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Palm Oil May Not Be As Healthy As You Think

Palm Oil May Not Be As Healthy As You Think

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New studies reveal that palm oil may not be the healthiest replacement for trans fats

New studies have revealed that palm oil may not be any healthier than the trans fats they seek to replace.

When it comes to healthy fat sources, palm oil may not be the ideal replacement for dangerous trans fats.

Though Americans successfully eliminated most trans fats from the marketplace in 2006, recent studies are now showing that the trend of replacing these fats with palm oil may not have been the healthiest solution.

Palm oil has the same saturated fat content as butter does, making it a less healthy replacement than canola or soybean oil. In one study, participants who were put on a palm oil-rich diet for five weeks saw their bad LDL cholesterol rise in a pattern similar to people on a diet high in trans fats.

Further, environmentalists claim that palm oil production may cause global warming. In order to make palm oil, companies destroy rain forests “at record-breaking rates” in tropical Indonesia. This destroys animal habitats and promotes a rapid increase in the greenhouse effect.

Rolf Skar, a senior forest campaigner with Greenpeace, states that as much as 80 percent of the land clearing in Indonesia is illegal, thus eliciting “shady production facilities rife with human rights abuses.”

In short, producing palm oil threatens our health, the environment, humanitarian standards, and animal rights. Yet, according to USDA datathe U.S. has more than doubled its imports of palm oil in the last eight years. Most of this palm oil ends up in snack foods like cookies and microwave popcorn, either on its own or in a mixture also containing soybean and cottonseed oil.

Check the nutrition labels of your favorite foods and try to pick ones that use a combination of healthier fat sources rather than ones that rely on partially hydrogenated oils. Nutritionists point out that palm oil should not be condemned outright. Rather, people should remain aware of their saturated fat intake towards a healthier diet.

11 Best and Worst Oils for Your Health

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Despite what you may have heard, fat isn’t a dirty word. Among its functions are aiding cell growth, protecting your organs, and playing a role in nutrient absorption, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). “Our bodies need fats in order to absorb certain fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamins A, D, E, and K, along with beta-carotene,” says Christine Palumbo, RDN, who is based in Chicago.

“Fat also contributes to satiety, or a sense of fullness, after a meal,” Palumbo says. According to the Mayo Clinic, the body processes fats, along with proteins, more slowly than carbohydrates, and this can help you feel fuller and support a healthy weight.

If you like cooking with oils in particular, that’s a smart move: “Fat is an essential nutrient, and liquid fats like oils are an excellent source,” says Jessica Levinson, RDN, a culinary nutrition expert in New Rochelle, New York.

Each day, women ages 31 and older should aim for 5 teaspoons (tsp) of oil, and men in the same age group should target 6 tsp per day, notes the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Just be sure you’re choosing the right oil. The AHA recommends swapping those with saturated fat for those high in healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat, which can help reduce the risk for heart disease.

For a cheat sheet on which oils to choose, limit, and avoid, check out the list below.

42 Comments on &ldquo5 Reasons to Stop Using Crisco – Plus a Healthy Alternative!&rdquo

I’m totally on board with the butter. My question is, I see you have the OV cultured butter. I currently use their pastured butter. What is the difference?

We use both, too. As well as farm fresh raw butter. Cultured butter is simply butter made from cultured cream…ie cream that has been soured with beneficial bacteria. It tastes a little different and adds probiotics and enzymes to your diet. But cooking with it too high can kill the bacteria. We like all good butters.

I’m not sticking up for Crisco and don’t use the stuff. I do think it’s bad for you too. But I see people use faulty logic about older societies that didn’t have this or that, and that they didn’t have the health problems we do today.

First, correlation does not equal causation. Just about everything in our world is different than it was 100 years ago. How is it then that anyone knows it’s all because of shortening.

Second, people didn’t live as long as they do today and much of what we suffer from are diseases that most likely would have developed in them if they lived longer too. Believe it or not, not everything they ate was healthy either.

Third, diagnostic medicine has come a long way, as well as an understanding of problems that they didn’t even know were problems 100 years ago. People died back then of cancer too, but they didn’t know it or they ascribed it to something else. Autopsies were rare outside of research institutes or unless foul play was suspected.

Fourth, lifestyles were different. People walked, kids played outside instead of inside the AC, people ate out of their gardens and ate mostly what was local because that’s all there was. There were no animal antibiotics or pesticides, and fertilizer was called manure and it didn’t come granulated in a bag.

So to infer that shortening is responsible for things that have a variety of causes and weren’t even known about back then, sounds like a great bumper sticker phrase, but it’s just not accurate and honest.

They started solidifying that oil to make soap, and when they noticed that it looked a lot like lard, they started demonizing butter and lard so they could sell their altered substance.
It’s not good for you. It does cause all of the things mentioned above. You seem like a blowhard to me. Go read some more about Crisco.

Did you read anything George wrote? He calmly brought very valid points to the discussion, and your retort addressed none of them. If anyone between you two is a blowhard, it’s you.

