This post was originally published on December 6, 2019 and updated on December 16, 2020.
Palm oil offers a unique, heart-healthy 50-50 blend of saturated and unsaturated fat. Plus, it’s loaded with nutrients, such as vitamin E tocotrienols. These antioxidants are up to 60 times more potent than tocopherols, the more common vitamin E form.
Scientists have debunked the theory that saturated fat consumption is linked to heart disease. Nutritionists now consider saturated fat consumption part of a healthy diet. Natural saturated fat-containing foods such as nuts, avocados, fatty fish and palm oil should not be avoided.
In fact, a groundbreaking new study coming out of Malaysia has found that restricting carbs may have a greater benefit to heart health than restricting total fat consumption. The study, “A Cross-Sectional Study on the Dietary Pattern Impact on Cardiovascular Disease Biomarkers in Malaysia”, examined how diet patterns, lifestyle, genetics, age and socioeconomic factors affect heart disease risk.
Senior author Dr. Kalyana Sundram states: “Our study found that higher proportions of carbohydrates in the diet tend to be associated with elevated levels of multiple cardiovascular disease risk factors including dyslipidemia (defined as high triglycerides, elevated total or bad LDL cholesterol or low levels of the good HDL cholesterol), high blood pressure and plaque-promoting small LDL cholesterol particles,”. He added that, “Higher proportions of dietary fat intake were not associated with elevating these risk factors.”
TOP 10 HEALTH BENEFITS OF PALM OIL
- Red palm fruit oil has more carotene than tomatoes or carrots. It is a rich source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that helps strengthen the body’s immune system, and is associated with a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease and cataracts.
- Palm oil has more vitamin E than any other vegetable oil. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant capable of reducing the harmful free radicals in the body. It helps to support overall health while delaying the aging process. By the way, canola oil also claims to be high in Vitamin E, but it only contains tocopherols which are the most common form of Vitamin E also found in most multi-vitamins. Tocotrienols are significantly harder to come by, and palm oil is their richest source.
- Red palm oil is a solid fat, so does not have to undergo unhealthy hydrogenation. Hydrogenation of oils produces trans fatty acids, which have been implicated in numerous diseases including breast cancer, colon cancer and heart disease. Trans fats are also believed to impair development in newborns.
- Vitamin E tocotrienols derived from red palm oil have been shown to reduce neurological damage due to stroke. They may also enhance the speed of stroke recovery.
- The vitamin E tocotrienols in red palm oil support the brain’s white matter health. A two-year human clinical study demonstrated that tocotrienols weaken the progression of white matter lesions, which may reduce stroke risk.
- Red palm oil’s vitamin E tocotrienols may slow your body’s ability to create new fat cells and kill off some of the fat cells you already have. They may be a new tool in resolving today’s obesity epidemic.
- Red palm oil’s vitamin E tocotrienols appear to protect the livers of adults diagnosed with high cholesterol and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD). NAFLD is one of the most common liver disorders, possibly triggered by obesity, insulin resistance, lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress.
- Red palm oil has a neutral effect on cholesterol. Its effects on blood cholesterol levels are similar to olive oil, and better than common cooking oil blends.
- The carotenes in red palm oil may help protect your skin against UV damage. It’s like sunscreen from the inside out.
- Palm oil may even help you lose weight. Healthy fats improve your satiety so you might end up consuming fewer calories.
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