Accepting Food Labels? All About "Accept" Food & Nutrition

Label Logic: Palm Kernel Oil

Palm Kernel Oil
Joann Klinkner
Written by Joann Klinkner

With the growing awareness of the dangers of trans fats, many food manufacturers are removing them from their products and replacing them with different fats in order to maintain the same taste and texture of their tried and true product. Many food manufacturers are switching to palm oil and palm kernel oil, both of which are extracted from the seeds and the pulp of the fruit of the palm oil, a plant native to Africa, and also widely used in parts of Asia.

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Palm Kernel Oil is what we are focusing this time around. Label Logic by Joann DiFabio-Klinkner is all about awareness of what is in the food you eat. How does this tie in to the Identity mission? Joann educates us in everyday language on ingredients so we can easily remember what is harmful to our bodies and what is good for our bodies. What we eat can, in the short term, affect our mood and our energy, and in the longer term can have a major affect on our health.  That’s why it’s an important part of helping you to Feel Beautiful Everyday!™ Lets learn about Palm Kernel Oil!


With the growing awareness of the dangers of trans fats, many food manufacturers are removing them from their products and replacing them with different fats in order to maintain the same taste and texture of their tried and true product. Many food manufacturers are switching to palm oil and palm kernel oil, both of which are extracted from the seeds and the pulp of the fruit of the palm oil, a plant native to Africa, and also widely used in parts of Asia.

Palm Oil and Palm Kernel Oil Are Closely Related

Palm oil and palm kernel oil are closely related, but the breakdown of their respective fatty acid composition is slightly different, making them nutritionally different. While both are high in saturated fat, which research has shown increases the risk of heart disease and high cholesterol, palm oil contains more palmitic acid than palm kernel oil (44 percent vs. 8 percent). Palmitic acid does not affect the blood the same way as other saturated fats because it’s evenly distributed between the three arms of the triglyceride molecule, rendering it neutral to blood cholesterol levels.

Palm Kernel Oil

Palm kernel oil, on the other hand, absorbs differently and gets lumped under the same class as other more dangerous saturated fats that increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and atherosclerosis. The reason palm kernel oil is found in packaged food products more than palm oil? You guessed it. It’s cheaper to produce and more readily available than healthier palm oil.

Palm Kernel Oil Puts the Environment at Risk

On top of putting your health at risk, palm kernel oil also puts the environment at risk. Palm oil is now cultivated in many parts of Malaysia and Indonesia, which has significantly helped the economies of these two nations, but in order to make room for these oil palm plantations, many rain forests are being cleared. Deforestation not only disrupts the natural habitat for endangered species, it also increases greenhouse gas emissions. When the rain forests are cleared, the peat bogs that lie beneath the rain forests are exposed and they release large quantities of carbon into the atmosphere.

As long as palm kernel oil is cheap to produce and obtain, it will be found in many packaged food products like cookies and crackers. Bad news for the environment. But at least you can do your health a favor and avoid products with this oil and look for products with pure palm oil or other heart-healthier oils.

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About the author

Joann Klinkner

Joann Klinkner

Identity writer Joann DiFabio-Klinkner holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ramapo College in Communication Arts and is currently employed at Torre Lazur McCann, a pharmaceutical advertising agency, where she is a digital imaging associate. Having a long-standing interest in health and wellness, Joann has developed a passion for and deep knowledge-base of food and nutrition over the years. She currently writes the Spotlight On… and Label Logic articles for Identity, and enjoys cooking in her free time.

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