When it comes to 'good', 'bad' and 'ugly' fats, palm oil is often put into the 'bad' category because it has around 50% saturated fat, which raises LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol. But by narrowly focusing on LDL, palm oil’s critics have missed a trick, according to Dr Gerald McNeill, who heads up R&D at palm oil specialist Loders Croklaan.
“Saturated fats are considered ‘bad’ because they increase serum LDL," said Dr McNeill in an interview at our booth (Click HERE to watch it).
"But saturated fat also increases serum HDL [the 'good' cholesterol], about the same relative amount as LDL, therefore approximately cancelling out the bad effect of LDL. In fact saturated fat increases HDL cholesterol more than any other major food ingredient."
With “overwhelming results of excellent observational studies and the positive effect of HDL on saturated fat”, he argued, “policy makers need to re-evaluate the role of saturated fat, and refocus on more pressing nutrition issues."