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Diet and Nutrition 2023

Olive oil from dendê: what é, benefícios and how to use

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Olive oil from dendê: what é, benefícios and how to use
Olive oil from dendê: what é, benefícios and how to use

Palm oil, also known as palm oil or palm oil, is a type of vegetable oil, which can be obtained from the tree popularly known as oil palm, but whose scientific name is Elaeis guineensis, rich in beta-carotenes, a precursor of vitamin A, and vitamin E.

Despite being rich in some vitamins, the use of palm oil is controversial, because the he alth benefits are still not really known and due to the fact that the process of obtaining it can have a great impact on environmental level. On the other hand, because it is economical and versatile, palm oil is widely used in the manufacture of cosmetic and hygiene products, such as soap and toothpaste, and food products, such as chocolates, ice cream and other foods.

Key benefits

Raw palm oil can be used to season or fry food, as it is stable at high temperatures, being part of the cuisine of some places, such as African countries and Bahia. In addition, palm oil is rich in vitamin A and E and therefore could have some he alth benefits, the main ones being:

  • Promotes skin and eye he alth;
  • Strengthens the immune system;
  • Improves the functioning of Organs reproductive organs;
  • It is rich in antioxidants, acting directly on free radicals and preventing premature aging and the development of diseases.

However, when this oil goes through the refining process, it loses its properties and is used as an ingredient in the manufacture of industrialized products, such as breads, cakes, cookies, margarine, protein bars, cereals, chocolates, ice cream and Nutella, for example.In these cases, consumption of palm oil does not have any he alth benefits, on the contrary, as it is 50% composed of saturated fat, mainly palmitic acid, there could be an increase in cardiovascular risk, as it may be associated with an increase in blood pressure. cholesterol and clot formation.

Palm oil can also be used in cocoa or almond butter as a stabilizer to prevent product separation. Palm oil can be identified on the label of products under various names, such as palm oil, palm butter or palm stearin.

How to use palm oil

The use of palm oil is controversial, as some studies indicate that it may have he alth benefits, while others indicate that it does not. However, the ideal is that its consumption is regulated to a maximum of 1 tablespoon of olive oil per day, always accompanied by a he althy diet. In addition, the consumption of industrialized products that contain it should be avoided, always paying attention to the food label.

There are other he althier oils that can be used to season salads and foods, such as extra virgin olive oil, for example. Learn how to choose the best olive oil for he alth.

Nutrition information

The following table indicates the nutritional value of each substance present in palm oil:

Components Quantity in 100 g
Energy 884 calories
Proteins 0 g
Fat 100 g
Saturated fat 50 g
Carbohydrates 0 g
Vitamin A (retinol) 45920 mcg
Vitamin E 15, 94 mg

How palm oil is made

Palm oil is the result of crushing the seeds of a type of palm tree found mainly in Africa, the oil palm.

For its preparation it is necessary to harvest the fruits of the palm and cook using water or steam that allows the pulp to be separated from the seed. Then the pulp is pressed and the oil is released, having the same orange color as the fruit.

To be marketed, this oil undergoes a refinement process, in which it loses all of its vitamin A and E content, with the aim of improving the organoleptic characteristics of the oil, especially its smell, color and flavor, as well as making it more ideal for frying food.

Controversies over palm oil

Some studies show that refined palm oil may contain some carcinogenic and genotoxic compounds known as glycidyl esters, which are produced during the refining process. In addition, during this process the oil loses its antioxidant properties, however further studies are still needed to prove this.

It was also found that the production of palm oil can cause damage to the environment due to deforestation, species extinction, excessive use of pesticides and increased CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. That's because this oil is not only used in the food industry, but also in the manufacture of soaps, detergents, biodegradable fabric softeners and as fuel in diesel-powered cars.

For this reason, an association called The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was created, which is charged with making the production of this oil more sustainable.

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