Move over coconut oil, there’s a new healthy option in town: Malaysian palm fruit oil. Palm fruit oil is all-natural and non-hydrogenated and does not raise your bad cholesterol. But what I like most about this type of oil is that it doesn’t lose it’s nutritional value when cooked at high heat and it can withstand hotter temperatures than butter, corn oil, and my go-to, olive oil. Good news if, like me, you’ve smoked up your kitchen with overheated olive oil more than once! What’s more, it can be stored at room temperature for up to a year while most oils only last about four to six months.
Studies funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have shown that a natural form of vitamin E called alpha tocotrienol, which is the form found in palm fruit oil, can help reduce the effects of stroke by 50 percent by protecting your brain’s nerve cells. In fact, Malaysain palm fruit oil is by far the most abundant source of alpha tocotrienol. Recent clinical trials published in the Journal of Nutrition show that alpha tocotrienols also appear to reduce the severity of the end stages of liver disease, which is great news for patients waiting for transplants. This form of vitamin E has also been shown to inhibit the growth of certain types of cancer cells, protect the skin against UV rays, and help prevent cardiovascular disease.
Palm oil is also high in carotenoids, which include carotene and lycopene—more than in carrots or tomatoes. It’s these carotenoids that give the oil it’s red coloring. Carotenoids are converted by the body into vitamin A helping to maintain good vision, a healthy immune system, and aiding in the elimination of aging free-radicals.
Look for palm fruit oil in your local health food store or try shopping online. Have you given the red-colored oil a try? Do you like the flavor? And how do you use it? Please tell me in the comments below.
As an editor at SHAPE I have the chance to learn about the healthiest ways to cook, eat, and live from all sorts of experts but I’m also a single girl living in NYC with a busy schedule, active social life, and chocolate cravings. I’m here to share what works for me—and where I need a little help from you.