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Is Palm Oil Cholesterol Free

Commercial Palm Oil Circulating Among The Countries

Dr. Joe Schwarcz: Does palm oil actually cause cancer?

It is one of the well-known vegetable oils. It is extracted from palm fruit in general, but it has three different types, the first and second types are of the types that can be used in cooking, but for the third type it is the type that is used for cosmetic and therapeutic purposes and both have been extracted from different types of palm trees.

Palm tree has been cultivated for more than 5,000 years. There is an increase in commercial production worldwide of about 66 million tons in 2019 compared to previous years.

Palm Oil Vs Vegetable Oils Low In Saturated Fat

For the comparison of palm oil vs. vegetable oils low in saturated fat, a total of 807 participants started the trials and 764 of these subjects completed the trials. Twenty-four trials had a crossover design and 3 had a parallel design. The estimated amount of intake of test oil varied across studies from 12% to 43% of total energy intake, and the duration of intervention ranged from 2 to 16 wk. More than half of the studies were conducted in Western countries. The majority of the studies were funded partially or completely by industry rather than by government. Twenty studies provided meals or foods cooked with the test oil for all meals on all days throughout the trial period another 4 studies only provided cooked meals for some meals of the day or for some days of the week the remaining 3 studies provided the test oil as the cooking oil for the subjects to cook at home. Most of the studies were randomized trials. According to the Jadad score, 15 of the trials were of low quality , whereas 12 trials were of medium to high quality . The relatively low-quality scores reflect that most studies did not describe the method of generating the randomization sequence and the method of double blinding. None of the studies mentioned concealment of treatment allocation.


Environmental And Cultural Impact

Demand for palm oil is rising and is expected to climb further, particularly for use in biodiesel. Biodiesel is promoted as a form of renewable energy that greatly reduces net emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and therefore its use is being touted as a way to decrease the impact of the greenhouse effect and also the possibility of peak oil.

However, there is increasing concern from environmental and other NGOs about the social and environmental impacts of the palm oil industry. It is said that rainforests are being cleared to make room for the plantations, thus reducing the habitat for some threatened species, such as the orangutan . The plantations are often run by agribusiness, and locals in places such as West Papua and Kalimantan are missing out on jobs to migrant workers. However most of the rainforest is actually cleared for tropical wood production, sometimes illegal. There is far more forest cleared that ever necessary for palm oil production.

Orangutan experts around the world have unified to recognise that continued development of the palm oil sector, if done unsustainably, is the single greatest threat to the future of orangutans in the wild. The best professional estimates state that if the industry is not regulated then within 12 years we may witness the disappearance of orangutans from the wild. Other species that are critically threatened by disappearance of the forests include the Sumatran tiger and rhinoceros.

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Study Identification And Selection

Two biomedical literature databasesPubMed and the Cochrane Librarywere searched for published reports of clinical trials about the effect of palm oil feeding on blood lipids up until 30 May 2014. Combinations of keywords related to the intervention , study design , study subjects , and outcome measures were used in the literature search . Some relevant reviews, editorials, and the references from the selected articles were also checked to identify potential eligible studies not captured by the databases.

After removing the duplicated results from the database search, 2 investigators first independently screened the studies for eligibility on the basis of titles and abstracts. The full-text articles of the potentially eligible studies were then obtained and independently screened by 2 investigators . Disagreements were resolved by consensus or in consultation with a third investigator . The interrater agreement was good .

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Abulude, F. O., Ogunkoya, M. O., and Kluyode, O. S. Effect of Storage on the Physicochemical Properties of Palm Oil. Pakistan journal of scientific and industrial research 2005 48:110-112.

Adam, S. K., Das, S., and Jaarin, K. A detailed microscopic study of the changes in the aorta of experimental model of postmenopausal rats fed with repeatedly heated palm oil. Int J Exp.Pathol. 2009 90:321-327. View abstract.

Alfatni, M. S. M., Shariff, A. R. M., Shafri, H. Z. M., Ben Saaed, O. M., and Eshanta, O. M. Oil Palm Fruit Bunch Grading System Using Red, Green and Blue Digital Number. Journal of Applied Sciences 2008 8:1444-1452.

Ammawath, W., Che Man, Y., Abdul Rahman, R., and Baharin, B. A fourier transform infrared spectroscopic method for determining butylated hydroxytoluene in palm olein and palm oil. Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society 2006 83:187-191.

Anderson, J. T., Grande, F., and Keys, A. Independence of the effects of cholesterol and degree of saturation of the fat in the diet on serum cholesterol in man. Am J Clin Nutr 1976 29:1184-1189. View abstract.

Berry, S. E., Woodward, R., Yeoh, C., Miller, G. J., and Sanders, T. A. Effect of interesterification of palmitic acid-rich triacylglycerol on postprandial lipid and factor VII response. Lipids 2007 42:315-323. View abstract.

Binns, C. W., Pust, R. E., and Weinhold, D. W. Palm oil: a pilot study of its use in a nutrition intervention programme. J Trop.Pediatr. 1984 30:272-274. View abstract.

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Should You Cook With It

My recommendation is that in terms of cooking, olive oil and avocado oil are the better options, says Michalczyk.

As for the palm oil in processed foods you buy from the grocery store, it’s probably okay in moderationbut try to go with brands that nix it. I always recommend looking at ingredient labels to check what is in something and if it’s something that should only be one ingredient like peanut butter or almond butter, skip the ones with added sugars and things like palm oil, advises Michalczyk.

Since its linked to negative environmental impacts, I wouldnt suggest adopting this oil at home, Rizzo adds. I wouldnt advise using it in place of other oils because we know the benefits of using olive oil, avocado oil, or even vegetable oil in cooking, and we dont know the benefits of palm oil, she says.

What Is Palm Oil

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.

The main source of palm oil is the Elaeis guineensis tree, which is native to West and Southwest Africa. Its use in this region dates back more than 5,000 years.

A similar oil palm known as Elaeis oleifera is found in South America, but its rarely grown commercially. However, a hybrid of the two plants is sometimes used in palm oil production.

In recent years, oil palm growth has expanded to Southeast Asia, including Malaysia and Indonesia. These two countries currently produce more than 80% of the worlds palm oil supply .

Like coconut oil, palm oil is semi-solid at room temperature. However, its melting point is 95°F , which is considerably higher than 76°F for coconut oil. This is due to the different fatty acid compositions of the two oils.

Palm oil is one of the least expensive and most popular oils worldwide, accounting for one-third of global plant oil production .

It is important to note that palm oil should not be confused with palm kernel oil.

While both originate from the same plant, palm kernel oil is extracted from the seed of the fruit. It provides different health benefits.

Bottom Line:

Palm oil comes from palm trees native to Africa, where it has been consumed for thousands of years. It is semi-solid at room temperature and differs from palm kernel oil in nutritional composition.

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Potential Risks Of Palm Oil

Because palm oil is a dense source of nutrition, it may have negative effects on some people. Consider the following before using palm oil in your cooking:

Increased Cholesterol Levels

While some studies suggest that palm oil decreases cholesterol levels, others suggest that it may raise âbadâ cholesterol levels. These studies compared palm oil to other liquid oils such as olive oil, and generally found that palm oil performed worse than alternatives. One study found that palm oil increased cholesterol in healthy individuals. Palm oil is likely healthier than butter, but you should not add palm oil on top of other types of oil.

Linked to Atherosclerosis

Fresh palm oil and older palm oil show significantly different levels of tocotrienol. Because of this, reheated palm oil shows far fewer benefits than fresh palm oil. In fact, reheated palm oil may not just lose the heart benefits of fresh palm oil, it may actually increase your risk of heart disease such as atherosclerosis. If you are at risk for heart disease, avoid eating reheated palm oil or foods containing reheated palm oil.

Compared to other liquid oils, palm oil is relatively high in saturated fats. Palm oil is about 34% saturated fat, while olive oil is less than half of that. Saturated fats are linked to an increased risk of heart disease and chronic health conditions.

Show Sources

BMJ: âDietary fat and cardiometabolic health: evidence, controversies, and consensus for guidance.â

Palm Kernel Products In Margarine

Role of palm oil in the Indian vegetable oil industry

Palm kernel oil forms a eutectic with palm oil in a mixture containing about 30% palm kernel oil. This feature is used to improve the mouth feel in the following formula:

Palm oil

Palm kernel olein interesterified with palm stearin forms a margarine stock. To make margarine, 60 parts are blended with 40 parts liquid oil.


Equal quantities of fully hydrogenated palm kernel oil and fully hydrogenated palm oil are interesterified. A margarine high in polyunsaturated fatty acids is made by blending 12% of this hard stock with 88% of a liquid oil such as sunflower oil.

Jacqueline B. Marcus MS, RD, LD, CNS, FADA, in, 2013

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Is Palm Oil Bad For You

Palm oil appears to have some health benefits. Some studies have shown that palm oil the risk factors for heart disease and aid in brain functioning, says Michalczyk.

Palm oil is high in tocotrienols, a form of vitamin E that act like antioxidants. Some research suggests that tocotrienols can slow the progression of dementia and lower stroke risk, she adds.

Still, palm oil isn’t the healthiest oil you can use for cooking. And the jury is still out as to the other suggested health benefits. “The oil is about half good and half bad fats, but its in so many varying foods that its difficult for researchers to determine if its good or bad for you, says Rizzo.

