Before jumping into the debate of Palm oil Good Or Bad, let's know some facts of this oil.
What is Palm oil ?
Palm oil is produced from the fruit of the oil palm (Elaeis guineensis). Since thousand of years this oil is being used in our daily life. The main source of palm oil is the Elaeis guineensis tree, which is originally native to Africa, specially South And West, it's used in this region more than 5000 years. But in current days most of the Tropical regions are now growing this oil palm. The main plantation areas are in Indonesia and Malaysia. Another palm oil is known as Elaeis oleifera, which is found in South America, but it's rarely grown commercially. However, a hybrid of the two plants is sometimes used in.
Palm oil comes from the fleshy fruit of oil palms. Unrefined palm oil is sometimes referred to as red palm oil because of its reddish-orange color.
Palm oil is one of the least expensive and most popular oils worldwide, accounting for one-third of global plant oil production (1 Trusted Source).
Palm oil & it's many uses :
Palm oil is used in cooking, especially in West African cuisines and curries.
It is also found in packed foods, products and Cereals.
Baked goods like bread, cookies and muffins
Protein bars and diet bars
And many other product ,and even in non food products like :
In ink, pesticides etc.
Health & Nutrition benefits of Palm oil :
Palm oil & palm kernel oil is not the same thing. While both originate from the same plant, palm kernel oil is extracted from the seed of the fruit. It provides different health benefits.
Palm oil is 100% fat, half of which is saturated. It also contains vitamin E and red palm oil contains antioxidants called carotenoids, which your body can convert into vitamin A.
In this study, people consumed either 25 ml (2 tablespoons) of olive oil or a hybrid palm oil daily. Based on a 15% drop in LDL cholesterol in both groups, researchers suggested this palm oil could be called "the tropical equivalent of olive oil" .
However, a controlled study in 1995 suggested that palm oil might help slow disease progression in people with established heart disease.
Palm oil can help improve vitamin A status in people who are deficient or at risk of deficiency.
Studies in pregnant women in developing countries have shown that consuming red palm oil increases vitamin A levels in their blood, as well as in their breastfeed infants.
Health & Nutrition benefits of Palm oil :
One study found that people with cystic fibrosis, who have difficulty absorbing fat-soluble vitamins, experienced an increase in blood levels of vitamin A after taking two to three tablespoons of red palm oil daily for eight weeks.
In fact, a study from India reported that preschool-aged children who took 5 ml (1 teaspoon) per day had greater increases in vitamin A levels than children who received vitamin A supplements.Palm oil may help protect brain function, reduce heart disease risk factors and increase vitamin A levels in certain people.
Palm oil may increase certain heart disease risk factors in some people. Repeatedly reheating the oil may decrease its antioxidant capacity and contribute to the development of heart disease.
In short, Palm oil may help protect brain function, reduce heart disease risk factors and increase vitamin A levels in certain people.
Food security :
Palm oil plays an important role in the segment of food security as it consumes less than one fourth of the land compared to those vegetables that provide edible oil and also it doesn’t need hydrogenation. The best part of Palm oil is that on heating it doesn’t lose the nutritional factor like other oils. Palm oil's contribution in feeding a vast population directly and indirectly is unmatched. In developing countries like Malaysia and Indonesia, where Palm oil is mainly sourced from, it’s the major source of income to run the livelihood. Because of the plantations, the rural areas have got access to better standard of living.
Palm oil - Land use efficiency:
Put another way, this means more oil produced on less land. Whereas the Palm oil needs only 5% land to produce 38% of the cooking oil worldwide. So the rest of the land can be used to grow other crops also. With international demand for edible oils growing steadily, more oil from less land is a good thing. In Asia, where the vast majority of palm oil is produced and consumed, it is a common cooking oil.
It’s also valuable. Palm oil generates tens of billions of dollars in revenue for producing countries, and is estimated to employ more than 6 million people globally. That’s good, too.