs, producing hormones, playing a part in many biological processes.
There is a new concept in the nutrition world that incorporates the concept of lipid nutrition, and it’s called the trans-linking theory. In a nutshell, this new theory postulates that, because all fats are basically fat, people can eat large amounts of any food type (and any nutrient) and still have the benefits. Lipids are one of the nutrients most essential to life. Lipids, the fats that make up our cells, are the building blocks of cell membranes.
The lipids that make up the cell membrane of the heart contain phospholipids, the same compounds that make up the cell walls of the body. Some lipids are used as food ingredients, and essential fatty acids are considered a grade B vegetable oil. It is from these vegetable oils, along with other nutrients, that we derive the majority of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
It refers to the process by which fatty acids are used by the body’s cells for energy. Lipid nutrition is composed of two major components: fatty acids and unsaturated fats. One type of lipid, monounsaturated fats, is sequenced throughout the cellular membrane, providing Chemiluminescent signals that activate appetite, regulate metabolism, and contribute to cell growth and maintenance.
Other lipids that occur naturally in fat-rich foods, like Omega-3 fatty acids that occur in fish oil, are called essential lipids because they cannot be manufactured and are essential for life. Other naturally occurring fats in foods are classified as fats, and are classified according to their molecular weight. It’s vital to the functioning of all bodily processes; however, fat-soluble nutrients are transported through the bloodstream to specific organelles where they act on specific functions.
Lipids are also used as an energy source. Although lipids are classified as a weight gain product, the relative quantity in the diet is critical, since a high proportion of dietary calories is from fat. A major component of the food pyramid is carbohydrate, with a relatively small amount of protein and fat.
Because lipids are a major component of most carbohydrate diets, it stands to reason that increasing the amount of lipids consumed will, on average, lead to an increased level of energy. This observation is supported by several studies showing that increased consumption of carbohydrates from fat-soluble fibers leads to a decreased energy reserve. Also, increased fat-soluble consumption leads to a decrease in energy reserve (R). The decrease in R results in an imbalance between energy stores, leading to obesity.
In addition to helping to maintain healthy weight, lipid nutrition are vital to many other body processes. Lipids that act as an energy source transport nutrients to the cells and organs. Lipids that act as a vital nutrient delivery system transport nutrients throughout the body and provide a continuous source of nutrients, especially vital vitamins.
These fat-soluble nutrients are what are lost when calories are eaten, providing an important missing link in the nutrition puzzle. Lipids appear to be an excellent source of energy and a vital nutrient source. Moreover, lipid nutrition plays an important role as an insulator that protects the human body by maintaining an adequate body temperature. Lipids are also essential for adequate digestion and absorption of food and nutrients. Thus, there is an increasing demand worldwide.
Lipid nutrition is an area of research that is still in its infancy. Much of this research is being done by pharmaceutical companies looking to market their existing products with formulated versions of the ingredients lipid nutrition offers. The ingredients in lipid nutrition products are being researched for effects other than those of improving lipid profile. However, currently, there is limited research on dietary supplements and lipid nutrition.
Much of the research being done focuses on the effect of amino acids on muscle mass, fat loss, body weight management and inflammatory response. There is also much research being done on the effect of nutrition on neurological health. Lipids and lipid intermediates are essential components of the structure and function of the brain. Lipids are involved in developmental, maintenance, and many other cellular processes of the brain.
Lipids in the diet transport the four fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, and K) and assist in their absorption in the small intestine. The most common components of typical lipid molecules are triglycerides, cholesterol, and sterols. Triglycerides are fats from the food we eat that are carried in the blood. Most of the fats we eat, including butter, margarines, and oils, are in triglyceride form.
Phospholipids, also known as phosphatides, are a key component of all cell membranes. Sterols, the third lipid class, also regulate biological processes and sustain the domain structure of cell membranes where they are considered as membrane reinforcers. Thus, the lipids of nutritional importance are sterols (e.g., cholesterol), phospholipids (e.g., lecithin), and triglycerides (fats and oils).