I agree with Loren! George made some very valid points. Correlation does not equal causation, and it’s really bad logic to say that shortening must be the cause of all of our diseases when there are so many other variables that are also at play. Not to say that shortening and margarine are good for you.

It really seems you are a complete ignorant blowhard. Why not try learning some actual science. First let me say, I don’t use Crisco, simply because of transfat scare and the increasing amount of studies finding the heart BENEFITS of some saturated fats- specifically the ones in milk. So, eat some cheese, use some butter. But, that actually also isn’t FACT. scientific FACT is an experiment that can be repeated hundreds of times and yield the same result. Only a small 2% (but growing) of experiments are repeated (no one pays for a repeat). So, science has to use the work “linked”. “Linked” is NOT fact. Scientists use “linked” when they think it may be the cause of something but they have no idea if it does or why it does. For my money, I’ll take “linked”. It’s probably a good idea to not eat anything partially hydrogenated- which Crisco is NOT. Crisco is fully hydrogenated which does NOT produce trans fat, it’s a saturated fat. It’s perfectly fine to use it, but with butter tasting better and perhaps heart protective (perhaps) why bother using a fake. Of course it would probably blow your conspiracy looney mind if you were told the FACT that saturated fat has never been proven to be dangerous- only probably linked. The original study was incredibly flawed and unquestioned until recently, and what with a majority of people going to low fat diets and it yet the increase of heart attacks- it’s no wonder the scientists studying it are confused. By the way, all facts stated above come from various BBC radio health documentaries. “Inside Health” etc. So please, try to get actual science before you run with crazy loony internet psuedo-science (this is not a comment on the original article- just the rude response)

Thanks George for a reasonable response. I concur.

I agree with George about most of his points. We did live a different lifestyle. One that was much healthier. This living to be in our 90’s and 100 is not all that it is cracked up to be. Many are suffering from many illnesses and that is what they are building more and more Senior Facilities with medical care attached.

The people that 100 years ago didn’t have anything hydrogenated it wasn’t invented yet. They also didn’t have plastic which is poison. Everything we buy now comes in plastic. Used to come in glass.A lot of harmful inventions are a factor now. Just use our nothings and do our best to avoid them.

Great article! This is a small change that everyone can make to do something a little bit healthier. I also think people would be surprised how much shortening is used in baking. Donuts, biscuits, cookies, icing you name it. Finding grass fed butter is still hard to find in some areas and/or not affordable for all. Conventional butter is still better than shortening IMO if you cannot get the organic/grass fed.

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Love this. I do have a question. Do you think plain ole’ non-organic store bought butter is better than the alternatives? I can’t always get access to organic. Sometimes, but not always.

I do think store bought butter is better than no butter at all. But, because it is not organic, you will have the issue of hormones/antibiotics/gmos from the cow. But this is still better than margarine or Crisco any day! You could also use coconut oil and olive oil for your oily needs but none have the same taste as real butter!

There are no trans-fats in Crisco.

As of 2012, Crisco consists of a blend of soybean oil, fully hydrogenated palm oil, and partially hydrogenated palm and soybean oils. According to the product information label, one 12 g serving of Crisco contains 3 g of saturated fat, 0 g of trans fat, 6 g of polyunsaturated fat, and 2.5 g of monounsaturated fat. According to the FDA, “Food manufacturers are allowed to list amounts of trans fat with less than 0.5 gram (1/2 g) per serving as 0 (zero) on the Nutrition Facts panel. Some nutritionists argue that while the formula has been changed to remove the trans fatty acids, the fully hydrogenated oil used to replace them may not be good for health.

I have a recipe that was my grandmother’s. I would like to modified it to be more healthy. In the recipe it calls for 1.5 lbs of Crisco and I would like to use unsalted butter. How much butter should I use in place of the Crisco? Also, I’ve stopped using white sugar and have starting using In The Raw brown sugar, again the recipe calls for 1 lb. of sugar. How much of the In The Raw should I use? Thanks

Hi Teresa! You can substitute butter for Crisco 1:1. And the same goes for sugar. However, brown sugar behaves differently than white sugar. When I replace white sugar, I use coconut sugar or sucanat. These sugars can be substituted 1:1.

I use crisco as candle put a wick in the center of the can when you light it will burn for long time i know I ran out candles and no flashlight only lighter when power went out I hope this will help incase of emergency that,s what CRISCO good for .

Ok so I use Crisco for my cookies (50% crisco and 50% butter in reciepe) for years.
Personally I think their both bad for you since they are both fats.
Butter is bad for you because of all the saturated fat.
Crisco has very little saturated but has hydronated oils and only .5g of trans fat.
Do they both cancel each other out? I’m confused still on which is better or worse.
It sounds like they both have their problems as it relates to health and wellness.
I tried other oil fats like canola, palm, coconut, olive and they all make the cookies taste worse.
forgive my spelling please

Butter is better. The war on saturated fat was misguided and still rages on under false pretense to this day. Any transfat from hydrogenated oils is bad. That means one should reduce their intake to zero.

