Items to Make It Easier to Live Palm Oil Free with a Palm Oil Allergy / Intolerance

items to make it easier to live palm oil free

Updated:

Palm oil causes our son to have allergy-like symptoms. It literally makes him sick. To lessen our palm oil usage, we cook and bake from scratch. Below are items to make it easier to live palm oil free.
 
We use all of these items regularly.
 
We now buy more “real” foods. Overall, we choose products with as few ingredients as possible.
 
In addition, we don’t buy processed bakery or pre-made desserts from stores because they most always contain palm oil. Instead, we’ve learned to bake everything from biscotti to doughnuts.

We’ve been doing this for 2+ years. Along the way, we’ve found some products have really helped us.

While we want to be environmentally-friendly and not buy more stuff, these items help us to live palm oil free by doing one or more of these:

  • Saving us time
  • Helping us shop, cook & clean
  • Keeping us organized
  • Giving us a way to make products at home

These are our favorite things. They have made a difference for us and perhaps can help you. See our tips to avoid palm oil as well. 

Items to make it easier to live palm oil free

Palm oil free apps

We love the Spoon Guru app. 

While many palm oil apps note the foods that contain sustainable palm oil, Spoon Guru filters out the foods that contain it, even in the form of palm oil derivatives. 

With our son’s palm oil sensitivity, this app is helpful to verify we didn’t miss one of the hundreds of names for palm oil derivatives. When he gets older and gets a phone, it will help him as well.

Please note, we don’t rely on apps but use them to double-check we haven’t missed an ingredient.

Dishpan for baking supplies

We bought two dishpans which we use to organize our baking supplies. You can find them at Target and Walmart.

Did you know most all desserts you find in stores contain palm oil and palm oil derivatives?

After we learned about our son’s palm oil intolerance, we couldn’t buy premade confections and desserts anymore. Prior to this, at best, we made boxed cake and boxed brownie mixes. We bought canned frosting. All of these contain palm oil.

So we learned to bake from scratch. At first, we had a mishmash of baking supplies. It was a stress to even make homemade pancakes.

Now, we have a miscelleanous bin for random baking ingredients. We have another with ingredients for foods we make often, such as  waffles, cakes, brownies, etc.

It’s a lot faster and easier to pull out the dishpan and have all the ingredients we need.

Belgian waffle maker

Buying a waffle maker was one of the best things I did. You do need room to store it which may not work for all households.

For us, it has been a great way to enjoy palm oil free waffles. Most all waffle mixes and pancake mixes in stores contain palm oil derivatives. Owning a Belgian waffle maker has been a great way for us to enjoy them at home. 

While the recipe book included several recipes, we use the original / basic one with the least amount of ingredients. Sometimes we add Enjoy Life Mini Semi-Chocolate Chips.

My son loves these homemade waffles. 

It’s also an easy breakfast when we have company. I am so glad I bought the double one. It didn’t cost much more and enables me to bake them twice as fast. 

We can make the batter in 20 minutes. The batter sits for 60 minutes (with occasionally mixing). The batter makes about 12 waffles in our maker.

I keep some in the refrigerator and freeze the rest. They are easy to pull out for breakfast when we need them. 

Our waffle maker is: Cuisinart WAF-F20 Double Belgian Waffle Maker Stainless Steel

Vitamix

We use our Vitamix a lot to make smoothies. Buying frozen organic berries are economical and ensures we’ll always have them on hand.  I’ll use these berries with whatever else we have, including greens and a banana. 

In addition, we buy organic berries mixed with kale and spinach from Costco. We use this for when we are out of fresh spinach, spring mix, kale, etc. 

items to live without palm oil

There’s so much you can do with a Vitamix. We make applesauce in it as well as use it to chop onions, garlic, carrots, cauliflower, etc. It will help save you time and make it easy to eat healthier.  

One of our favorites is blending frozen bananas, organic vanilla extract, and 100% cocoa powder for chococolate “ice cream.” Before we learned to find ice cream without palm oil, we made this often. 

Popcorn popper

While you can typically find popcorn without palm oil in bags, popcorn-eating is more of a fun event when you pop it yourself. You can air pop it and then add salt, real butter, etc. for a palm oil free snack. 

Sometimes we toss in Milk Chocolate M&M’s. Our popcorn popper is one from Hamilton Beach.

Once we melted marshmallows on the popcorn. It tasted like Rice Krispie Treats which is something my son hasn’t been able to eat with his palm oil intolerance.

Rice Krispies — like most cereals — contain Vitamin A Palmitate — a palm oil derivative. This means we can’t even make them at home. The pre-made ones in stores also contain palm oil ingredients.

See snacks without palm oil for other palm oil free ideas. When you know what you are looking for, it becomes easier to choose snacks and other foods without palm oil.

Breadmaker

Our son doesn’t eat bread except for Dave’s Killer Bread for French toast.

The bread maker helps us live without palm oil but our son doesn’t eat it.

Most store breads contain palm oil. There are a lot of chemicals in breads to make them shelf stable. Even breads “fresh baked on-site” often contain palm oil.

By baking breads at home, we don’t worry about palm oil derivatives. We make pizza dough, rolls, and loaves of bread. 

We just follow the recipes in the booklet. It’s easy and fun to make palm oil free breads from scratch. 

We owned this product before we learned about our son’s palm oil sensitivity and have baked breads dozens of times. 

The one we use is Oster CKSTBRTW20. 

Products which make it easy to live palm oil free

Norwex cloths

It’s difficult to clean without palm oil because so many of the chemicals in cleaners contain palm oil. Using Norwex cloths means we don’t need them.

In the kitchen, we use Norwex EnviroCloths. We have different color towels for cleaning the bathroom.

items which make it easy to clean without palm oil

To clean our windows, we use their EnviroCloth and Window Cloth which enables you to wash windows without spray cleaners. We also have the dust mitt for dusting. 

Using these cloths eliminates the need for cleaners and also means we aren’t using paper towels making it more environmentally friendly.

I haven’t read the ingredients in their spray cleaners to know if they contain palm oil. However, we love the cloths because we don’t need them. 

At some point, I hope to get the Norwex floor mopping system, EnviroWand, Optic Scarves, and their entry rugs.

In the meantime, we are using a Swiffer floor sweeper — but not the Swiffers. We aren’t sure what’s in them. We wrap a damp microfiber cloth around the Swiffer sweeper base, and use it for our floors. 

EcoLunchbox 

There are times we need to take food on the go. EcoLunchbox containers make it easy to do that.

We have a set of three containers from EcoLunchbox we pack for school lunches. These enable my son to bring real, whole foods easily. The containers are made from food-grade stainless steel and are leakproof.  

For school lunch, he brings two containers filled with fruits and some vegetables. Often I will put watermelon or pineapple in one. In the other, I will put a variety of produce. Some examples: 

  • Cut apple, snap peas, and pepper
  • Peeled mandarin and snow peas
  • Cut up strawberries and blueberries
  • Carrots and peppers

I am happy I can wash these in the dishwasher. In addition, I’m thrilled they aren’t plastic. While most of the plastic containers available now are BPA-free, etc., I still much prefer his food in stainless steel.

He doesn’t usually bring the larger one to school because he doesn’t eat sandwiches, and he doesn’t bring leftovers to school. However, we use it a lot when we are out. I’ll pack salmon or ham and lettuce with peppers. 

