A lot of times we don’t take a thorough look at the nutritional labels in the foods that fill our pantry and fridge. But it could be worth it since certain ingredients in our everyday foods can cause us to develop health troubles over time. New research suggests that palm oil, a common ingredient found in nut butter and chocolate, is linked to an increased risk of certain types of cancer.
A recent study published in the journal Nature wanted to understand the effects that consuming fatty acids like oleic, linoleic, and palmitic acid could have on mouth and skin cancer cells in mice. Both oleic and linoleic acid are found in omega-6 and 9 packed foods including flax seeds and olive oil. As for the palmitic acid, researchers fed the mice a short term diet rich in palm oil (a type of vegetable oil) to measure the fatty acid’s effects on cancer cells.
The study authors revealed that the diets including linoleic and oleic acid didn’t lead to a greater likelihood of developing cancer. Whereas, the palm oil diet caused mice to be at a higher risk of the disease. Researchers claim that this is due to the palmitic acid in the oil promoting metastasis, which is when cancer cells break away from the primary tumor and spread throughout the body. This led them to warn about this risk when consuming palm oil regularly.
Beyond nut butter and chocolate, palm oil can also be found in cereals, commercial baked goods, and margarine. That’s why it doesn’t hurt to check those nutritional labels to make sure that you’re avoiding this oil as much as you can. Choosing the all-natural and organic version of your go-to foods is another way to ensure that you’re not consuming a ton of added oils or sugars.
Also, you can make pantry staples like nut butter and baked goods such as blueberry muffins and chocolate cake from scratch. Making some of your weekly essentials at home is cheaper and tastier than buying them at the store. Plus, it can be a healthier option because harmful ingredients like palm oil won’t make their way into your favorite foods.
Simply being mindful about the foods you eat regularly can do wonders for maintaining a clean bill of health!