Nutrition expert, Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS visited the set of Great Day SA to encourage San Antonio viewers to reconsider the types of oils they eat. Some oils may help you have a better memory. He suggests using sustainable Malaysian palm oil for brain health because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
“There are a number of things we can actually do to prevent memory loss. The first thing is, we need to reduce inflammation,” Bowden explained while on the topic of brain health. “Inflammation is the major promoter of every disease, heart disease, brain (cognitive) decline … just about everything. When you look at any disease of aging, there is an inflammatory component. And we are eating a very inflammatory diet.
“We need an oil change. We are cooking with the wrong oils,” Bowden said. “This goes back to our fear of saturated fats and being told to eat all these vegetable oils. There are wonderful oils, but we’re not using them. We’re using corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower; but they’re all inflammatory. We need to switch to things like olive oil, coconut oil — which is a saturated fat but very healthy for you — and my favorite these days is Malaysian palm oil. It’s red because of all the antioxidants. You can get it anywhere and you can look for it as an ingredient.”
Antioxidants reduce the harmful free radicals in your body, helping to delay the aging process and support brain health. The naturally occurring antioxidants in palm oil include vitamin A (in the carotenoids that give the oil its red color) and vitamin E. Palm oil is richer in vitamin E than other vegetable oils.
“Malaysian palm oil is also sustainable, which is one of the reps against palm oil. But in Malaysia they are just phenomenal with the environment,” Bowden concluded. “This is a saturated fat which is good for the brain and good for the heart. We need to get away from all these vegetable oils. Use some of them, but mix them in with some of the good healthy saturated fats. They are good for the brain, as well.”
Robin Miller is a health and nutrition editor with more than 30 years of industry experience. She researches and writes about the nutritional benefits of palm fruit oil, with the goal of giving readers factual, science-based information that will be useful in their daily lives.