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Shoppers told to replace those hydrogenated oils with a healthier oil

If you care one iota about your health, you need to read the product labels of the foods you’re placing in your shopping cart. On The Daily Meal video blog, I explained that many products which appear healthy actually contain hydrogenated oils. This major trans fat source has been associated with numerous health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes. Read the ingredients of each and every food product you purchase. Look for products made with healthier oils, such as palm oil or olive oil. And because sustainability matters, support companies which use certified sustainable and responsibly sourced Malaysian palm oil.

What are hydrogenated oils?

Hydrogenation is an industrial process which turns a liquid oil into a more stable, solid oil. It’s commonly used to extend shelf life and improve texture. Unfortunately, harmful trans fats are the by-product of this chemical reaction. It’s best to avoid this artificial ingredient. The FDA is helping, by requiring food manufactures to remove partially hydrogenated oils, our primary source of trans fats, from the food supply by June 2018. Until then, you need to read labels carefully.

Which products have trans fats?

Hydrogenated oils are in many products, but some of the worst offenders are peanut butters, microwave popcorns and frozen foods, such as French fries. When you’re reading labels, look for products made with healthy, natural ingredients, such as Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil. Naturally trans fat-free palm oil doesn’t require hydrogenation to deliver the qualities, such as creamy taste and a long shelf-life, we crave. And unlike more commonly used oils such as soybean and canola, palm oil is non-GMO and rich in vitamins A and E.

Because sustainability is important to me, I prefer Malaysian palm oil. This country provides most of the palm oil to the United States. The industry takes good care of the family farmers who tend the oil palm plantations. Malaysia has also been protecting its environment for years, long before sustainability was even a buzzword. At the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, it pledged to maintain at least half of its land under forest cover, and it has kept that pledge. When you are looking for a healthier oil, you can’t go wrong with Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil.