Are palm oils good or bad for your health? There has been a lot of controversy on the health status of palm oil over the past few years. It seems also that it has been able to garner an equal amount of interest. There have been serious debates on how palm oil could impact our health. Beyond its consumption, one major concern has been the possible effects of its production on our environment. Our question is, should we keep consuming palm oil or not? But some say the real question is should we be producing palm oil at all? So what’s the deal with palm oil? Is it good or bad for your health?
Palm oil has been around for quite a long time. In some parts of this world, palm oil has been a part of their diet for thousands of years. Recently, it began to gain popularity as one of the very healthy fats that you can add to your diet. But some people have kicked against the idea. They say there are a few side effects as well as concerns that disqualify palm oil. Anyways, palm oil can help regulate your cholesterol levels. It can also contribute significantly to improved brain health and the reduction of oxidative stress. The only thing is to make sure you get your palm oil from reputable producers who make the highest-quality products and prioritize good environmental practices.
What You Should Know About Palm Oil?
Palm oil refers to any oil that you get from oil palms, particularly from their fruits. There are many species of oil palms, but the primary species that palm oil is gotten from is called Elaeis guineensis. This specific species is a local species of Southwest African countries.
The oil palm is a very resourceful tree that can grow as tall as 20 meters long. Each year, the oil palm can produce something between 20 to 30 leaves. These leaves can be used to feed ruminant animals or even to make local brooms.
The oil palm also produces palm fruit. Palm oil is usually extracted from these fruits, usually from both the pulp of the fruit as well as the kernel. You can get an estimate of 23kg palm oil from every 100kg of the palm fruit. That’s quite a high yield.
Considering that it has quite a high yield, palm oil is now a common ingredient used for cooking across different nations, cultures, and traditions. There are only very few parts of the world where palm oil is not consumed.
Indonesia and Malaysia are well known for the supply of palm oil. As high as 80 percent of palm oil that is supplied in the world today come from these two countries alone.
Meanwhile, palm oil has very high heat stability and smoke point. It can endure very high temperatures. For this reason, it is one of the most preferred choices of oil for fried or sautéed dishes.
Surprisingly, even a lot of processed foods contain palm oil. Talk about baked goods, protein bars, cereals, and so on. These products contain a good amount of palm oil. However, the palm oil found in these products is commonly refined.
Palm oil is healthier when it is yet unrefined. There is a reddish hue that unrefined palm oil usually has. This reddish hue is what people call red palm oil. It is a very healthy oil that contains beneficial antioxidants and carotenoids in abundance.
You can get a lot of health benefits by adding just one or two tablespoons of palm oil to your daily diet. It will improve both your physical and cognitive health.
Are Palm Oils Good or Bad For Your Health?
In general, palm oils are healthy. However, the quality of the palm oil you are buying matters a lot. The highest-quality palm oils may be more expensive, but they have a lot of health benefits. The benefits of palm oil are as follows:
1. Palm oil can help regulate your cholesterol levels
If your heart will be strong and healthy, your cholesterol levels must be well regulated. LDL cholesterol is the bad cholesterol that can negatively affect the health of your heart. Palm oil can help reduce the levels of this bad cholesterol in your blood. This could help prevent heart disease.
2. Palm oil can prevent heart disease from getting worse
Palm oil can also be of great help in managing your condition if you have existing heart disease. Reducing your cholesterol levels, particularly LDL, will prevent your heart disease from getting worse rapidly.
3. Palm oil can improve your brain health
Palm oil is a very great source of Vitamin E. This vitamin is known to help in boosting brain health and cognitive functions. This is especially good for preventing and managing dementia. What’s more, vitamin E is a great antioxidant.
4. Palm oil is a great source of Vitamin A
Here comes another vitamin that palm oil has in abundance. Specifically, you can get beta-carotene from palm oil. This is, in turn, converted into vitamin A by your body. Vitamin A helps you to maintain a clear vision and also helps promote your immunity.
5. Palm oil can help decrease oxidative stress
If you are very particular about your health, you would have heard about free radicals. These compounds are indeed radicals in every sense of the word. They can damage your cells, cause inflammation, and build up oxidative stress within your body. Palm oil is rich in antioxidants that can help checkmate these free radicals.
What Are Some Concerns People Have About Palm Oil?
The health benefits that you can get from consuming palm oil are vast. However, we cannot deny the fact that there are certain drawbacks that you should not overlook.
To start with, our bodies are different from one another. This means that consuming palm oil may have different effects on different individuals. Weirdly, some people have found that palm oil increases their cholesterol levels rather than decrease them.
This means you must find what works for you. As much as palm oil is beneficial for regulating cholesterol levels in most people, who knows? You may be one of the few whose bodies react differently to palm oil.
Anyways, the best thing to do is to only consume moderate amounts of palm oil and, where possible, to combine it with other healthy fats.
More so, refined products are mostly bad for your health. So you should avoid refined palm oil. Go for the highest-quality products that have not been refined or heavily processed.
Refined palm oil has lost most of the health-promoting properties that make palm oil beneficial. All that remains are chemicals that can negatively impact your health.
So are palm oils good or bad? They are good if you get the highest quality products. They are bad if you get heavily processed and refined products. What’s more, you’ll get the best from the highest-quality products if you consume moderate amounts.