Over the decades the concept of diet has undergone major changes, especially the use of fats and oils. In developing countries like ours, vegetable oils are replacing animal fats because of the cost and health concerns. The Malaysian Palm Oil Council prime focus is to promote the market expansion of Malaysian palm oil and its products by enhancing the image of palm oil and creating better acceptance of palm oil through awareness of various technological and economic advantages (techno-economic advantages) and environmental sustainability.
So Palm oil is extracted from the fruit of the oil Palm tree. Although, palm oil has been used in certain parts of the world from a long time but it is only recently that it has started getting global recognition. Palm oil is widely used for cooking, medicinal purposes and also industrially.
Palm oil is already having strong effect worldwide as a cooking aid because it is free of artery-clogging trans-fats. Besides it is always cleaner and more stable, cooking with palm oil leaves the kitchen becomes less greasy and easy to clean. It is consumed worldwide as cooking oil, in making of margarine and shortening, apart from being used as an ingredient in fat blends and a vast array of food products.
Nutritionally, you can find the following things in 10g of palm oil –
- Calories – 81.5
- Fat – 10g
- Saturated Fat – 5g
- Unsaturated Fat – 4.6g
- Vitamin E – 11% of RDI
Palm oil is used for cooking and in many ready-to-eat foods. After the health risks related to trans-fat have come to light recently, food manufacturers have been looking towards Palm oil. Palm oil also has many medicinal benefits, some of which are listed below:
- Rich in Vitamin A – Helps in countering its deficiency
- Good for Brain and Heart health
- Reduces cholesterol levels
Apart from these uses of Palm Oil, it is also used in certain other industries like Biofuel and energy, Personal care and cosmetics etc.
Now that people are very much enlightened for Global Food security where all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary requirements and food preferences for an active and healthy life. The major benefit of Palm Oil is they it grows under humid tropical conditions, and produce 5 to 8 times more oil per hectare than the other crops. In addition to their exceptional productivity, palm oil trees also demand much less work and production inputs per unit than other oil crops. Therefore palm oil is so far the cheapest oil to produce.
Because Palm Oil is cheap, ubiquitous and one of the most efficient sources of vegetable oil, it has become favorite in every household all around the world. Palm oil’s aggressive takeover of the world trade has rattled competing oil companies. Competing oil companies have always been unhappy with palm oil and as such they spread a lot of rumours around which are not actual facts. Much of the resentment is attributed to the fact that palm oil is by nature difficult to compete with.
Therefore It is reassuring to know that the consumption of palm oil as a source of dietary fat does not pose any additional risks for coronary artery disease when consumed in realistic amounts as part of a healthy diet.