Fact Check: Is palm oil a leading cause for heart attacks in India?

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Does palm oil cause heart attacks?
Not really. Palm oil when consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet, is not directly linked to causing heart attacks. However, diets high in saturated fats, including palm oil, can contribute to elevated cholesterol levels, which are a risk factor for heart disease. It's essential to consume palm oil and other saturated fats in moderation and prioritise a heart-healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins to reduce the risk of heart attacks.

Last Updated on September 21, 2023 by Neelam Singh

Quick Take

An influencer’s post on LinkedIn claims that palm oil is in everything in India and is the reason for heart attacks in Indians. We fact checked it and found this claim to be Mostly False.

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The Claim

An account with the name Revant Himatsingka (Food Pharmer) posted a video om LinkedIn with a caption saying that” One of the reasons behind heart attack in India is high consumption of palm oil’. The video shared on LinkedIn suggests that palm oil is extensively utilized in India, and the accompanying caption implies that elevated consumption of palm oil is one of the contributing factors to heart attacks.

Palm oil claim

Fact Check

Can the consumption of palm oil lead to heart attacks?

The answer is mixed because numerous studies conducted to date have not definitively identified the primary cause of heart attacks linked to palm oil consumption .

In a 2015  study conducted on human stats, palm oil was found to have a neutral or even favourable impact on cholesterol levels compared to other cooking oils. For example, in a study conducted in Nigeria, where palm oil was the exclusive cooking oil, subjects had lower cholesterol levels compared to Americans at that time.

In a 2003 Chinese study, palm oil reduced cholesterol levels in subjects with normal cholesterol but had different effects in hypercholesterolemic individuals, where it reduced the TC/HDL ratio more than peanut oil.

A 2014  study in rats compared palm oil to sunflower oil, which has less saturated fat. Surprisingly, blood cholesterol levels didn’t significantly differ between the two groups, suggesting palm oil might not directly raise cholesterol. However, rats consuming palm oil had more fat accumulation in their livers, potentially affecting liver health. Therefore, while palm oil may not immediately impact blood cholesterol, it could affect liver metabolism and should be consumed in moderation with a balanced diet.

A 2010 study where subjects  were given diets containing added corn oil, butter, animal fat, or margarine experienced notable rises in their serum triglyceride (TG) levels. Conversely, the groups of subjects that were fed diets with supplements of soybean oil, palm oil, olive oil, or sunflower oil had considerably lower TG levels compared to the control group.

A 2021 study examined the cardiovascular effects of fresh palm oil versus thermally oxidized palm oil in rats. Rats were divided into three groups: a control group, a fresh palm oil group, and a thermally oxidized palm oil group. The results showed that the rats fed thermally oxidized palm oil had lower triglyceride, VLDL, and HDL levels but higher total cholesterol and LDL levels compared to the control and fresh palm oil groups. This suggests that prolonged consumption of thermally oxidised palm oil may have negative cardiovascular effects and increase the risk of lipid peroxidation due to the destruction of its vitamin E constituents.

A 2022 study said Palm oil, with its abundant vitamin E content, can contribute to better heart health. The antioxidant properties of vitamin E in palm oil appear to slow down or prevent the advancement of heart disease in individuals. Scientific research has demonstrated that palm oil has protective effects on the heart and blood vessels, reducing the risk of plaque buildup and ischemic damage. When consumed as part of a balanced and healthy diet, palm oil does not pose an additional risk for cardiovascular disease.

When palm oil is incorporated into a well-balanced diet, it does not pose an additional risk for cardiovascular disease.

Why are heart attacks striking the young in India?

Heart attacks are affecting young individuals in India due to a combination of factors including hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, poor diet, and stress are strongly linked to a higher occurrence of coronary artery disease (CAD) in Indians. While these factors explain most heart attacks, they don’t entirely clarify why CAD is more common and occurs at a younger age in India. Furthermore, these risk factors are becoming more prevalent in the Indian population.

Dr Shalin Nagori, Consultant Pathologist and Industrial Physician, City Pathology Laboratory, Panchmahal, Gujarat, said, “Palm oil is not the cause of heart attacks in India or anywhere else. Heart attacks result from a combination of factors including diet, lifestyle, medical conditions, age, genetics, and more. While diets high in saturated fats, like palm oil, can contribute to heart disease, they are not the sole or primary cause. Heart health depends on a holistic approach, including a balanced diet, exercise, not smoking, and managing underlying medical conditions.”

Why is palm oil the preferred choice for most Indian food companies and street vendors?

Palm oil is commonly used by companies and street vendors in India due to its cost-effectiveness, versatility, and stability. Its affordability makes it a practical choice for food production, while its neutral flavour and high smoke point allow for a wide range of culinary applications, especially in frying. Palm oil’s natural resistance to oxidation ensures a longer shelf life for products. 

