Lipids (lip'idz) are a group of organic chemicals that are insoluble in water but soluble in organic solvents, such as ether and chloroform. Lipids include a number of compounds, such as fats, phospholipids, and steroids, that have vital functions in cells and are important constituents of cell membranes (see chapter 3, p. 69). The most common lipids are the fats, which are primarily used to supply energy for cellular activities. Fat molecules can supply more energy gram for gram than can carbohydrate molecules. This is why eating a fatty diet leads to weight gain.
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