Home / Health and Wellness / Palm Oil and Health: the Controversy

Palm Oil and Health: the Controversy

palm oil and health

Photo credit: flickr

Palm oil and health: there is no single opinion on the effect of palm oil. While the oil is being widely used all over the world, some researchers advise to avoid it and others promote its beneficial effects. So what is the truth and is palm oil really good for health or not?

A look on the insight: nutrition profile

Palm oil, undoubtedly, is packed with a number of healthy and beneficial substances,and firstly, its tocotrienols. Tocotrienol is a form of vitamin E and in fact, there are four forms of it and all four can be found in palm oil. These substances show high antioxidant activity which means, they are fighting free radicals – substances that can cause serious damage to our health and even cause cancer. As well palm oil contains carotenes, substances that give palm oil its red color and can also be found in tomatoes and carrots. Except for having antioxidant properties as well, carotenes are converted into vitamin A, which is essential for our body. The lack of vitamin A can lead to weak bones, low immunity and lower mental function. Another important component of palm oil is saturated and unsaturated fats which are balanced and bring benefits to our system.


RELATED: All Coconut Oil Nutrition Fact You Should Know before Eating it

Health issues

Now after we have learned about palm oil nutrition profile, it is time to see whether it brings any benefits to our health or no.

  • Cholesterol level

The connection between palm oil and cholesterol level still remains under question. While many people believe that high concentration of saturated fats actually causes cholesterol increase, recent studies have proven that there are different types of saturated fats and the ones present in palm oil are relatively harmless. The oil is even believed to assist in decreasing cholesterol level since it completely lacks cholesterol.

  • Cardiac health

Because of the high amount of antioxidants, palm oil positively affects our cardiac health since it frees the bloodstream from free radicals. Therefore, it contributes to the prevention of a number of heart diseases, like atherosclerosis or arteries hardening.Doctor Oz states that alpha tocotrienol,found in red palm oil, actually contributes to the reduction of stroke effects and therefore, protects the nerve cells.

  • Fatty acids

Palm oil contains essential fatty acids that contribute to proper development and growth,if consumed in moderate amount and correct proportion, as Mercola says. These acids assist in forming healthy cells, improve the functioning of brain and nervous system and even prevent blood clots thus positively affecting cardiac health.

Note: all these traits belong to crude palm fruit oil. Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil may contain trans fats which negatively affect our health and palm kernel oil has higher concentration of saturated fats which may mean increase in cholesterol upon consumption.


SEE ALSO: Where Does Palm Oil Come from?

Summing up

Many doctors recommend this oil as a supply, which means it is beneficial but in moderate amounts. It is better to be avoided by people who have risk of cardiac diseases and also it should not be consumed when healthy heart diet is followed. Before starting to consume palm oil, it is necessary to consult your doctor and find out whether it is suitably individually for you and whether it will fit in your diet.