Fats and Fatty Acids

Why palm oil is as bad for health

Palm oil is a vegetable oil found in many food products, despite their widespread use becomes an unhealthy choice. Find out why.

palm oil

If you look at the labels on most food products you have in your pantry at this point it is quite possible that, among its ingredients you find with Palm oil. And, no doubt, we are facing one of the world’s most used oils, being very easy to find in a wide variety of products we eat every day. All of this despite not being a very appropriate from the point of views both nutritional and medicinal option.

This oil is produced from the fruits of the African palm, a perennial plant that can reach more than 100 years and 40 meters high, although due to its productive use the truth is that they usually do not come up to 25 years and 12 meters high.

Its fruits are grouped in a kind of drupa, which are covered by a waxy fabric with a hard, round structure within which we find an almond. From these fruits is obtained known as palm oil.

Where do we find palm oil?

The truth is that palm oil can be found in the composition of a huge variety of products (food and non-food). From a dietary point of view, products which commonly can distinguish the presence of this oil as one of its ingredients are as follows:

  • Pastries, pies, cookies and cakes: Especially in the case of bakery products as a substitute for hydrogenated fats and butter.
  • Toppings and creams: To melt better than chocolate tends to be used to maintain and store creams and toppings.
  • Spreadable products: It is commonly found in margarines or cocoa creams since they had high in saturated fat it tends to facilitate the anointed.
  • Precooked products: It is very common to find palm oil as an ingredient in a wide variety of convenience foods, from pizza to fries or breaded food. The reason is simple as well as being cheaper less tends to become rancid.
  • Salty chips and snacks: Especially since this tends to hold more frying than other fats.

Why palm oil bad for health?

Despite its widespread use, it being very common finding in a wide variety of food products actually vastly different (from cookies to cakes, through precooked pizzas, creams of cocoa or savory snacks), the reality is that from a nutritionally is not a very healthy choice.

The main reason is found in its high content of saturated fat (particularly saturated long chain fatty acids). In fact, around 50% of the fats present in palm oil are saturated. As it have shown many scientific studies, regular saturated fat consumption and an extended impact negatively on the increase in LDL cholesterol in the blood, which doubles the risk of cardiovascular disease.

But we should not be alarmed, since so that actually the palm oil could be harmful to our health should consume food products with it every day and in large quantities. If you do not wish to continue consuming it, a good option is to take a look at the labeling of the products you purchase from now on, and analyze if palm oil is found in it.