In addition, reference their website. You can access the list from your phone before you buy anything. It contains the hundreds of ways palm oil is hidden in ingredient names. It’s in alphabetical order so you can somewhat easily check each label before you buy something.
It’s important to read the labels of everything you buy if you are trying to avoid products with palm oil.
(Yes, this will take time in the beginning. However, after a few times, you will know most of the derivatives you are looking for depending on the product, and it will become so much easier.)
Often, companies change suppliers and ingredients. Some examples:
Nabisco now lists palm oil for every variety of Oreo cookie we’ve seen. However, they used to be palm oil free.
Every box of Ritz Crackers Originals we’ve seen in stores lists “palm oil” in the ingredients but they didn’t always. (Interestingly, the ingredients for this product on their website do not mention palm oil at all. It still includes soybean oil and cottonseed oil.)
In 2018, Peanut M&Ms started including palm oil. Now all of their Peanut M&Ms contain it.
Also in 2018, Post added Vitamin A Palmitate to their HoneyComb cereal.
You will also find that some versions of the very same products will have different ingredients. Companies use different vendors and recipes.
7. Look for palm oil free certification and labeling
Hopefully, more and more, companies will recognize that being palm oil free is considered something to promote and advertise.
We hope it will become more common and sought-out, much like “gluten free” and “no high fructose corn syrup.”
The first company to earn palm oil free certification status for some of their products in the United States is Enjoy Life Foods. They will have eight products certified as palm oil free.
There are so many packaged foods, supplements, medicines, hygiene, and cleaning products with palm oil and palm oil derivatives.
However, once you start knowing the types of ingredient names to look for, you will have an easier time of finding products free from palm oil.
You can find products without palm oil. You have to actively be reading labels and comparing them to the list referenced above in order to avoid it completely.
But once you are in the habit or reading labels, it takes just seconds. You will also learn to choose products with less ingredients overall. Additionally, you will know the types of products that use it.
If you are looking for palm oil free peanut butter, you know it can be difficult.
Companies use “No Stir” labels as a marketing strategy. They add palm oil so the peanut butter spreads easily. Many larger companies who label their peanut butter as “organic” and “all natural” use palm oil.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration stated that palm oil is not a healthy substitute for trans-fats, yet palm oil consumption continues to rise.
Peanut butter without palm oil
We love when industry leaders keep their products free from palm oil. Here is a list of peanut butter without palm oil ingredients.
Congratulations to Wild Friends Foods, the first nut butter company in the world to become Certified Palm Oil Free. ALL of their nut butter products are made without palm oil or palm oil derivatives.
The International Palm Oil Free Certification guarantees the products have been thoroughly researched, right back to the sources. Learn more.
Look at all of these choices of peanut butter without palm oil:
Teddie’s products are free from sweeteners, oils as well as anything artificial. The peanuts are grown in the United States and are Non GMO.
In addition, they use simple ingredients: Peanuts. Some contain salt. Others flaxseed. At most, there are three ingredients… that’s it! You can find this peanut butter at Target, Walmart, Safeway, ShopRite, and more.
Teddie All Natural
Super Chunky Unsalted
Smooth with Flaxseed
Chunky with Flaxseed
Teddie Organic All Natural
Kroger Natural Peanut Butter
A reader made a suggestion in the Comments about Kroger’s Natural Peanut Butter as being palm oil free and an inexpensive option.
They don’t add oils, stabilizers, preservatives, or sugars. Their Natural Peanut Butter line contains only two ingredients: Roasted Peanuts and Salt.
Easy-to-find at Kroger stores, this is an accessible brand.
In addition, in the past we’ve contacted Kroger about some of their other products. We asked them about the source of some of their ingredients.
While most large companies avoid answering questions about palm oil, Kroger took extra steps to get us the information we asked for and were transparent about it. They asked their product development teams for the answers. They went above and beyond what other large companies have done.
Kroger Natural Peanut Butter
RX Nut Butter
RXBAR has confirmed with us 100% of their products are made without palm oil or palm oil derivatives.
While they are known for their bars, now they are making peanut butter without palm oil. Their RX Nut Butter is available in 1.13 ounce pouches.
We are happy to be able to find peanut butter without palm oil and hope these companies keep these products free from palm.
Remember, always check labels. Companies are adding palm oil to their products all the time. It’s a cheap and versatile oil.
Many of our once-favorite products have started using palm oil; it’s even in beverages.
Reach out to companies to let them know you want them to make their peanut butter and other products without palm oil.
Best peanut butter
Many companies include palm oil in peanut butter. Avoid NO STIR labeling. Read labels.
We believe in choosing products without palm oil and are happy to find palm free peanut butter. We think it’s the best peanut butter for our planet.
Whether you experience allergic reactions from palm oil, believe you have a palm oil intolerance, or avoid it for environmental reasons, it’s a good choice to choose peanut butter without palm oil.
Remember to support these nut butters, protein spreads, and peanut butter brands without palm oil. Also, support Palm Oil Free labeling.
Please share in the Comments why you seek these products. If you know of any other brands of no palm oil peanut butter, please make a Comment as well.
Note, we are not medical professionals. This is not medical advice. Please consult with your physician. The information is based on our own Internet research, reading labels in stores, and reaching out to companies. Use this as a reference point. This list is not guaranteed.
Remember, it’s essential to read the ingredients before you buy anything.
Our son’s pediatrician wasn’t familiar with a palm oil allergy or palm oil intolerance. We requested a referral to an allergist, and at our appointment, we asked if a person can be allergic to palm oil.
Unfortunately, our son gets very sick from palm oil.
