Palm Oil

Palm oil comes from the fleshy fruit of oil palms. Unrefined palm oil is sometimes referred to as red palm oil because of its reddish-orange color.
The main source of palm oil is the Elaeis guineensis tree, which is native to West and Southwest Africa. Palm oil is one of the least expensive and most popular oils worldwide, accounting for one-third of global plant oil production.

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    Description

    Palm oil comes from the fleshy fruit of oil palms. Unrefined palm oil is sometimes referred to as red palm oil because of its reddish-orange color.
    The main source of palm oil is the Elaeis guineensis tree, which is native to West and Southwest Africa. Palm oil is one of the least expensive and most popular oils worldwide, accounting for one-third of global plant oil production.

    How Is It Used?

    Palm oil is used for cooking and is also added to many ready-to-eat foods in your grocery store.
    Its taste is considered savory and earthy.
    Some people describe its flavor as being similar to carrot or pumpkin.
    This oil is a staple in West African and tropical cuisines, and it’s especially well suited for curries and other spicy dishes.

    It is often used for sautéing or frying because it has a high smoke point of 232°C and remains stable under high heat.
    Palm oil is sometimes added to peanut butter and other nut butter as a stabilizer to prevent the oil from separating and settling at the top of the jar.

    In addition to nut butter, palm oil can be found in several other foods, including:

    • Cereals
    • Baked goods like bread, cookies, and muffins
    • Protein bars and diet bars
    • Chocolate
    • Coffee creamers
    • Margarine

    In the 1980s, palm oil was replaced with trans fats in many products due to concerns that consuming tropical oils might jeopardize heart health. However, after studies revealed the health risks of trans fats, food manufacturers resumed using palm oil.
    This oil is also found in many non-food products, such as toothpaste, soap, and cosmetics.

    Nutrient Composition

    Here is the nutritional content of one tablespoon (14 grams) of palm oil :

    • Calories: 114
    • Fat: 14 grams
    • Saturated fat: 7 grams
    • Monounsaturated fat: 5 grams
    • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.5 grams
    • Vitamin E: 11% of the RDI

    All of palm oil’s calories come from fat. Its fatty acid breakdown is 50% saturated fatty acids, 40% monounsaturated fatty acids, and 10% polyunsaturated fatty acids.

    The main type of saturated fat found in palm oil is palmitic acid, which contributes 44% of its calories. It also contains high amounts of oleic acid and smaller amounts of linoleic acid and stearic acid.

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