Palm oil is a plant fat derived from the fruit of the oil palms. Commonly used vegetable oils are usually liquid, containing more unsaturated fatty acids while pure palm oil under the same physical conditions is solid since it has a lot of saturated fatty acids, particularly, the palmitic one. Is id dangerous? No, it is not. All the animal and a number of vegetable products contain saturated fats as well. Do you remember the rule to keep saturated fat below 10 % of total calorie intake? The melting point (melting temperature) of palm oil is 37-39°C/98.6-102.2°F. Many people believe that since that temperature is higher than the normal temperature of human body, this oil cannot be processed and remains in our body. It is not true. Fat processing in the body is a mechanism which depends on some factors. For sure, digestibility of fats depends on its melting point. Fats can be divided into three groups by their digestibility:
1.The first group includes fats with melting point lower than the temperature of a human body. Its digestibility is 97-98%.
2.The second group includes fats with melting point 37°C/98.6°F, its digestibility is about 90%;
3.The third group includes fats with melting point 50-60°C/122-140°F, its digestibility is 70-80%.
However, it is important to remember that most of animal fats have melting point higher than the temperature of a human body. For instance, melting point of pork fat is 39-43°C/102-109°F; beef 42-52°C/107-125°F. But it does not seem to be as dangerous as palm oil to most of us, is not it?
To sum up, it is important to mention that palm oil is not as dangerous as it is believed to be. To make matters worse, sometimes it substitutes certain products. Unfortunately, extra fat can be found everywhere – in pastry, sausages, caramel, ice cream. Usually it is not just palm fat, but its combination with anything else such as margarines, dairy fat substitutes, baking fats. The worst thing is that fat is everywhere, mostly saturated, hydrogenated because excess of saturated fats is harmful for our health.