Nutritionists, dietitians and physicians around the world are trying to spread the word: What you’ve been taught about saturated fat and cholesterol is wrong. You do not need to avoid these foods. When I was a guest on Good Day Sacramento, I told the CBS viewers that saturated fats are fine to eat. I also shattered some other fat-related food myths and shared some good news about fats, including Malaysian sustainable palm oil. This nutritious oil deserves a place in your pantry.
Myth: Palm oil is full of trans-fats.
Palm oil is naturally free of trans-fats. In fact, many food producers are turning to this healthy fat to replace trans fats in recipes. Malaysian palm oil is also grown on trees that have not been genetically modified.
Myth: Palm oil harms the environment.
In Malaysia, palm oil is grown and processed in a sustainable way. Malaysia has been internationally recognized for their environmentally friendly agricultural practices. The Malaysian palm oil industry also works diligently to protect the country’s wildlife and native rainforests.
Myth: You can fry with any oil.
Many oils, such as olive and canola, start to break down and smoke at high temperatures. This creates dangerous toxins and also imparts an acrid flavor to your food. Malaysian sustainable palm oil is great for pan searing fish or chicken. It retains the natural flavor of your food, too. Consider cooking with Carotino red palm oil. Its rich orange color is because it’s full of carotenoids. This natural antioxidant helps strengthen the body’s immune system and reduces the risk of heart disease. It’s good for your eyes, too.
Good News: Snacks with fats can be healthy.
Snacks with fats provide needed energy, just when you need it. Look for items that are non-GMO and made without trans fats. Smart Balance natural peanut butter is a good choice, as is Nutella. They both contain palm oil instead of hydrogenated oils or trans fats. Another handy option is organic nuts. Just remember to enjoy your snack in moderation.
Dr. Beverly Yates, ND is a California licensed doctor of Naturopathic Medicine and a 1994 graduate of the National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM, www.NCNM.edu) in Portland, OR. She is also a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (www.MIT.edu) where she earned her undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and minored in bio-electrical engineering.