This includes anything with palm oil, palm kernel oil, and palm oil derivatives in it, including palm olein, stearic acid, tocopherols, glycerin, vegetable glycerin, red palm oil, mono- and diglycerides, glycerine, magnesium stearate, and more.
Because of this, we consider him to have a palm oil intolerance.
His allergist said there aren’t proteins in palm oil, so it wouldn’t be considered a palm oil allergy. He said there isn’t an IgE test for a palm oil allergy or intolerance.
The allergist said we couldn’t do a blood test or a skin test to test for it. He didn’t give us an EpiPen / Epinephrine Auto-Injector.
Instead, the doctor encouraged us to “build up” his system.
He suggested we supplement with pre-biotics. He reminded us to avoid processed foods, to eat a wide variety of vegetables, and to increase Vitamin D exposure from the sun.
These are all important things to do. However, it wasn’t explaining why he has allergic reactions to palm oil.
Also, it was frustrating the doctor didn’t acknowledge someone could have a palm oil allergy, palm oil intolerance or have trouble digesting palm oil.
While he is a renowned allergist in our area, he said there wasn’t an IgE allergy test for palm oil, so there was nothing he could do.
He dismissed the idea that palm oil could cause problems.
Sick from palm oil
Palm ingredients are prevalent in packaged foods and snacks along with cleaning products, and self-care items, like soap, deodorant, and toothpaste.
It’s been very difficult finding safe foods to eat and products to use.
Palm oil allergy symptoms
If palm oil is causing allergy symptoms for you or your child, it won’t matter if it’s organic palm oil or from sustainable palm oil products.
We know for certain our son has allergic reactions to palm oil so we avoid them all. We think it’s more than a problem digesting palm oil because even topical products affect him.
However, it took quite awhile to figure out palm oil was making him sick.
He had been sick for months with congestion, coughing and throat clearing. Sometimes he had a sore throat. Often, he would miss a few days in a row from school.
He would use boxes of Kleenex each week.
We thought it was environmental allergies but when he eliminated all packaged and processed foods, he was better in days.
At first, we thought he was allergic to sunflower oil or coconut or some other foods.
However, when we eliminated foods, performed our own food intolerance test, and logged every food he ate and product he used, we were able to figure out it was anything that included palm oil, palm kernel oil, and palm oil derivatives, like glycerin and stearic acid.
If you are wondering about a palm oil intolerance or palm oil allergy, it is important you speak with your doctor.
And if you do, please note in the Comments below anything you learn. We are hoping more medical professionals acknowledge someone could have a palm oil intolerance, become sick from palm oil, or have adverse reactions from palm oil ingredients.
Palm oil intolerance
How did we find out he has an intolerance to palm oil? It took a long time to figure it out.
I remembered how a year prior he had gotten sick after eating a Great Value brand of sandwich cookie (a generic Oreo) while at a relative’s home. Palm oil was in it, and I thought it was unusual.
I wasn’t familiar with palm oil and hadn’t recalled seeing it in foods we ate.
Now, palm oil even more prevalent.
Palm oil food intolerance
We started thinking about all the foods he had been eating when he was sick those months.
It was in the fall, and he was eating taffy apples and Halloween candy in addition to the usual processed and packaged foods like cereal, microwave popcorn, peanut butter, and granola bars.
When we looked at the ingredients, we couldn’t believe palm oil was in every single one of those products.
Palm oil is in Skittles and Starburst candies. It’s in Ritz Crackers. It’s in most all bakery and desserts from the grocery store.
After that, we started reading all food and drink labels.
We let him have packaged foods again, trying to be sure they didn’t contain palm oil, palm kernel oil, Vitamin A Palmitate, palm olein, red palm oil, and any ingredients containing “palm-.”
At the time, we didn’t know there are hundreds of additional names for palm oil, including glycerin, glycerol, propylene glycol, tocopherols, and mono- and diglycerides.
While it is a huge undertaking to find safe, palm oil-free foods, we were able to find some cereal, peanut butter, snacks, candy, and more products. We’ve featured each of these as posts on this website.
Demand for palm oil continues to increase because the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) banned the use of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. This is the main dietary source of artificial trans-fats.
Food manufacturers are using palm oil as a replacement for the trans-fats.
Palm oil is versatile and inexpensive.
Also, palm oil prolongs the shelf life of products and is often used to preserve freshness in foods.
Palm olein can remain a liquid at room temperature. It’s also highly heat resistant.
Companies use palm oil and derivatives to fortify their foods and drinks with vitamins.
When you see cereal or milk with a Vitamin A content of 10% or higher, it most likely has Vitamin A Palmitate in it.
You will see palm oil in the form of Vitamin E in foods as well.
It’s prevalent in personal care and cleaning products, again because it’s so versatile and works in hundreds of capacities.
Palm oil in medicine
Once you start trying to avoid it, you will see it’s very difficult to find vitamins and supplements without palm oil.
We didn’t realize we had been giving my son a vitamin with palm oil. We have yet to find a child’s vitamin without it.
Even worse, his allergist suggested we give him Allegra on a daily basis as maintenance. He recommended it because we told him we’d occasionally given him children’s liquid Allegra.
After several weeks, we read the label and saw it contains propylene glycol. This ingredient is usually derived from palm oil!
Can you imagine how we felt when we learned we were giving him medicine with palm oil derivatives to alleviate his palm oil allergy symptoms?
To this day, we cannot find an OTC antihistamine or allergy medication without propylene glycol, magnesium stearate, and/or polyethylene glycol.
They all contain palm oil ingredients.