Which country has the highest heart attack?

Russia has the world’s highest heart disease mortality rate, with 1,752 people out of every 100,000 succumbing to the condition annually. Sunflower oil continues to dominate the edible oil market in  Russia with only minimal market shares allocated to olive oil and other vegetable oil varieties.

Lays and Sprinkle products in the United States likely incorporate a blend of oils, and the country ranks 12th in terms of obesity rates. Conversely, India being the largest palm oil consumer falls within the category of countries with lower obesity rates.

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Disclaimer
Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Garima Dev Verman
Garima Dev Verman
A qualified and experienced dietitian, Garima is analyses and fact checks content around diet and nutrition.

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Does palm oil cause heart attacks?
Not really. Palm oil when consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet, is not directly linked to causing heart attacks. However, diets high in saturated fats, including palm oil, can contribute to elevated cholesterol levels, which are a risk factor for heart disease. It's essential to consume palm oil and other saturated fats in moderation and prioritise a heart-healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins to reduce the risk of heart attacks.

Last Updated on September 21, 2023 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Does palm oil cause heart attacks?
Not really. Palm oil when consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet, is not directly linked to causing heart attacks. However, diets high in saturated fats, including palm oil, can contribute to elevated cholesterol levels, which are a risk factor for heart disease. It's essential to consume palm oil and other saturated fats in moderation and prioritise a heart-healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins to reduce the risk of heart attacks.

Last Updated on September 21, 2023 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Does palm oil cause heart attacks?
Not really. Palm oil when consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet, is not directly linked to causing heart attacks. However, diets high in saturated fats, including palm oil, can contribute to elevated cholesterol levels, which are a risk factor for heart disease. It's essential to consume palm oil and other saturated fats in moderation and prioritise a heart-healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins to reduce the risk of heart attacks.

Last Updated on September 21, 2023 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Does palm oil cause heart attacks?
Not really. Palm oil when consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet, is not directly linked to causing heart attacks. However, diets high in saturated fats, including palm oil, can contribute to elevated cholesterol levels, which are a risk factor for heart disease. It's essential to consume palm oil and other saturated fats in moderation and prioritise a heart-healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins to reduce the risk of heart attacks.

Last Updated on September 21, 2023 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Does palm oil cause heart attacks?
Not really. Palm oil when consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet, is not directly linked to causing heart attacks. However, diets high in saturated fats, including palm oil, can contribute to elevated cholesterol levels, which are a risk factor for heart disease. It's essential to consume palm oil and other saturated fats in moderation and prioritise a heart-healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins to reduce the risk of heart attacks.

Last Updated on September 21, 2023 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

More in

Questions
Fact Check
Interviews
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Videos
Does palm oil cause heart attacks?
Not really. Palm oil when consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet, is not directly linked to causing heart attacks. However, diets high in saturated fats, including palm oil, can contribute to elevated cholesterol levels, which are a risk factor for heart disease. It's essential to consume palm oil and other saturated fats in moderation and prioritise a heart-healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins to reduce the risk of heart attacks.

Last Updated on September 21, 2023 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Does palm oil cause heart attacks?
Not really. Palm oil when consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet, is not directly linked to causing heart attacks. However, diets high in saturated fats, including palm oil, can contribute to elevated cholesterol levels, which are a risk factor for heart disease. It's essential to consume palm oil and other saturated fats in moderation and prioritise a heart-healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins to reduce the risk of heart attacks.

Last Updated on September 21, 2023 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Does palm oil cause heart attacks?
Not really. Palm oil when consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet, is not directly linked to causing heart attacks. However, diets high in saturated fats, including palm oil, can contribute to elevated cholesterol levels, which are a risk factor for heart disease. It's essential to consume palm oil and other saturated fats in moderation and prioritise a heart-healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins to reduce the risk of heart attacks.

Last Updated on September 21, 2023 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Does palm oil cause heart attacks?
Not really. Palm oil when consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet, is not directly linked to causing heart attacks. However, diets high in saturated fats, including palm oil, can contribute to elevated cholesterol levels, which are a risk factor for heart disease. It's essential to consume palm oil and other saturated fats in moderation and prioritise a heart-healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins to reduce the risk of heart attacks.

Last Updated on September 21, 2023 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Does palm oil cause heart attacks?
Not really. Palm oil when consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet, is not directly linked to causing heart attacks. However, diets high in saturated fats, including palm oil, can contribute to elevated cholesterol levels, which are a risk factor for heart disease. It's essential to consume palm oil and other saturated fats in moderation and prioritise a heart-healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins to reduce the risk of heart attacks.

Last Updated on September 21, 2023 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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