Many alimentary products do not mention palm oil. But from December 2014, the European legislation (Regulation EU n.1169 / 2011) will impose to show on the label all kinds of oils in food. There will not be, howevere, a specific labeling for trans fats. In any case, by 13 December 2014, the European Commission is required to submit a report on the presence of trans fats in foods and in the overall diet of the European Union population. This report is also aimed at evaluating the opportunity to provide more information on trans fats or at considering restrictions on their use.
Palm oil contains 50% saturated fat, a good percentage in comparison with other fatty similar application: coconut (92%), palm seeds (84%), butter (66%), cocoa butter (62 %), and tallow (54%). Moreover, in food palm oil is often used with other fats and oils that together determine the composition of fatty acids and the possible effect on health. All oils and fats contain both saturated and unsaturated fatty acids.
At the same time, the replacement of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils with palm oil reduces the content of trans fat in foods which contain vegetable oils. Both saturated and trans fats can raise the levels of LDL (bad cholesterol). However, unlike saturated fats, trans fats may also lead to a decrease of HDL (good cholesterol) and increase the levels of triglycerides in the blood, both associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease.
Overall, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommended that the intake of saturated fat and trans fat is as low as possible.
SOURCE: European Food Information Council
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