List the major functions of fats in the body.

Lipids are a group of organic molecules with long hydrocarbon chains. Fats are the solid form of lipids.

The major functions of fats include:
  • the insulation and protection of vital organs and the body
  • as an energy source (supplies calories to the body)
    • Also serves as the storage substance for the body's extra calories.
  • Fats provide the "essential" fatty acids, which are not made by the body and must be obtained from food.
    • Linoleic acid is the most important essential fatty acid, especially for the growth and development of infants.
  • as a form of energy storage: fats are stored in adipose or fatty tissue, which provides both thermal insulation and protection to parts of body
  • forming part of cell membranes
  • acting as hormones
  • giving blood its thickness (glycerol reacts with water)
  • fat adds to the appealing taste, texture and appearance of food.
  • Maintains healthy skin and hair
  • To retain fat soluble vitamins for various bodily functions