Malaysia's palm oil

Health expert praises Malaysia’s palm oil sustainability

Palm oil is gaining recognition as a healthy fat. Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph.D.,C.N.S profiled this upcoming superfood on her online blog. “I can see a number of potential benefits from using palm fruit oil – it is very heat stable, contains a number of phytonutrients, and is a heart-healthy option to use in place of toxic shortenings like margarine,” she wrote. The bestselling author also discussed environmental concerns and praised Malaysia’s palm oil industry for its eco-sustainability standards.

Malaysian sustainable palm oil has many health benefits. “What distinguishes palm oil from other plant oils is its fatty acid composition – 50 percent saturated, 40 percent unsaturated and 10 percent polyunsaturated – which is good news for cholesterol levels,” Gittleman wrote. “Given the high ratio of saturated fatty acids, it is much safer for cooking at high temperatures than other plant oils.” She warned readers to never use olive oil or canola oil for high temperature baking or frying and explained that palm oil’s heat-stability means fewer free radicals are formed in the cooking process. “It even surpasses grass-fed butter for high temperature cooking.”

Malaysian sustainable palm oil is also rich in natural, healthy compounds including:

Gittleman continued, “Based on research of the many healthy elements of palm fruit oil, we can see that it may be a promising addition to the diets of people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, arterial thrombosis, atherosclerosis, cancer, cataracts, macular degeneration, cognitive impairment, blood clotting, high cholesterol and hypertension.”

U.S. Department of Agriculture global crop analyst Michael Shean states: “Palm oil has become the edible oil of choice, if you will, for much of the world.” Despite the fact that palm oil yields more oil per hectare than other oil crops, some parts of the world struggled to sustainably meet palm oil demand. Gittleman said, “In recent years there has been a conscious movement to create a more sustainable practice for palm oil production that will lessen the environmental impacts.”

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“All in all, a properly selected palm oil can do wonders for your health and the health of our environment,” Gittleman concluded. She added her praise of Malaysia’s palm oil industry: “I am impressed by their standard of eco-sustainability.”
Ann Louise Blog March 2015

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