(Update: See our post for what we are doing for medicine without palm oil. We went to a compounding pharmacy to get allergy medications without fillers, preservatives, etc.)
Palm oil allergy symptoms
So, what happens to my son when he uses something with or consumes something with palm oil?
What palm oil allergy symptoms and allergic reactions does he have? Some symptoms are delayed and some are immediate.
Allergic reactions from palm oil
When he ate foods with palm oil, palm kernel oil, and hydrogenated palm kernel oil, almost immediately, he would:
Start to clear his throat
Go through dozens of Kleenex
The next morning, he would wake up with a sore throat and again need a box of Kleenex from blowing his nose so much. Sometimes this would last for days, other times, weeks.
There were other times when he was getting sick from foods, and we didn’t know why.
I’m grateful we kept the cereal and cracker boxes from these foods that made him sick because we learned they all contained tocopherols.
Tocopherols are sometimes made from palm oil.
When he would eat foods with tocopherols — used to preserve freshness or as a Vitamin E supplement — some or all of these symptoms would happen:
He became so lethargic and exhausted, completely wiped out
He would have a change in mood/temperament
Would get a few hives
After my son went through these experiences of being so tired, itchy, and very upset, there was no way we would ever take a chance on him having palm oil derivatives again.
Tocopherols aren’t usually labeled as to where they are derived from.
We avoid all products with tocopherols.
Glycerin and glycerine cause symptoms
These are ingredients also typically made from palm oil. They are very prevalent in nutrition bars and other types of granola bars.
Glycerin is in hard candy, cough drops, and bar soap.
My son gets congested from products with glycerin and glycerine.
Symptoms from mono- and diglycerides
We avoid these ingredients At All Costs. These are man-made ingredients which are often made from palm oil.
Food manufacturers use mono- and diglycerides as a replacement for trans-fats. You will see these ingredients now in ice cream, sherbet, Pringles, sliced bread, store-bought baked goods, and many chocolate bars.
These make my son so incredibly sick even to the point of sometimes changing his personality. He often becomes completely exhausted and wiped out.
They also give him allergy symptoms.
It’s difficult to know if palm oil may be affecting you. In our case, some of the symptoms were delayed and others were immediate.
Symptoms from propylene glycol
His children’s allergy medicine contains propylene glycol and gave him sore throats as mentioned above.
Another time, we gave him a liquid children’s pain medication because he had a bump on his tongue (he bit it) which was painful.
Afterwards, he had a sore throat.
Regrettably, we continued to give him the medicine every 12 hours for two days.
I finally thought to look at the ingredients and saw there was propylene glycol in it. I couldn’t believe I gave it to him without reading the label.
We stopped giving it to him, and his sore throat was gone the next day.
Symptoms from lecithin
After my son had a piece of gum that I thought was palm oil free, he started scratching his head — he felt so itchy. It contained lecithin. (Also, chewing gum often contains glycerin or glycol which also can be made from palm oil.)
If you see lecithin in an ingredient list, know that it’s a substance found in the oil component of certain plants. Manufacturers use it as an emulsifier so ingredients don’t separate.
Unless the lecithin is clearly labeled, as in “soy lecithin,” you won’t know if it’s made from palm.
Reactions for palm oil derivatives not on label — including Natural Flavors
Some new symptoms from palm oil are bumps around his nose and/or a recurring sore between his mouth and chin: facial dermatitis. The latest concern has been the ingredients at the source.
The really unfortunate thing about this is that these symptoms occur despite us reading labels. We know the names for palm oil ingredients and avoid them. These reactions occur to foods we think are safe.
So in addition to avoiding the hundreds of ingredient names for palm oil derivatives, we are even concerned about spices, seasonings, and other additives in foods in their Natural Flavors.
When this happens, l email the company about the SOURCE of whatever the questionable ingredient seems to be: Natural Flavors, Cinnamon, Garlic, Citric Acid, or whatever else is in it.
They often check with their Research & Development department who often needs to verify with the supplier.
Each time my son had experienced a reaction, and I checked with the company, the ingredient was treated with or processed with or made from palm oil. The ingredient came from the supplier and didn’t need to be labeled on the final product.
This makes it really daunting to try new foods.
Again, many foods with palm oil and palm oil derivatives are not healthy anyway, so no loss. But he’s a kid and that’s what makes it more difficult. Also, when the palm oil is in the spice, seasoning, or sauce and not clearly labeled, it make it very difficult.
Nervous to eat new foods
He and I do a good job of reading labels and avoiding problematic foods.
Yet, it’s frightening giving him new foods at home, someone else’s house, or when we have to go out to eat. On vacations, we usually rent a place with a small kitchen. We carry snacks around so we don’t have to eat out as much.
In addition, we try to encourage play dates at friends’ houses around non-mealtimes. We can send him with fruit as well as other safe snacks. While everyone is always great, we don’t want it to be an inconvenience to anyone. We also don’t want to risk him eating something he can’t have, however, well-meaning the host is trying to be.
Report your symptoms to FDA
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has a MedWatch Voluntary Reporting online form you can complete and submit to easily report your symptoms. You just need to have the product information.
This will create awareness and alert the FDA that palm oil is causing health issues. At the very least, it may make them require companies to list palm oil derivatives on ingredient labels like companies must do in Europe.
Allergic to palm oil
Even though my son has allergic reactions to palm oil, his allergist insists he can’t be allergic to palm oil. The allergist was certain there isn’t a way to test for a palm oil allergy or a palm allergy intolerance.
It’s frustrating because we wanted a solution or a least an allergy test to confirm what we already know. We felt it would validate our findings.