LunchBots Dips

items to make it easier to live palm oil free

In addition to the above containers, we also have a set of LunchBot Dips. These are perfect for our son to bring to lunch as well.

They are leakproof, lightweight, and don’t take up a lot of room in his lunchbag. They are easy to open and close. In addition, they are dishwasher safe.

They come in a set of three. Some of the things we use them for are:

  • Blueberries
  • Nuts
  • Figs, dates

Our son doesn’t use ketchup or dressing but these are an easy way to pack ranch dressing, etc. for your child’s lunch or to bring to work.

Easy-to-use containers to pack healthy snacks and foods for when you are away from home are essential for us. They make it easy to not have to rely on restaurants and fast food.

Lotus Produce Bags

Now that we’ve been avoiding palm oil, we buy more fruits and vegetables than ever before.

While much of the produce in stores is already packaged, we try to buy it loose. But we don’t want to have to use the disposable plastic produce bags from the stores.

We try to bring Lotus Produce Bags with us when we go to the grocery store. They are mesh bags that list the tare weight on them as well. 

You can store your vegetables and fruits in them at home too. They allow for airflow which is helpful when storing produce. They are machine washable so you can use them as cheesecloth and for other purposes.

Soap holder ~ SoapStandle

You may surprised to learn how common palm oil is in self-care and personal care products.

We only use bar soap because all the liquid soaps we found contained mulitple palm oil derivatives.

When you buy soap, shampoo, and conditioner in a bar or block, it has a better chance of not containing palm oil. 

The issue, however, from these blocks is that they sit in water when you are done using them.

This leaves a mess — but even more importantly — it breaks down and disintegrates your soap bar. Your soap and shampoo won’t last as long when it’s sitting in water.

The SoapStandle is a small plastic that rests on your countertop. You keep your block of soap, conditioner or shampoo on it so that it can be lifted out of the water and so that air can circulate around it.

We have a SoapStandle at every sink and in every shower of our home. 

Stainless steel water bottle

For sports and other activities, our son can only drink water.

Once, a sports drink with a palm oil derivative made him so sick, we don’t even read the ingredients on them anymore. He just knows to not have them. 

Therefore, having a water bottle is important for him at school, when we are out, on vacation, etc. Everyone in our household brings them.

Coffee pot and coffee tumbler

While our son doesn’t drink coffee, the adults in our house do. Having a coffee pot means we can make our own coffee at home. In addition, having a stainless steel coffee tumbler means we can take it with us.

Many “naturally flavored” coffees — such as Vanilla Creme Brulee, Caramel, etc. — can contain palm oil derivatives. The creamers and whipped cream do as well. When you make it at home and take it with you, you have a better chance of having less palm oil and less impact on the earth in general. 

List of palm oil derivatives

This is a very helpful item to live without palm oil. It’s been a game-changer for our family so we wanted to share it with you in case you or someone you know suffers from a palm oil allergy or palm oil intolerance.

This list of the ways palm oil is in foods and non-foods has helped us learn more about the ways companies use palm oil.

It’s helped us to be able to read ingredient labels to know what not to buy.

The International Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark Programme (POFCAP) has a list of palm oil derivatives which helped keep our son safe when we didn’t know all the ways palm oil was hiding in foods and non-foods.

We are forever grateful for this list. We have a condensed version you can bookmark. Even though we’ve been avoiding palm oil for over two years, we still reference this list.

Companies continue to find ways to hide palm oil in products so we reference it often. Learn palm oil uses and products that contain it so you can learn how to avoid it. 

Products to make it easier to live without palm oil

We do our best to live palm oil free. 

Palm oil is more common in foods now because the FDA banned artificial trans fats from foods. Many companies turned to palm oil as an alternative. Why? Palm oil is trans fat free and it is inexpensive.

There are consumers who avoid palm oil because of the environmental concerns. Others avoid it because they have reactions from it or other health concerns.

When you avoid palm oil, you most likely end up living a less-waste, healthier life overall. Remember, palm oil isn’t in fresh foods. Here are ways to use less palm oil.

Reading labels is a great start. Be loyal to companies who make products without it. See our list of products without palm oil.

If you are interested in trying to live without palm oil for environmental reasons or health reasons, choose one area to focus on. Then, add another. 

Here are palm oil free lists of what our son eats and the personal care products he uses.

It’s a lot easier to live palm oil free when we have these items to help us.

While it’s certainly challenging to reduce your dependence on palm oil, there are products you can use to make it easier. They can help with making food, storing ingredients, shopping, making products last longer, cleaning, etc.  

Personal Care Items Our Son Uses With a Palm Oil Intolerance

personal care items with palm oil intolerance

Updated:

Palm oil is prevalent in personal care items such as soap, shampoo, lip balm, etc. Palm oil makes our son sick. This is a list of the personal care items he uses in order to stay healthy and live palm oil free.

Palm oil is common in processed foods as well as in non-foods.

When we first made the connection that palm oil was causing him to have allergy symptoms, we started logging what he ate. We eliminated foods.

At that time, we only knew to eliminate foods with “palm oil” and “palm kernel oil” from his diet. Still, he was having reactions.

We didn’t know why until we came upon the list from the International Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark Programme (POFCAP). We learned there are hundreds of names for palm oil ingredients. Many of them don’t have “palm” in them, making them more challenging to recognize. 

We printed out this list of names for palm oil and didn’t buy any food until we cross-referenced it against their list. It continues to be a tremendous help. 

At that time, we didn’t know palm oil is common in non-food items as well. Our son was still getting sick. Oftentimes it was from personal care products that contained palm oil.

Learn more about his reactions to palm oil in our post about his palm oil allergy or palm oil intolerance: Can You Be Allergic to Palm Oil?

Palm oil in personal care items our son was using

After we drastically cut down on processed foods, there were other times he would get sick — sometimes right before our eyes. Meaning, he would have an almost-immediate reaction to a product.

During this time, we started to learn how prevalent palm oil is in all types of products, including soap, toothpaste, and shampoo, etc.

Reactions from lip balm

He had such chapped lips that we put a free sample of a Rodan + Fields serum on them before he went to bed. While his chapped lips went away overnight, he woke up with a bad sore throat.

We looked up the ingredients, and sure enough, there were at least two palm oil ingredients in it. (The ingredients had “palm” in the name.)

Reactions from toothpaste

Awhile later, he had dry lips and cracking in the corners of his mouth. When we learned there is palm oil in toothpaste, we sought out to find a different one. When we finally found one — he used Redmond Earthpaste — his lips healed in days.  

Reactions from soap

Never again do we use the free samples in hotels, no matter how eco-friendly the packaging.

After using soap from a hotel, our son got such a bad sore throat, he was sick for days. Whenever we travel, we bring a full-size palm oil free bar with us for our family to use.

How does our son live without palm oil? This is a list of the foods he eats. Here we discuss the personal items he uses regularly.

Learn how to use less palm oil; One way is by using less of these types of products when you use them. Another is to skip a day, especially for something like lotion. 

Personal care items without palm oil when you have a palm oil intolerance

It’s important to know that even companies who seem to be environmentally-friendly often use palm oil in their products.

You may see companies highlight the “coconut” in their products only to look at the rest of the ingredients and see many palm oil derivative names.

Also, if they don’t spell out the source, as in Tocopherol (Soy) or Tocopherol (Sunflower) it most likely contains palm oil.

