Palm oil is widely used in food products around the world. More than 35 percent of it is produced in the Southeast Asian country of Malaysia where the palm oil industry has grown dramatically over the last two decades. But is Malaysian sustainable palm oil good for you? Several experts discussed this oil and why it is getting so much attention.
Registered dietitian and exercise physiologist Felicia Stoler: On the nationally syndicated Better Show, Stoler said, “Research has shown that that eating trans fat raises your bad cholesterol while lowering your good cholesterol. Luckily, a lot of food manufacturers have reformulated their products to reduce or eliminate trans fats. A healthier replacement is Malaysian sustainable palm oil, which is naturally trans fat free.” During a Local Memphis Live interview she added, “The 2015 Dietary Guidelines talk about eating foods that are more sustainable. Palm oil is produced sustainably in Malaysia.”
Nutritionist Jonny Bowden PhD, CNS: “We need an oil change. We are cooking with the wrong oils,” Bowden said during a Great Day SA interview. “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.” He added, “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.”
Holistic pharmacist Sherry Torkos: “When it comes to cooking, I suggest Malaysian sustainable palm oil. It is nature’s richest source of vitamin E. It is good for brain health and for heart health. There has even been some evidence to show it may protect the brain from damage after a stroke,” Torkos said during an interview on Mom Talk Radio. “In addition to its nutritional benefits, Malaysian sustainable palm oil is heat stable. It retains its nutritional value during cooking, baking and frying. You don’t lose the beneficial antioxidants and nutrients. And, it doesn’t break down when frying. It is at the top of my list when you look at benefits a cooking oil can provide. And, it is good for the environment. In terms of healthy fats, that is what you want to look for.”
Felicia Stoler is a member of Media Relations Inc.’s panel of highly respected third-party experts. She is compensated to express her own professional opinions, through the media, about certain products.
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.