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Malaysia Refutes Singapore University Report on Health Risks of Palm Oil

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Malaysia, the second-largest palm oil producer in the world, condemned on Wednesday a recently released report by academics in Singapore about the negative effects cooking with the high-saturated fat product can have on health, according to local media.

“I plan to visit the relevant minister in Singapore. It is very sad that the findings come from our neighbor,” said Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, as reported by the Malaysian Star newspaper.

According to the study by researchers at the National University of Singapore (NUS), palm oil’s high level of saturated fat – 49 percent compared with 14 percent in olive oil and 7 percent in canola oil – can raise levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as “bad” cholesterol, heightening the risk of coronary heart disease by 6 percent.

“Although small amounts of palm oil are unlikely to have a large effect on LDL cholesterol and one’s risk of heart disease, many of us are eating large amounts of palm oil on a daily basis,” said the study’s co-researcher Professor Rob van Dam of NUS’ Public Health school, in a statement published on the university website.

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