Always try to find products with the least amount of ingredients. For non-food products, these tend to be the ones that don’t have scents. 

Smaller, independent, speciality companies also will use higher quality ingredients. Remember, palm oil is inexpensive. That’s why so many companies use it.

We have many lists of personal care products without palm oil in which we list all of these smaller companies and their amazing palm oil free products. Our household uses many of them.

For this post, we are listing what our son uses regularly. 

Please note, we aren’t guaranteeing any of these are palm oil free. You don’t know if something is 100% palm oil free unless it has the Palm Oil Free certification labeling. These are products our son uses safely. 

Toothpaste

  • Davids Natural Toothpaste

We are grateful to have found this toothpaste. It foams and is minty. He feels his teeth are clean after using it. 

Unfortunately, we haven’t found a fluorinated toothpaste without palm oil. 

Typically, there is more than one palm oil ingredient in toothpaste, no matter how eco-friendly it may seem. Some of them include Glycerin, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, and Propylene Glycol.

See toothpaste without palm oil for more info.

Deodorant

  • Schmidt’s Original Deodorant
  • Schmidt’s Bergamot + Lime Deodorant

This is a great example of a company who spells out the source. As an example, they spell out the source of each of these ingredients which in other products are typically made from palm oil:

  • Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (fractionated coconut oil)
  • Tocopherol (vitamin E, sunflower derived)

We are thrilled to find this deodorant at Target now. 

See our post about deodorant without palm oil.

Bar soap

  • Grandma’s Baking Soda Soap / Remwood Products – He uses at home.
  • Kiss My Face Pure Olive Oil Soap – We bring on vacation and all use.

There are so many palm oil ingredients in liquid and bar soaps you find at mass retailers. These include Sodium Palmate, Glycerine, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, etc.

Look for soap, and all of these products, with the fewest ingredients possible.

See more info in our post about soap without palm oil.

Shampoo

He doesn’t regularly use traditional shampoo. Instead, he uses:

  • Grandma’s Baking Soda Soap / Remwood Products

Shampoo bars are less likely to contain palm oil than liquid shampoos.

Some palm oil ingredients in shampoos include Cetyl Alcohol, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, and Glycerin.

See our list of shampoo and conditioner without palm oil.

Lip balm

  • Booda Organics Original Lip Balm
  • Vaseline Lip Therapy Advanced Healing Moisturizer 

Ingredients in lip balms vary greatly. You will find some products with just a few ingredients and many others with 10+ ingredients. Remember, the more ingredients something has, the greater the chance it has palm oil.

Like all of these personal care products, there are many palm oil derivatives to watch out for. Some include Tocopherol, Vitamin E, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Propylene Glycol, etc. 

See lip balm without palm oil for more info.

Sunscreen

  • Badger Unscented Broad Spectrum SPF 35 Zinc Oxide Sunscreen All Season Face Stick
  • Badger Sport Unscented Broad Spectrum SPF 35 Natural Mineral Sunscreen Cream Clear Zinc

Whether you are looking for a cream, lotion, or a spray, it’s difficult to find this palm oil free. The palm oil derivatives are usually in the Inactive Ingredients. There are many to watch for, including Tocopherol, Vitamin E, Glycerin, Glycerol Stearate, etc. 

See our list to learn more about sunscreen.

Lotion

At times, our son has needed lotion but so far we haven’t used it. When we do, we will use what we buy regularly:

  • Ethique Coconut & Lime Butter Block

There is a long list of the palm oil derivatives companies use in lotion. Some of them include Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, etc. 

See our post about lotion without palm oil. 

Personal care products you can use if you avoid palm oil 

We have others items he uses on occasion but these are the ones he uses most often. While we are always looking for more products he can use, we try not to change his products because we know these are working for him. 

Using less overall

By using less products overall, it is better for the environment. It also saves money. In addition, it means less ingredients and chemicals our body has to process. 

These are some items we use which make living without palm oil easier.

Eco-friendly brands and greenwashing

When you start looking at the long list of ingredients in most self-care products and non-food products you buy, it’s incredible.

Most of the ingredients don’t have “palm” in the name. 

Before intentionally giving up palm oil, our household never took much notice. Were there always so many ingredients in these products? I don’t think so.

Back in the 1990s, I switched to an eco-friendly brand of shampoo and conditioner. I found the Sodium Lauryl Sulfite and the Aluminum Lauryl Sulfites and similar type ingredients in other products affected my scalp.

Fast forward twenty years, I was still buying from the same company but the products affected me. They weren’t the same “clean” type ingredients they used to be.

This company built an image as being environmentally-friendly — and even though they’ve changed ingredients to lower quality / cheaper ingredients in so many of their products — most consumers don’t know or care.

Why Palm Oil Free labeling certification is important

Palm oil is in all of types of self-care, hygiene, and beauty products.

It’s in shampoo, conditioner, lotion, sunscreen, and deodorant. It’s in shaving cream, cosmetics, lipstick, nail polish, hair dye, hair gel, and face paint. 

Most consumers have no idea many of the ingredients in these items are derived from palm oil.

The only way to know is if the product has earned Palm Oil Free certification. 

Remember, if you are avoiding palm oil for environmental reasons, you may be fine with purchasing products that use sustainable palm oil. However, if you avoid it because you have a palm oil sensitivity, you need to know if it has palm oil in it.

When a product has a Palm Oil Free label on it, you will know for sure that each ingredient was thoroughly researched, down to the source.

How to find hygiene items without palm oil

Choose products with the least amount of ingredients.

Assume “Glycerin” and “Tocopherol” are made from palm oil unless they state the source. See our other posts for the ways palm oil derivatives are present in these types of products.

Know that most hygiene and personal care items contain more than one palm oil ingredient.

Learn the ways in which companies use palm oil. In this way, you will know what to look for no matter what the product.

When looking for palm oil free personal care type products, it’s best to patronize small businesses and artisans. Go to your local farmer’s market. Check out the label from a bar soap when you are in a specialty shop.

These are the opportunities to support small businesses while also getting a much higher quality product. 

List of favorite palm oil free care products

  • Davids Natural Toothpaste
  • Schmidt’s deodorants
  • Grandma’s Baking Soda Soap / Remwood Products
  • Kiss My Face Pure Olive Oil Soap
  • Booda Organics Original Lip Balm
  • Vaseline Lip Therapy Advanced Healing Moisturizer
  • Badger Unscented Broad Spectrum SPF 35 Zinc Oxide Sunscreen All Season Face Stick
  • Badger Sport Unscented Broad Spectrum SPF 35 Natural Mineral Sunscreen Cream
  • Ethique Coconut & Lime Butter Block
Thank you for reading and for being an Informed Consumer! 

Eating Without Palm Oil List ~ What my son eats with a palm oil intolerance

eating without palm oil list

Updated:

My son gets sick from palm oil. Many times, people ask us what he can have. We created this eating without palm oil list specific to my son. These are the foods he likes and eats safely.

We created this site to help others who might have sensitivities and intolerances to palm oil. As we learned more about palm oil, we learned about the environmental concerns as well.

Eating without palm oil list ~ What my child eats because he is sensitive to palm oil

Our son reacts to even trace amounts of palm oil as well as palm oil derivatives so we believe these items are okay if you are avoiding palm oil. But note they are not guaranteed. We update this list regularly.

