This lowdown on palm oil is featured in an article listing the 6 worst natural ingredients.
Well, either it is part of a smear campaign against palm oil and Malaysia (as a producer of palm oil) or simply a poorly-researched piece.
Here's what is said: (I will "bold" the contentious bits)
Behind the label: Palm oil became the go-to replacement for
partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, after the Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) instituted trans-fat-labeling rules on processed foods, but that
replacement didn't do much for public health.
A number of studies suggest that
palm oil is as bad for your heart as the trans fats hidden in by partially
The most recent, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture,
found that it raised bad LDL cholesterol levels as much as partially
hydrogenated soybean oil.
In addition to its heart-damaging health problems,
enormous tracts of rainforests and peat bogs have been razed or filled in to
make room for palm oil plantations.
Peat bogs are ecologically valuable,
because they sequester globe-warming carbon dioxide, and rainforest destruction
has led to the endangerment of 140 animal species in Indonesia and another 50
in Malaysia, the world's two largest producers of palm oil.
Your move: Palm oil is mostly used in crackers, cookies, and
other baked goods, so scrutinize labels. Safflower or sunflower oil are
healthier and don't carry the problems associated with other genetically
modified vegetable oils made from corn, canola and soy.
If your favorite
product does contain palm oil, call the manufacturer and ask how it was
sourced. Some companies use palm oil produced under an industry group called
the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, which is trying to develop standards
that would protect vital species habitats.