A few weeks ago I was invited to NYC’s Pix11 News, to share some insights in light of the recent news about Nutella’s main ingredient: Palm Oil.
News spread like wildfire because let’s face it who doesn’t love Nutella?
It all started when an image on Reddit highlighted the ingredients to show that Nutella contains palm oil (like a LOT of it) AND the reports by The European Food Safety Authority, claiming palm oil might be harmful to consumers at certain temperatures and it might cause cancer too… which got people all riled up.
But can we take a minute and also notice the HUGE amount of nasty sugar in it? it should be called “Sugarella“, instead of Nutella… Urggggg
REDDIT – REDDIT.COM
Anyways, as I’ve said before, I am not a fan of the brand per se… I LOVE the Nutella concept, but NOT the ingredients in it, yuck! Hence, why I kind of twitched the recipe to make a healthier one -you can find it here-.
Since I’ve covered why sugar is bad for us in the past –and will continue to do so always– let’s concentrate this post on Palm Oil, shall we? I’ll give you the GOOD, THE BAD & THE NASTY.
Pros & Cons
- PROS: Palm oil has been used for ages in food preparation. The oil is very popular in processed foods because it is free of artery-clogging trans fats and rich in natural antioxidants, including vitamins A and E.
- CONS: Like many natural substances, palm oil does have its drawbacks, some of which might pose serious health risks like its large amounts of saturated fat (which leads to cholesterol problems) and makes it a risky choice for cardiovascular health.
- When processed at certain temperatures it is potentially carcinogenic and highly toxic to our bodies. Accumulated toxins will lead to several chronic diseases.
Products with palm oil in it, which we can absorb through our skin:
We use palm oil and its derivatives every single day in our household and skin care products MULTIPLE times a day, and sometimes we’re not even aware. It’s used in:
- Hand soap: The bubbles produced when we wash our hands with a bar of soap is actually a result of palm oil.
- Toothpaste: Similar to the lather of soap, the foam produced when you brush your teeth with toothpaste is from the palm oil derivative sodium lauryl sulfate.
- Cosmetics: Palm oil acts as a natural emulsifier that prevents the separation of oil and water in moisturizers and cosmetic products such as foundation, lipstick, and mascara.
- Shampoos: Very similar to toothpaste and soaps. A majority of shampoos also contain palm oil as a moisturizer.
- Detergents: Manufacturers use palm oil, commonly labeled as sodium sulfate, to create a uniform density in the detergent.
- Margarine: Palm oil is solid at room temperature and naturally free of trans-fats, making it a common ingredient in margarine, so almost all margarine contains palm oil!
What can we do about it
- Start reading labels and committing to ONLY purchasing products ethically sourced… They are out there, we just need to be more curious and mindful!
- Do your due-diligence finding out which companies use it in their products and which ones doesn’t. Always support those who don’t.
- Use palm oil substitutes such as coconut oil, rapeseed or jojoba.
Catch the segment here —> Palm oil and the recent Nutella controversy
Hope this info help you guys to make more conscious choices and be more informed.
I’ll keep writing more about this type of stuff because health is SO MUCH MORE than what we eat. It’s also what we put in our bodies (skin care, makeup, perfumes, etc), what we use to clean our household, and I could go on, and on, and on.
Information is our BEST friend when it comes to our health. Always stay curious!