Is palm oil unhealthy compared to other oils?

April 15, 2017

9 Apr 2017, askST: Is palm oil unhealthy compared to other oils and should one avoid consuming it?

Reader Sujatha Das wrote in to ask if palm oil is an unhealthier option compared to other oils and, if so, whether it should be avoided.

Food correspondent Eunice Quek finds out.

Ms Bibi Chia, principal dietitian of the Raffles Diabetes & Endocrine Centre, says that palm oil costs less than other types of edible vegetable oils, as palm – for the purpose of extracting palm oil – is widely grown in Indonesia and Malaysia.

She says: “Due to cost and proximity, food manufacturers in our region often use palm oil in snacks and other processed foods. It is also the most common oil used in hawker centres and fast food places.

Palm oil is high in saturated fat – about 52 per cent – compared to canola oil, which has 7 per cent saturated fat. Although “not as bad” as coconut oil – with 92 per cent saturated fat – she says that high intake of palm oil will increase bad cholesterol levels, which could increase the risk of heart problem and stroke.

“It is recommended to limit the amount of saturated fat you eat to less than 7 per cent of your total daily calories. If you need about 2,000 calories a day, less than 140 calories (or 16g) should come from saturated fat,” says Ms Chia.

Palm oil is also often hydrogenated to make it suitable for certain foods, such as confectionery items, which increases trans fat content. Her advice is to limit the amount of trans fat intake to less than 1 per cent of total daily calories. “If you need about 2,000 calories a day, less than 20 calories (or 2g) should come from trans fat,” she adds.

She also suggests limiting consumption of oily food when eating out, as palm oil is often used. In addition, one should read labels and avoid foods that have palm oil or hydrogenated palm oil as one of the first three ingredients listed on the label.


April 1, 2017

Resveratrol and Cancer Prevention

April 1, 2017

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Dr. William Li, President and Medical Director of the Angiogenesis Foundation shared that we can eat to starve cancer. Cancer is just 5-10% attributable to genes, while the remaining is Environment and mainly due to our diet. Resveratrol in Red grapes & Red wine inhibits angiogenesis by 60%! That is what we should be having in our daily diet. Resveratrol is thought to limit the spread of cancer cells and trigger the process of cancer cell death (apoptosis). Resveratrol has also been known to reduce the activation of NF kappa B, a protein produced by a compromised immune system that can affect the growth of cancer cells.

Originally studies were conducted to investigate the “French Paradox”, a term coined by Dr. Serge Renaud, that the French seem to have lower rates of cardiovascular disease with a diet relatively high saturated fats. He found that a diet high in red wine correlated to a lower incidence of cardiac diseases, which was found to be very high in resveratrol. Continued studies of resveratrol conducted by Howitz and Sinclair found that in yeast, fruit flies, and small fish there were significant increases in lifespan. Later studies in mice found that there were drops in tumor formations, reductions in the incidents of neurological diseases, and protective benefits to the cardiovascular system.

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Singapore Electricity Tariff Revision for Q2 (2017)

April 1, 2017

Singapore Electricity Tariff Revision for Q1 (2017)

TODAY, 1 Apr 2017

For the quarter 1 Apr to 30 Jun 2017, electricity tariffs will increase by an average of 6.1% or 1.20 cents per kWh compared to the previous quarter. This is due to a 12.0% increase in the cost of natural gas for electricity generation.


AVA – New licensing conditions for pet shops and farms

March 29, 2017

CNA, 28 Mar 2017, Tighter licensing conditions for pet shops and farms to take effect in April: AVA 

The changes, which take effect from Apr 1, were made to improve the housing, healthcare and management of animals, enhance their traceability and improve the accountability of pet businesses, said AVA.

Some of the revised regulations include:

– If two or more dogs are kept together, they must be compatible, and each dog must be able to move, turn around without hitting the sides of the kennel, stand upright, lie down and stretch.

– All retired breeding dogs must be kept separately from breeding dogs and segregated according to their gender.

– Puppies must be microchipped by nine weeks old and kittens microchipped by 12 weeks old.

– All breeding dogs must undergo an annual health check by a licensed veterinarian.

Members of the public can contact the AVA via its 24-hour hotline, 1800-476-1600.

See here for the full list of revised licensing conditions


NTU freshmen guaranteed 2-year stay on campus

March 17, 2017

TODAY, 16 Mar 2017, NTU freshmen guaranteed 2-year stay on campus

Currently, the monthly rental fee for a single room ranges from S$340 to S$425 per student, while those staying in twin-sharing rooms each pay S$245 to S$320. Prof Kwok said that with more than 90 per cent of current demand met, there are no plans for the time being to build more residential halls in NTU. In recent years, demand for residential places has also gone up or are set to go up in other universities.

NUS charges the fees on a weekly basis: Those staying in single rooms pay a weekly rate of about S$110 to S$145 per student, while the weekly rate for a double room is S$75 per student.

Legal tender for coins

March 17, 2017

TNP, 17 Mar 2017,  MAS looking at legal tender limit for coins

Current limits
$2 per denomination for five-cent, 10-cent and 20-cent coins, and $10 for 50-cent coins. There is no current limit for payment using one-dollar coins.

Proposed limits
Uniform legal tender limit of 10 coins per denomination in a single transaction for all denominations. This means that a payer can use up to 10 pieces each of five-cent, 10-cent, 20-cent, 50-cent and one-dollar coins per transaction. The maximum amount you can use coins to pay for a single transaction is S$18.50.

Consultation Paper on Revised Legal Tender Limit for Coins

Free Sophos Home – Free business-grade security for your home Macs and PCs

March 15, 2017

Resveratrol and Cancer Prevention

March 2, 2017

Fresh grads finding it harder to land full-time jobs

February 23, 2017

TODAY, 22 Feb 2017, Fresh grads finding it harder to land full-time jobs: Survey


TODAY, 23 Feb 2017, One year, 50 applications before he gets first job

TNP, 23 Feb 2017, More graduates settling for temporary gigs

Salary Data & Career Research Center (Singapore)