Instead, the allergist ordered blood work for food allergy testing. They ran tests for common food allergies, a cereal panel, a nut panel, and a general foods list for him.
Also, he did a skin prick test for 40+ environmental allergens.
We wanted these tests done but we still knew we needed to eliminate palm oil from our son’s diet.
Palm oil intolerance
Left without a medical name or reason, we continue to avoid all products and foods that contain palm oil and the 500+ names it goes by.
After doing a lot of online research to learn everything possible about a palm oil allergy or intolerance — there isn’t a lot of information out there because it’s not typically recognized by the medical community — I found an amazing list of alternate names for palm oil.
It’s from the International Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark Accreditation Programme.
There are over 500 alternate names for palm oil on it. You will be stunned by all the names palm oil goes by. This is their list. We have a condensed version in the next section for you to print out.
Checking ingredients for palm oil
When we are diligent about following it — checking every single ingredient against the list — he hasn’t had any issues.
I made and printed out a copy and refer to it — literally — in stores before I buy my son anything packaged or processed. I walk around with the list in my purse.
Then at home, before he eats a new packaged food, I double check the ingredients against the list. You can print it here.
All of his hygiene items are palm oil free.
My son and I have learned some of the hidden words for palm oil to look for so that we can scan ingredient lists quickly. This makes it a lot easier. It’s also been helping my son for when he is out places without me.
Also, this helps us to support palm oil free products and to do our part to not support the palm oil industry.
Avoiding palm oil if it makes you sick
In addition to using the list, you can:
1) Look for the obvious words:
Palm kernel oil
Hydrogenated palm kernel oil
Red palm oil
Organic palm oil
Organic red palm oil
2) Watch for these ingredients:
Vitamin A Palmitate
Mono- and diglycerides
Sulfates (in non-food items)
3) Look for these prefixes:
4) Know what products usually contain palm oil and palm oil derivatives:
My son had lip sores that wouldn’t heal. At the time, we didn’t know palm oil ingredients are common in toothpaste.
A friend gave us Lip Serum by Rodan + Fields to try to help him. While it healed his lips overnight, he woke up sick with a sore throat, runny nose/congestion, coughing and other allergic reactions.
When I looked at the label, I saw there were at least two palm oil derivatives in the product.
He missed two days of school from being so sick.
Another time, he used soap in a hotel and had the same allergic symptoms. Again too late, I looked up the ingredients online and saw it contained palm oil.
Now we bring his hygiene items with us when we travel.
Palm oil allergy symptoms
If you have allergic reactions to foods and/or self-care items that contain palm oil and palm oil derivatives, it’s a real thing.
It may not be an official diagnosis of being allergic to palm oil, but if it affects you, you should try to avoid it.
We can only hope the FDA takes notice. You can do your part by reporting your symptoms to them.
The increased demand for palm oil is a real issue — most likely for our health and definitely for our environment.
Hopefully some innovative companies will apply for Palm Oil Free certification labeling. They will advertise their brands as “palm oil free” just like companies promote “fat free,” “gluten free,” “no high fructose corn syrup,” etc.
There is a palm oil free certification label you can look for. This company ensures all of the ingredients — down to the source — are free from palm oil. They are registered in 20+ countries.
It can be great marketing for companies, especially when so many packaged products contain palm oil.
We hope more companies will eliminate it from their foods, cleaners, and personal care products.
Palm oil allergy test
Our allergist said there isn’t a palm oil allergy test as there isn’t an available serum-specific IgE to the oil. So officially, you can’t be allergic to palm oil.
He tested our son for all the common food allergies but he didn’t have any except for two false positives, according to the allergist.
Therefore, we continue to perform our own food intolerance test to see what his food sensitivities are. So far, it seems palm oil and palm oil derivatives are the only problem.
We work hard to eliminate personal care products and food with palm oil so he can be healthy. Even though the allergist said he can’t be allergic to palm oil because there aren’t proteins in it, we know our son gets sick from palm oil.
Problem digesting palm oil
We learned palm oil is a medium chain triglyceride (MCT). Through our doctor and online research, we learned MCTs bypass “traditional” digesting.
Meaning, palm oil is absorbed into the bloodstream from the gastrointestinal tract more easily and faster.
This is interesting because depending on the palm oil ingredient, our son has some symptoms almost immediately.
However, we don’t believe it’s solely a digestive issue or something to do with palm oil being a medium chain triglyceride.
Coconut is also a medium chain triglyceride. Our son can tolerate coconut perfectly fine. (Please discuss with your doctor if you suspect a coconut allergy; there are allergy tests for it.)
Or maybe he does have trouble digesting palm oil and palm oil derivatives, but there is something additional that it does to his body. Palm oil seems to be affecting at least one other system.
Some palm oil ingredients give him immediate, traditional allergy symptoms. Some give him a delayed sore throat which leads to a longer-term illness.
There are others that affect his entire body immediately or within 1-3 hours, changing his mood and making him lethargic, sad, etc.
On separate occasions, when he used deodorant, lip balm, toothpaste, and soap with palm oil derivatives, he had symptoms. Often he became very ill.
Sometimes his reactions happened quickly, within 1 – 5 minutes of using them. Other times, they were delayed. For example, he showered at night with hotel soap and woke up sick.
These ingredients were absorbed into his body and into the bloodstream through his skin, not digested per se.
Palm oil allergy or intolerance
After a year of logging foods and symptoms, we are absolutely certain our son has an intolerance to palm oil.
It’s not a recognized allergen or even a common intolerance. The allergist was focused on boosting our son’s overall health with prebiotics. He recommended this.
We are working to improve his gut microbiome. We are giving our son real, whole, unprocessed foods. In addition, we are learning about ways fermented foods may help.
