If you wait long enough, just about everything comes back in style. When I appeared on Denver’s Everyday show, I told the Fox viewers about an ingredient which used to be frowned upon, but now we realize is actually a nutritious choice. Malaysian sustainable palm oil is a vitamin E-rich ingredient found in many popular foods, such as Smart Balance spreads and Luna bars. Because it is naturally trans fat free, it’s also replacing soon-to-be-banned partially hydrogenated oils in many products. Take the time to learn more about this better-for-you fat, and how it differs from the tropical oil you were once told to avoid.
Palm oil is rich in essential nutrients
Malaysian sustainable palm oil is nature’s richest source of tocotrienols. This super potent form of vitamin E is a strong antioxidant, helping minimize cell damage. If you buy palm cooking oil – found in international grocery stores – you can see from its orange color that it contains abundant beta carotene, the essential nutrient found in many fruits and vegetables. Palm oil has 15 times more beta carotene than carrots. Malaysian sustainable palm oil also has a higher smoke point than olive oil, which makes is safer to use for high-temperature cooking.
A better-for-you fat replacement
The FDA has ordered food manufacturers to remove partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), and their trans fats, from our food supply. Malaysian sustainable palm oil is an ideal substitute as it has many of the same beneficial qualities of PHOs, but it offers health benefits instead of cardiovascular disease risk.
Malaysian palm oil is sustainable
Palm oil is produced from the fruit of the oil palm tree, which grows for 25 years and bears fruit year-round. It differs from palm kernel oil which is produced from the seed of the same fruit. Palm kernel oil was frowned upon back in the 80s. In Malaysia, palm oil is sustainably grown and produced. The country and palm oil industry take good care of the family farmers that tend the oil palm plantations, as well as the wildlife living in and near the plantations.
Dr. Felicia D. Stoler is a registered dietitian, exercise physiologist and expert consultant in nutrition and healthful living. She was the host for the reality show, Honey We’re Killing the Kids on TLC. She is the author of Living Skinny in Fat Genes™: The Healthy Way to Lose Weight and Feel Great (Pegasus 2011). She specializes in integrating behavior modification to influence positive health outcomes. Stoler is the published author of numerous articles on nutrition, exercise, health and wellness.