What Is Palm Oil
Palm Oil is derived from the palm fruit of Elaeis guineensis. It is rich in content of beta carotene. Palm tree originated from West Africa. It was recognised as a ‘cooking oil’ in the Central and Western African region. Palm oil constitutes various nutrients that enhance energy levels. Palm oil consumption has increased all around the world because of its health and nutrition benefits.
Considering the nutritional content of Palm Oil, 14 grams of palm oil constitutes:
- Calories: 114
- Fat: 14 grams
- Saturated fat: 7 grams
- Monounsaturated fat: 5 grams
- Polyunsaturated fat: 1.5 grams
- Vitamin E: 11% of the RDI
The benefits of Palm Oil also include protecting the brain function, reducing the risk of heart diseases and improving vitamin A status. Additional nutrition benefits are as follows:
1. Provides Energy:
The beta carotene content of Palm Oil assists in providing and promoting the levels of energy and enhancement of hormones in the human body.
2. Vision Enhancement:
The antioxidants in Palm Oil act as defensive mechanisms for the body. Usage of Palm Oil helps in prevention of cataracts and muscular degeneration.
3. Vitamin E supplement:
Higher bioavailability of antioxidant nutrients makes palm oil an important dietary oil and acts as a Vitamin E supplement. It is also the richest natural source of carotenoids.
4. Slows the progression of heart diseases:
A study conducted to analyse the benefits of palm oil showed that 28% of people suffering from heart diseases who were treated with palm oil, showed an improvement in their conditions.
5.Reduces Oxidative Stress:
Radicals are reactive compounds that build up in your body overtime and lead to oxidative stress. The antioxidants present in red palm oil help in dealing with oxidative stress.
Palm Oil And Food Security:
Food Security is by definition the measure of availability of food and individual’s ability to access it. Food security has been a concern for thousands of years. Various factors help to prove that palm oil is good for food security. Palm oil uses less land, needs fewer pesticides and lesser fertilisers. Palm oil constitutes the major bulk of the world’s production of oils and fats. It contributed to 27.6% share when its production in 2009 was 45.5 million tonnes. Palm oil has been a key factor in the reduction of poverty in countries like Indonesia and Malaysia. Palm oil plantation lands have created many opportunities and has also lifted the incomes of the population there.
Choosing palm oil to feed 10 billion people by 2050 will require only 54 million hectares of farmland. it yields more than per hectare than compared to any other vegetable oil.
Palm oil composition makes it trans fat free, leading to a healthily produced food component.
Various reasons add up to prove that palm oil is an efficient and healthier option, both for the body and for the land.
Palm Oil And Its’ Uses:
Along with the many benefits of palm oil to the land and the economy, it also stands as a key food ingredient. International finance organisations viewed palm oil as a growth engine for developing economies. Palm oil has replaced less healthy fats in foods and has also covered up as a substitute for expensive oils in homes and personal care products. Markets such as biofuel and energy, Animal feed, Pharmaceutical, Industrial and the food and service industry are also making great use of Palm Oil.
Is palm’s success it’s greatest enemy?
There are various controversies surrounding the usage and consumption of Palm Oil. Several environmental groups call for boycott or ban on palm oil. Palm Oil has given a tough competition to other substitutes because of its usefulness, versatility and affordability. Many common people tend to question the sustainability. Those who are against Palm Oil manufacturing, fail to realise that active steps have already been taken to prevent the side effects. The feasibility of Palm Oil raises a concern for the other substitutes and hence, the protests and controversies.
For more information, visit : http://mpoc.org.my