Originally from Africa, palm oil has been used for more than 5000 years. It is one of the healthiest oils for cooking, because it does not contain trans fatty acids, which are responsible for the occurrence of heart disease and some cancers.
This vegetable oil with has a reddish color is obtained by cold or hot pressing of the pulp of the palm fruit. It can also be obtained from the seeds of the fruit.
How to choose the best kind
The best type is the un-hydrogenated palm oil. According to prof. PhD. Gheorghe Mencinicopschi, un-hydrogenated palm oil is rich in essential fatty acids, contains no cholesterol and is low in saturated fatty acids compared to other oils. If stored at a temperature below 20 ° C, palm oil is a solid, but it does not lose its property.
Ideal for cooking
Nutritionists recommend this oil for cooking, because it retains its properties even at a temperature of 230 degrees Celsius. Therefore, it does not decompose into toxic substances during roasting, so it isn’t dangerous to health. It is also ideal for cooking because it has no taste and smell, which means that food cooked in it will retain its flavor.
Better than olive oil
A study by Spanish researchers at the University of Alicante has shown that palm oil is healthier for cooking than olive oil and sunflower oil. Researchers have studied how much acrolein, a substance harmful to the body is released during roasting. Following the experiment, they showed that the substance was produced in the smallest amount while the food was fried in palm oil.
It fights free radicals
Palm oil has a high content of beta-carotene, which protects the body against free radicals responsible for premature skin aging. This oil contains oleic acid, known for its anti-inflammatory properties, and also because it helps reduce “bad” cholesterol, which increases the risk of heart disease. It is, however, not recommended to people who struggle with extra pounds, for it is high in calories: there are 884 calories in 100 grams of palm oil.
A source of vitamins
Several studies have shown that palm oil is also a rich source of vitamin A, which helps maintain healthy skin, hair, gums and nails. Last but not least, palm oil contains a high amount of vitamin E, a potent antioxidant which prevents the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease, certain eye disorders, and certain forms of cancer.
INFO: Palm oil is not recommended for pregnant women or people who are going to pass through surgery in the near future.
Did you know …
… Every year, around the world, 40 million tons of palm oil are produced?
In general, for frying it is good to use products which do not have too much unsaturated fat, and which have a high melting point. The reason for this is that unsaturated fats are sensitive and, when fried, they “break”, giving rise to active radicals and oxidizing substances that irritate the digestive tract. The advantage of palm oil is that it is saturated and solid, thus generating irritants during frying only after it has been used several times. In addition, like any other vegetable fat, it doesn’t contain cholesterol.