Difference between Saturated and Unsaturated Fats (Saturated vs Unsaturated Fats)

Fatty acids are organic acids having hydrocarbon chains that end in a carboxylic groups (COOH). Hydrocarbon chains may be straight or having ring structure. Some fatty acids also possess hydroxyl groups. Length 4-24 carbons. Fatty acids are of two main groups: saturated and unsaturated. Saturated fatty acids do not posses double bonds in their carbon chains. They have a general formula CnH2nO2.
Difference between Saturated and Unsaturated Fats  (Saturated vs Unsaturated Fats)
Saturated Fats vs Unsaturated Fats
Saturated fats
Unsaturated fats
They do not possess any double bonds in their fatty acids.
They contain one or more double bonds in their fatty acids.
All certain atoms are fully saturated
Carbon atoms are unsaturated in the region of double bonds.
They have straight chains.
The chain bends at the double bond.
They have higher melting point
They have lower melting point
Hydrogenation has no effect on saturated fats
Hydrogenation converts unsaturated fats into saturated ones.
Saturated fats are solids at room temperature.
Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature.
Animal fats are mostly saturated fats
Plant fats are generally unsaturated fats.
They increase blood cholesterol
Unsaturated fats lower blood cholesterol.
Essential fatty acids are absent.
Essential fatty acids are present.
They are not much affected by exposure to air
On exposure to air, they tend to solidify


    Example of Saturated fats:
  • C16H3202 (Palmitic acid)
  • C18H36O2(Stearic acid).

       Example of unsaturated fats:
  • Oleic acid (with one double bond, monoene)
  • Linoleic acid  (with one double bond, diene)
  • Linolenic acid  (with one double bond, triene)
  • Arachidonic acid (with one double bond, tetraene)
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