Welcome to Stellenbosch University

​​​​The Nutrition Information Centr​e ​​of the 
University of Stellenbosch​ (NICUS)


​Lipids (fats)

  • Lipids Provide a concentrated form of energy to the body.
  • Fat pads in the body protect organs and bones from injury.
  • Excess dietary fat is stored in the body's fat cells.
  • Lipids act as a carrier of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) and therefore assist with the digestion, absorption and transport of the fat-soluble vitamins.
  • They Provide essential fatty acids (EFA) i.e. omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that cannot be produced by the body. EFAs are needed to prevent symptoms associated with EFA deficiency
  • All naturally occurring fats are usually mixtures of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), monounsaturated fatty acids (MFAs) and saturated fatty acids (SFAs).
​​​  Characteristics
Saturated Fatty AcidsUsually solid at room temperature
Monounsaturated Fatty AcidsLiquid at room temperature
Polyunsaturated Fatty AcidsLiquid at room temperature
  • SFAs are usually found in animal products.
  • PUFAs are usually found in plant products (except coconut, cocoa and palm tree products which contain SFAs) and fish products.
  • MFAs are usually found in olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, peanuts, pecans, almonds and avocados.​​