I've been looking into using red palm oil as a vitamin E "supplement," as vitamin E is the only nutrient I'm not hitting high levels on (according to Cron). Apparently virgin palm oil is super-high in tocepherols but I can't seem to find any actual (per-gram) nutrition facts. NutritionData has an entry for palm oil but it lists the vitamin E content as a mere 2mg/tbsp, so I'm inclined to believe virgin palm oil's content is higher. According to ND, a tbsp of palm oil has over a gram of omega-6, so I'm only going to consider red palm oil if it's vitamin E levels are high enough to make that an acceptable sacrifice (I watch my O-6/O-3 ratios very closely).
Does anyone have a link to a nutritional analysis of red/virgin palm oil? Or maybe just per-gram/tbsp vitamin E content? I'd be much obliged.
Weekend arrived and I did some deeper digging online. I found two charts (1, 2) that listed the Vitamin E content of palm oils. From the notes I gathered that the palm oils examined were either crude or extra-virgin. I did the math, here's what I got:
1 Tbsp. of Palm Oil (14g)
2.5mg-9mg Tocepherols (6mg Avg.)
7.5mg-12mg Tocotrienols (10mg Avg.)
There are no RDAs for mixed Tocepherols or Tocotrienols, but those are pretty high amounts (my numbers could be much lower than actual amounts: I wasn't sure if a "-" on the charts indicated a lack of tocopherols or that the amount wasn't measured, but I counted it as a zero value). The RDA/DV of Vitamin E is for Alpha-Tocepherol only, and ranges from 10g to 20g. Assuming an RDA/DV of 15g, 1 Tbsp. of palm oil contains:
2mg-4mg Alpha-Tocepherol (3mg. Avg.)
Which corresponds to 15%-25% RDA/DV (20% Avg.). 1 Tbsp. of Palm oil also contains 1.2g Omega-6 fatty acids (compare 0.25g for Coconut Oil, 1.3g for Olive Oil).
So, is red palm oil a viable source of Vitamin E? I'd say yes. It offers more Vitamin E per gram of Omega-6 than almonds or olive oil (17% RDA vs. 11% & 8%), and wheat germ oil is out of the picture for paleo eaters (7.5g PUFA per Tbsp. and it's wheat). It's a natural source of mixed tocepherols (understood to be more beneficial than synthetic, isolated tocepherols), has a ton of tocotrienols and caretenoids, and is fairly low in PUFA. I watch my 3/6 ratios very closely so I won't be eating more than a Tbsp. or two a day, but it'll be enough to provide a decent boost to my Vitamin E, something that's not too easy to get on a Paleo diet.
there is debate about many aspects of palm oil (many covered above including environmental, economic and social repercussions) and also about nutrition (such as saturated fat content and health benefits of the bioactives) if you want accurate composition information check out the WHO FAO website or the AOCS publications
Omega 6: over indulging in nuts meh... 4 Answers