Many studies show no link between heart disease and saturated fat

In the report (Is palm oil an unhealthier option?; April 15), palm oil was portrayed as bad for the consumer mainly due to its higher level of saturated fats, and that most palm oil is hydrogenated, resulting in the formation of trans fatty acids (TFA).

While palm oil does have a high percentage of saturated fatty acids (about 50 per cent), people don't eat fatty acids as pure chemicals but as oils and fats in products.

There are now more than 650 scientific studies, all of which conclude that not a single proponent can link coronary heart disease with the intake of saturated fat.

One of them is the Nurses Health Study, the biggest cohort study ever undertaken, involving some 80,000 nurses in the United States, which after 21 years showed no correlation between saturated fats and coronary heart disease.

It is true that TFA increases the risk of premature death due to coronary heart disease.

But the statement that palm oil is often hydrogenated is misleading. Palm oil is semi-solid in its inherent state and does not require hydrogenation.

Palm oil is widely known as a TFA-free vegetable oil, and an oil that is often used around the world to replace TFA-rich components, as it provides functionality and versatility without hydrogenation.

Carl Bek-Nielsen