Saturated fat is necessary for brain and cell function as well as a great source of energy. The saturated fat in regards to butter & oil should come from healthy sources such as grass fed animals and sunflower, avocado, olive, & coconut oil. If one maintains a diet low in sugar and relatively high in healthy fats the body uses the fat for energy versus storing it. If you consume too much sugar your body flips a switch and stores the fat and uses carbs as an energy source. Saturated fat is not the bad guy. Poor diet and unhealthy fats are.

Do you add sugar to your cookies?
If you answer yes, you’d best speed dial Robert Lustig regarding how toxic the stuff really is.
Fact is , if you think giving cookies to kids is a swell idea, best think again.
In the last 100 odd years sugar consumption per capita has gone berserk.
If we call all refined carbs sugar, exactly all the same stuff chemically, people today are eating well over 1000% more of the stuff than 150 years ago. Fact is , in 1900 a career as a heart specialist was deemed a dead future. Fast forward to 2020 and todays Zip diets and CVD specialist are in star demand with cancer specialists. Whole Carbs are 100% ok. Refined Carbs are 100% bad news. Ancel Keys was 100% dead wrong about his claimed high carb diets.
Eskimo’s lived for 1000’s of years on 85% animal fat diets, if saturated fats were lethal as claimed by Corporate Owned Big Inc they would have become extinct. Sadly, it is the Glorious Western approved rubbish killing them today.
Do some homework on these 5 modern main stays
1/ Refined salts. Natural salts cause zero blood pressure issues.
2/ All refined carbs(cereals, breads,pasta,pizza, noodles,white flour, white rice etc convert to fats as soon as consumed. Only whole foods with skins slow this process.
3/ Juicing. The biggest con of all time. Exactly the same process as eating cups of sugar!!
4/ Washing, washing, washing. Since covid-19 the world has gone nuts on washing.
this is another Big Inc Myth. Inside and outside your body are trillions of Microbes. Without them you would be dead or dying. Washing with any Antibacterial products is slow suicide.
5/ Slow down all forms of cancers by adding at least these 3 minerals every day of your life.
Iodine, Mg and Selenium(helps absorb the Iodine)
Final note of interest. Without fats in your diet(real fats not Frankenfats) your body cannot absorb minerals. Low fat diets are official slow suicide treatments nothing else.
If you even suffer a single health issue your life is already in Peril.
Read Cookies as equal damage to the body as booze without the Kick. Never give to kids!!

Crisco no longer has trans fats as a baker I love both Lard makes great biscuits and pie crusts. coconut oil is a good alternative as well but it will leave a coconut flavor.

Crisco no longer has trans fats. As a baker I love both. Lard makes great biscuits and pie crusts. Coconut oil is a good alternative as well but it will leave a coconut flavor and can make baked goods taste funny.

Es gibt zu wenig Pflegeplaetze schon zum heutigen Zeitpunkt, und kein alter Mensch kann es sich laenger leisten, ohne IT zu leben.

When I read a few years ago about how shortening was made I stopped using it, it doesn’t matter whether it’s partially hydrogenated or fully hydrogenated. For a while I held out using it to grease my pans, because all the cookbooks say don’t use butter to grease your pans for baking. Now I always use butter for greasing my pans, and if something is in danger of sticking I add a little parchment paper on the bottom. At my house we use 4 fats: extra virgin olive oil from California, unrefined coconut oil, organic or grass-fed butter, and homemade tallow from grass-fed cows. I would use lard if I could find pastured pig fat. My food budget is extremely tight but I will no longer skimp on the good fats. I went for a full heart workup a few months ago and even though I’m overweight (though have lost 30 lbs over last 2 years without dieting or formal exercise) my heart was in great shape I think I really surprised the cardiologist. Cholesterol numbers are great too, not that I really care. I agree with OhLardy! Eat, cook, and bake with butter or coconut oil, you will not miss the Crisco!

The Crisco shortening label I have lists no partially hydrogenated oil, e. g. palm oil or soybean. INGREDIENTS: SOYBEAN OIL, FULLY HYDROGENATED PALM OIL, PALM OIL, MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, TBHQ AND CITRIC ACID (ANTIOXIDANTS).
Granted, palm oil is not environmentally friendly. Granted, soybean oil is certainly GMO soy. Granted, TBHQ is not a desirable preservative additive and the CITRIC ACID is from GMO corn….but….the label claims: “Excellent source of ALA Omega-3 fatty acid. CONTAINS 710mg OF ALA PER SERVING, WHICH IS 44% OF THE 1.6g DAILY VALUE FOR ALA.”

3.5g ARE SATURATED (16% of Daily Value),

I regret buying it again for this reason ^

Good or bad, be it butter or crisco/margarine, I believed “moderation” is the key to maintaining one’s good health as with other food we consume daily.

Businesses are creating new buzz to maintain if not increase their existing business volumes and bottom lines with “Organic” and “Grass Fed” and other what-have-they” methods that claimed to be healthier choices but are these really healthier choices. With these, prices have soared higher over the years and unsustainable for most of us.

