Melanie Cole, MS, host of Radio MD’s Staying Well show, recently hosted a segment about superfoods that have surprising health benefits. She asked guest Dr. Felicia Stoler, a dietitian and nutrition expert, specifically about the nutritional advantages of tropical oils. Dr. Stoler explained why some tropical oils, particularly palm fruit oil, don’t deserve to get a bad rep.
She told listeners that red palm fruit oil has a bright orange color because it is loaded with beta carotene, a potent antioxidant. She went on to describe the advantages of products made with palm fruit oil – which can be found in Smart Balance products – for managing cholesterol levels.
She also cautioned audiences not to confuse palm fruit oil with palm kernel oil, which is extracted from the kernel and not the fruit of the palm oil tree. Palm fruit oil contains almost equal amounts of unsaturated fats and saturated fats, (mainly palmitic and smaller amounts of stearic acids). As a result of its unique balanced composition, palm oil has almost no impact on your cholesterol as long as your total dietary fat intake is in line with the levels recommended by health agencies such as the American Heart Association. Basically it behaves more like a healthier monounsaturated fat (the type of fat found in nuts, canola and olive oil) than a saturated fat.
Felicia Stoler is a member of Media Relations Inc.’s panel of highly respected third-party experts. She is compensated to express her own professional opinions, through the media, about certain products.