Something positive that’s come of this is we all eat healthier, cleaner foods. We cook and bake from scratch regularly. We have less processed foods and eat out less.

Overall, we eat more real foods and buy products with less “ingredients.”

While we have comprehensive lists of palm oil free products, this list is specific to my son will actually eat. 

In general, we keep things simple.

When buying packaged foods, we stick to original flavors which tend to have less palm oil than complicated flavors. We also choose products with the least amount of ingredients as possible. 

Whenever possible, we choose the less processed option. Example: We buy nuts in their shell instead of already shelled.

Palm oil hides under hundreds of names. Most palm oil ingredients don’t include “palm” in the name. It’s in thousands of products. It’s difficult finding products without it.

Palm oil hides in “Natural Flavors” making it even more stressful. See more below. Learn about his palm oil allergy/intolerance.

Raw Vegetables

Examples of vegetables he eats regularly: Snap peas, snow peas, carrots, red pepper, orange pepper, yellow pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, spinach, lettuce, celery.

Our son will eat most any vegetable that you can eat raw. He has several each day, plain, without dressing. 

We buy organic when possible, especially the dirty dozen like celery.

Fruits 

Examples of fruits he eats: Apple, banana, mandarin, pear, peach, nectarine, plum, apricot, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, pineapple, cantaloupe, watermelon, figs, dates.

He eats a lot of fruits every day. He can have all fruits except for grapes which upset his system. As far as we know, grapes and palm oil ingredients are the only things that affect him. (We need to research if they are botanically-related in some way?)

We buy frozen organic berries and frozen organic berries with spinach and kale to keep on hand for smoothies. They are more economical than buying organic berries fresh.

Again, we buy organic when possible and keep in mind the Clean 15 and dirty dozen.

Take extra care to wash citrus. We learned sometimes companies use palm oil to make them shinier. We typically buy these in bags when they are less likely to be “shined.”

Meat

He will eat any meat. In restaurants we order it with just salt.

At home, depending on the meat, we cook it with salt, real onions and garlic cloves. If it’s chicken, turkey, we may add avocado oil.

We cook ground beef with garlic, onions, and salt, or with bacon and onions. Sometimes we use a little bit of:

  • Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning

Most often, we buy raw meat. However, he also eats these on occasion:

  • Kirkland Signature Bacon
    • from Costco; regular bacon in blue bag
    • He’s had other bacon when we’ve been out and has been fine.
  • Banquet Brown ‘N Serve Original Sausage Links
  • Hormel Natural Choice:
    • Honey Deli Ham
    • Smoked Deli Ham
  • Crazy Cuisine Mandarin Orange Chicken (without the sauce)
    • from Costco
  • Foster Farms:
    • Crispy Strips (yellow and green bag)
    • Chicken Tenders (yellow and green bag)

Seafood

He’s been able to have any seafood. In restaurants we ask for it plain — just cooked with salt.

At home, we use avocado oil for fish. For shrimp, we use real butter and fresh garlic.

Spices

For seasonings, we keep it simple. We use real (not from containers) limes and lemons, garlic cloves, and onions. We use basic table salt as well. 

He can also have Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning but we only use it on ground beef and sometimes on a roast.

In addition, sometimes use fresh herbs: basil, rosemary, or sage.

Oils

Important: We avoid oil blends completely. We only buy 100% of whatever the oil is.

Mostly, we cook with avocado oil and organic olive oil. For baking we use canola oil, soybean oil, or avocado oil. 

See these tips about finding palm oil free products. 

Snacks for lunches, on-the-go, and at home

  • Potato Chips
    • Lay’s Regular Potato Chips; Cape Cod Potato Chips
    • (He can have any potato chips with a safe oil listed and salt.)
  • Pretzels
    • Rold Gold Pretzels – Original 
    • Synder’s Pretzel Rods
    • Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps Original (These are the flat pretzels in a blue bag.)
  • Pepperidge Farms Goldfish Cheddar (We get the big box from Costco.)
  • Seaweed Snacks – Sea Salt 
    • Sprouts Seaweed Snacks
    • Others that only contain seaweed, sunflower oil, and salt
  • Popcorn
    • Popcornopolis Popcorn (big bag from Costco)
    • He can have any that list popcorn, a safe oil, and salt.
  • Kettle corn
    • Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop Kettle Corn (big bag at Costco)
  • Skinny Pop Popcorn Mini Cakes
    • Sea Salt
    • Cinnamon & Sugar
    • Salted Caramel
  • Pirate’s Booty (not any store versions; the regular Pirate’s Booty)
  • Rice rollers from Costco
  • Rice cakes (Don’t buy with Tocopherols)
    • Quaker Oats Caramel Rice Cakes
  • GoGo Squeez Fruit & Veggies On the Go: Zippin’ Zingin’ Pear and Boulder Berry

Snacks without palm oil

See our list of popcorn without palm oil and pretzels without palm oil.

Snack bars

  • RX Bars: Blueberry, Chocolate Sea Salt
  • Larabar Kid Chocolate Brownie
  • Van’s Cranberry & Almond Gluten-free Bar
  • Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars: Oats ‘n Dark Chocolate
  • Enjoy Life Foods Grain & Seed Bars (All four flavors are certified Palm Oil Free.)

There are a lot of hidden palm oil ingredients in bars. It’s in the Natural Flavors, Tocopherols, and Glycerin.

See our post for more info on granola bars without palm oil.

Yogurt

  • Dannon Activa Yogurt: Strawberry, Blueberry, Black Cherry, Mixed Berry
  • Chobani Greek Yogurt BLENDED with Blueberry or Strawberry or Vanilla
    • (He’s never had Chobani with Fruit on the Bottom which is different than Blended.)

Frozen waffles

Most contain palm oil so we make our own. 

  • Van’s Gluten Free Frozen Waffles Original

Nuts

He’s been able to have tree nuts as well as peanuts. He can have them if they just contain salt. We prefer the ones in the shell as they are less processed.

Smoothies

We buy frozen organic berries or use whatever we have fresh. Next, we toss in a banana and some greens. Sometimes we sneak in avocado or baked sweet potato.

  • O Organics Frozen Berries
  • Rader Farms Fresh Start Smoothie Blend with (all) Organic Blueberry, Strawberry, Raspberry, Kale, Spinach (from Costco) 

As we stated above, buying organic berries is a lot less expensive than frozen. It’s also easy to keep them on hand.

Drinks

He only drinks water or smoothies we make at home.

If he is out and has a soda, he avoids anything with grape, cherry, orange, etc. and sticks with name brand products. 

Cereals

  • Kellogg’s Raisin Bran
    • Make sure it’s Kellogg’s; Post Raisin Bran contains Vitamin A Palmitate.
  • Purely Elizabeth Blueberry Hemp Granola
  • Life Cereal: Original or Cinnamon

See our post for more cereals without palm oil. 

Cookies

  • Pepperidge Farm:
    • Thin & Crispy: Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate
    • Chessmen
  • Market Pantry Animal Crackers (at Target)

For more info about palm oil in cookies, see our post.

foods my son eats without palm oil
We always have some in our freezer.