Bottom line…… good or bad…….eat in moderation and lead an active lifestyle = healthiness!

With using butter you keep the cruel dairy farms alive. With criszco you help destroying the palm trees where the apes live. Whatever we do, animals are always the victims.

I have heard for that Crisco vegetable oil and margarine is bad for you because your body does not know how to flush the excess out of your body like it does lard and butter .

Good rule of thumb: if you can’t understand what something is made of, don’t eat it! It’s a sure sign that someone has taken the good stuff out of it, and substituted it with something cheaper so they can sell it and make lots of money. Read the labels!

These butter substitutes were brought to the marketplace as a result of the rationing during the Wars and were touted as a “healthy “ alternative. The public bought into this, and not until the 70’s and later when the the means to measure blood cholesterol did the medical community take a closer look.
The truth is that the body needs a small amount of fats to function efficiently. In this country we eat a “rich man’s” diet heavy on red meat ? and low in ?, vegetables and whole foods and grains. There would not be the obesity and diabetes epidemic we are seeing in recent years.

I made homemade gluten free Bisquick, I used butter flavored Crisco, the result is I get a throat irritation, allergic reaction from the Bisquick mix. I do not suspect the flour. I will want to switch to using butter the next time I make the Homemade GF Bisquick. The homemade version was because I didn’t like the ingredients in the real Bisquick GF mix, so I ended up with an allergic reaction. I am sure the butter version will taste much better than when I used Crisco. Live and Learn.

The original source you cite for the amount of trans fat in Crisco is off by an order of magnitude. The correct value, back when it was written, was 0.14 g per serving. (If it were 1.4 g per serving, they’d be legally required to list it. ) I believe Crisco has been reformulated since then as well.

Of course, there are lots of reasons to avoid vegetable shortening, both dietary and because of environmental impact, but those are completely separate issues.

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Tamara and Kelly love fermenting foods, raising chickens, and educating others on the simplicity of a Real Food Lifestyle. Read more here.

Why palm oil is bad, but boycotting it even worse

In recent years, the negative effects of palm oil cultivation have regularly been in the news. As palm oil cultivation often includes deforestation and human rights violations, an increasing number of people chooses to buy sustainable palm oil or to boycott palm oil. While this may seem quite logical, this does not contribute to solving the problems and boycotting palm oil on a huge scale may even be worse for the environment than the current palm oil cultivation.

Palm oil cultivation

Palm oil cultivation has greatly increased in the last few years, especially in Southeast Asia. Nowadays palm oil is the most widely used oil and it’s cultivation increases with about 8 percent every year. This is not surprising, as palm oil is the most efficiently produced type of oil. Therefore, we can produce a huge amount of oil per hectare. It’s also very useful, as it can be used in all sorts of products such as food, cosmetics, biofuel and more. It’s even an ingredient in about half of all products in supermarkets.

Because palm oil is so useful, there is a huge demand for more palm oil. Unfortunately, the cultivation of new palm oil plantations has led to the destruction of big parts of rainforest, especially in Southeast Asia. This has caused a decrease in biodiversity and the suffering and death of many animals. The destruction of rainforest is also very bad for the environment, as often big parts of forest are set on fire, emitting huge amounts of CO2 into the air.

The growing number of palm oil plantations are also bad for humans. Often land is being stolen from the local population and this means people are forced to move or have difficulty growing sufficient food. Research by the NGO GRAIN concluded that native population in both Southeast Asia and Africa are greatly effected by this. Unfortunately, those are not the only human right violations by palm oil companies. According to research from Amnesty International, workers at palm oil plantations are regularly being exploited and human rights violations are common. Child labour, people working for less than minimum wage or working with dangerous chemicals and a lack of safety regulations are all very common in the palm oil industry.

An increasing number of people is aware of the problems palm oil cultivation is causing and has decided to boycott products containing palm oil. Usually this means boycotting products from supermarkets that contain palm oil. However, half of all the palm oil that is being imported by the EU is used to make biofuel. Therefore, the increase in biofuel is the main reason for the growing demand for palm oil. Since 2009, the EU has made it compulsory to mix biofuel with regular fuel. As the palm oil cultivation is the most efficient and cheapest biofuel, EU countries mostly choose palm oil as the biofuel that they add to their regular fuel in order to adhere to EU regulations. Some other types of biofuel are also used, such as left-over cooking oil and other types of oil, but these are much more expensive and much more damaging to the environment when produced on a scale as big as the current palm oil cultivation. Therefore, palm oil is still the most used biofuel. For example, in the Netherlands, 60 percent of biofuel consists of palm oil. In 2015, 3.35 million tonnes of palm oil were imported for biofuel. As the EU plans to increase the usage of biofuel, the demand for palm oil is expected to increase even further.

