Palm oil contains numerous carcinogenic saturated fatty acids. Do you think it can be consumed without any problem?

In category Palm oil .

First of all, there is a misconception here: saturated fatty acids are in fact not carcinogenic. Only trans unsaturated fatty acids are. Trans fatty acids also cause a far more significant increase in cardiovascular risk, as they raise concentrations of ‘bad cholesterol’ and lower levels of ‘good cholesterol’.

Trans fatty acids are produced when a vegetable oil is partially hydrogenated by artificial means to make it solid. As palm oil is naturally solid at normal temperatures and does not need to be hydrogenated artificially, it contains no trans fatty acids.

However, saturated fatty acids should be consumed in moderation, as they cause an increase in the level of bad cholesterol in the blood.

At the same time, it is important not to completely eliminate fatty acids from our diet: in humans, α-linolenic acid and linoleic acid, which are polyunsaturated fatty acids found in palm oil, are known as ‘essential’ because they are not synthesised by the body and must be obtained nutritionally. To avoid these would be harmful to your health!

As a general rule, we should limit our fat consumption, vary our sources of fat, participate in sports and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.

Cutting out palm oil, as some advocate, would lead to a more intensive use of other vegetable oils (including GMOs), which would have to be hydrogenated and would have a greater impact in terms of land use (and probably deforestation) and the use of pesticides and fertilisers. This is a classic example of a well-meaning misconception.

The consumption of palm oil is not dangerous in itself, in its raw form, in fact, it contains the antioxidant vitamins A and E, which have beneficial effects on our health.


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