Red palm oil is a popular new oil that is derived from red palm trees (not to be confused with coconut palm trees). Palm oil has been used by people in African and Central and South America for over 4000 years, calling it a sacred food. I like to include it in recipes where color isn’t an important factor and/or the dish has a natural orange/red hue anyways. Some of my favorites include my AIP-friendly Barbecue Sauce and my Plantain Curry Lasagna.
Palm oil is noted for its red color, which is a hint at its powerful nutritional content. Palm oil is about 50% medium chain fatty acids, which are known to be a very healthy source of fat due to their easy absorption through the intestinal lining (they are the only type of fat that doesn’t need to be repackaged in the liver). Red palm oil is approximately 50% saturated fatty acids, 40% unsaturated fatty acids, and 10% polyunsaturated. In addition to this healthy fatty acid profile, red palm oil is a good source of carotenoids, sterols, flavonoids, and vitamins A and E.
Since this fruit is harvested in the tropics, there are a lot of concerns about sustainability, ethical sourcing. That’s why my recommendation is always Tropical Traditions.