Ice Cream

  • Ben & Jerry’s pints: All flavors are palm oil free! This is incredible. 
    • It’s the only time my son can walk in and pick whatever he wants! Thank you, Ben & Jerry’s!
  • Tillamook:
    • Mint Chocolate Chip
    • Vanilla Bean
    • Chocolate Chip
  • Alden’s Organic:
    • Chocolate
    • Cookies & Cream
  • Breyers:
    • Natural Vanilla (Their other three vanillas contain mono- & diglycerides.)
    • Chocolate
    • Mint Chocolate Chip
    • Neopolitan

Alden’s Organic and Tillamook have more flavors without palm oil but these are the ones we buy. Check out ice cream without palm oil.

Safe candy he can have

  • YumEarth Candy Canes
  • Wholesome Organic Candy Canes
  • barkTHINS Snacking Chocolate: Dark Chocolate Almond with Sea Salt (They now sell big bags of this at Costco.)
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups: original; regular packaging; no holiday versions
  • Hershey’s bars: Milk Chocolate, Almond, Special Dark
  • Hershey’s Kisses: Milk Chocolate, Almond
  • M&M’s Milk Chocolate, Almond
  • Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Mini Chips (We also use when we make waffles.)
  • Sour Patch Kids
  • Jolly Rancher Hard Candies

He can have any “real” chocolate as well. We choose the ones with as few ingredients as possible. As an example, the chocolate chips we buy only contain Cocoa Butter, Unsweetened Chocolate, and Cane Sugar. 

We have lots of info about this in our candy without palm oil post. In addition, we have a smaller post for holiday candy.

S’mores without palm oil

  • Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows
    • Other marshmallows with the same ingredients as above are likley fine.
  • Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar: any size
  • Honey Maid Grahams (Many other brands contain palm oil and palm oil derivatives such as DATEM.)

Desserts

We have to make all of his desserts because the ones in bakeries and grocery stores contain palm oil. Together we make brownies, cookies, cupcakes, cakes, and biscotti. In addition, we make our own frosting easily with confectioners sugar, real butter, whole milk, and pure vanilla.

The only mixes we use are:

  • Pillsbury Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix
  • Pillsbury Milk Chocolate Brownie Mix

I make these brownies and freeze them for when he goes to a birthday party, etc.

Baking ingredients we use

  • Whole milk without Vitamin A Palmitate
  • Red-Star Yeast in the 3-pack is the only one we found without palm oil derivatives.
  • Real butter
    • We use Lucerne from Albertson’s/Safeway
  • Kirkland Organic Eggs from Costco
  • Simply Organic Pure Vanilla Extract
    • Any “pure” extract is likely fine.
  • Pure cane sugar
    • We use C&H Pure Cane Sugar. Any sugar with just “sugar” listed is likely fine.
  • King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
    • Probably most any flour would be okay.
  • Confectioners sugar / powdered sugar
    • We use C&H Confectioners Sugar to make frosting.
  • Baking powder
    • We use Clabber Girl Double Acting Baking Powder.
  • Pure baking soda
    • We use Arm & Hammer.
  • Chocolate chips: Enjoy Life Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • Table salt
  • Red Ape Cinnamon (It’s certified Palm Oil Free.)
  • 100% pure maple syrup
  • Local honey

We are used to making substitutions.

He can’t have Rice Krispie treats because the cereal contains Vitamin A Palmitate; however, we can use the marshmallows and real butter to coat air-popped popcorn for a treat just as delicious. 

See our post about desserts without palm oil.

Meals without palm oil

So what does this look like on a day-to-day basis? We are lucky our son eats fruits, vegetables, and meats. These make up most of his diet.

Breakfast

  • Homemade waffles:
    • I make batches in my waffle maker and freeze them. I warm them in the toaster.
  • Homemade French toast
    • Dave’s Killer Bread in green or yellow bag
  • Leftover meat
  • Banquet Brown ‘N Serve Original Sausage Links
  • Fruit

We only buy 100% pure maple syrup.

See our post breakfast without palm oil to see how common palm oil is at this meal.

We fill containers with fruits and vegetables for his lunch at school.

Lunch at school without palm oil

He brings the following everyday:

  • Activa Yogurt
  • Combination of fruits and vegetables
  • A few of the above snacks and a bar

Dinner without palm oil

The majority of our dinners consist of:

  • Meat
  • Fruit
  • Raw vegetables

My son will eat all of these without issue.

We vary how we cook the meats. If we are out, we ask for them to cook the meat with salt.

Again, we cook meats with garlic cloves, chopped onion, salt. Sometimes we use avocado oil, lime, lemon, peppers, etc. for additional flavoring. 

We cook with as simple ingredients as possible. Because onion and garlic powders can contain palm oil, we only use real, fresh onions, and garlic.

In addition, we buy lemons and limes and use them; we don’t buy the squeeze lime juices, etc. These contain additives that we aren’t sure are safe for him.

He eats a wide variety of fruits and raw vegetables. 

Eating at fast food restaurants without palm oil

We are grateful when restaurants publish their ingredients online so we can check in advance.

Many restaurants list which products contain the major allergens but don’t spell out the ingredients. Palm oil isn’t recognized as an allergen so that doesn’t help us.

Other restaurant chains spell out the Nutritional Profile with the calorie count and fat content but not the actual ingredients. It’s frustrating.

Important: Many restaurant French fries contain palm oil.

If they make the French fries fresh on-site — like In-N-Out Burger and Five Guys — they most likely won’t contain palm oil.

We are loyal to these restaurants because these are places he can go and won’t get sick.

Burger King: 

  • Chicken tenders
  • French fries

Chik-fil-A:

  • Chicken tenders
  • (Their fries contain palm oil.)

Five Guys Burgers and Fries

  • Hamburger meat plain; no bun
  • French fries

In-N-Out Burger:

  • Four hamburger patties plain
  • French fries
  • Chocolate shake

We are so grateful to In-N-Out Burger. This is one of my son’s favorites because he can have their fries and shakes. This is the only place he has shakes / ice cream.

Sometimes he orders the burgers wrapped in lettuce. 

Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers:

  • Cane’s Combo (He can eat the chicken and the fries and doesn’t eat the bread.)

Whataburger

  • Chicken strips
  • French fries

Eating palm oil free at other restaurants

At sit down restaurants, he orders meat cooked with salt. He doesn’t eat bread.

At Mexican restaurants he orders fajitas and just eats the meat, not the tortillas or cooked vegetables. He doesn’t have the tortilla chips. We rarely go to Italian restaurants. 

Typically, we don’t go out to eat unless we have to. When we do, we look for places that will have meat they can cook-to-order with just salt. We’ve had luck at Outback Steakhouse and others.

Going on vacation when you are avoiding palm oil

One of the biggest stresses is eating away from home when you are trying to avoid palm oil. Vacations are stressful.

We always pack palm oil free safe foods when we travel.

For vacations, so we don’t have to rely on restaurants, instead of staying in a hotel, we usually rent an AirBNB or VRBO with a kitchen. Then we can continue to buy the above foods.

It’s a lot healthier to eat this way too. And it saves us money.

When traveling, we always bring RX Bars, nuts, fruits, and other safe snacks whether we are driving or flying.

If we go on a road trip, we will bring a cooler so we can keep more fresh vegetables and fruits. 

School parties and class treats without palm oil

My son brings a lunch to school everyday so we don’t have to worry about any palm oil in school lunches.

Oftentimes, our son has to miss out on treats and snacks at school. There are sometimes food rewards and class parties.

