Reading the Straits Times article, "Palm oil producers angry over NUS finding on cholesterol link" in which the Malaysian palm oil producers are upset over a finding by National University of Singapore (NUS) researchers that links palm oil consumption with higher levels of "bad" cholesterol in the body & that the Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Amar Douglas Uggah Embas is expected to raise the issue with the Republic's authorities. The article also mentions that according to NUS' analysis of 30 past studies on palm oil consumption, eating palm oil leads to elevated levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, which in turn translate to a 6 per cent higher risk of coronary heart disease incidence and death.
So I google further about the subject. And I came across this article from Epic 4 Health, "Palm Oil Increases Cholesterol Level : A Misconception" as well as this pdf article written by Dr. Koh Chu-Sing, "COMMENTS ON DRAFT DOCUMENT: DIET, NUTRITION AND THE PREVENTION OF CHRONIC DISEASES".
The Epic 4 Health article has the following conclusion:
Palm oil has been used in food preparation since the last 5,000 years. Today, it is consumed worldwide as a cooking oil, margarines, shortening and as an ingredient in fat blends and a vast array of food products. Food manufacturers choose palm oil because it has a distinctive quality, nutrition attributes (tocotrienols and carotenoids), requires no hydrogenation (trans-fatty acid free) and non-GMO status.
Contrary to popular believe and misconception, based on scientific studies and publications, palm oil has been proven to have no effect at all on serum cholesterol level. Its saturated fat – C16 Palmitic fatty acid does not increase total serum cholesterol level.
The pdf article has the following 2 closing sentences:
it is hope [sic] that WHO would not discourage the world to use palm oil as part of the normal healthy diet as palm oil vis-a-vis other oils, is the most productive oil.
Palm oil could satisfy the world’s oils and fats demands without straining the earth’s limited land and energy resources.
So who is right and who is wrong? There should be further study on this. Really.