Palm oil for animal agriculture

Palm oil is used in almost all types of animal feed. Every year, the Netherlands imports 114.000 tonnes of palm oil for usage in animal feed. A little over half of that is used to feed animals whose meat will be exported. About 46.500 tonnes of palm oil are used to make animal products for Dutch consumers. While the amount of palm oil that is imported for biofuel is much bigger, the impact of animal agriculture on the palm oil industry is also considerable. To make one kilogram of beef, about 24 grams of palm oil are used. For chicken, this is even 44 grams and for eggs 17 grams. Especially chickens consume a lot of palm oil, as about 2,5 percent of their feed consists of it. Also in other EU countries and countries outside the EU palm oil is usually added to animal feed. Therefore, by consuming animal products you do contribute significantly to the palm oil industry and the devastation its causing. This is especially saddening as it’s completely unnecessary to use palm oil in animal feed and it’s mainly added because it’s cheap.

In an attempt to solve the problems the palm oil industry is causing, the organisation Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was founded in 2004. The RSPO is a non-profit organisation that brings palm oil producers, palm oil buyers and NGOs together to discuss solutions for the environmental and human rights problems related to palm oil cultivation. Together they have created the RSPO certificate that indicates a product is made with sustainable palm oil. In recent years there is more awareness of palm oil related issues and consumers have pressed for more sustainable palm oil. Because of this, about 19 percent of palm oil companies currently has a RSPO certificate and is therefore labelled sustainable. Big companies, such as Unilever, only work with 100 percent certified sustainable palm oil and 90 percent of the palm oil used in the Netherlands is sustainable.

While this seems like a very positive development and the possible solution to the palm oil problem, unfortunately it isn’t. In reality, the RSPO certificate and the label of ‘sustainable palm oil’ are meaningless. The RSPO has not defined many requirements for ‘sustainable’ palm oil. Many big producers of ‘sustainable’ palm oil can’t indicate where all their palm oil is being produced and often sell their palm oil with the RSPO label for a long time before the plantations are actually examined. The rules for getting a RSPO certificate are also misleading. For example, a palm oil company that has one plantation that meets the sustainability requirements is allowed to sell all its palm oil with the sustainable palm oil label, even when the other plantations are not sustainable. In addition, there is no clear seperation of sustainable and non-sustainable palm oil as palm oil from different plantations are always mixed. Therefore, companies mostly buy a nice sounding certificate and not palm oil that is any more sustainable than ‘ordinary’ palm oil.

In addition, there have been many reports that companies with a RSPO certificate that don’t follow the sustainability requirements can easily get away with it. Many plantations are located in the middle of nowhere and are difficult to inspect. Even when inspections have found out that a company has violated environmental or human rights regulations, it often takes years before this has any consequences. For example, in 2010 organisations filed a complaint against palm oil producer IOI, when it became public knowledge that the company had illegally stolen land and destroyed thousands of hectares of rainforest. It took 6 years before the the RSPO took action and suspended IOI’s certificate. Five months later, IOI reentered the RSPO and regained its certificate. Of several other big companies it is also known that they violate regulations and illegally steal land and destroy huge amounts of rainforest, but unfortunately the RSPO often does not take any action at all.

Why boycotting palm oil doesn’t help

Sustainable palm oil clearly isn’t the solution, but what is? The problems surrounding palm oil cultivation are pretty severe, so it’s only logical that many people want to do something about that. Therefore, some people have decided to boycott all products that contain palm oil, sometimes including products with sustainable palm oil. While this is quite a logical choice, unfortunately it doesn’t help to reduce deforestation of rain forests and human rights violations.

While it’s often said that palm oil is the problem, it isn’t really. The real problem is the huge demand for vegetable oils and the lack of free agricultural land. Consumers want lots of cheap products and to produce those, a lot of land is needed. When the majority of people begins to boycott palm oil, then it’s only a matter of time before producers are going to replace the palm oil in their products for another ingredient, as people will still want to buy these products (in most cases that would have to be another type of oil). That doesn’t solve the problem, because to make the replacement, land is also needed and therefore deforestation will still be necessary.

In fact, switching to other types of oil will require even more land and therefore more deforestation than the cultivation of palm oil, as palm oil is one of the most efficient and sustainable types of oil. From one hectare of oil palms, about 3,7 tonnes of palm oil can be made every year. For a hectare of sunflowers this is only 0,7 tonnes of sunflower oil. Therefore, if a palm oil boycott would force producers to switch to other oils and they would choose sunflower oil, this would require 5 times more land to make the same amount of oil. This would be really bad for the environment and would likely lead to more land being stolen. In addition, a lot of other types of oil are also a lot more polluting as their cultivation requires more chemical fertilizer and pesticides or it creates toxic waste as a by-product (as is the case with olive oil).

An additional problem is that an increasing number of companies is starting to replace the palm oil in their products with animal products like butter in response to palm oil complaints from customers. As animal products cause even more animal suffering and environmental damage, this is not exactly a positive development.

The solution?

