Palm oil is not usually people’s first choice when choosing a cooking oil, but it is used frequently. This edible vegetable oil is debated for both environmental and health concerns. So if you’re not sure whether to get rid of it or use palm oil, we help you decide.
HealthShots spoke to Divya Gopal, Consultant – Dietitian/Nutritionist, Maternity Hospitals, Banashankari, Bangalore to find out the pros and cons of palm oil.
Gopal says: “Palm oil has been a controversial topic for many years, with some advocating its benefits and others denouncing its negative impact on the environment and health. The answer to the question “Is palm oil bad for you?” is more complicated than simply saying yes or no.
What is palm oil?
The fruit of oil palm trees, which are mainly grown in tropical areas, is used to make palm oil, a type of vegetable oil. It is used in a variety of products, including foods, cosmetics, and biofuels. Palm oil is often praised for its versatility, affordability, and ability to withstand high temperatures without breaking down.
Reasons Why Palm Oil Is Controversial
Palm oil production has a significant impact on the ecosystem. Palm oil plantations have been linked to habitat damage, deforestation and the displacement of indigenous communities. In addition, it is possible that contaminants and dangerous greenhouse gases are released during the manufacture of palm oil.
Is palm oil good for you?
Gopal says: “In terms of health, palm oil is not necessarily harmful if consumed in moderation. Its abundance of antioxidants and vitamin E may benefit heart health as well as general well-being. Additionally, a 2022 study published by International food research argues that it may also help slow the progression of dementia and reduce the incidence of strokes.
Are there any side effects of palm oil?
Saturated fats, which have been linked to a higher risk of heart disease, are high in palm oil. Nevertheless, a 2015 International Journal of Cardiology the study found no evidence that palm oil increased the risk of cardiovascular problems. Even so, it’s not the healthiest cooking oil!
Should we consume palm oil?
Gopal says, “The answer is not simple. Although the use of palm oil has advantages and disadvantages, it is essential to consider the environmental effects of manufacturing as well as the potential health risks associated with excessive consumption. If you do decide to eat palm oil, it’s crucial to do so in moderation.
How to consume palm oil?
While margarine, peanut butter, coffee creamers, cakes, chocolate, cookies and other ready-to-eat products may contain palm oil, it is also frequently used in processed products and as an oil. of frying. In addition, it can be used as a biofuel and is present in shampoos, soaps, cosmetics and cleaning products.
Read also : If It Ain’t Ghee, Look No Beyond These 7 Healthy Cooking Oils
How does palm oil compare to other cooking oils?
Unlike olive oil or mustard oil, palm oil may not be a kitchen staple. Nevertheless, due to its high smoke point, this tropical oil is widely manufactured and many people use it to prepare many dishes. Palm oil is quite similar to other cooking oils.
According to the Department of Agriculture, compared to olive oil, which contains 2 grams of saturated fat (which contributes to heart disease) and 10 grams of monounsaturated fat per tablespoon, palm oil contains 120 calories, 7 grams of saturated fat (the same as in butter), and 5 grams of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat per tablespoon.
One thing to note here is that palm oil contains less saturated fat than other tropical oils like coconut oil.
To take with
The answer to the complex subject of whether palm oil is unhealthy must be carefully considered. Although palm oil may offer health benefits, it is always best to use it in moderation and favor products from sustainable sources.
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