Calories in Palm Oil (Palm Oil in Nigerian Cooking)

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Palm oil is widely used in African cooking, especially in soups and sauces. If you are the health conscious type, you probably already avoid heavy palm oil as much as you can.

Not yet avoiding or reducinge palm oil? Here is why you should;

While palm oil is trans-fat-free. Half of its fat is saturated, adding about 1.5 grams saturated fat to each 2-tablespoon serving. A diet high in saturated fat has been linked to elevated cholesterol levels and increased risk for heart disease. Though you may have heard that palm oil has less of a cholesterol-raising effect than other tropical oils, the research isn’t conclusive.
Research shows that palmitic acid, a saturated fat found in palm oil (and beef, butter and cheese), caused mice to become resistant to the appetite-suppressing hormones leptin and insulin, which in theory could make them eat more.

A tablespoon of palm oil has;

 Calories 120.2
  Total Fat 13.6 g
      Saturated Fat 6.7 g
      Polyunsaturated Fat 1.3 g
      Monounsaturated Fat 5.0 g


To put things in perspective, if a recipe calls for 1/2 cup palm oil, that means you have  955 calories and 108 grams of  fat from the oil alone.


What to use instead:

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat and research shows that monounsaturated fats help keep “bad” LDL cholesterol low and boost levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. In addition, extra-virgin olive oil is high in antioxidants called polyphenols that have been linked to heart health. “Pure” olive oil (i.e., not virgin) doesn’t contain these “bonus” antioxidants.


Canola Oil

Canola oil generally doesn’t have many antioxidants, as olive oil does, but it does have a relatively long shelf life. In addition, canola is the richest cooking-oil source of alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fat that has been linked to heart health.


Coconut oil

Although high in calories and fat, coconut oil has a lot of health benefit, I personally haven’t done enough research to convince myself to use it in my cooking, it is also something to consider though.


Note: I am not asking you to give up palm oil or any type of oil. Fat and oil is an essential part of any diet. Moderation is however very necessary.

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Lose It Nigerian

By |September 14th, 2011|18 Comments


  1. How to lose weight with Nigerian Food January 20, 2016 at 11:13 am - Reply

    […] oil and palm kernel oil are high in  calories and saturated fat, Click here for the nutrition profile of Palm oil. Due to the high fat and calories content in palm oil, avoid […]

  2. Jo August 23, 2015 at 1:44 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this blog. You’ve provided us a vital information about Palm oil. I will like to add this small contribution which I know that very few Nigerians are not aware of the danger in Palm oil. It is also an agent that clot the blood stream when taken excessively. It is a silent killer of an average Nigerian. Strokes which is becoming common.

  3. abimisola April 26, 2015 at 9:58 am - Reply

    Hello…first of all, great article..second I am a health cautious person that can’t do without my beans n I was wondering, is it safe to say that I can use olive oil to cook my beans?

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie April 26, 2015 at 1:27 pm - Reply

      continue to use palm oil in moderation.

  4. Jhenny March 18, 2015 at 5:52 am - Reply

    Dont you need more than one tablespoon of palm oil to cook? Especially when cooking beans…

  5. Osina June 11, 2014 at 9:31 am - Reply

    so…where can one find grape fruit oil or rice bran oil in Nigeria? which shop precisely? guys let us not proffer unrealistic solution. this is a very serious forum. some of us are absorbing everything said here, hoping to use it.

  6. jenny November 11, 2013 at 9:01 am - Reply

    Well am so scared,cos I made my traditional meal 2day and it’s starch and owo soup,der is oil everywhr.jeez see calories

  7. Anonymous August 9, 2013 at 5:48 am - Reply

    Comment…cn i use groundnut oil instead pls

  8. Anonymous July 19, 2013 at 5:58 am - Reply

    Comment…I want to diet I ve use so many green teas bt yet norin to show

  9. Oloruntoyin Bakare May 14, 2013 at 2:12 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this educative article. In cooking vegetable soup can I use a spoonful of palm oil or completely leave it out as I am trying to get my weight down, Thanks and stay blessed.

  10. Oloruntoyin May 14, 2013 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this educative article. In cooking vegetable soup can I use a spoonful of palm oil or completely leave it out as I am trying to get my weight down, Thanks and stay blessed.

  11. Dee December 10, 2011 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    Rice Bran Oil is also very good. It has got cholesterol lowing properties.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie December 10, 2011 at 10:00 pm - Reply

      That’s interesting, i have never heard of rice bran oil. I will definitely look into it. Thanks DEE

    • 9ja Mom December 13, 2011 at 7:16 pm - Reply

      Never heard of Rice Bran Oil either…will have to look into it…

  12. 9ja Mom December 2, 2011 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    Another wonderful Oil is GrapeSeed Oil – since it has a higher smoke point that Olive Oil, it is perfect for deep frying. While deep-frying is typically frowned upon by health critics, I for one cannot do without deep frying certain items and since I don’t eat deep-fried foods very often, when I do eat them, I find comfort in the fact that I’m using a great Oil.

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