Palm Oil, Cardiovascular Disease and your Health

A first post and I wonder how many of you good people know a few things about Palm Oil, a substance which is now sneaked into many supermarket foods, just look at a few labels.

For example, the World Health Organisation is “convinced” palmitic acid “increases cardiovascular disease”, palmitic acid being the main constituent of palm oil. Other foodstuffs contain palmitic acid, which is a saturated fatty acid which reportedly increases bad LDL cholesterol levels, but at much much lower concentrations.

People who’ve analysed the WHO data concluded eating a kilo of the stuff per year significantly increases mortality rates, higher than road traffic deaths in the UK for example, so far too high. I found one UK manufacturer who admitted using 19000 tonnes per year of it.

You’ll find lots of other concerning data for it on the web and there is research linking it to cancer metastasis and diabetes.

So what can we do about it ? We can obviously read labels and make choices but I offer a couple of other suggestions. (Be careful because palm oil is sometimes hidden under other names like vegetable fat etc)

Supermarkets

Using the information above I asked 4 big UK supermarket chains what they are doing about it and mostly I just get fobbed off with loads of irrelevant answers and how it “has” to be used. The truth is these products were made long before palm oil arrived it’s just that it’s marginally cheaper than healthier fats and oils and they tell me it extends shelf life. So it would appear they are basically prioritising cost and shelf life over our health. You could write to them also to convey your displeasure and demand action.

IChemE

One of our UK based institutions actively supports and promotes the palm oil industry while being a charity whose stated main purpose is for “public benefit”. I have raised this with them as a member but am ignored. Go onto the charity commission’s web site below and submit an online complaint that this UK charity (number 214379) is not fulfilling its charitable role of being for public benefit when it ignores the WHO’s findings. Lets put pressure on bodies to do the right things for the public. Please choose what you eat carefully.

who.int/dietphysicalactivit...

withcompassion.com.au/palm-...

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

worldwidecancerresearch.org...

forms.charitycommission.gov...

icheme.org/events/conferenc...

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20 Replies

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  • Well done for your campaigning. I have no oil in my diet per Dr Esselstyn and co

  • Anne76

    That's not good anne. 60% of your calorie requirement should come from good fats like vco, co,homemade ghee / clarified butter prepared by fermentating the cream or curd, evoo, palm kernel oil ( different from palm oil ) avocado oil, mct etc.

  • Am following doctors Esselstyn, Ornish, McDougall and about six other doctors advocating my diet against heart disease, if I was not could never have sixty percent of my diet from fats. Fat in flax seeds, walnuts and green vegetables and I have oily fish once a week, my blood works are very good and I am very fit.

  • I'm with Anne on this one. I aim to get only around 10% of calories from fats.

    It sounds like you are arguing for a paleo or ketogenic diet which you are of course entitled to do, but there is currently limited quality research to support such a position.

  • benwl

    There is science behind what i say. If 10% from fats means 90% from carbs and prots. Both of which will cause insulin response. 56% of protein gets converted to glucose. The key to reversal of t2d is reducing insulin levels. Only fats don't cause insulin release.

  • The main issue with t2d is insulin resistance, which has been linked with fat (and especially animal fat) consumption which is why it's associated with obesity.

    Cut down the fats and insulin sensitivity improves which is how people on a low fat plant based diet can reverse their t2d

  • benwl

    I myself is consuming about 100 Gms of home made butter everyday for say about last 1.5 yrs..

    And I lost about 22 Kgs during this period...

    My cholesterol is improving ( HDL increased from 36 to 50+)... my monthly cholesterol reports are submitted in DI forum..

    If we consider TG/HDL as marker for insulin sensitivity... my insulin sensitivity is improving.

  • Thanks for sharing your numbers, and on your weight loss - it sounds like you've found a diet that works for you, and i'd be the last person to discourage you from it.

    I suspect that the weight loss is mostly due to a calorie deficit (ie eating less than your body uses to cause it to start burning your stored fat), rather than the specifics of your diet, but this doesn't detract from your achievement.

    Btw, what units is your HDL in? i'm guessing mg/dl which i always find confusing, as mine are in mmol/L.

  • Yes it is in MG/DL

    you can check them here

    healthunlocked.com/diabetes...

    here is calculator for conversion

    onlineconversion.com/choles...

  • Thanks, that's very inspirational seeing you getting regular tests - reminds me I should get mine done :)

  • And with every test I am marching toward better health..

    I am avoiding carbs..what ever carbs I am consuming are in form of long wheat.

    Home made butter,turmeric pickle in mustard oil,coccinica indica and sri Lankan cinnamon,garlic,at least one full fresh coconut daily are part of my diet.

    By standard medical opinion all those saturated fats should kill me by now.

  • benwl

    Sorry bro. You are wrong 🙏

    Right body fats cause ir but these fat don't come from dietary fats but from carbs. Excess carbs get converted to fats in our body with the help of insulin. If the insulin were not there no fat would be produced. And good fats like co vco ghee - clarified butter made by fermentation, palm karnel oil, mct, avocado oil are rich in sct and mct which get burnt soon to give energy and these fats don't cause any insulin secretion. This low insulin level dissolves our body fats and that's how D is reversed. The key to reversing D is low insulin levels below 10u/ml and losing abd / unhealthy body fat.

    Like cure i have been on grainfree diet for more than 10 months. Taking lots of fats and my lipid profile is far better. Bs controlled reasonably well after stopping D medicines except metformin.

  • If that were correct benwl how do we account for foie-gras (fatty liver) resulting from excess corn consumption?

    To my knowledge the Kitavans have the lowest intake of fat for a people that live healthily, free from the 'displacing foods of modern commerce', and they have over 20% of calories from fat.

  • I was wondering if you'd pop up here :)

    I think you've answered your own question in using the word "excess". If you consume excesive calories a lot of that excess is going to get stored as fat. This is regardless of the source of the calories.

    [note you added to your post after I'd replied to the original so not yet had a chance to read the addition]

  • Am I more likely to produce visceral fat by eating animal fat or carbohydrates? If it is the former then vegetarians will find it difficult to gain visceral fat.

    However, although fat is higher in calories than the other macro-nutrients, it does not stimulate the fat-storage hormone to the extent of the other macro-nutrients.

    The BBC's Horizon programme found that the reason people lost weight on a low-carb diet was because they ate fewer calories. Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings...

  • Well, "carbohydrates" is a very broad term, that covers everything from healthy vegetables to mainlining high fructose corn syrup :)

    I thought the primary reason anyone lost weight on a diet was due to fewer calories - i'm not aware of any reputable studies that show otherwise.

  • What about the 'blue zone' peoples - would you consider them reasonable dietary models or too modernised? I've not read the book yet so i'm not sure of the macro ratios actually found in these populations, but interestingly the website says 20% fats like your kitavans (but few animal fats).

  • How reliable is the information? When the Okinawa Study was done, they were supposed to research the reasons for the islanders' health and longevity. The islanders considered fatty pork a health food, and the 'researchers' informed them how harmful animal fat was.

  • stevegreen

    In india 20% palm oil can legally be mixed with any other edible oil. Hope i'm not wrong. This should be stopped.

  • I also avoid it due to the environmental damage it causes, & plantations replacing rainforest.

    I avoid processed foods, which makes it easy to avoid, though I've noticed it's even sneaked in to some brands of dark chocolate.

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