Around 9 million tonnes of palm oil is consumed annually in India and India stands as the second largest consumer of palm oil. 

The major contributing factors to India being the largest consumer and importer of palm oil are its affordability and the rising income levels which also cloud the negative effects of palm oil on our health. 

Studies also show that palm oil is high in Vitamin K and dietary magnesium. And when consumed in realistic amounts and proportions, palm oil can be a great source of dietary fat. 

Despite the perceived health benefits such as prevention of vitamin- A deficiency and higher content of beta-carotene, the health risks of palm oil remain less talked about. 

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room!

Around 50% of the daily essentials in India both edible and non-edible, contain palm oil. Foods that have palm oil in India range from Biscuits, chocolates, instant noodles, chips, chocolate spreads, processed snack foods, ice cream, margarine, etc

Palm oil is also used as an adulterant for coconut oil, sesame oil, groundnut oil, butter, and sunflower oil. 

Palm oil consumption results in increased cholesterol levels which eventually increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases due to the presence of high saturated fat content. Palm oil contains long-chain saturated fatty acids such as palmitic acid and stearic acid pave the way to fat storage compared to the effects of saturated fat content of various other edible oils. 

And according to a study by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) palm oil is a potential carcinogen when processed at temperatures higher than 200 degrees Celsius. 

Palm oil is widely used in Processed foods as it is capable of creating desired textures, and helps in extending the shelf life. 

Palm oil consumption has been linked to increased inflammation in the body. Replacing palm oil with healthier unsaturated fats can help reduce systemic inflammation.

Despite palm oil's effects on health, it has also raised major environmental concerns. Large areas of rainforest have been cleared for palm oil plantations, destroying the habitats of endangered species like orangutans, tigers, and rhinos. Choosing palm oil-free products helps protect biodiversity and ecosystems.

Red palm oil 

The benefits that palm oil carries can cloud consumers from the actual disadvantages of palm oil. 

Here’s the truth we have uncovered for you. Red palm oil is a less processed version that contains 70-90% of beta carotene content, which eventually our body can convert into Vitamin A. 

And sadly, red palm oil lacks awareness and hasn’t picked up on commercial sale despite the beta carotene content it carries. It has neither been hyped up nor given a thought about compared to the importance provided over the health benefits of olive oil.

The processed foods we come across daily such as cereals, sweets, cookies, doughnuts, desserts, whipped creams and much more don't use red palm oil as it doesn’t give an appealing finish/ color to the end product. And this less processed version is also not marketable due to its color. 

Hacks to find palm-oil-free products:

When it comes to finding palm-oil-free products, here are a couple of hacks:

  1. Check the ingredient list and look for palm oil, palm kernel oil, or generic vegetable oil, which could potentially be palm oil. The fewer ingredients a product has, the less likely it is to contain palm oil.
  1. Opt for products and Brands using alternative oils and those that mention them prominently on labels.

At Sweet Karam Coffee, we're proud to use only the finest natural ingredients, with no palm oil in any of our offerings. Treat yourself to wholesome snacks and beverages without compromise from Sweet Karam Coffee!

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