This is all well and good, yet, we know palm oil affects him negatively. We want to know why.
Palm oil allergy symptoms
My husband and I can watch him be completely fine, and then eat something with palm oil in it, and have symptoms within minutes.
Because of this, we are always researching products without palm oil.
As you may be finding, palm oil is prevalent in the majority of packaged foods as well as personal care items and cleaning products. It’s difficult to live a palm oil free life.
We started this website as a place for others to find products free from palm oil. Also, we wanted to educate others who think they are getting sick from palm oil, think they are allergic to palm oil, or may have a palm oil intolerance.
It doesn’t seem the medical community recognizes people can be sick from palm oil. We are trying to create awareness. As companies use palm oil more and more, consumers are more exposed to it.
Here, we want to give you some simple ways to help discover if you may have an intolerance to palm oil or a palm oil sensitivity.
We also want to encourage you to talk with your healthcare professional and encourage you to report symptoms to the FDA via their online form.
Palm oil is in many products
Demand for palm oil continues to increase. It’s in more products than ever before and goes by hundreds of names.
Palm oil is hidden under many names, in many products, and it’s used in many different ways.
Yet, despite our increased and repeated exposure daily, according to allergists and other medical professionals, you can’t be allergic to palm oil.
However, we know for certain it adversely affects our child. Sometimes he “just” has mild symptoms and sometimes he gets really sick from palm oil and derivatives.
How to find out if you have a palm oil intolerance
From our experience, we believe you may be reading food labels and being perplexed as to what is causing you or your child to have symptoms.
Perhaps you’re wondering if it might be palm oil or palm oil derivatives.
We are not medical professionals. Please seek medical advice from your physician.
In this post, we’ve used our own experience to teach you how to narrow down ingredients to see if it might be palm oil and palm oil derivatives that you are intolerant to. We continue to update this post and site.
Ways to determine if you have a palm oil intolerance
Keep a food journal.
This is essential and can be a simple notebook. Write down everything you eat each day. Draw a horizontal line to separate out each meal and snack time.
What symptoms do experience?
Do you have any new or unusual symptoms throughout the day? Write down the symptoms in the same notebook you are writing down your foods.
Write your symptoms to the left. If you experience them in the morning, write them closer to the top of the page, near the foods you ate early in the day, etc.
Are there any products you believe are causing you to have symptoms?
Start with what you’ve noticed or what you believe may be the issue. Pay special attention to these products, and be sure to include them along with symptoms in your food log.
Follow your intuition.
Be sure to save all the ingredient labels and packages when you can.
If you can’t save the package or box, take a picture of it. You will want to reference these in the future.
I break down all boxes so they are flat, and I stack them in the cabinet. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve referred to them to reread labels.
So many times, I have gone back to empty boxes and packages to read and compare labels and ingredients.
Sometimes, it was because my son had symptoms; other times I wanted to compare the ingredients from products that didn’t cause him to become sick.
Saving ingredient labels
Once, he got so sick after a party at relative’s home. I was glad I took a picture of the ingredients from the ice cream he ate.
Weeks later, when I found a list of palm oil derivatives online, I went back to look at the picture with the ice cream’s ingredients. Sure enough, it contained mono- and digylcerides. At the time he ate it, I didn’t know these are often made with palm oil.
Only use one new product at a time.
Your body comes into contact with so many different ingredients each day. If you can start figuring out patterns of what makes you ill, you can go back to look for common ingredients in products you’ve used before.
But if you go grocery shopping, and come home with lots of new foods and other products, and use them all in the next few days, it will be very difficult to find out what is causing your symptoms.
Think of it like a science experiment. Keep everything the same and change only one thing (the new product). Watch your variables!
Review all ingredients.
Read the ingredients from everything, including from your soaps, lotions, toothpaste, lip balm, deodorant and cosmetics in addition to all food.
Do you drink milk? If so, look for Vitamin A Palmitate. If you drink vitamin or sports drinks, check those labels too.
Be thorough: If it has a label, you must read the ingredients.
When you see something has palm oil or palm kernel oil in it, note that. If you experience symptoms after you eat it or later that day, circle that food.
The more you read labels, the more you will learn what to look for in certain foods, soap, etc.
Reference lists about palm oil derivatives.
There are hundreds of names for palm oil derivatives. The Palm Oil Free Certification Accreditation Programme has made a public list for you to reference to help you avoid palm oil.
Palm oil derivatives are in milk (unless it’s whole milk), RTE cereals, candy, bread, baked goods, toothpaste, and so many more things. Start learning what they are.
Learn all you can about how manufacturers use palm oil.
Sometimes they use it to fortify foods with vitamins, as in the case with milk and cereal.
Other times, they use it to help the consistency, as in peanut butter. In soaps, toothpaste and shampoo, it’s used to create lather and foam.
Again, keep all labels
I cannot overstate the importance of keeping labels. It will help you in different ways.
The first way…
Even after I learned alternate names for palm oil ingredients, sometimes I missed some ingredients.
This happened to me with Glycerin, Glycerine, Tocopherols, Magnesium Stearate, and Mono- and Di-glycerides.
My son got sick from eating products with each of these, and I didn’t know why. I thought they were palm oil free. Palm oil and palm kernel oil weren’t on the labels.
It was only after keeping the food journal for months and looking back at the symptoms that I singled out these foods.
I was able to go back and look through the ingredients again, and that’s when I saw these palm oil derivatives. I knew to not let my son eat them again.
The second way…
So many times, manufacturers change ingredients.
When you save the labels, you will be able to compare the ingredients if you need to.
