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Video: Palm Oil: Is It Bad For Your Health?
Palm oil: is it bad for your health?
What is palm oil
Palm oil is obtained from the fleshy part of the oil palm fruit. A separate product - palm kernel oil - is squeezed from the seeds of this plant. Palm and palm kernel oil is widely used in food products, as well as in non-food production - this oil is called technical and it has little in common with edible fat and oil product.
The oil palm is common in African countries, cultivated in Malaysia and Indonesia. Palm oils are imported to Russia mainly from Indonesia.
Composition of palm oil, its pros and cons
Palm oil contains vitamins such as provitamin A, vitamin E, B6, D and F. Provitamin A is essential for the growth of bones and hair, maintaining vision and normal functioning of the immune system. Vitamin E is an immunomodulator, has antioxidant properties. And palm oil surpasses olive oil in the amount of vitamin E. Vitamin B group is necessary for the formation of antibodies and red blood cells in the blood. Vitamin D helps the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, stimulates the production of certain hormones. Vitamin F prevents the formation of blood clots, helps to normalize blood cholesterol levels.
Palm oil is characterized by the absence of cholesterol, as for any vegetable oil, while in animal products (meat, fish, liver) its content varies from 30 to 350 mg. In addition, palm oil contains unsaturated fats - oleic and linoleic acids, which lower blood cholesterol levels. Palm oil has a high digestibility index (95.8%).
The disadvantage of palm oil is its significant content of saturated fatty acids. Palm oil is refractory and is partially excreted from the body, clogging up blood vessels, intestines and other important organs. Excessive consumption of such fats leads to weight gain and obesity. If these oils are used together with animal fats, the risk of heart attacks and strokes increases. A combination of animal fats and vegetable oils is found in some dairy products and is also common in cooking.
And if in different countries there are disputes about the benefits and dangers of palm oil, then for the 500,000 people employed in the production of oil in Malaysia, this is the only way to earn a living.
The use of palm oil
The value of palm oil for producers, first of all, is that it melts at a higher temperature than most oils and fats. This property helps him to keep the given shape well. Dairy products and confectionery products containing palm oil hold their shape well, do not melt at room temperature and are stored longer.
Palm oil is composed of several fractions, liquid and solid. The solid fraction - stearin - has a high melting point of 47-54 ° C; the middle fractions are characterized by melting points close to the temperature of the human body. It is these fractions of palm oil that are used in food production.
In some cases, manufacturers include palm oil in their products, not only to facilitate the production process, but also to reduce the cost of production. Palm oil is cheaper than some animal fats. Therefore, it can be found on dairy product labels. However, the cost of similar exotic vegetable oils (soybean, rapeseed) practically does not differ from the cost of palm oil.
Palm oil in foods
Palm oil can be found in dairy and sour milk products, confectionery, baby food. For palm oil, its quality and use in food, there are a number of norms established by law - GOSTs and technical regulations.
A large proportion of palm oil is found in dairy products: in the overwhelming amount of margarines, spreads, sauces and mayonnaise. The technological property of palm oil - hardness and high melting point - makes it valuable and essential for these products.
Remember, margarines and spreads are not meant to be consumed daily. Some consumers unknowingly substitute margarine for butter because of the low price. Also, avoid frequent consumption of ice cream, cottage cheese products and other similar products containing palm and other vegetable oils.
Palm oil is used in the production of sweets, confectionery fillings and in the bakery industry. Due to its ability to keep its shape and have a constant consistency, palm oil is very common in fillings for a wide variety of sweets.
Chocolate icing and confectionery bars may also contain vegetable oils, including palm oils. It is important to understand that “chocolate” and “chocolate icing”, as well as “confectionery bars” are different products, both in composition, nutritional value, and in price. Chocolate glaze is a product that is used to cover sweets, waffles, curd cheeses, baked goods, etc. Confectionery tiles have little in common with real chocolate - sugar and vegetable (not cocoa) oils predominate in its composition. These products have a low price tag.
In contrast, chocolate should not contain any vegetable fat other than cocoa butter. Cocoa butter is an expensive healthy product. It is cocoa butter and cocoa liquor that have the beneficial properties of chocolate. By replacing it with refined palm oil, the manufacturer deprives the chocolate of the unique properties of the cocoa bean. When choosing a chocolate, palm oil-free products should be preferred.
Is palm oil harmful or beneficial? Surprisingly, the benefits and harms of the oil are comparable. Palm oil, like other vegetable oils like corn, sunflower, soybean oil, is well absorbed by the body and has the necessary vitamins and valuable substances. Therefore, do not be afraid of palm oil in your meals and products. However, it is best to avoid it in dairy products - most likely the manufacturer used it to reduce the cost of production. Also remember that palm oil, like other fats and oils, with frequent use, put you at risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease.
Learn more about palm oil in the video Habitat. Palm oil"
Author: Daria V. (specially for Calorizator.ru)
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