In addition, students are allowed to bring in treats for their birthdays. If you have 27 kids bringing in doughnuts, that’s 27 doughnuts my son isn’t able to eat. (This isn’t necessarily a bad thing!)

We can’t anticipate birthdays so he will usually eat something from his lunch bag. Every so often, I will give him a Larabar Chocolate Brownie to keep in his backpack. If we know in advance, I will give him brownie that I made and froze.

For classroom parties, depending what they are asking for, I typically send in something safe he can have.

If it’s a party with desserts, I send brownies or cookies. If it’s a classroom celebration without dessert-type foods, I will send in fruit, Cheddar Goldfish, Rold Gold Pretzels, Pirate’s Booty, potato chips, or popcorn.

Trying new foods when you can’t have palm oil

It’s scary trying new foods. Palm oil ingredients don’t have to be specially labeled.

Know that:

Natural Flavors can contain palm oil.

Before buying anything new, we consider the type of product it is, and if it’s something that usually contains palm oil. We know that some products will always contain palm oil, and we won’t ever buy them.

In addition, we think about palm oil uses and how it’s used in the product. For example, if it’s a product that uses an emusifier, is there another emusifier listed that spells out the source, such as Soy Lecithin? If so, then this might be a safe product.

After that, we further look at all of the ingredients and cross-reference it against the list of hundreds of names for palm oil, knowing that palm oil can be hiding under many different ingredient names.

We introduce new foods sparingly and always one at a time. We watch for symptoms. If he is symptom free, the next time we will give him a little bit more. Once we determine it’s safe, we will add it more regularly.

Asking companies about palm oil in their ingredients

When we find something that seems safe, we email to ask the company about it — many times they don’t respond. Many times they don’t know.

Oftentimes, they respond saying there isn’t palm oil in it but after pressing further, we learn there is.

Companies changing ingredients to include palm oil

We’ve also learned to always check labels before buying these products above. Companies change ingredients often.

Since we learned of our son’s palm oil intolerance, there have been many processed food items he was able to have until they changed ingredients. 

Some of these include Peanut M&M’s, Mr. Goodbar, Honeycomb Cereal, and Oreo cookies. No loss on not having these products except that it’s discouraging to see more and more companies and products using palm oil.

For most products, I keep the packaging with the UPC codes as a reference. I also take pictures of them and mark them as Favorites so I can easily find them on my phone while I’m in the store.

Companies discontinuing products that they made without palm oil

We’ve also found this happen many times.

There were many KIND bars my son was able to safely eat until they discontinued them. This has also happened with Dark Chocolate Mint M&M’s.

It’s happened with several store brands of crackers and snack bars as well.

Palm oil free certification labeling is important

When a company has a product which earned Palm Oil Free certification, that’s of tremendous help.

That means the company has taken the time to submit their product ingredients to an independent third-party organization. The organization checks all the ingredients in the product(s).

They check them down to the source — from the supplier. An example: We see Citric Acid on a label. The Palm Oil Free certifying organization will dig deeper to find out the source of that Citric Acid — what is in it?

Two independent Palm Oil Free certification companies are:

  • International Palm Oil Free Trademark Certification Programme (POFCAP)
  • Orangutan Alliance OA  

Our family seeks out products certified with a No Palm Oil label.

fresh foods don't contain palm oil

What do you eat if you can’t have palm oil?

We are using his palm oil allergy/sensitivity as a positive reminder to eat healthier food.

We have learned SO MUCH about all the chemicals in foods and all the ways they use inferior ingredients to save money.

Our son knows how to read labels. He knows the common ingredients to look for which include Mono- & Diglycerides, Glycerin, Glycerine, Polysorbate 60, Polysorbate 80, Tocopherols, and anything with Stearate, including Magnesium Stearate and Calcium Stearate. 

If he is in doubt, he doesn’t eat it.

We’ve learned to assume everything has palm oil in it and be happily surprised when it doesn’t.

He knows what he can order at the fast food restaurants if he’s out with friends. He says “no thank you” a lot to food. 

Sometimes it’s difficult.

He’s a kid in a processed food, snack-all-the-time, food-rewards-for-everything world.

However, we started this website as a way to empower our family — to feel like we were doing something to create awareness about the way palm oil is hidden in so many products. See About Us here.

We also learn a lot by trial and error and like that we can log everything here, on this website, so we can reference it. 

We wanted other people to start reading labels and to see how companies are hiding palm oil in so many ways.

Most people just toss a box of Poptarts and everything else in their carts without considering the ingredients.

We didn’t think our son could be the only one who has a palm oil allergy or palm oil intolerance. Even for consumers who don’t have symptoms from palm oil and palm kernel oil, we know many avoid it for environmental reasons.

There are a lot of people who even if they don’t give up palm oil completely, might be interested in buying it less often.

These are our favorite items which make it easier to live without palm oil.

Focusing on real foods

The best thing we’ve done is to focus on healthy choices. 

We talk about all of the ingredients and chemicals in foods.

We try to empower our son to make his own choices. Just because it’s there doesn’t mean we have to eat it.

He and I get a great deal of satisfaction from hearing from readers via the comments below as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Please follow us.

We like to thank the companies for making products without palm oil ingredients so they will know consumers care and want these types of products.

Sometimes companies change their ingredients to include palm oil derivatives. It’s important to read ingredients every time.

Please note, we do not guarantee these products are palm oil free. The only way to know for certain is if it has earned Palm Oil Free certification.

Thank you for caring about this issue, either from a health perspective or an environmental perspective — or both! Learn more about palm oil health and the environmental aspects of palm oil. Even if you don’t try to give it up completely, there are many ways to learn how to use less palm oil each week.

As we try to live palm oil free, we think it’s better to focus on what we CAN HAVE rather than what we can’t have.

This is a running list of the foods my son eats that he can safely have. We try to vary his foods so he doesn’t tire of them.

Also, there are other foods without palm oil on our other lists. These are the ones he likes and eats. We continue to update this list. Thank you for reading and caring about this issue!

This list is specific to personal care items he uses with a palm oil intolerance. 

 

Palm Oil Health ~ Palm Oil Health Issues & Benefits

is palm oil healthy

Updated:

There are many consumers who avoid palm oil for health reasons. This may include dietary or allergen concerns. Yet the question remains, is palm oil good or bad for you?

While environmental concerns may still be a leading reason people avoid palm oil, there is a growing segment who seek alternatives because they experience reactions from it.

Others may be concerned about palm oil’s saturated fat content.

What are palm oil health dangers? Are there palm oil health benefits? What’s the difference between red palm oil and palm oil?

Is palm oil saturated or unsaturated?

As reported in health.com, palm oil’s nutritional profile is similar to other edible and cooking oils. According to the USDA, one tablespoon is the equivalent to 120 calories and 14 grams of total fat.

Of those 14 grams, 7 grams are in the form of saturated fat, and 5 grams are monounsaturated fat. There are 1.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat. .

Palm kernel oil contains 11 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon.

To compare, olive oil contains 2 grams of saturated fat.

Palm oil, palm kernel oil, and coconut oil are high in saturated fat.

Many health and wellness experts believe food high in saturated fat negatively affect the heart.

What is saturated fat?

In general, the higher the saturated fat content, the more solid it is at room temperature.

