Is Red Palm Oil Really as Healthy as Advertised?

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Red palm oil is a variation of regular palm oil used for cooking or blended into salad oils or mayonnaise. Red palm oil is taunted as the healthier kind of cooking oil because it contains antioxidants like tocotrienols or vitamin E and carotenes. It also contains a mix of phytosterols, squalene, and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). Of all the nutrients contained in red palm oil, tocotrienols, and carotenoids are the healthiest. These compounds promote better skin, efficient brain development, as well as protects the heart from certain diseases.

In ancient Egypt, red palm oil was used exclusively by pharaohs as a sacred food. The oil was so revered that jars of it were entombed with the pharaohs so they would have access to it in the afterlife. In Africa and in Asia, red palm oil is a staple oil. It’s used in cooking and in baking; most times, it’s used as a substitute for butter.

Is Red Palm Oil Unhealthy?

While there is no question over the health benefits of red palm oil, some studies suggest that using it regularly may be harmful to one’s health. For one thing, red palm oil is still palm oil. Palm oil is known to increase cholesterol level in the body. Palm oil of any kind contains trans-fat and those with elevated levels of bad cholesterol in their body are discouraged from using palm oil in cooking and avoiding any foodstuff that has been prepared with palm oil.

The one thing you should consider when using red palm oil is that although it could be beneficial to your health, it should be used in moderation.

In addition, not all red palm oil products are created equal. Its health-giving nutrients will depend largely on how it is processed and the places where the raw materials were harvested. In order to obtain really healthy varieties of red palm oil, you will need to research about trusted sources that produce the highest-quality red palm oil.

Health Benefits of Red Palm Oil

Assuming that you got high-quality red palm oil from a trusted source and you use it sparingly, you can expect to maximize the following benefits:

Nourishes the Skin

Red palm oil is packed with vitamin E and carotene, both substances help keep the skin healthy and protects from early signs of aging. In fact, vitamin E is widely used in most skincare products because it is an antioxidant, protecting the skin from environmental pollutants that causes oxidative stress. Vitamin E also inhibits damages caused by ultraviolet rays.

Promotes Better Liver Health

Clinical testing conducted in the Ohio State University Medical Center reported that those patients with end-stage liver disease or those who await liver transplant fed with red palm oil supplements saw “significant protective effects.” A separate study conducted in Malaysia also conclude that nutrients found in red palm oil may help the liver recover from severe damage.

Protects From Cardiovascular Diseases

Multiple clinical testing reveal that compounds that occur naturally in red palm oil may lower the risk factors of cardiovascular diseases in both normal and diseased human subjects. This means, a reasonable amount of red palm oil may help prevent heart disease and treat existing cardiovascular diseases.

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