Also, depending on where you live and where companies are sourcing their ingredients, ingredients and labels often differ.
You may wonder why a processed food that you ate awhile ago with no issues is now causing you to have symptoms. The reason could be a change in ingredients.
More products contain palm oil
There are so many examples of this happening to us. Here are three that come to mind:
Oreo didn’t used to contain palm oil, and now they do.
Peanut M&M’s didn’t used to contain palm oil, and now most do.
The last time I bought Post’s HoneyComb Cereal, it didn’t contain palm oil, and now it does in the form of Vitamin A Palmitate.
It took us a long time to figure out some palm ingredients. We knew certain foods were causing him to have allergy symptoms but we didn’t know why.
Keeping your labels organized or at least all in the same place will make it easy for you to reference them as you try to figure out what’s causing you to have symptoms.
Avoiding palm oil
Again, it seems the medical community isn’t familiar with palm oil allergy symptoms and palm oil intolerance.
However, when you look online and in forums, including Facebook and other sites, you will find communities of people who avoid palm oil and palm oil derivatives because they get reactions from it.
There are many people who avoid palm oil because of the devastating environmental impacts the palm oil industry has on rainforests, animals and people.
Palm oil intolerance
For our family, we do all we can to avoid palm oil because of the environmental issues as well.
Also, it’s one thing when palm oil would cause our son to cough and have sniffles. It’s another when he is miserable and sick for days or weeks. It’s a very serious thing to us. We don’t want to have our son be sick.
While he is a healthy eater and does great eating protein, fruits and vegetables, he still eats processed food. We want to be sure he can find safe choices.
We want him to have a piece of candy or gum and not get sick. Our goal is to find a safe vitamin without palm oil.
He can only use few self-care products. We bring them with us on vacation.
Do you get allergic reactions from palm oil? If so, you are not alone. (Thank you to everyone who has taken a moment to Comment below!)
Depending on the palm oil processing, you may not have allergy symptoms to all food with palm.
To the best of our knowledge, all palm oil products and palm oil causes allergic reactions and affects our son adversely.
Testing for palm oil allergy
Ask your doctor if there are palm oil allergy tests. Can they do allergy testing for palm oil derivatives, such as propylene glycol, ethylene glycol, vitamin E / tocopherol, or others?
Avoiding palm oil
Once you know what products contain palm oil — there are so many more than you think — you will be able to more safely avoid those products.
It’s so important to let companies know we want more products without palm oil and to support palm free products.
Please share your Comments below. Do you get sick from palm oil? Do you think you have an intolerance to palm oil? Why do you think you have a palm oil allergy?
Will you talk to your doctor or healthcare professional about palm oil?
The more attention we bring to this issue, the more manufacturers might start eliminating palm oil from their products.
Already it’s a huge environmental concern.
Discuss palm oil allergic reactions with your doctor
Please note, we are not medical professionals. This is not medical advice. Please consult with your physician about your self-care and food allergy symptoms and the possibility of a palm oil intolerance or palm oil allergy.
Your allergist or other doctor may suggest allergy testing or other tests.
The information is based on my own personal experience. While palm oil causes allergic reactions in our situation, yours may be different. If you have allergic reactions or other symptoms, please consult with your healthcare professional.
We’d love to know your experience with palm oil. Do you think you have a palm oil intolerance or allergy? Please let us know in the Comments so we can all help each other. Also, please report your symptoms to the FDA.
You have to really read labels to find protein, nutrition and granola bars without palm oil.
Watch out for glycerin, glycerine, and tocopherols. Avoid ‘filled’ bars. Also, chewy bars typically contain palm oil.
Remember, the less ingredients something has, the less likely it contains palm oil. Don’t be swayed by packaging.
Pay particular attention to companies who come out with new flavors. These bars often contain palm oil ingredients.
After cross-referencing their ingredients against hundreds of names of palm oil derivatives, these nutrition bars and granola bars do not have any palm oil ingredients.
We continue to contact the companies to confirm and update when we hear back from them.
Granola bars without palm oil
Enjoy Life Foods Crispy Grain & Seed Bars:
Maple Sweet Potato
Enjoy Life Foods Protein Bites:
What’s great about Enjoy Life Foods: They are the first company in the United States in the “Free From” category to earn Palm Oil Free Certification from the International Palm Oil Free Certification Accreditation Programme (POFCAP) for all four flavors of their Grain & Seed Bars.
We have not yet heard back from Simply Balanced (Target brand) to confirm this flavor of granola bar is free from palm oil.
We have checked the ingredients, and it seems these bars are made without palm oil.
(Note, my son has been able to eat these bars. However, read the label at the point of purchase — companies often change ingredients — to be sure the ingredients are palm free.)
Finding granola bars without palm oil
Palm oil ingredients go by hundreds of names which often makes them difficult to avoid and eliminate.
However, there are the easy ingredients to spot, those with the word “palm” in it, including:
Palm kernel oil
Vegetable oil (palm)
Vitamin A Palmitate
However, there are derivatives which are often made with palm oil which are more difficult to know to look for.
Unless the company lists the source, you won’t know unless you contact them.
In granola and other bars, these ingredients most often contain palm oil.
Glycerol: This ingredient is usually made with palm, sometimes soybean
Tocopherols: This ingredient can be used as a synthetic Vitamin E supplement or to preserve freshness in foods like granola or fruit bars, cereals, ice cream, and baked goods.
Vegetable oil: Sometimes it will be listed as “Vegetable oil (palm)” and sometimes it will be just listed as generic “Vegetable oil.”
