Good Chefs! Today we will talk about a controversial issue that is sure to interest you: Palm oil health risks. This oil has become a very used element in all kinds of products but above all, in processed products that we eat from time to time but, how much truth is there in its dangers? Is it as bad as they paint it? Are they myths? Can I avoid consuming this oil? If you are concerned about your health and the composition of the foods you eat each day, stay to discover all the answers to these questions.
Palm oil health risks
Palm oil is one of the most used vegetable oils in the world, and we can find it in all kinds of products: from sandwiches and cakes to cosmetics. As a rule, in the food, we find this oil as an ingredient in the vast majority of processed products. These are mostly, the industrial bakery, salty snacks, precooked products and sauces and creams that are sold in the market.
The reason for its great use in the food industry
One of its advantages, from which the large companies that use it leave, is that it is a very cheap oil compared with oils from another source. Another advantage is that thanks to it, the products are better preserved because thanks to its melting temperature, it can be kept solid at room temperature and this makes it provide a very silky and greasy texture to the food to which it is applied.
A third property for the food sector is that it is a very versatile oil. It can be used in confectionery when it comes to giving shape and texture to the creams, ice creams and chocolates used, but it can also be found in a wide variety of dishes that we normally buy in the super: sauces, butters, pizza, cookies, pastries, sweet and salty snacks, bread snacks , et cetera. But this is not all; you should know that many well-known brands that you normally had as a reference such as Nestle, Kellogg’s, Burger King, McDonald’s, or Ferrero Rocher also use it regularly.
What are the dangers of palm oil? Is it as bad as they paint it?
The World Health Organization conducted a study in twenty countries in which they claimed to relate this oil with a higher probability of suffering from heart disease suffered from inflammation of the arteries. Experts advise not to consume this product in high quantities, but if you take a snack sporadically, it will not affect your health. We do not want you to be alarmed!
Its nutritional profile is considered unhealthy and not very recommendable. It is a processed and refined product that does not have any beneficial properties, and of course, neither does any type of antioxidant that Olive Oil or other oleic acids provide. Also, this palm oil is also rich in saturated fats. Yes, indeed, fats that we classify as “very bad” and that can increase metabolic diseases in your body over time. Activate your metabolism to keep fit yourself.
Focusing on the real foods that accompany this oil, few are not processed, rich in sugars, salt, and carbohydrates and therefore, completely harmful. So we advise you to run away from this oil as well as from the foods that carry it.
How do I avoid consuming this oil?
Although the FDA requires to show the composition of the products on its label, some manufacturers of the food industry continue to avoid mentioning this oil so harmful in the labeling. On some occasions, they resort to naming it differently so that it is identified with more difficulties, calling it palm kernel oil, fractionated and hydrogenated palm kernel oil, palm stearin (palm stearin) and lard of palm.
If this topic worries you especially, we recommend you check the ingredients of the products that you think will incorporate this oil. But above all, you should avoid as much as possible the consumption of pre-cooked and ultra-processed foods.
We also recommend going to organic supermarkets, which are usually more aware of these causes. This is the case of the SuperSano organic chain, which completely removed the assortment of products that contained this oil. Other supermarkets such as Wallmart, Eroski or Día are also considering replacing this oil with their products with a healthier one.