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Monoglycerides and diglycerides are fats, but people who are trying to lose weight do not need to worry about restricting them.

Most of the fat that you eat is in the form of triglycerides. These fats occur in both animal and plant foods. Triglycerides have a chemical structure shaped like an E. The "tri" of triglycerides means that there are three vertical lines off the horizontal line. Monoglycerides have only one vertical line, and diglycerides have only two. Otherwise all three glycerides are fats and affect your body in the same way. They all have nine calories per gram and are broken down in the same way to form the same building blocks that are absorbed from your intestines into your bloodstream.

While triglycerides comprise most of the fat that you eat, monoglycerides and diglycerides together make up less than one percent. They are added to foods to make bakery products taste smooth and to prevent the oil from separating out in foods such as peanut butter. Check the list of ingredients of the foods you buy, and you will see that monoglycerides and diglycerides usually listed very near the bottom of the list. This means that they usually are added in such small amounts that they contribute an insignificant amount of fat or calories to your diet.

By Gabe Mirkin, M.D., for CBS Radio News

Checked 10/9/07

June 10th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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