Palm oil has been used as both a food and a medicine for thousands of years. It was prized by the pharaohs of ancient Egypt as a sacred food. Today palm oil is the most widely used oil in the world. In tropical Africa and Southeast Asia it is an integral part of a healthy diet just as olive oil is in the Mediterranean. Palm oil possesses excellent cooking properties. It is more heat stable than other vegetable oils and imparts in foods and baked goods superior taste, texture, and quality. Palm oil is moe of the world's healthiest oils. As a natural vegetable oil, it contains no trans fatty acids or cholesterol. It is currently being used by doctors and government agencies to treat specific illnesses and improve nutritional status. Recent medical studies have shown that palm oil, particularly virgin (red) pam oil, can protect against many common health problems. Some of the health benefits include improved blood circulation, protection against heart disease and cancer, improved blood sugar control, and protection against mental deterioration, including Alzheimer's disease.