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All around the world, palm oil consumption is increasing. However, it is a highly controversial food.
On one hand, it’s reported to provide several health benefits.
On the other, it may pose risks to heart health. There are also environmental concerns related to the steady increase in its production.
This article takes a detailed look at palm oil and its effects on health, the environment and sustainability.
What Is Palm Oil?
Palm oil comes from the fleshy fruit of oil palms. It 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. Its use in this region dates back more than 5,000 years.
A similar oil palm known as Elais oleifera is found in South America, but it’s rarely grown commercially. However, a hybrid of the two plants is sometimes used in palm oil production.
In recent years, oil palm growth has expanded to Southeast Asia, including Malaysia and Indonesia. These two countries currently produce more than 80% of the world’s palm oil supply (1).
Like coconut oil, palm oil is semi-solid at room temperature. However, its melting point is 95°F (35°C), which is considerably higher than 76°F (24°C) for coconut oil. This is due to the different fatty acid compositions of the two oils.
Palm oil is one of the least expensive and most popular oils worldwide, accounting for one-third of global plant oil production (1).
It is important to note that palm oil should not be confused with palm kernel oil.
While both originate from the same plant, palm kernel oil is extracted from the seed of the fruit. It’s white rather than red, and it provides different health benefits.
READ MORE AT https://authoritynutrition.com/palm-oil/