For some time now, palm oil has become known and overnight it seemed that we had to change our eating habits if we were to achieve a healthy and balanced diet. According to the latest research, however, palm oil is harmful to health, and the worrying thing is that it seems to be present everywhere, including biscuits, ice cream, chocolates, cereals, pastries, margarine, precooked products, infants milk formula, and even cosmetics.
Palm oil linked to high “bad cholesterol” levels and cancer by latest studies
Palm oil contains 50% saturated fats that when consumed in excess cause an increase in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol levels, increasing the likelihood of cardiovascular disease. Also, recent studies have linked palm oil use to cancer risk, too.
The problem arises in its elaboration process because to refine the palm oil as it has to be heated until it reaches 200 degrees Celsius. By subjecting it to these very high temperatures, its taste and smell are eliminated, and it is giving it a creamy texture that makes it ideal for the preparation of processed foods and cosmetics. The worrying thing is that this process releases carcinogenic substances with severe consequences for our health if consumed regularly.
Despite this, palm oil is not yet banned and is found in countless products in all supermarkets, although it seems that its days are numbered.
Opting for alternatives to palm oil is healthier
Replacing palm oil with olive oil or sunflower oil is possible and highly recommended not only for health reasons but also for environmental reasons as palm oil’s massive use into manufactured products is causing significant ecological damage. Apparently, the alternatives are more expensive and will lead to an increase in production costs.
It is not a matter of panicking or sitting back and waiting for manufacturers to improve the composition of their products. Until the affected brands look for alternatives to palm oil and reformulate the composition of their products, we can opt for a simple measure to limit their consumption. Palm oil is found in processed products and fast foods, so if we want to avoid it, the most straightforward and healthiest thing to do is to opt for homemade food and fresh produce.