So then what would be the solution? Unfortunately, the main problem is that more and more agricultural land is necessary to keep up with consumers’ increasing demand for food and other products. The only way to end deforestation is by limiting our ecological footprint, for example by consuming less, not buying unnecessary products and paying attention to the environmental costs of products (including the amount of land needed to make a product). A good way to reduce your ecological footprint is by going vegan, as that doesn’t just save a lot of palm oil (in feed), but also a lot of other land use, as animal agriculture and animal products have a much bigger footprint than most other products. But vegans can also reduce their footprint even further, by paying attention to the environmental cost of vegan products and not consuming lots of unnecessary products. Unfortunately, consuming less is not very popular among both consumers and producers, so it’s not surprising that both producers and NGOs prefer to focus on a more profitable approach, such as advocating ‘sustainable’ palm oil.

If we’d all consume less and use less land, there would be no need for deforestation. However, as the palm oil industry won’t die out, it remains important to encourage palm oil companies to work in a sustainable and human friendly way. This is also the approach that is advocated by the Sumatran Orangutan Society. This can be done by asking NGOs to implement stricter rules and conduct more inspections for sustainable palm oil certificates and asking producers to make environmentally friendly choices.

Hoste, R. (2014). “Palmolieverbruik in de Nederlandse diervoederindustrie 2011-2013 Inventarisatie in opdracht van Nevedi”. Wageningen, LEI Wageningen UR (University & Research centre), LEI 14-099.

Milieudefensie, GRAIN, Sumatran Orangutan Society & Amnesty International

For a quick snack, these Chickpea Nuggets by Aria Massoudifar are perfect! You can even enjoy them as a dinner, and dip them in your favorite dressing or even guacamole. These little nuggets are crispy and come together without much effort.

Have you ever had soy curls before? They are truly magical ingredients and are so much fun to cook with! If you’re new to a vegan, whole food plant based diet, then soy curls will become your absolute favorite thing! They are a great meat replacement, while not being overly processed or having too many crazy ingredients. This Easy Healthy Orange Chicken by Marina Yanay-Triner is not only extremely delicious, it’s also packed with nutrition, as soy is one of the most nutrient dense foods: iron, calcium, protein, and lots of fiber.

4. Avocado Oil

Avocado oil is a great light oil that stays liquid at room temperature (unlike coconut oil) and doesn&rsquot have a very strong flavor (like olive oil). For that reason I like to use it in my 5-minute healthy mayo recipe so you can avoid using unhealthy oils like canola or soybean oil. It also has a very high smoke point.

Much of the long array of health benefits to avocados is preserved within avocado oil. Some of these benefits include vitamin E, sterolins and monounsaturated fats which are linked to healthy joints, cancer prevention, healthy eyes and better general health. Make sure you get cold-pressed avocado oil. I use this brand.

Smoke point: 475°-520°

Where to buy: Find avocado oil here

The Healthiest (and Least Healthy) Cooking Oils

Nowadays, there are seemingly endless varieties of oils lining the supermarket shelves, each proclaiming to be healthier and more flavorful than the next. So, which oils actually reign supreme when it comes to cooking with health in mind?

On top of the numerous varieties of oils, confusion also springs from constant input about just which kinds of fats we should be consuming for the benefit of our heart health and our bodies overall.

All cooking oils can essentially be broken down into three categories of fat: saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats. Arguably, what makes an oil “healthy” is containing higher levels of unsaturated fats and lower levels of saturated fat.

While there has been debate in recent years over the harmfulness (or lack thereof) of saturated fats, in a report publishedby the American Heart Association in 2017, a panel of scientists who carefully reviewed the available data surrounding dietary fats recommended that people should decrease their consumption of saturated fats—which are prevalent in meats, cheeses, and certain oils𠅊nd instead consume more unsaturated fats, which will help decrease �” cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease.

The scientists also found that consuming polyunsaturated fats, which includes foods like walnuts, fish, and sunflower, soybean, and corn oils, is preferable to consuming monounsaturated fats, including avocado, a variety of nuts, seeds, and olive, canola, and peanut oils. While both forms of fat are healthy, polyunsaturated fats are more likely to reduce the risk of heart disease than their counterpart.

No matter which oil you use, scientists who have studied the correlation between fat consumption and health still suggest using oils in moderation. However, there are certain oils—some that may surprise you—that will provide you the healthiest ratio of the two kinds of fat. While there is certainly still much to learn about how certain fats ultimately affect our health, these are the healthiest and least healthy of the most common cooking oil options you’ll find in just about every supermarket today.

The Healthiest Oils

Canola Oil – While many people have an unhealthy connotation with canola oil, thanks to its association with fried food, this neutral-flavored oil made from rapeseed is not only high in both forms of unsaturated fat, but also has one of the lowest percentages of saturated fats of any oil and contains lots of beneficial omega-3s. While it is commonly used to create greasy deep-fried food that’s not so healthy, thanks to its high smoke point, this oil is actually extremely healthy on its own. However, canola oil is chemically processed, which can be a red flag for those trying to stick to an organic diet. Because of its super neutral taste, canola is best for baking, roasting, and (of course) frying, rather than salad dressings and saut dishes.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil – With high levels of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, and a rich, luxurious flavor, there’s no wonder why extra virgin olive oil has become one of the most popular cooking oils. Since EVOO’s nutritional integrity is somewhat broken down when cooked, the biggest health boost will result from eating it at room temperature, as part of a salad dressing or drizzled over the dish of your choice. While great for sautéing, dressing, and low-temperature roasting, EVOO has a low smoke point that makes it difficult to fry or roast with above 375 degrees. Therefore, when it comes to frying it’s best to stick with another variety of oil.

