You changed your diet to help manage your waistline, now how about eating to take better care of your brain? Dr. Jonny Bowden recommended Malaysian red palm oil when he visited the Washington D.C. News Channel 8’s Let’s Talk Live studio. The Rogue Nutritionist taught viewers how our diets affect our brain power, and why their choice of cooking oils is so vital.
“The most important thing to know is what’s good for the heart is good for the brain,” Bowden began.
He advocated changing our cooking oils from highly inflammatory vegetable oils – including corn and canola – to healthier options. “We need to start switching and I wrote a book about this, about reclaiming the healthy saturated fats, like coconut oil, Malaysian palm oil.”
Palm oil topped his list because of its unique nutritional properties. “This is a fabulous oil. The reason it’s so red is it’s got so many antioxidants in it. The tocotrienols in this oil [may] protect the brain after stroke. It’s a very brain-healthy fat,” he explained. Red palm fruit oil also contains a high concentration of beta carotene, the precursor to vitamin A responsible for eye health. Red palm oil contains 15 times more beta carotene than carrots, and 30 times more than tomatoes.
While olive oil may also be healthy, Bowden cautioned viewers about cooking with it. “You can’t really heat extra virgin olive oil. You pay so much extra money for it, so that it was cold pressed, so it has all those great nutrients in it. And then you start to use it in frying and you defeat the purpose of buying it,” Bowden commented. “Palm oil will stand up to heat.” Oils that are heated beyond their smoke point may begin to lose their nutritional value, may be harmful to inhale and may even develop carcinogenic properties.
Are you looking for ways to incorporate palm fruit oil into your diet? The Back to Basics Cookbook features Malaysian-inspired recipes with red palm oil as a key ingredient. You can find it on Amazon, and all proceeds benefit the Malaysian Palm Oil Council’s Wildlife Conservation fund.