Some studies even show negative side effects. There are studies that refute the studies that show palm oil has benefits for heart disease, says Michalczyk.

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Palm Oil Richly Loaded With Antioxidants

With a sufficient amount of Vitamin E, rarely found tocotrienols and being loaded with anti-oxidants, palm oil provides amazing anti-aging benefits. It prevents the occurrence of wrinkles and fine lines. Palm oil is capable of providing protection against harmful UV rays and other toxins and hence it is healthy for the skin.

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The Outstanding Characteristics Of Palm Oil

  • Palm oil is one of Nature’s richest sources of Vitamin E tocotrienols and pro-Vitamin A carotenoids.

  • It is cholesterol-free. Studies have shown that palm olein and olive oil have similar beneficial effects on plasma cholesterol levels.

  • Additionally, animal and cell-culture studies have found that palm tocotrienols inhibit the growth of certain types of cancer.

  • Stable at high temperatures, palm olein is the ideal choice for household and industrial frying as it is less prone to oxidation.

  • Palm oil is also odourless and neutral in flavour, thus preserving the natural taste of food.

  • Unlike other vegetable oils, palm oil is naturally semi- solid at room temperature it does not require hydrogenation and is therefore free of trans fats.

  • Palm oil is one of the 17 edible oils cited by the Food and Agriculture Organisation / World Health Organisation Food Standard under the CODEX Alimentarius Commission Programme.

  • Where Are They Extracted From

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    The main difference between these two oils is where they actually come from. Palm oil is extracted from the fruit of the palm tree itself. The palm fruit is carefully harvested, steamed, and pressed to produce a rich, dark red oil high in carotene. However, during the processing of palm oil, this carotene is refined out of the product, leaving behind a milky, creamy-textured oil.

    Palm kernel oil, on the other hand, is extracted from the soft inner seeds within the fruit. These are roasted, ground and processed to release the oil. Because they each originate from different parts of the palm tree, they have chemically and nutritionally different characters, which makes them suited to particular uses.

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    Palm Oil Helps In Preventing Cardiovascular Issues

    Palm oil in spite of having a high content of HDL and LDL cholesterol can still create a healthier balance in our body. High levels of LDL cholesterol can increase the chances of atherosclerosis, which can cause strokes and heart attacks. By maintaining a healthy balance of cholesterol , one can ensure a healthier cardiovascular system.

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    You have tremendous latitude in what goes into your daily dietand the choices you make can have profound consequences for your health. But what diet should you choose? The range is truly dizzying. Just some of the diets you might encounter are vegan, pegan, and portfolio. Raw food, whole foods, and Whole 30. Keto, carnivore, and paleo. Clean eating and intermittent fasting. DASH, MIND, and Volumetrics. Mediterranean, Nordic, and Okinawan. What does it all mean? And how can you begin to make sense of it? This Special Health Report is here to help.

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    Nutritional Value Of Palm Oil

    Malaysian Palm Oil Trail: Chef Jean Michel Loubatieres

    One cup of Palm oil serves 1909 calories and 216 g of total lipid fat. It also offers 0.02 mg of iron, 0.6 mg of choline, 34.43 mg of Vitamin E, 17.3 µg of Vitamin K, 106.488 g of total saturated fat, 0.216 g of lauric acid, 2.16 g of myristic acid, 93.96 g of palmitic acid, 9.288 g of stearic acid, 79.92 g of total monounsaturated fats.

    Palm oil contain 0.648 g of palmitoleic acid, 79.056 g of oleic acid, 0.216 g of gadoleic acid, 20.088 g of total polyunsaturated fats, 19.656 g of linoleic acid and 0.432 g of Linolenic acid.

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    Controversies Regarding Palm Oil

    There are several ethical issues regarding palm oil productions effects on the environment, wildlife and communities.

    In the past decades, increasing demand has led to an unprecedented expansion of palm oil production in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.

    These countries have humid, tropical climates that are ideally suited for growing oil palm trees.

    However, in order to accommodate oil palm plantations, tropical forests and peatland are being destroyed.

    A recent analysis found that 45% of land in Southeast Asia currently used for palm oil production had been forest back in 1990, including more than half of all palm oil plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia .

    Deforestation is anticipated to have devastating effects on global warming, as the forests play a crucial role in reducing greenhouse gasses by absorbing carbon from the atmosphere.

    In addition, the destruction of native landscapes causes changes in the ecosystem that threaten the health and diversity of wildlife.

    Especially concerning is the impact on endangered species such as Bornean orangutans, which are facing extinction due to habitat loss .

    There have also been reports of human rights violations by palm oil corporations, such as clearing farmlands and forests without permission, paying low wages, providing unsafe working conditions and significantly reducing the quality of life .

    Fortunately, experts say that there are more ethical and sustainable methods.


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