Homemade granola bars without palm oil
If you want to ensure you are not using palm oil ingredients, you can make bars yourself. There are many recipes online. It’s easy to mix in dried fruit, like raisins and cranberries. If you enjoy nuts, you can add these in along with palm-free chocolate chips, etc.
However, sometimes, we need a fast and easy, grab-and-go snack, which is why it’s great when we can buy bars without palm oil.
Granola bars are an easy go-to snack
Granola bars aren’t perishable so they are the perfect snack to put in a lunch bag or to send as a snack to school. They are great for road trips and for outings, really anywhere you need to send a snack. Many consumers enjoy them for breakfast.
Granola, nutrition, fruit and protein bars without palm oil ingredients
Always read labels. Know there are hundreds of alternate names for palm oil ingredients. Please do your best to support these companies and products so they can remain palm-free.
If you get sick from palm oil or you are avoiding palm oil for environmental reasons, you know how difficult it is to find granola bars without palm oil.
Nutrition and granola bars without palm oil ingredients
It’s difficult to find palm-free foods in the dessert and processed foods categories. That’s why we really consider it a big win when we find packaged foods without palm ingredients that we know we can eat safely.
Please, if you know of other nutrition bars and granola bars without palm oil, help us all by listing them in the Comments. We’ll add them to this list. Thank you!
We are not medical professionals. This is not medical advice. Please consult with your physician. The information is based on our own Internet research and reading labels to compare ingredients against the hundreds of names for palm oil derivatives.
We have also reached out to each of these companies, specifically asking them about each product and asking questions to confirm ingredients.
Thank you for being proactive and for read labels. By choosing the palm oil-free bars, we will be making a difference. Please list any palm oil free bars or any other helpful information in the Comments below.
Many people are surprised to learn how prevalent palm oil ingredients are in breakfast cereal.
It continues to be difficult to find ready-to-eat cereals without palm oil ingredients. While many list “palm oil” in the ingredients, a great many others fortify their cereals with Vitamin A Palmitate, a palm oil derivative.
Vitamin A Palmitate in cereal
An easy way to tell if palm oil is in your cereal is to look at how much Vitamin A is in it. If it’s 10% or greater, it most often contains synthetic Vitamin A.
Then you can quickly look for Vitamin A Palmitate in the ingredients.
Cereal boxes used to list Vitamin A first in their nutrition panel. Now, many companies are putting Vitamin A in the middle making it less easy to spot. Be aware of this!
There are other palm oil ingredients in cereal to watch for which we explain below.
We emailed each of these cereal companies to confirm their cereals are palm oil free. We continue to update this list as we hear back from them.
Also, we continue to add to this list as we learn of additional cereal brands and products. Check back regularly.
Cereals without palm oil
After researching cereals in several grocery stores, including industry-leading cereals and many healthier brands, we’ve found these cereals without palm oil.
Thanks to Kashi who reviewed their processing aids and double-checked with all of their suppliers, including the ones who provide their natural flavors. They’ve confirmed these Kashi products are 100% free from palm oil derivatives.
Kashi 7 Whole Grain:
Honey Puffs Cereal
Whole Wheat Biscuits:
GOLEAN Peanut Butter Crunch Cereal
Kashi Organic Strawberry Fields Cereal
(Be sure to read Kashi labels. We were disappointed to learn all three of their new Kashi by Kids cereals contain palm oil.)
Kellogg’s Raisin Bran
This is a rare ready-to-eat cereal that is palm oil free. Check the ingredient label before you buy it to be sure it doesn’t contain Vitamin A Palmitate, Vegetable Glycerin, or Palm Oil.
The Raisin Bran Crunch lists “palm oil” in the ingredients.
Some of Kellogg’s other Raisin Bran varieties contain Vegetable Glycerin and Vitamin A Palmitate. So double-check you are buying “regular” Raisin Bran before you buy.
Be sure you are buying Kellogg’s Raisin Bran and not Post’s Raisin Bran. Their boxes are similar! Post Raisin Bran contains Vitamin A Palmitate.”
Quaker Life Cereal
Quisp (Some versions contain Tocopherols; check the label. Don’t buy it if it’s listed.)
Original Spoon Size
Wheat Big Biscuit
Wheat ‘N Bran
Post Original Chips Ahoy!
It was a wonderful surprise to see this new cereal without palm oil. Post makes this Chips Ahoy cereal with canola oil and soybean oil — no palm oil and no added Vitamin A.
Market Pantry: Honey & Oat Clusters and Toasted Cinnamon Squares
Simply Balanced Organic Blueberry Granola with flax
Granola without palm oil
It’s hard to find palm oil free versions of granola because companies add Glycerin, Mixed Tocopherols, and Tocopherols.
According to Erin Baker’s, all of their granola is palm oil free. It’s also Non-GMO Project Certified and gluten free.
Fruit & Nut
Peanut Butter Chocolate
Vanilla Almond Quinoa
Ultra Protein Granola
We are happy to have confirmed with the brand Purely Elizabeth that they offer a wide variety of granola without palm oil.
Ancient Grain Granola:
Banana Nut Butter (The Citric Acid is not derived from palm oil.)
Nut Butter Granola:
Chocolate Sea Salt + Peanut Butter
Maple + Almond Butter
On a personal note, my son gets very sick from anything with palm oil. He loves granola for breakfast and for a snack.
However, we weren’t able to find granola without palm oil until we saw Purely Elizabeth at Target.
We were thrilled! They use real ingredients you can recognize and pronounce.
So far, we’ve tried Purely Elizabeth’s Blueberry Hemp Ancient Grain Granola. We bought it several times from Target and other grocers.
