Here’s good news for parents: kids’ snacks are getting healthier. For decades, many packaged cookies, bars and candies were loaded with artificial colors and flavors, copious amount of sugars and unhealthy trans fats. Much to the relief of parents everywhere, manufacturers are now including healthier and more natural ingredients in these kid staples. Which is why you may be seeing more Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil on ingredient labels. Manufacturers big and small are using this heart-healthy tropical oil to replace partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reducing consumption of PHOs could prevent up to 20,000 heart attacks each year.
What is palm oil?
Palm oil is a natural oil that is derived from the fruit of the oil palm tree. Two separate oils can be produced from this fruit. Pressing the fruit’s fresh (using a process similar to olive oil production) releases a nutrient-packed oil, sometimes called palm fruit oil. This versatile oil is perfect for cooking and baking. Palm kernel oil is extracted from the fruit’s center seed. It is more solid and often used in soaps, cosmetics and detergents. All palm oil is non-GMO.
Palm oil well-balanced and loaded with nutrients
Malaysian palm oil contains fewer inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids than most other oils, and much fewer than commonly used seed oils (canola, soybean, corn, safflower, sunflower, etc.). Experts say balancing your fatty acid consumption may guard against dangerous inflammation. Palm oil is also nature’s richest source of vitamin E tocotrienols, a vitamin which has the attention of many researchers. This nutrient helps support brain, skin and liver health.
Manufacturers love palm oil’s quality, versatility and environmental friendliness.
Palm oil has a balanced composition of unsaturated and saturated fatty acids which makes it naturally resistant to spoilage. In its natural semi-solid state, it requires no unhealthy hydrogenation to produce a smooth, creamy texture. Palm oil’s liquid and solid fractions can also be separated and custom blended for a variety of applications.
Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil also aligns with many companies corporate responsibility goals. Palm oil’s yield is so impressive that one acre of oil palm produces 11 times more oil than an acre of soybean and 7 times more oil than an acre of canola. In Malaysia, this crop has been credited with improving the standard of living and reducing poverty.
Where to find Malaysian palm oil
Find palm oil in many of your kids’ favorite foods from natural peanut butters and Luna Bars to Oreos and Rice Krispies treats. You’ll also spot palm oil in baking mixes, microwave popcorns and buttery spreads. In fact, Malaysian palm oil has been an important part of the heart-healthy Smart Balance spreads for years. It’s great news that this nutritious oil has finally found its way to more kid-friendly foods.