Palm oil

I’m curious if any of you who cook using palm oil have either stopped cooking with it, or reduced the amount you use in your cooking because there seems to be a belief (at least in my area of the world) that this oil contributes to heart disease and/or artery clogging.

My mom has drastically reduced her use of the oil in her cooking, even though she is still partial to the stuff. If I could reduce my consumption of ijekuje (junkfood) like she has with the oil, I’d be dramatically slimmer. I remember 15 years ago, on our way back to Canada from Nigeria, my mother had palm oil from Nigeria in a paint can (the paint can was carefully cleaned out prior to its use of course). And of course, the immigration officers looked suspiciously at the can and were planning to confiscate it. You should have seen my mom begging and going on about how this oil was essential to her health and her life as she knew it! You would think they were threatening to deny one of her own entry into Canada.

Surprisingly they allowed her to bring the palm oil in (this was before 9/11), but she knew she’d never get away with it again, especially since they have only become stricter about bringing food from abroad into the country.

So back to my question: what are your thoughts about palm oil?

28 thoughts on “Palm oil

  1. wow its been a while ive been here. missed gng. about palmoil….. hmmm i guess one a while aint bad. while growing up we heard it was good and now its saiid to be some saturated or is it unsaturated fat that does not break down in your body. thats all i think but i do love me some ofada rice and designer stew (bleached palm oil stew).lol

  2. Well, i thought palm oil had it's own good but it's a lot of fat and with all i've read about eating healthy in recent times, i find myself reducing the measure i use. I think if used in moderation, it's still good.

  3. That it contributes to heart disease and/or artery clogging is a myth, right?

    Or medically proven to raise cholesterol levels?

  4. Oil in general should be taken in moderation especially if it's fried.

    Somehow, the 'myth' about palm oil and increased cholestrol levels is yet to be proven.

    Remember the hype about egg-yolk and bad cholestrol? One group of scientists were positive it was bad and ordered us all to either stop taking eggs or drastically reduce our intake. Another group came up 3 years later and refuted their claim!

    I personally don't take ALL their words to heart so to be on the safe side, I take a little bit of everything from time to time.

    Palm oil is still definitely part of my nutrition but I use it only like 2ce a week.

  5. Please,

    every freaking thing popped in the mouth nowadays has one k-leg or the other!

    My bottle of palm oil is still in my kitchen. use it to cook soup! i have never been one to eat soup swimming in oil so….

    Just eat in moderation!

  6. â–ºfemi beckley

    Nice to see you o! I hope Nigeria is treating you well.

    It's true that "experts" are always flip flopping on what is good or what is bad for us. In the end I think you're right and moderation is key.


    Sounds good to me!


    What we learned is that palm oil is high in saturated fats, and there is a correlation between these fats and clogging of arteries and increased chance of heart disease.

    One thing I learned too is that palm kernel oil has more saturated fat than palm oil. I don't know which one my mom cooks with though.

    â–ºAnoda Phase

    Hmm, I'm not sure if palm oil is healthier than the other oils you mentioned…I'd have to look into it. My mom would say it is.


    I guess what you describe is constantly happening in the medical world. It's funny though: I still am careful with how many eggs I eat, and often eat one yolk for every two eggs I prepare, just because the whole egg/cholesterol link has been so prevalent in my life.

    How do you take your palm oil? Do you use it in cooking or subscribe to having a teaspoon every now and then?


    Ok, you cracked me up "every freaking thing popped in the mouth nowadays has one k-leg or the other!".

    My mom would not dream of cooking soup without palm oil and yeah…when your food is swimming in oil it's just gross.

  7. â–ºTigeress

    Good thing I don't cook abi? ;)

    I cook only a bit (no Naija food yet except jollof rice), and I don't have any palm oil in my kitchen. Maybe I'll keep it that way.

  8. â–ºCaramelDelight

    Thanks for the tip regarding freezing the oil. I'm going to look into this and see if Canada has the same rule. I guess the problem is that it takes almost 24 hours to get from Naija to Canada so it wouldn't still be frozen. Boo!

  9. Well I usually use palm oil to cook my naija soup(egusi,ogbona and the likes)…

    been told it isn't very healthy…but to be honest I don't intend to stop using it!

  10. Honestly, I don't know about palm oil. It's not even something I use a lot. I don't cook too often. I probably use palm oil about twice (thrice @ most) a month

  11. by the year 2015, the number of people dying form AIDS and childbirth in Nigeria is expected to reduced by 6% however, the number of people dying from chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and the like is expected to increase by 52%. I don't think I would attribute this all to palm oil, though eating it in moderation could help….rather, i think this is due to increasingly sedentary lifestyles of Nigeria's small but growing middle class, our frequenting of fastfood places in some of the metropolises etc. Palm oil has been with Nigerians for eons….i think the emphasis should be placed on moderation, which may include some subsitutes – for example….I use olive oil in soups, but then use red pepper to colour the soup…it still doesnt taste the same and if I have guests, i will use palm oil….but again, the emphasis on moderation. Also, our confusion about palm oil and other traditional nigerian foodstuffs should encourage nigerian scientists, health professionals and the like to find out the nutritional contents of our foods and let us know which are healthier etc.

