Fats vs Oils: Difference and Comparison

Considered to be essential macronutrients, Fats and Oils are thought of as the same and unhealthy for the body. But there are different sources and origins.

Fats are derived from animals, and Oils are derived from Plants.

Fats and Oils are both made from Oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon. Their differences in composition make them distinct from each other.

Key Takeaways

  1. Fats are solid at room temperature, while oils are liquid at room temperature.
  2. Fats come from animal sources like meat and dairy, while oils come from plant sources like nuts and seeds.
  3. Fats are high in saturated fats, while oils are high in unsaturated fats.

Fats vs Oils

Fats are an ester of fatty acids or a mixture of such compounds that are found in food or in living beings. They have a high melting point and are solid at room temperature. Oils are unsaturated lipids that remain liquid at room temperature and help in increasing good cholesterol.

Fats vs Oils

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Composed of unsaturated fatty acids, Fats are derived from animals and are not good for health. They are solid at room temperature and have a high melting point.

They are of two types- saturated fats and Trans fats. They are mainly oily substances found under the skin or around the organ. They increase the level of cholesterol in the blood.

Oils are unsaturated lipids that are not unhealthy and remain liquid at room temperature. They are of two types- Monounsaturated oils and polyunsaturated oils.

They help increase good cholesterol and eliminate bad cholesterol levels. They are present in plants and fruits. They have low melting points. For example, olive oil, coconut oil, and almond oil are not harmful.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonFatsOils
SourceThey are mostly derived from animals.They are mostly derived from plants.
Melting pointThey have a high melting point.They have a low melting point.
TypesThe two types are trans fats and saturated fats.The two types are Monounsaturated oils and polyunsaturated oils.
StateIt is solid at room temperatures.It is liquid at room temperatures.
Effect on the bodyThey are unhealthy for health and can cause high cholesterol levels.They are healthy and not responsible for increasing cholesterol levels.

What are Fats?

Molecules made up of saturated fatty acid chains with a glycerol head are known as Fats. They are present in both humans and animals under the skin or around the organ.

It can also be obtained by the process called hydrogenation, which involves processing vegetable oils. Saturated fats and Trans fats are their types. 

Made of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, they are insoluble in water and are solid at room temperature. Glycerol is the backbone of Fat. They are unhealthy because they are solid and robust.

Thus, it becomes very complex to break the molecular chain of the body into liquid. Eventually, the fats got collected in one place, and then. As a result, the arteries and veins get blocked.

Saturated fats are those in which the fatty acid chains mainly have single bonds. They increase cholesterol levels and are present in foods like cookies, butter, cakes, etc.

Trans fats are those unsaturated fats that are present in less amounts in milk and meat.


What are Oils?

Viscous liquids that are found in plants and oils are termed Oils. They are composed of unsaturated fatty acids. They are liquid at room temperature.

They have, thus, low melting points. Mono-unsaturated fats and poly-unsaturated fats are two types of Oils. Oils are considered to be the source of healthy fats.

It lowers the bad cholesterol levels and increases the good HDL cholesterol levels.

There is more than one double bond in the unsaturated fatty acids chain, and hydrogen in the chain gets reduced. This results in the reduction of the hydrogen, and the chain of fatty acids gets weak and unstable.

Thus, it breaks fast and does not accumulate in one place as fats do. Monosaturated fats have one double bond, whereas Polyunsaturated Fats have more than one double bond.


Main Differences Between Fats and Oils

  1. Fats are mainly found in humans or animals under the skin or organs in the body, whereas Oils are viscous liquids found in plants and fruits.
  2. Fats are solid at room temperature, whereas Oils are liquid at room temperature.
  3. Fats have two types: Trans fats and Saturated fats, whereas Oils have two types: Monounsaturated oils and polyunsaturated oils.
  4. Fats are unhealthy and can cause an increase in cholesterol levels, whereas Oils are healthy and don’t cause any increase in cholesterol levels in the blood.
  5. Fats have high melting points and are composed of saturated fatty acids, whereas Oils have low melting points and are composed of unsaturated fatty acids.
  6. They are stored in adipocytes, which are specialized animal cells, whereas Oils are stored in fat granules in plants.
  7. Fats have higher oxidative rancidity, whereas, in Oils, the oxidative randicity is low.
  8. Butter, meat, and cream are some examples of fats, whereas examples of Oils are olive oils, coconut oils, almond oils, etc.
  9. Fats increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, whereas Oils decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Difference Between Fats and Oils
  1. https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1351/pac200072071255/html
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/anie.198800411

Last Updated : 31 August, 2023

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