One of my biggest “aha” moments during Palm Oil Nutrition Week happened when Wayne State University’s Dr. Pramod Khosla explained that, for the average population, saturated fatty acids such as those found in Malaysian palm fruit oil likely play a neutral role in heart disease. In his presentation “Health Effects of Palm Oil – The Role of Saturated Fatty Acids Revisited, Again,” Dr. Khosla dispelled several myths about saturated fats, including their presumed association with coronary heart disease mortality, stroke or cardiovascular disease.
A moderate amount of dietary fat is important. When part of a balanced diet, saturated fatty acids have a neutral role in cholesterol and heart disease. Healthcare professionals should monitor their patients HDL and LDL cholesterol levels, triglycerides and apolipoprotein profiles without worrying too much about their patients’ saturated fat intake.
Keep taking your omega-3s and don’t be as concerned about your saturated fat intake. Above all, stay informed. As Dr. Khosla himself mentioned, new discoveries constantly question our understanding about fats and the complexities of individual diets.