The question that has been bothering many people throughout the world is: is palm oil good for you or does it do more harm than good? Some people believe that palm oil should be banned since it has high concentration of fats and may be a risk for increasing cholesterol level. Others claim that palm oil actually decreases cholesterol and improves the overall state of the body. So where is the truth and is palm oil healthy?
Know your oil
To answer this question, it is important to specify which type of oil you are talking about. There are three types of oils that are extracted from the oil palm: red palm oil, palm kernel oil and coconut oil. While red palm oil is considered a healthy product which has a number of benefits, the other two oils are recommended to be avoided. Is it so? Let’s have a closer look at them and find out the underlying reasons for such judgments.
Red palm oil
This oil is derived from the pulp of the oil palm fruit and is called either red palm oil or fruit palm oil. This oil is considered a healthy one as it has balanced amount of saturated and unsaturated fats and zero amount of cholesterol in addition to valuable nutrients, as explained by Doctor Oz. As well it is rich in antioxidants and nutrients, which is essential for our well-being. However, due to high percentage of fats present, this oil has to be consumed in very moderate amounts as too much of red palm oil can lead to obesity problems and afterwards result in cardiac diseases.
Palm kernel oil
Wikipedia says that the oil which is extracted from the kernel of the oil palm is called palm kernel oil, and this oil is recommended to be avoided. It has a higher concentration of saturated fats in it, and these fats tend to increase the level of “bad” (LDL) cholesterol. This increase may promote a number of cardiac conditions and therefore, palm kernel oil is not advised to be consumed. However, palm kernel oil is considered to be better option than trans fats, so if you ever choose between two, go with palm kernel oil.
One of the reasons palm oil is so widespread in the whole world is that it has high melting point and is perfectly suitable for cooking and especially frying. However, if you have doubts whether to include palm oil in your diet or no, the option for you would be to choose a substitute with a smoking point close to the one palm oil has, but a healthier composition. Among such oils would be almond oil and sunflower oil.
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While red palm oil is relatively safe for you and may even improve your health state, palm kernel oil is the one to be avoided. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that moderation is the key and before starting to consume red palm oil you have to consult your doctor to ensure it will be suitable individually for you.