Palm Oil An Unhealthy Alternative

In 2006, American consumers were able to eat a little healthier once trans fats were almost completely removed from all food products. Health-conscious culinary academy students can agree that this was a major step for the food industry to take in protecting public health. To get rid of the partially hydrogenated oils that were raising the bad cholesterol levels of consumers, manufacturers simply replaced them with palm oil. While palm oil is not a trans fat, it is still a saturated fat, which can be just as unhealthy.

Saturated fat is found more commonly in animal food products than plant ones; however, palm oil is a very good plant source of it. According to the American Heart Association, saturated fats should only make up less than seven percent of your daily caloric intake. This may sound not like a challenge, but when you consider that United States imported 2.7 billion pounds in 2012 alone, cutting out palm oil seems like a much more daunting task. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recently found that palm oil raises bad cholesterol levels just as much as partially hydrogenated oils or butter. For healthier alternatives while cooking, look for products that contain vegetable oils, such as canola or soybean.

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