This makes it ideal for baking. It also contributes greatly to mouthfeel — think creamy products like ice cream, frozen desserts, chocolate candies, dough, canned frosting, margarine, and more.

Palm oil is versatile. Just as it can remain semi-solid at room temperature, companies can also process it into liquid form for cooking.

Is palm oil bad for your health?

There hasn’t been enough research to determine the potential health affects of palm oil. 

The US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health states the main argument against using palm oil as an edible oil is because it contains palmitic acid which is a saturated fatty acid.

They report that would contribute to rising total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. 

They note its effects on serum lipid levels and cardiovascular disease in humans is still a point of discussion.

Is palm oil dangerous to health?

This is a popular question, perhaps because there is a lot of controversy around palm oil. The biggest reason is its impact on the environment.

Palm oil has a high saturated fat content which many argue affects cardiovascular health. Most health experts recommend other oils — olive oil in particular — for cooking.

Please discuss with your health professional if you suspect you are allergic or sensitive to palm oil. Many people report having digestive issues when they have palm oil.

palm oil health
Choosing whole foods means you won’t encounter palm oil.

Demand continues 

Palm oil has become one of the world’s most widely produced edible fats. The palm oil that’s now so common in foods and non-food products comes from the African oil palm: Elaeis guineensis. 

Most of the world’s palm oil grows in Malaysia and Indonesia. 

It used to be that people who were avoiding palm oil did so because of the environment.

Now that it’s become more commonplace in foods, people are starting to take notice of it. They see it on labels more and more.

Much of this is because the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned food manufacturers from adding artificial trans fats into their products.

In 2015, the FDA gave companies until 2018 to phase palm oil out of their food products; some have extensions until January 2020.

Many companies turned to palm oil as a replacement for artificial trans fats.

As companies worked through their ingredient reformulations, palm oil appeared on labels more frequently. 

Palm oil became and is now a common ingredient in margarine and other butter substititutes. It’s a staple in shortening, canned frosting, frozen desserts, desserts, candy, cookies, snack bars, and cereal. It’s in everything from Twizzlers to Dunkin’ Donuts.

Many companies are using palm oil and palm oil derivatives in new products and flavors they introduce to market. 

Consumers are eating more of it than ever before. 

While palm oil is an edible vegetable oil, non-food companies use it in many non-food products as well. 

You can learn to lessen overall demand for palm oil by learning how to use less palm oil each week.

Avoiding palm oil for health reasons

We have a popular post, Can You Be Allergic to Palm Oil. I wrote it because my son gets sick from anything with palm oil in it. There are consumers who are negatively affected by it. Palm oil affects their health. They have reactions from it, and they are seeking answers.

Whether it’s an allergy, intolerance, or sensitivity, palm oil is proving to negatively affect some people.

In addition, in BakeryandSnacks.com, the International Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark Programme (POFCAP) explained they want to “help consumers find foods without palm oil for ethical, allergen, or dietary reasons.”

POFCAP is authorized to certify products as “Palm Oil Free” in 20 countries. They have nearly 1,000 products certified.

Consumers are more exposed to palm oil

As the demand increases and its prevalence is more common in foods, consumers are eating more of it in processed and packaged foods than ever before.

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported that palm oil production almost doubled from 2003 to 2013. This was even before the FDA banned the use of artificial trans fats in foods.

Palm oil is now in half of packaged foods and consumer goods.

In addition to processed foods, consumers are also exposed to palm oil in cleaning products, toothpaste, cosmetics, lotion, deodorant, soap, over-the-counter medicines, sunscreen, and many more products.

Some consumers are noticing reactions to it. Others may be concerned with the saturated fat content in the foods.

Is palm oil healthy? Is palm oil good for you?

The question of whether palm oil is healthy for you is a common one. Many wonder: Is palm oil good for you?

Olive oil may be healthier than palm oil.

According to Harvard Medical School nutrition experts, palm oil is better for us than artificial trans fats. However, they encourage consumers to use olive oil and canola oil because — unlike palm oil — they are naturally liquid at room temperature.

Is palm oil carcinogenic?

Healthline.com also reports that palm oil is high in saturated fat and that it’s been linked to a cancer risk. They cite a study from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) which reports palm oil can cause cancer when processed at high temperatures, approximately 200 degrees Celcius (393 degrees F).

Their expert Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain found glycidol to be a carcinogenic and genotoxic. 

As reported on WebMD, the EFSA stated palm oil may cause cancer based on studies on mice. Note, the study didn’t test on humans.

Glycidyl fatty acid esters, or GEs

Glycidyl fatty acid esters (GEs) are a new class of food-processing contaminant. 

When palm oil is heated to temperatures above 200 degrees C  or higher, harmful substances form. These are called Glycidyl fatty acid esters — GEs. The highest form of them are in palm oil. 

Avoiding palm oil for health concerns

While consumers avoid palm oil for health reasons and environmental reasons, if you have reactions to palm oil or other conditions, talk to your doctor. Please do not use this for medical advice. 

It’s very common in everyday products. It’s a very versatile oil. Companies use palm oil in many ways. 

Because palm oil has so many different applications in so many types of products, it goes by hundreds of names. Many of them do not have the word “palm” in them. This makes reading labels challenging — though it can be done! 

Here are some tips for avoiding palm oil. Limit buying processed and packaged foods. Choose whole foods such as fruits and vegetables. Cook at home. Choose food and non-food products with the least amount of ingredients. These are favorite products we use which make it easier to live without it.

Limiting processed foods is one of the best things you can do.

When you learn the types of products palm oil is in, you may be surprised how much you encounter each day in foods and non-food items.

Start reading labels. 

Since the artificial trans fat ban went into effect in the United States, companies needed to find other cheap alternatives. They used trans fats because they were cheap. Now they’ve turned to palm oil. 

Red palm oil health benefits

Red palm oil originally attracted attention for its health benefits. 

According to CleanEatingMag.com, the benefits from red palm oil are when the “red” in the palm oil stays intact and isn’t processed and stripped down.

Virgin red palm oil — in it’s most natural state and still red — is high in lycopene, beta-carotene, and tocotrienols.

They recommend up to 1 – 2 tablespoons per day as well as using ones that are sustainable.

Is palm oil good or bad?

RealSimple.com tries to answer the question if palm oil is bad for you. In one section, they compare the palm oil industry to that of the tobacco and alcohol industries. Palm oil is big business. It’s also very political as well.

Companies are burning and deforesting rainforests in Malaysia and Indonesia for palm oil plantations. However, in both of these countries, companies are not allowed to sell products advertising “Palm Oil Free” and “No Palm Oil.”

When you read about palm oil, it’s critical you determine the source. Also consider who may be profiting from the study or may be damaged from the study.

This is particularly important as you research sustainable palm oil and the Roundtable On Sustainable Palm Oil. There are many sides to this issue. Just because a company says it uses sustainable palm oil doesn’t mean it is.

POFCAP — the organization who certifies products as Palm Oil Free — estimates up to 80% of what’s considered sustainable is not.

This post explains how companies are forbidden to advertise their products as palm oil free and from seeking Palm Oil Free Certification labeling. By promoting a product as Palm Oil Free, this leading palm oil organization believes it suggests products without it are superior to those with it. 

So no matter what you read, be aware of who is circulating those lists and how they may benefit from positioning palm oil in a positive or negative light.

