Mainly to meet the technical requirements of some foods we consume. Palm oil has a role to play in the fat we consume due to its particular composition. It contributes to the complete elimination of industrial trans fats. It is an excellent alternative to animal fats.
Palm oil consumption is increasing worldwide. But it’s a very controversial food. For one, it has been reported to offer several health benefits. But, it can pose a risk to your heart health. There are also environmental problems linked with the constant increase in its production. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at palm oil nutrition facts and other health benefits.
Palm oil Nutrition Facts
Vitamins and Calories
Like all other fats and oils, palm oil provides 9 kcal g compared to 4 kcal of protein and carbohydrates (1 kcal = 4.18 kJ). Fat is also a source of vitamins A, D, and E.
Crude palm oil is an excellent source of provitamin A in carotenoids. It acts as a carrier for these and vitamin K in the human body. Refined red palm oil is used in many countries to treat and prevent vitamin A deficiency.
Fat enriches the flavour, taste, and texture of foods and makes them more delicious.
Degree of Unsaturation and Essential Fatty acids
Palm oil is a well-balanced oil that contains the same amount of saturated and unsaturated acids. The fatty acids are roughly formed as follows.
- 10% polyunsaturated
- 40% monounsaturated (Oleic acid)
- 50% saturated (Palmitic acid)
Palmitic acid is saturated but neutral and does not raise blood cholesterol levels.
The polyunsaturated fatty acid in palm oil is linoleic acid, essential for human and animal nutrition.
Like all vegetable oils, palm oil contains very little cholesterol. Cholesterol, an animal metabolite, is found in various amounts in animal fats but absent in fats and oils derived from vegetables.
Overall Health Benefits
Tocotrienols are present abundantly in palm oil. It is a form of vitamin E with potent antioxidant properties that can support brain health.
Animal and human studies show that Tocotrienols in palm oil can help:
- Protect delicate polyunsaturated fats in the brain
- Progression of slow dementia
- Reduce the risk of stroke
- Prevent the growth of brain injuries
In a study of 121 people with brain injuries, the group who took Tocotrienols (derived from palm) oil twice a day remained stable. The group was receiving a placebo experienced lesion growth.
You can consult a nutritionist if you doubt adding palm oil to your diet.
Palm oil is accredited with heart disease protection.
Although some study results are mixed, it appears that this oil generally benefits the risk factors for heart disease. It includes reducing the “bad” LDL cholesterol and increasing HDL cholesterol. An analysis of 51 studies found that total cholesterol and LDL levels were lower in people who followed diets rich in palm oil. Instead, those who consumed high diets in trans or Lauric and myristic acid.
A decrease or increase in LDL cholesterol levels alone cannot predict the risk of heart disease. There are many other factors involved.
Improved state of Vitamin A
Palm oil can help improve vitamin A state in poor people or the risk of deficit. Studies in pregnant women have shown that red palm oil consumption increases vitamin A levels in their blood. And in their breastfeeding babies.
A study found that people with cystic fibrosis, struggle to absorb fat-soluble vitamins. They experienced an increase in vitamin A levels after taking two to three tablespoons of red palm oil for eight weeks.
Preventing Coronary Artery Disease
Trans fatty acids are produced mainly during the industrial hydrogenation of oils. They have a high proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids. They are currently recognized as significant risk factors for coronary artery disease as they increase total and LDL cholesterol levels and decrease HDL cholesterol levels.
Palm oil eliminates trans fatty acids and associated health risks. And eliminates expensive hydrogenation. Palm oil is one of the most suitable alternatives to hydrogenated fats in many food formulations.
Certain small ingredients in foods have been identified as potential anticancer agents. It includes vitamin A and related compounds. It contains trace elements such as carotenoids, vitamin E (tocopherols and tocotrienols), and selenium. Among the compounds that are often speculated as anticancer agents, palm tocotrienols show great expectations.
Studies have shown that using a diet rich in palm oil has a suppressive effect on cancer progression.
Advantageously, carotenoids and vitamin E coexist in natural foods. Crude palm oil is an excellent source of beta-carotene (provitamin A) and vitamin E.
However, keep in mind that the carotene in refined palm oil (like most other refined oils) is destroyed by heat.
Who to Consult?
If you think palm oil can be good for you and want to add this to your daily diet, you must consult a nutritionist first.
A nutritionist will guide you properly about the diet plan that will be most beneficial for you. If you don’t know about the best nutritionist, you can visit Marham. On Marham, you can find a list of the best nutritionist in your area.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1- Which is good: Palm oil or Coconut oil?
Studies suggest that palm oil has a lower saturated fat content and is healthier than coconut oil for cardiovascular health.
2- Is Palm Oil Healthy?
Red palm oil is rich in nutrients and antioxidants. But factors such as fat and cholesterol content can cause complications in some people.
3- Does Palm oil have Anti-Inflammatory properties?
There is also credible evidence that vitamin E in palm oil has potent anti-inflammatory properties.