  12. Palm oil is high in saturated fats. My family has decreased the quantity we use but it’s still lovely.

    PS My Mum freezes palm oil and the Heathrow people let her bring it!!! It’s when it’s in liquid form that they vex.

  13. â–ºAmina

    lol at the alarm going off when you used the palm oil. I use olive oil primarily (that's another oil that you can't heat at high for very long!) and vegetable oil.

    I should tell my mom that it can be done, that she can go palm oil free if she really wants to.


    My mom would agree that soup is not the same without palm oil. No need to stop sha if it's working for you.

    â–ºVera Ezimora

    hehe…I think the secret is to not cook often: that automatically reduces the frequency with which you use the stuff!


    In Canada too, incidences of diabetes, heart disease, etc is on the rise, due primarily to the fast food we eat and our increasingly sedentary lifestyles. I worry but that doesn't prevent me from eating crap so often :(

    You make some awesome points regarding our confusion about the health benefits/detriments of certain Nigerian foodstuffs. This really should really encourage those in the industry to seek funding to do research on the matter. Perhaps some are already. Brilliant idea!

  14. It’s been 17 years that we haven’t used palm oil in our cooking!
    We used it for beans or different dishes but now that there is high cholesterol in my family, we only use safflower oil, olive oil and no less than 1 spoon…so yeah…
    I love palm oil but don’t cook with it anymore
    plus in the US the only time I did, the alarm went

  15. lol…I use palm oil to cook but not everyday because everyone including my fiance in medical warms against the dangers of consuming lots in cooking. Thanks for sharing this video. Where have you been? Been a while.

  16. i'm not sure what health effects are but have u noticed that these days, everything has effects or causes something…even those things they've previously told us are supposed to e healthy…i mean, i read something about broccoli may cause cancer…

    But for palm oil, i tend to mix it with veg oil..somehow i like the taste of palm oil and tend to mix it in with practically everything…from regular stew to jollof rice…just maybe a spoon or two though…

  17. My mom doesn't really cook with it but I cannot eat soup that doesn't have palm oil in it, especially if it is vegetable soup or egusi. I love the taste of palm oil, shoot I'll eat roasted yam with palm oil. I don't see the point in cooking soup with olive oil or soyabean oil, just kills my enjoyment of it. As per the health effects, I dunno, so many different sources say different things, so till they decide palm oil is king of my soup.

  18. â–ºYNC

    I didn't share a video o! I've been around…commented on your blog recently I think…glad all is well with you :)


    I have definitely noticed that the "experts" seem to be finding something "bad" about everything, or things that were formerly thought of as "bad" are now "ok" or even "good" for you. I'm still waiting for them to rule sugar as a good thing.

    Hmm, between you and nneoma, the idea of either simulating the colour by adding something red or ensuring a bit of the flavour by adding at least a bit of the palm oil seems to be the trick.


    Was it hard for your mom to remove it from your diet?

    â–ºOmosi T

    You know, now I wonder if I would be able to tell that a particular stew has been cooked without palm oil!

    My mom would eat palm oil with roasted yam too…I think she used to.

    "palm oil is king of my soup" made me laugh. Do enjoy it!

  19. Some meals taste better with palm oil – beans porridge, egusi soup, afang soup, yam & palm oil with some pepper…

    The list continues.

    Don't take my word for it though. I'm unfortunately a non-cooking guy

  20. like Nolimit i use palm oil for my naija soup- efo especially which i dont cook regularly cuz i make enuff to last for weeks!

    i also use to cook beans, a few times i use for moimoi.

    i dont really know about the healty issues but i know oil in general isnt good so i tend to grill more than fry.

    like others have said palmoil has its on special taste which i like :)

  21. You add oil to soups? We just let the fat from the meat get into it. Of course, oil's used for stirfries and stuff like that…

  22. Meeeeen…my naija soups and beans. I just cant imagine them with palm oil. My heart always beats a little faster and my adrenaline shoots up as I pour my 1-2 cooking spoons in the pot. But what's a girl to do? I can only try to reduce the amt but doing without it totally….i no no oh

  23. â–ºtobenna

    lol…I think you have point.


    I think what I need to do is cook without palm oil and see the difference in taste and maybe I can live with or without it!


    Nigerian "soup" is not exactly like Chinese or Canadian soups. It's a thick stew-like thing, that we eat with rice, or eat by dipping a starchy thing into.

    As many have said, palm oil is added more for the flavour it provides.


    You made me laugh with your "My heart always beats a little faster and my adrenaline shoots up as I pour my 1-2 cooking spoons in the pot."

    Well at least you're limiting the amount you use.

  24. I love palm oil and I cannot imagine cooking my food without palm oil but because of my husband and my mother-in-law who have been warning me about the health risks I'm trying to reduce it. I hope I become a pro in that!

  25. palm oil is now compared to olive oil according to the researchers in switzerland. It is very rich in antioxidant, vit a,c,e, and d. Go to Nija and search for the benefits of palm oil. Please dont be deceived.

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