Complete information on Saturated fats Vs Unsaturated fats


These have their carbon chain saturated with hydrogen atoms. These are stable fats and keep well. Palmitic acid and stearic acid form butter, lard, suet and cocoa butter. Myristic acid forms part of butter and coconut oil.

Unsaturated fats

If hydrogen atoms are missing from the carbon chain, the carbon atoms double-bond to each other instead. Mono- unsaturated fats have a single double-bond, but poly­unsaturated fats have more double-bonds. These double bonds are more reactive and the fat easily combines with oxygen from the air to go rancid.


We need a range of fats in our diet.

Oleic acid forms 60% -70% of olive oil and rapeseed oil.

Linoleic acid is found in seed oils such as maize, soya and sunflower.

Linolenic occurs in vegetable oils in small amounts.


Arachidonic acid only occurs in animal fats, but it can be formed from linoleic acid.

Decosahexaenoic acid is found in oily fish.

The double bonds in natural unsaturated fats are normally in the ‘cis’ position. This is the natural structures that are body expects. When margarine is being manufactured, some of these bonds are changed into the Trans’ position. These are totally alien to our bodies. These Trans fats may increase levels of blood cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease

All living things need to be able to do far more than simply store energy. Almost all living things are built from vast collections of cells, and cells have to be able to grow. They also move themselves or materials within the cells, exchange messages with other cells, and most are able to reproduce. Eventually all cells die.


In order to carry out these important life processes, a cell needs many different proteins.

Proteins are large, complex molecules built from over twenty different amino acids to form long, complex chains of hundreds or thousands of amino acid units. When a plant cell is producing protein, it first uses the energy of sunlight to join nitrogenous compounds and sugar to make amino acids. Then it joins these amino acids in a very precise way, in long chains. These chains curl up into complicated 3D shapes. A protein has to have the right amino acids in the correct order. Just as each recipe in this book is built from 26 letters of the alphabet, but they must all be in the right order if the recipe is to make sense, and work. Some of these amino acids are common in plants, but some are rare.

We, like most other animals, are unable to manufacture these amino acids from their elements. We have to eat them all as protein in food, and then break them down into their building blocks, amino acids.

We cannot simply use plant protein, or other animal protein. We have to make human protein.


Amino acids are needed to produce the proteins that make the walls of human or animal cells, as well as most of the complicated structures within every cell. Amino acids are needed to form the protein that is the part of a muscle cell that contracts, as well as the tough surface of a skin cell. Proteins also form the fine tendrils of nerve cells.

Proteins also control all the processes that take place in every cell to keep us alive. These proteins are called enzymes. Enzymes control all the processes that keep us alive, both inside cells, and outside cells in our digestive system.

There are only 20 different amino acids but they can be arranged in an infinite number of ways. It is the sequence of amino acids in the chain, and the way they cause the chain to twist and fold, that determine the function of the protein. In digestion, the protein chain is split into the. Individual amino acids. These are then reassembled in our cells to form the wide variety of human protein.

Indispensable amino acids must be obtained from the food that we eat.


These are Isoleucine, Lucien, Lysine, Methionine, phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, Valine, Histidine is also essential in the diet of young children.

The following amino acids are also essential, but they can be manufactured insHe our own bodies by breaking down and re-assembling other amino acids.

Alanine, Arginine, Aspartic acid, Asparagine, Cysteine, Glutamic acid, Glutamine, Glycine, Proline, Serine, Tyrosine.

The amino acids in animal proteins from meat, fish, milk, cheese and eggs match closely that required by humans. Plant proteins often have a marked imbalance of amino acids. Wheat and rice are low in lysine, peas and beans are low in tryptophan and methionine. Mixtures of a broad variety of plant foods will produce a balance of amino acids closer to our requirements. Mixtures of cereals provide the main source of protein for many people.

Surplus protein cannot be stored in our bodies, and if energy is in short supply protein will be broken down as an energy source rather than be used for growth.

If you follow the food combining lifestyle you will get all the vitamins, minerals and trace elements that you require without the need to take any supplements.

Serve green vegetables with a dab of butter or add a dressing of olive oil as this increases the absorption of vitamins by the body. This is because these vitamins are only soluble in oil, not water.

Vitamin A: retinol is made inside our bodies from beta carotene which gives the orange and yellow colour to fruits and vegetables. Good sources are carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots, mango, yellow fleshed melon, peaches, nectarines, pumpkin, tomato, spinach, watercress and dark green leafy vegetables. We only make as much vitamin A as we need. Vitamin A is also found in liver, kidney, cheese, eggs and cod liver oil. Smaller amounts are obtained from yogurt, milk, butter and oily fish such as mackerel and sardines. If we eat too much liver, we can overdose on vitamin A, and suffer joint pains until we have used up the excess. One meal of liver per week provides a good source of iron without excess vitamin A. Pregnant women should not eat liver as the excess vitamin A can damage the foetus.

Vitamin A is important for the care of the eyes, and for the immune system to fight off infection. It is essential for normal growth and repair of tissues. It is also important in reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease.

Vitamin B1: thiamine is needed to release the energy from food. Good sources are potatoes, wholegrain cereals, green vegetables, pulses, nuts and sunflower seeds. Diets high in refined starch can suffer from B1 deficiency.

