Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hidden Nutritional health benefits of Palm Oil

Palm oil, a part of the vegetable oil family, is actually the nutrition-packed beneficial fat source that can supply number of health benefits to the body. Palm oil is a rich source of saturated fatty acids and natural chemical compounds but it is good for the overall health and nutrition. Particularly, red palm oil has been well-known for its nutritional health benefits, which is obtained from the fruit of the palm tree and should not be perplexed with palm kernel oil that prepared from the palm kernel. Palm oil is a natural source of vitamin E & carotenoids in addition to fatty acids and other essential fat-soluble micronutrients. Palm oil is much healthier oil in its unrefined form than any hydrogenated vegetable oil.

Hidden Nutritional health benefits of Palm Oil

At room temperature, palm oil remains in semi-solid form and contains 50 percent saturated fat and 50 percent unsaturated fats. In most of local supermarkets, online pharmacies and drug stores, palm oil is extensively available and considered safe to use daily because of the lack of harmful side effects. Most of the people think that the saturated fat content of the oil has damaging effect to the body but it is not true. Palm oil is a medium-chain triglyceride that can be obtained from the milk fat, tropical oils, and mother's milk. For people, who are suffering from digestive problems, this type of fat is recommended. Also, it gives an abundance of calories that supplies people much-required energy for daily life. It is best for sports person as they often require extra energy.

Palm Oil Nutrition

Palm oil is a good source of nutrients; it contains fat, vitamin E, vitamin K, and beta carotene in high amount. One tablespoon of palm oil contains 14g of fat, out of which approximately 40 percent are monounsaturated, 50 percent are saturated and 10 percent are polyunsaturated. This amount of palm oil also contains 120 calories, 1 mcg vitamin K, and 2.17 mg of vitamin E. Fresh red palm oil has all these nutrients in high amount.

Nutritional health benefits of Palm Oil

Palm oil is an excellent source of beta-carotene so the health benefits of palm oil are mostly associated to its beta-carotene content.

Beta-carotene (Carotenoids)

The orange-red color of the palm oil is due to the presence of natural chemical compounds, carotenoids. In comparison to the other vegetable oils, crude palm oil and unrefined palm oil are nature's greatest source of carotenoids. It contains 15 times more carotenoids than carrots and 30 times more than tomatoes. In palm oil, the most active and important form of carotenoids is beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A which is an effectual antioxidant that helps to strengthen the immune system of body and to decrease the risk of cataract, heart disease and cancer.

As well, beta-carotene helps to promote good vision and has the potential to get converted into vitamin A that helps in the rhodopsin production, the night vision pigment in the eye’s retina. Beta-carotene has been also shown to help defend the lungs from disease.

Free from Trans-fatty acid (TFA)

One significant health benefit of palm oil is that it is free from Trans-fatty acid. Many scientific studies have shown that Trans-fatty acids can cause colonic cancer, breast cancer, and heart disease. As well, they are supposed to contribute to the impairment of brain development in newborns and development of Type 2 diabetes.

Vitamin E

Palm oil is a rich source of Vitamin E (tocopherols & tocotrienols). Actually, no other vegetable oil contains vitamin E in comparison to palm oil. Vitamin E is a powerful anti-oxidant that decreases the harmful oxygen species (free radicals) in the body. By this way, palm oil helps to protect person from some chronic diseases as well as delay the ageing process of the body. It strengthens the body’s immune system and protects the body’s skin cells from UV radiation and toxins.


In the body, energy comes from the all groups of food, including oils and fats. Palm oil is an excellent source of calories; 1 gm of palm oil provides 9 Kcal of energy that is 2 ½ times higher than 1 gram of carbohydrates (4 Kcal) or protein (4 Kcal).

Other Health Benefits
  • Palm oil is full of antioxidants that keep skin looking younger by protecting the skin cells.
  • As the oil is a Trans fat-free, it neither increase fatty deposits in the arteries & blood vessels nor interfere in fat metabolism.
  • Palm oil is odorless and tasteless so it is perfect option for people who don’t like the smell and taste of the most marketed oils.
  • This saturated oil raises the amount of good cholesterol, HDL in the body. It is more effective for maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system, in comparison to other saturated oils.
  • Some studies have shown that tocotrienols, one of palm oil's components, can reverse the blockage of carotid artery and thereby helps to prevent heart attack, stroke, and arteriosclerosis.
  • Red palm oil raises the effectiveness of several breast cancer drugs up to 45% as well as inhibits the growth of breast cancer cells.


It would be ideal if the report separate the ordinary palm oil with the red palm oil. Overall it is very informative. I like it very much.

what sources did you use? A list of references would be nice or at least something...

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