Grapeseed Oil – This mild flavored oil, which is made from the grape seeds discarded during the wine making process, has a huge percentage of polyunsaturated fat and a low percentage of saturated fat. In addition to being packed with heart healthy fats, grapeseed is also a great neutral oil for just about every kitchen task, from roasting to salad dressings.

Sunflower Oil – With one of the highest percentages of polyunsaturated fat among cooking oils and low levels of saturated fats, sunflower oil is all-around a super heart healthy cooking oil. With a neutral flavor and high smoke point, sunflower oil is good for frying and roasting a variety of foods. You can also find “high-oleic” sunflower oils (as well as canola oils), which have higher levels of oleic acid, boosting the monounsaturated fat count and therefore the cholesterol-lowering power of this beneficial ingredient.

Safflower Oil – This oil, which is sold in both cold-pressed and chemically processed varieties, is high in polyunsaturated fats, low in saturated fats, and high in omega-9 fatty acids. Additionally, safflower oil also has one of the highest smoke points of any cooking oil, and a neutral flavor, making it a great option for frying, sautéing, and roasting.

Avocado Oil — This trendy𠅊nd more expensive—oil is packed with monounsaturated fats and benefits from having a higher smoke point than extra virgin olive oil, making it the perfect alternative for higher heat frying and roasting. As a bonus, this oil is neutral flavored but not chemically processed, making it a great frying option for those avoiding chemically processed oils. However, with a higher saturated fat content than comparable vegetable oils𠅊round 20 percent—it’s not the most nutritional of the bunch and will cost you a pretty penny.

Sesame Oil – This powerful, cold pressed oil packs a serious punch when it comes to flavor, so a little goes a long way. Low in saturated fat, and with balanced levels of both forms of unsaturated fats, sesame is a great option for flavoring foods. Use small amounts of this oil for sautéing and pan-frying.

Peanut Oil – Like sesame oil, peanut oil is super flavorful and should only be used in foods that you want to taste like, well, peanuts. Peanut oil has the highest level of monounsaturated fat among cooking oils however, it also has a slightly higher percentage of saturated fat than many other vegetable oils. This chemically processed oil is great for sautéing Asian stir-frys and even deep-frying tempura foods, as it as a high smoke point.

Vegetable Oil (Made with Soybean) – It’s likely this chemically processed oil has been a presence in your kitchen for as long as you can remember. However, there’s a good chance a certain kind of vegetable oil—which is primarily made with soybean oil—is healthier than you’ve ever given it credit for. Super high in polyunsaturated fats and low in saturated fat, this form of vegetable oil is theoretically high on the healthy oils list. However, the heavy chemical processing that gives vegetable oil its neutral flavor and high smoke point has the potential to deplete the natural nutrients of the oil.

Oils to Use Sparingly

Palm Oil – This cooking oil, while a rarer sight in most American kitchens, is actually one of the most widely consumed edible fats in the world, frequently used in vegetable oil, margarine, and shorteningin other countries. Though an effective frying oil, palm oil is high in saturated fat�out 50 percent—which can pose a risk to a rise in the �” cholesterol levels of the body.

Coconut Oil – While you might think this trendy oil is bound to be one of the healthiest options, given all of the hype around coconut oil in recent years, this oil contains more saturated fat�out 90 percent!—than butter, lard, and beef fat. While scientists have found that coconut oil—which contains 12 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon𠅍oes have the potential to give our “good” cholesterol a boost, it’s still recommended that coconut oil be used sparingly and as a replacement for less healthy fats, such as butter or shortening in baked goods.

Vegetable Oil (Made with a Mystery Blend) – Some store-bought vegetable oils are made from a blend of oils, rather than soybean oil alone, making it harder to give a definitive verdict on its nutritional potential. In the past, many vegetable oils were simply heart disease-causing trans fats in disguise, but as of last year those dangerous fats have been banned from grocery stores and restaurants in the U.S. altogether.

While your go-to cooking oil choice is probably based on a variety of factors, including the flavor and what kinds of dishes you prepare frequently, keeping in mind the nutritional value of the oils you use daily is one of the easiest ways to make a heart healthy dietary change that could benefit you, and your loved ones, significantly for years to come.

Healthy recipes

It's all here in this section: healthy, appetizing recipes that are unique, fun, and most of all, delicious. You and your family will love making these nutritious, balanced ideas with us. So go get a pen and paper and treat your body with these amazing recipes. Success is guaranteed.

