Background. Vegetable fats are most often oils with a high content of unsaturated fatty acids which are beneficial to our diet. The exception includes oils from tropical plants, such as palm oil. Over the past several years, the nutritional use of palm oil has increased significantly. One of the reasons why this fat has sparked increased interest is that in tropical countries this oil, despite being present in the daily food ration for hundreds of years, does not contribute to the development of cardiovascular diseases. Due to the high content of saturated fatty acids, palm oil is believed to have the same effect on health as animal fats. In this article, literature data on the technological application and the effect of palm oil on human body and experimental animals was reviewed.
Results and conclusion. The results of research into the health effects of palm oil consumption are inconclusive. However, the most common finding is that replacing palm oil with other oils rich in unsaturated fatty acids has no tangible benefit for health, meaning that it neither improves carbohydrate-lipid metabolism, nor involves the risk of cardiovascular disease. Under international guidelines, the consumption of saturated fatty acids should be kept at a level of <10 % of total energy in a balanced diet, and within these limits, no adverse effects of palm oil consumption on human health have been demonstrated. The possibility of drawing any conclusions on the health effects of palm oil is limited due to the fact that there are many types of it. Such diversity of palm oil is very often not taken into account in research, and most publications, in their methodological part, fail to provide information on the type of palm oil used. Therefore, it is so important to conduct well-planned research with a precisely selected and described type of palm oil.
palm oil, types, application, carbohydrate-lipid metabolism, microbiota