Fats and fatty acids. Fatty acids are mainly chains of carbon atoms, shown here as black dots. (Each carbon atom has two hydrogen atoms projecting from it; the hydrogen atoms are not shown.) A fat molecule is a triglyceride, which is formed from one molecule of glycerol and three fatty acids. The acidic heads of the fatty acids are capped and neutralized by the glycerol, so the triglyceride as a whole no longer has a polar, water-compatible end. The fatty-acid chains can rotate around the glycerol head to form chair-like arrangements (bottom).