PALM OIL ITS UTILITY IN INDIA IN THE 1970's, TILL NOW:

About 40/50 YEARS BACK India did face shortage of cooking oils, so had to import. Our imports were mainly from Malaysia and Indonesia, hey dominated the palm oil production in the world. Malaysia produced palm oil only for export as the locals didn’t use much of it, considered poor man’s oil.

At that point of time India didn’t have Obesity and Overweight problems, and started comming up in the 1990's. Indians were considered Under nourished. It is true also. So the extra fatty acids in palm oil was not considered a problem for such people.

And eating out was not as high as is now, particularly Junk Foods and untimely fried foods. Now the scenario is different. Eating out has become the order of the day for all, particularly street food.

Then the sales of “Prepared Packaged food” was not so high. While manufacturing or preparing such Foods in healthy “Cold Pressed Oil”, was not profitable as the prices of safer oils prohibitive. As such the manufacturers make made a beeline for Chwaper Oil.

The awareness and discussion on Saturated Fats, Atherosclerosis, Bad cholesterol and Heart Health started in the 1970’s.

Oils with high fatty acids content became semi solid in room temperature like 24 -28 C. Coconut oil becomes semi solid at 24C. So Cardiologist advised reducing such oils that becomes semi solid in room Temperature.

But Palm oil gets semi solid even at higher Temperature at 35 C. AS PALM OIL CONTAINS MORE FATTY ACIDS. more  

Its important to understand that every fat and oil is 100% fat. In other words it is composed of Triglycerides or three fatty acids attached to a glycerin molecule. Solidification of the oil depends on the proportion of the type of fatty acids (unsaturated, mono unsaturated, saturated) in the oil. For bakery purpose an oil that is generally solid at room temperature (25C) is normally preferred, and this means either hydrogenated oils (fully saturated) or something like a Palm oil, which has more of saturated fatty acids. For cooking purpose an oil that is liquid at room temperature is preferred. Like Peanut oil, Sesame, Olive oil. Fun fact - all vegetable oils have the same calorific content - (Net calorific values of fats and oils range between 36.247-37.294 J/g) However when the Palm oil is cooled, it separates into two fractions. One contains mostly the saturated fats and the other is the liquid fraction that has mostly unsaturated oil. This unsaturated oil is called Palm olein oil. Palm olein is used for cooking. Yes, its true that palm oil is less expensive than other oils. This makes it affordable for a large number of people, who would otherwise be fat deficient. In the 1970s it was understood that India's consumption of oils was much below desirable levels (and below world average), and mainly this was due to shortage in supply of traditional oils like groundnut, coconut, mustard, sesame. So government started to import oils in order to help meet nutritional requirements. Obviously the oils available in bulk at affordable rates were chosen like Soybean, Palm / Palm olein, Sunflower, Rapeseed. Newer oils like Rice Bran are also available. Even today our consumption of edible oils is much lower than desirable. Edible oils are an essential constituent of diet. Oilseeds are grown as a marginal crop in India. Same is true for pulses. Pulses provide proteins, very much required given our mostly vegetarian diet. Farmers are focused on grains (rice, wheat) and sugarcane. But these are now in so much supply that they are being wasted and used for ethanol production. This is a very inefficient use of farming. Crops that are sorely required by the country and in short supply are being imported (cooking oils, pulses) whereas crops that are in ample supply (grains, sugarcane) and which are water guzzling are being grown. The farmer lobby is so strong that its not possible to change this agro-mix by law. So we have to grow more of pulses and oil bearing crops and reduce our dependence on imports. This is a matter of nutrition & food security of the Country. So, those of us who can afford better oils (less saturated) should not buy palm oil. As regards food processing, once again India is at the bottom of food processing. A very large portion of our crops are wasted at the farm level. This would be avoided if demand is created with food processing. Now FSSAI is introducing a FRONT OF PACK LABELING system for products with HIGH FAT, SUGAR, SALT to alert consumers. Also FSSAI is introducing RDA in Nutritional Tables, to guide consumers. Finally, it is upto the consumer to choose wisely depending on his need and affordability. Hope this helps. more  
Thanks for your factual and objective illustration on the subject. It's knowledgeably informative and anyone can understand the message. The final decision lies with the reader !! more  
Palm oil is unhealthy and not recommended to be used. During 80's it was imported and its adverse impact was realised. more  
As usual, informative and important post. With increased affluence, disease patterns also are changing. I see obesity. In Chennai buses, two people can sit comfortably; nowadays, the person sitting on the outerside will be jutting out of the seat. Obesity has become common even amongst the economically poorer sections also. That means something is radically wrong with the materials for cooking. Extensive use of palm oil could be one. The second reason could be milk produced in abundance by injections of hormone and other stimulants. A similar cause may be operating in the production of chicken and meat also. This has also resulted in girls attaining puberty by age 9-10 yrs instead of the prior 12-13 years. The third reason could be the various fertilisers for increasing the output of rice and cereals. Moral of the story: Whatever there is, please eat in moderation. No need for other fads. more  
The Tamilnadu PDS has included Palm oil in the supply. It costs just Rs.30 / litre. Many health conscious people buy and give it to the domestic help who welcome it. more  
Daniel, thanks n good information. Just few days back there was a news publication from US about various edible oils n the myths which all are till date publicise ,collectively all across, worth reading it. Here is the link : ThePrint: Canola, soybean, sunflower oil are better than ghee or butter? Not really. https://theprint.in/opinion/canola-soybean-sunflower-oil-are-better-than-ghee-or-butter-not-really/714171/ I still insists n must say,eat what is traditionally grown in Indian climate n regional soils. Which our ancestors were consuming for centuries. Were they fools , that they said what to eat, what not to eat n how ,when ,which season what not to eat. All edible oils ,which almost 50yrs back were never consumed in our kitchen, the traditional process of oil extraction n not oil refining by using solvents. Each such oils had its natural fragrance , one can smell ,can they get that same aroma of any edible oils? A step further, these days perhaps officially adulteration of edible oils is permitted by allowing blending of various oils in certain percentage, advertising it is good for health. Who has made such long term clinical trials, are there any data ever published? Daniel, these hybridization of oil seeds n other food grains, vegetables, even the traditional spices are they the same what we were consuming for centuries. Ofcourse the production of all such farm produces have increased but never know whether they are harmful to our health? Has our food ministry or CFTRI have carried out any studies before allowing such seeds or grains to saw in fields? Why sudden increase in Diabetics, thyroiditis, blood pressure, arthrities, renal patients have increased in thousands across the country irrespective of age or life styles. Any reason, have we ever bothered or discuss? Simply saying ,junk food, no exercise, consuming more oil ,salt Smoking,or other habits? Daniel this is very long n needs discussions, debates n sharing real information n not just spreading hoax or publicity from time to time, one day say good next day says not good. Lets hope , members here can take keen interest for oneself n others in their families. Thanks more  
Analysed well, the very sentence in your comment should invite discussion and realize at the end how we have all fallen to the Advertisements with the faces of Celebrities and fallen flat to market Forces.

" Why sudden increase in Diabetics, thyroiditis, blood pressure, arthrities, renal patients have increased in thousands across the country irrespective of age or life styles. Any reason, have we ever bothered or discuss? "

Yes Mr. Ratti sir, we have started hearing less of Mustard oil now. So do the Tamilians rarely hear about Gingily oil, made from Sesame seeds. more  
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 Because saturated fat tends to raise low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels(BAD CHOLETROL) in the blood. High cholesterol levels can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Saturated fat occurs naturally in red meat and dairy products. It's also found in baked goods and fried foods. Palm oil is 100% fat, half of which is saturated. more  
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