Palm Oil Effects on Health
Never demonize food but instead use good common sense. Everything is good and everything can be harmful. It depends on the quantity, age, physical activity, the place where you live, and lifestyle, I have written on this several times. Yet, the full scale campaign against palm oil continues. A lot of things have been said, creating great confusion. Here is the information, gathered through readings and meetings of researchers and doctors in Malaysia.
What is the composition.
Palm oil, derived from the oil palm fruit, has basically 40-45% saturated fat (palmitic acid), 39-40% fatty acids (oleic acid) and 10-11 % fatty acids (linoleic acid). The palmitic acid is the main saturated fat in meat, olive oil, breast milk (accounting for 25% of the fat), and dairy products such as cream, cheese, butter.
Effects of the fat.
The palmitic acid, although saturated, does not raise blood cholesterol, but instead helps to increase the beneficial HDL cholesterol. The compositions of the three fatty acids, when combined, behave more like a monounsaturated fat. Contains carotenoids and antioxidants that may help in the prevention and mitigation of cancer and stroke.
Palm oil, derived from the first raw pressing, contains vitamin A, D, E and K, rich in pro-vitamin A in the form of carotenoids, and has a red colour. However, it is normally refined by physical means (the method of steaming which means “cooking”) and this results in the oil losing its vitamin A and vitamin E, with only small quantities remaining, which is similar to other oils, including olive oil. However the “Carotino” brand is not marketed in Europe, nor used by the industry for its flavour and colour.
In the kitchen.
It is stable oil, with a low tendency to oxidize (it deteriorates less) unlike polyunsaturated oils like soybean, corn and sunflower. Therefore, it lasts longer on the shelf. It is great for cooking and frying. Due to its composition and the content of saturated fat, palm oil at room temperature has a solid form. It does not have to be hydrogenated to make margarines or bakery products, unlike other vegetable oils, such has rapeseed and sunflower. Hydrogenation is a chemical process that creates trans fats which is harmful to health. The Food and Drug Administration, US announced in June 2015 that trans fats will be banned from foods. They are in fact linked to an increased risk of coronary heart disease, the deposit of plaque in the arteries, and a major cause of heart attacks.
Palm kernel oil.
Obtained by pressing the seed of palm fruit, it contains mainly lauric acid and saturated acid of about 89% (coconut oil is similar in composition), and should be avoided.
This should indicate if the product contains palm oil or palm kernel oil as there is a considerable difference between the two. This is also relevant from the health point of view. Today however, there is no obligation to distinguish the two ingredients on the label, informing if the “palm oil” stated is obtained from the seed, which is palm kernel oil. The label should also actually report whether the palm oil used is certified.
In light of the shown data, palm oil is definitely not harmful but the excessive consumption of industrial food is. The advice then is to reduce the quantity of these foods in general. Just as it is good to avoid sugary sodas and reduce animal protein.
Source: Essere Sostenibili