But researchers and environmental advocates say there's another side to palm oil that consumers may not be aware of.
Last week, palm oil made headlines when the Rainforest Action Network demanded that 20 food companies stop using the substance. Production, the San Francisco advocacy group said, has destroyed rain forests and driven species that inhabit them, such as orangutans, closer to extinction.
Groups such as the World Health Organization and the American Heart Association have called palm oil's health benefits into question, warning that studies show that it raises cholesterol levels and is strongly associated with deaths from cardiovascular disease.
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