Vitamin B2: riboflavin is needed to release the energy from food. Good sources are liver, meat, milk and cheese.

Vitamin B3 (PP): niacin or nicotinic acid is needed to release the energy from food. Good sources are peas and beans, liver, meat and wholegrain cereals. This vitamin in maize is unavailable unless treated with alkali. The body can make niacin from the tryptophan present in eggs.

Vitamin B5: pantothenic acid is needed to make energy available to the body’s cells. Good sources are egg, liver, kidney, cheese, mushrooms, peanuts and banana. Vitamin B6: pyridoxine is needed to make proper use of proteins. Good sources are liver, cereal, pulses and poultry. Supplements are potentially dangerous as an excess can result in nerve damage Vitamin B12: cobalamin is essential for the formation of red blood cells. Good sources are meat, milk, cheese and eggs. Vegans are at risk from a characteristic anemia as B12 does not occur in vegetable food. Vitamin B(M): folic acid is also essential for the formation of red blood cells. Good sources are broccoli, spinach, brussels sprouts and other green leafy vegetables, beetroot, broad beans, sweet corn, eggs, liver and whole grain cereals. The Department of Health advises 400ug a day for pregnant women to reduce risk of spina bifida.

Vitamin B(H): biotin is needed to make energy available from fat. Good sources are liver, kidney, pork, wholegrain cereals, lentils, nuts, cauliflower. It is also produced by bacteria in the large intestine.

Vitamin C: ascorbic acid is essential to keep our connective tissues healthy and to heal wounds. It is also needed to enable iron to be absorbed from food. Good sources are blackcurrants, cherries, strawberries, kiwi fruit, gooseberries, peppers, guava, oranges, sprouts, cauliflower, and potato. Vitamin C is water soluble so cook vegetables by steaming or in a microwave without adding water. Use the water that vegetables are cooked in to make soups or sauces.

Vitamin D: calciferol helps the body make proper use of calcium in bones and teeth. Good sources are sunlight, oily fish, eggs, butter, and yogurt. Too high a vitamin D intake from the food can result in excess calcium being absorbed from the food resulting in damage to the kidneys.

Vitamin E: tocopherol mops up dangerous chemicals in the bloodstream -100IU a day has been shown to be beneficial. Good sources are eggs, butter, vegetable oil, oily fish, almonds, avocado, pine kernels, wholegrain cereals and sunflower seeds.

Vitamin F: linoleic and alpha linolenic acids. These are known to be essential for the correct functioning of cell membranes. Good sources are vegetable oils.

Almost all minerals are found in the human body and 15 of them are known to be essential. They will be absorbed in the right amounts in a properly balanced and combined diet, but most of the trace elements and iron and zinc are poisonous if extra is eaten.

Potassium is essential to maintain the right balance of acids and alkalis in the body. It is needed in order to excrete excess acid. Low levels of potassium in the diet are linked to high blood pressure and an increased risk of stroke. Good sources are tomato, strawberries, banana, other fruit, yogurt, cheese, potatoes, soya products, whole grain cereals, nuts, black treacle, deficiency is unlikely to occur on the diet described by mis book unless diuretics or purgatives are taken, or in cases of diarrhoea linked to malnutrition.

  1. Iron is needed for the production of red blood cells, for muscle tissue and for handling oxygen in many other cells. Good sources are liver, red meat, fish, raisins and sultanas, green vegetables. Tannins from tea and an excess of wheat fibre can reduce the uptake of iron.
  2. Magnesium for healthy bones nerves and muscle. Good sources are nuts, raisins and sultanas, banana, soya products. Deficiency is rare except in cases of severe diarrhoea.
  3. Zinc is needed for the growth of all healthy tissue, muscle and bone and for the healing of wounds. Good sources are red meat, liver, hard cheese but zinc uptake is reduced if cereal fibre is eaten at the same time; Wholegrain cereals also contain useful levels of zinc.
  4. Phosphorus is an important part of all healthy cells, especially bones and teeth. Good sources are meat and other proteins.
  5. Calcium is needed for healthy bones and teeth. Good sources are milk and cheese, yogurt, wholegrain cereals, pulses, vegetables, raisins and sultanas. Vitamin D is essential for the correct uptake of calcium from the diet. Wheat fibre also reduces calcium uptake.
  6. Sodium and chloride are both essential elements for muscle and nerve activity. A diet rich in processed foods is likely to contain excessively high sodium levels and increase the risk of high blood pressure.
  7. These are the elements that are essential for the body to work, but needed only in very small amounts.
  8. Chromium is needed for insulin production.
  9. Good sources are shellfish, brewer’s yeast, beef, chicken, whole grain cereals, nuts and black treacle.
  10. Copper is used in the manufacture of red blood cells and many enzymes.
  11. Good sources are shellfish, kidney, whole grain cereals, liver, green vegetables, fish.
  12. Iodine is needed to make thyroid hormones and for the development of the nervous system.
  13. Good sources are fish, shell fish, milk, whole grain cereals, but vegans may be prone to low iodine levels.
  14. Selenium is important for some enzymes.
  15. Good sources are liver, meat, fish, and whole grain cereals.
  16. Manganese is needed for many enzymes to operate.

Cereals and nuts are good sources the digestive system

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