Writing in India’s Financial Express, the eminent American physician and health expert Dr Jonathan Ellen writes that recent criticism of palm oil from Indian commentators is “as stubborn as it is unscientific” and “sadly continues to muddy the waters of debate”.

Dr Ellen’s full article can be accessed online at Financial Express: https://www.financialexpress.com/opinion/the-palm-oil-debate-like-diets-needs-to-be-more-balanced/3441129/

The article is in response to Vaishali Dar who wrote in March about “the unseen dangers of palm oil”. Dr Ellen assesses the various arguments, and concludes that the allegations are a classic example of “an old trope that remains pervasive despite being disproven by evidence”.

On cholesterol and saturated fats, Dr Ellen points out that “abundant research shows conclusively that palmitic acid has no meaningful impact on cholesterol”, and highlights that alternatives to palm oil “are also significantly more expensive, which is an important factor in a world of high inflation and tight family budgets”.

Dr Ellen also recalls the importance of palm oil as a trans-fat free oil: “When the “palm oil is dangerous” fad was really popular – back in 1980s and 1990s – companies replaced palm oil with … trans fats, which are regarded by many as the most harmful – far more so than saturates”

“Palm oil is one of the natural replacements for those trans fats, which is why their popularity is rising across the globe”

He concludes that “The lesson here is clear … encouraging consumers to boycott or switch, against the science, can have serious negative repercussions.”

The full article is available in Financial Express: https://www.financialexpress.com/opinion/the-palm-oil-debate-like-diets-needs-to-be-more-balanced/3441129/