Have your kids picked up a steady diet of junk food and video games this summer? A recent study by Harvard found that kids can gain weight three times faster during summer months than the school year. Nutrition expert and best-selling author Dr. Felicia Stoler visited Daybreak to give Colorado viewers advice on improving their kids’ diets. Among her tips, the Living Skinny in Fat Genes author encouraged parents to choose better cooking oils, such as Malaysian red palm fruit oil.
She cautioned viewers against using olive oil for grilling. “The challenge with olive oil over the summer is that it gets rancid when you are cooking at a very high temperature,” Stoler explained. “So as far as the smoke point goes, there are better oils that you can try to use when you’re grilling up your veggies.”
Cooking oils’ smoke point refers to the temperature at which it begins to smoke. Once smoke appears, the oil’s chemical composition (and nutritional value) breaks down. Certain oils, such as olive oil, are incredibly healthy when used in salad dressings, but do not handle high heat very well. Healthy oils that can be used for both high- and low-heat food preparation include Malaysian palm oil.
Stoler explained the nutrients responsible for Malaysian red palm oil’s unique color. “It’s loaded with beta carotene, which is a very potent antioxidant. It has something called tocotrienols, which are neuroprotective so they protect the brain … It’s nature’s richest source of tocotrienols.”
There are several ways that you can swap out your current cooking oils for palm oil: “[Use it] on your foods when you’re grilling. I also use it in place of butter,” Stoler said, meaning that palm oil can be even be used when baking.
To avoid food poisoning during outdoor gatherings, Stoler advised: “When making a potato salad or making a pasta salad, I like to use a little Malaysian palm fruit oil instead [of mayonnaise] because it’s flavor neutral and the kids don’t realize what’s in it.”
The Back to Basics cookbook, available on Amazon, features 16 flavorful dishes made with Malaysian red palm oil that are quick to prepare, so that you’re not spending a lot of time in a hot kitchen this summer. Proceeds from this book’s sales go to the Malaysian Palm Oil Council’s Wildlife Conservation Fund.
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.