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© 2021 Step To Health | This website publishes free articles on natural remedies, physical and mental health, and how to take care of your body.

The content in this publication is presented for informative purposes only. In no sense is this information intended to provide diagnoses or act as a substitute for the work of a qualified professional. For this we recommend that you contact a reliable specialist.

5 Important Reasons Why You NEED to Avoid Palm Oil!

Whether you’re aware of it or not, palm oil is one of the world’s most popular vegetable oils. Although it’s fairly cheap, it comes at a much larger cost to the environment. The fact that palm oil has been linked to environmental destruction, animal endangerment, and even human rights violations may be enough to convince you to start reading labels and avoid palm oil altogether.

Five Reasons to Avoid Palm Oil

1. Palm Oil Is Not Healthy

After trans fats were no longer permitted in snack foods, many companies began to use palm oil and claim it as a “healthy alternative.” But palm oil is high in saturated fats, which have been a health concern of its own. In a study that followed people who ate a diet rich in palm oil for five weeks, researchers found an increase in their LDL cholesterol levels, similar to the effect of trans fats on the body.

Potato chips made with palm oil contain 75% more saturated fat than chips made with sunflower or canola oil. The Centers for Disease Control warns, “Diets high in saturated fat have been linked to chronic disease, specifically coronary heart disease.” The American Heart Association also links saturated fats to increased cholesterol levels, which can raise the risk of heart disease and stroke.

If the dangers of saturated fats aren’t enough to deter you, this fact might be: Palm kernel oil — palm oil harvested from the pit instead of the fruit — cannot be obtained organically, so the oil is extracted from the pit with a gasoline-like hydrocarbon solvent. (Sounds delicious, right?)

2. Palm Oil is Contributing to Deforestation

The palm oil industry plays a large role in climate change that’s human-induced. Palm oil plantations have been responsible for the clearing some of the world’s most dense forests. In 2009, nearly 30% of Indonesia’s reported carbon emissions were due to deforestation. According to the “Say No To Palm Oil” campaign, “Every hour, an area the size of 300 football fields is cleared in Indonesia and Malaysia to make way for palm plantations.”

3. The Palm Oil Industry is Corrupt

Of the 3.7 million people who work in the palm oil industry, thousands of them are child laborers who are forced to work. A report published in Business Week found that many workers are pulled into the industry as a result of owing debt, and some are even taken by human traffickers.

4. Palm Oil is Driving Orangutans to Extinction

The already fragile population of orangutans may be become extinct if their natural habitats continue to be destroyed. The orangutan population of Sumatra and Borneo has decreased by over 20,000 in the last 10 years, coinciding with a growing demand for palm oil in the United States between 1990 and 2010. Over 98% of the palm oil used in the U.S. comes from Southeast Asia.

5. Palm Oil is Driving Other Animals to Extinction

Plenty of other endangered species are at risk thanks to the palm oil industry. In 1978, an estimated 1,000 tigers roamed the island of Sumatra. Today, that number has dwindled to only about 400. Sumatran rhinos are also in danger, with population numbers less than 200. The expansion of the palm oil industry has led to the human disruption of rain forests that had previously been untouched. Growing human populations in these fragile areas has also caused elephants to be targeted at a higher percentage for ivory.

If you’ve made the decision to avoid palm oil, here are six ways to avoid products that contain it:

  1. Palm oil is most commonly disguised under “vegetable oil.”
  2. Most snack foods that are pre-packaged and made by corporate giants such as Nestle and Unilever contain palm oil.
  3. Ingredients containing the word “palm” are either palm oil or derived from the oil palm fruit. Look for 100% coconut oil instead.
  4. If a product’s saturated fat content makes up more than 40% of its total fat content, it most likely contains palm oil.
  5. If you’re unsure of whether or not a product contains palm oil, type the product name into a search engine along with the words “palm oil,” and scan the search results.
  6. To completely avoid palm oil, choose products that clearly label their ingredients, the oils in particular. This may include 100% sunflower oil, corn oil, olive oil, coconut oil or canola oil.

What Is the Best Oil for Cooking?

Find out which oil is the healthiest plus get our ultimate guide to healthy cooking oils and how to use them.

Fat isn&apost just a nutrient essential to your body, it&aposs also a key player in healthy cooking. It carries heat and helps cook foods quickly and evenly. It also coats your taste buds, making flavor linger longer.

But which oil is the best to cook with? And which is the healthiest cooking oil? With all the different oils on the market𠄺vocado oil, grapeseed oil, peanut oil and more–how do you know when to use each one?

A note on storing your oils properly-heat and light can damage oil and may alter its taste, so store oil in a cool, dark place for up to a year. Be sure to read labels carefully, though, because some oils have specific storage requirements. Grapeseed oil, for example, should be refrigerated.

Get our top oil picks plus our ultimate buyer&aposs guide that outlines some of the most common oils-and offers the nutritional benefits of each one.

We do have a favorite, but the rest of the oils listed in this guide all offer different culinary and health benefits.


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