MEDIA BUZZ: About this time each year, TV producers ask me to do interviews about healthy eating. After all those tempting treats we ate over the holidays, eating healthier is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions. But even if we have the best intentions, we all sometimes eat things we know we shouldn’t. So, when I appeared on Fox-TV in New Orleans, I shared some of my favorite food swaps to help the audience do a little nutritional damage control. Of course, the star of the segment was Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil!

Around the country, reporters are asking more questions about dietary fats. Their audiences are demanding honest and accurate information about this hugely important (and misunderstood) topic. One of the first things I suggested to morning news anchor Greg Adaline was to stop relying on cheap processed oils such as corn oil, soybean oil or safflower oil. Vegetable oils are not the health bonanza we’ve been taught they are. They are actually very pro-inflammatory, and inflammation is one of the roots of practically every major disease.

And please forget about following a fat-free or low-fat diet. The research is now very clear that those diets were a mistake from the beginning. Not only don’t they promote weight loss, they may also have serious unwanted health consequences.

I’d brought a bottle Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil to use as an example of a better cooking oil choice. I find mine at specialty and international grocery stores. Greg was intrigued by palm oil’s beautiful red color, which it gets from cardio- and neuro-protective carotenoids and tocotrienols.

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Another hot topic I’ve noticed as I travel from state to state is sustainability. That’s why I specifically mentioned Malaysian palm oil because I care about the environment and palm oil from Malaysia is sustainably made. What’s more, Malaysia protects the environment, setting aside more than half of its land for conservation. Very important to me: Malaysia doesn’t hurt orangutans when they make palm oil, which is unfortunately not the case in every country. That’s why when you look at the palm oil label, country of origin matters.

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