Palm oil vs coconut oil: they often get confused since they are both extracted from oil palms. However, the sources of these oil are different as well as the palm species, and therefore, palm and coconut oil carry different nutrition values and serve different purposes. In this article we will find out which oil is more preferable and how do they differ.
The source of the palm oil, or red palm oil as it is also called, is the pulp of the oil palm fruit and is introduced in more details on Wikipedia. Among all oils derived from oil palms this oil has the least concentration of saturated fats and is considered to be the most beneficial to consume. Its composition consists of 50% saturated fatty acids, 40% mono unsaturated fatty acids and 10% polyunsaturated fatty acids. This explains why the melting character of red palm oil is less precise than the one coconut oil has and why its melting point is not so sharp. Due to its composition, palm oil is considered to be beneficial for cardiac health and lower cholesterol level. As well because of its high fat concentration, it serves as great moisturizer for skin and hair. Another benefit of red palm oil is its antioxidant activity due to the presence of vitamin E and its form, known as tocotrienol. Palm oil is also used worldwide as cooking oil as it is perfect for frying because of its high melting point.
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This oil is derived from either kernel or meat of matured coconuts and has a number of significant differences from red palm oil. Firstly, the nutrition profile of coconut oil consists of 92% saturated fatty acids, 6% mono unsaturated fatty acids and 2% polyunsaturated fatty acids. The amount of saturated, or “bad” fats in this oil are a question of consideration for many people as coconut oil is believed to promote the risks of cardiac conditions like coronary heart disease. However, doctors have started to look differently at coconut oil now because latest researches have shown that there are different types of saturated fats and the ones found in coconut oil do not actually seem to cause any cardiac diseases. Further research is needed to determine whether this oil has any positive effects on cardiac health but for now it has been proven that coconut oil does not threaten cholesterol levels. Adding to this, coconut oil also has a huge number of uses and benefits as described by Doctor Oz. Its properties allow coconut oil to effectively repair and improve the state of hair and moisturize all skin types. This oil also has antibacterial features and therefore can be used to treat certain skin conditions.
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Which oil to choose?
Both palm and coconut oils have their pros and cons so your choice depends only on the purpose of usage. There is yet no 100% scientific evidence that coconut oil is beneficial for cardiac health and cholesterol, but palm oil is also not the first choice when it comes to healthy eating, as there are many healthier substitutes like olive oil. As well, because both these oils are quite high in saturated fats, it is recommended to consult the doctor before you start to consume them in order to find out whether palm or coconut oil would suit you individually.