It’s non-GMO and gluten-free and also includes all of these organic ingredients: oats, coconut sugar, raw virgin coconut oil, sunflower seeds, puffed amaranth, hemp seeds, millet flakes, quinoa flakes, chia seeds, and cinnamon.
It tastes amazing! It has more clusters and clumps than mainstream brands which makes it even better. We love it and look forward to trying their other flavors.
Oatmeal without palm oil
We are updating this to include oatmeal, though our original intent was to focus on ready-to-eat cereals.
However, we learned about two companies who had their single-serving size oats certified Palm Oil Free by the International Palm Oil Free Certification Programme.
Single-serving oat containers include a separate packet with nut butter in these flavors:
Peanut Cashew Nut Butter + Oats
Peanut Blueberry Nut Butter + Oats
Almond Cashew Nut Butter + Oats
Almond Cranberry Nut Butter + Oats
Red Ape Cinnamon:
Cinnamon Oatmeal Cup
Purely Elizabeth also offers a variety of single-serving sized cups and regular-sized flavored oatmeal without palm oil.
SuperFood Oat Cups: Apple Cinnamon Pecan; Cranberry Pumpkin Seed; Original
SuperFood Oats: Apple Cinnamon Pecan; Cranberry Pumpkin Seed; Original
Be sure to avoid instant oatmeal packets which usually contain Vitamin A Palmitate. Choose oats you have to cook on the stove.
How to find cereals without palm oil ingredients
You may be avoiding everything with the word “palm” in it. And that’s a great start.
However, when it’s disguised as other names, it gets trickier.
You might not realize there are many other names for palm oil in cereal and other foods.
Usually, most types of fortified cereals will contain palm oil ingredients.
Most contain Vitamin A Palmitate, which is a synthetic vitamin manufacturers make with palm oil.
Fortified cereals sometimes contain Vitamin E in the form of Tocopherols.
Note that Tocopherols and Mixed Tocopherols are also often added to cereals and other products to preserve freshness.
Alternate names for palm oil derivatives in cereal
Once you know what to look for in cereals, it will be a lot easier to find them without palm oil.
Vitamin A Palmitate contains palm oil
If you see a cereal with DV of 10% or more of Vitamin A, most likely it will have Vitamin A Palmitate. This synthetic vitamin contains palm oil.
You will find this palm oil derivative in most of your Kellogg’s and General Mills cereals.
In Post and Quaker, you will see them less often as many of their cereals aren’t fortified with Vitamin A.
(Also, if you add milk to your cereal, watch for Vitamin A Palmitate. It’s added to 2%, low fat, and fat free milks, but not whole milk.)
Palm oil and palm kernel oil
Many Kellogg’s, General Mills, and Post cereals will state palm oil or palm kernel oil right on the ingredients.
Complex flavors such as chocolate, peanut butter, Oreo, etc. often contain palm oil.
Also, watch out for cereals that are coated, waxy or greasy feeling.
All of these will have these ingredients listed with the actual words “palm,” which makes it easier.
Glycerin is made from palm oil
You have to watch out for glycerin in cereals as well. It’s often made with palm oil. Glycerin is common in granola.
Some healthier brands, including Purely Elizabeth as mentioned above, are using better-quality ingredients.
Tocopherols ingredients often contain palm oil
In my quest to find cereals without palm oil, I made many mistakes. Very unfortunately, my son paid the price in terms of getting sick from the palm oil we didn’t know was in the cereals. I bought several varieties of palm-free-seeming cereals, and each one made him sick.
I didn’t know why until I learned tocopherols are often made from palm oil, especially when used in lower cost products.
Tocopherols can be added as a form of Vitamin E and/or to preserve freshness in cereals and other foods.
The symptoms my son had after eating cereals with tocopherols were different from when he consumed the other palm oil ingredients.
While cereals and foods with palm oil gave him immediate congestion and throat clearing, etc., cereals with tocopherols made him completely exhausted and lethargic and caused him to have a few hives. I’ve contacted many companies asking about their tocopherols.
Be sure to read the labels as companies change ingredients in their products.
Palm oil free cereal
As palm oil becomes even more prevalent in products, hopefully there will be more information to help people find products without it.
Cereal is a staple in our house. It’s been a challenge to find cereals without palm oil. We are always on the lookout for more cereals.
We will continue to buy palm free cereal and products. If we are not certain they are, we don’t buy them.
Palm oil free cereals
Please support this list of cereals. We compiled it to make it easier to find cereals without palm oil.
We will be brand-loyal to these cereals and applaud them for using palm-free alternatives.
To the best of our knowledge, after cross-referencing their ingredients against hundreds of names of palm oil derivatives and checking with companies, these cereals do not have palm oil ingredients.
Please note, content on this site is for reference purposes only. We do not warrant that the ingredient, sourcing, allergen, and product information is accurate or complete. Our information comes from product manufacturers.
Product formulas, ingredients, and labels change. Please read labels and do your due diligence.
We continue to update this regularly.
Honey Comb cereal now contains palm oil
We also remove products when companies change their ingredients as in the case of Honey Comb cereal.
Honey Comb from Post used to be palm free but in mid-2018 they began to fortify it with Vitamin A Palmitate.
Most likely what’s on the shelves now is Honey Comb’s revised product which advertises “It’s Back! Original Flavor.”
The version on the shelf prior to this change (the left cereal box in yellow) did not include palm oil derivatives and was one of the few “sugar cereals” my son could eat. We no longer buy this cereal but bought the remaining boxes from three stores.
If you know of or find cereals without palm oil, please include them in the Comments so we can support these brands. Why do you avoid palm oil?