Palm oil health

Now that palm oil has become more common in foods, especially in the United States, there are questions about palm oil health. Consumers see it on labels and wonder what it is and if it’s good for them.

As consumers are more exposed to palm oil, it’s likely medical experts will take a better look at how it may affect them.

Some experts believe palm oil health dangers may surface now that consumers using more products with it (in the United States) than ever before. 

Whereas consumers come in contact with palm oil and may consume it daily, this was not the case 5 – 10 years ago. Many people unknowingly use it morning, noon and night. It’s in their soap, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant. It’s in their creamer and muffin as well as their granola bar, bread, and spices.

Many consumers experience trouble digesting palm oil. Others report allergy-like symptoms. If you experience reactions from palm oil, be sure to report them to the FDA. 

Report symptoms to FDA

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has a MedWatch Voluntary Reporting online form. It’s easy to complete and submit to report your symptoms. Just be sure to have the product information.

Bookmark this link and click on Consumer/Patient. Another option is call them at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Health professionals continue to recommend olive oil instead of palm oil.

If you are avoiding palm for health reasons or if you are concerned with the amount you consume, you can start by reading labels. 

 

 

 

Medicine Without Palm Oil ~ Find Palm Oil Free Medication

medicine without palm oil

Updated:

Over-the-counter medicine without palm oil is difficult to find. Palm oil derivatives are common in capsules, tablets, pills and liquid medications. 

We seek out palm oil free medications because our son has negative reactions to palm oil. In the past, we didn’t realize the antihistamines and other medications were making him worse due to the palm oil derivatives in them.

He would get sore throats. Some of them would lead to longer illnesses.

Palm oil derivatives are most always in vitamins, minerals, and supplements. They are in pills, tablets, capsules, gummies, and liquid forms.

Palm oil free medication

Recently, we found a palm oil free solution for antihistamines, allergy medications, fever reducers, etc. We have these over-the-counter (OTC) medications without palm oil.

Please note, this is not medical advice. Discuss with your healthcare provider what medications you should take.

Here we are sharing our experience. This is the way we were able to acquire palm oil free medicine.

Medicine without palm oil

First, it’s important to know some of the common palm oil derivatives in medications. They include:

  • Calcium Stearate
  • Glycerin
  • Magnesium Stearate
  • Medium Chain Triglycerides
  • Polyethylene Glycol
  • Polysorbate 80
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Stearic Acid

Read the labels for the vitamins, supplements, and medications in your home.

Chances are, you will see at least one of these ingredients listed on each bottle or package because there are many palm oil uses in medicines.

Propylene Glycol in medicine

Ingredients such as Propylene Glycol keeps liquid medications shelf-stable. 

Magnesium Stearate and Calcium Stearate in medicines

Manufacturers use stearates such as Magnesium Stearate to help lubricate capsules and tablets. Also, stearates help ensure the tablets don’t stick to the machine.

Polysorbate 80 in medicines

Polysorbate 80 helps bind ingredients together and to improve the consistency in gel caps.

There are many other reasons as well, including using them as stabilizers and fillers.

Using a compounding pharmacy

If you have a compounding pharmacy in your area, you may be able to get medicine without palm oil. You will need a prescription from your doctor.

First, know what OTC medications you are trying to replace. Next, call the compounding pharmacy to ask if they have the active ingredient available.

Ask the compounding pharmacy for approximate pricing before you call your doctor’s office to ask for a prescription.

Most likely, the compounding pharmacy will not accept health insurance. Therefore, you will be paying for the medication out of pocket. It’s important for you to know the charges before you order the medicine.

Find out as much as you can before you call the doctor’s office to minimize questions later.

Read below to learn our experience buying four compounded prescriptions without palm oil:

  • Pain medication in the form of Ibuprofen
  • Cough medicine
  • Two antihistamines (Claritin equivalent and Benadryl equivalent)

Pain medication without palm oil

We didn’t realize the OTC children’s liquid Ibuprofen we were giving our son had palm oil derivatives.

We wanted a palm free option on hand to be able to give him for fevers or pain relief. Because every label we read in the stores contained palm oil derivatives, we called a compounding pharmacy.

We asked if we could have the Ibuprofen itself — the active ingredient in these OTC medicines — in some form.

The person at the compounding pharmacy said we could with a prescription from our physician. They explained if it was a liquid, it would only last for 30 days (without the palm oil derivative-type of ingredients such as Propylene Glycol).

In order for it to be shelf-stable longer than 30 days, we asked about them making it into a capsule form.

After speaking with the compounding representative, I called my son’s pediatrician’s office. I explained what I wanted.

The doctor was able to write and prescribe 400 mg of Ibuprofen in capsule form with additional notation on the prescription to include “hypoallergenic medicine.” The doctor added “not to include Propylene Glycol and Magnesium Stearate.”

medicine without palm oil
Ibuprofen in veggie cap with no filler

We now have 90 capsules, each with 400 mg of Ibuprofen, to have as the need arises.

The receipt / label states: 90 CAP IBUPROFEN (NO FILLER) (VEGGIE) 400MG CAPSULE

Talk to the pharmacist

It’s essential you talk to the pharmacist once he/she has the prescription from your doctor. Our compounding pharmacist called us after she received it.

You have to clarify what the pharmacy will make the capsule with.

Originally, when I spoke with the rep, she said it would be derived from pine bark.

Upon pressing further in the conversation with the pharmacist, I learned the capsules would contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate as well.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is often made from palm oil.

After much consulting with the pharmacist, they were able to make it without the Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.

(Note, I should have asked the doctor to include “no Sodium Lauryl Sulfate” on our other prescriptions. This is something you may want to do. If you don’t, remember to tell them you don’t want Sodium Lauryl Sulfate in the medication.)

Again, this is not medical advice. At the store, the pharmacist said to be sure we give him food when we give him Ibuprofen (adults too). She suggested a banana or yogurt, even if it was at night. She said the medicine is hard on the stomach.

Cough medicine without palm oil

During the calls for the Ibuprofen, with the compounding pharmacy and doctor, I also asked for a palm oil free cough suppressant medicine.

cough medicine without palm oil
Cough medicine without palm oil

The doctor wrote a prescription for Dextromethorphan. They didn’t have it in stock and had to order it. The minimum they would fill was 90 capsules.

Based on my son’s age and weight, the doctor prescribed 30 mg capsules.

I picked up the Ibuprofen and asked about the capsule for the cough medicine. The representative again assured me it would be made from pine bark.

After I pressed further, she said they would need to add a filler because each capsule was only 30 mg. It was too small an amount to fill with only the Dextromethorphan. If they did it by hand, it would be time-consuming and cost more.

After discussing the options, we agreed upon baking soda, Sodium Bicarbonate, as the filler.

The label reads: DEXTROMETHORPHAN HBR (SOD BICARB-VEGGIE) 30 MG

We are very relieved to have these medicines on hand for the times our son is sick.

Update: I am happy to report the Ibuprofen and cough medicine both relieved his symptoms and didn’t cause additional problems and reactions as medications have in the past.

It is a huge relief to have these allergy medications as well as the OTC pain and cough medicines. 

Antihistamines without palm oil

A week after we picked up the above medicines, I ordered allergy medications.

The OTC children’s liquid allergy medications we had in our medicine cabinet all had what-seemed-to-be palm oil derivatives in them. When my son took these medications, he would get a sore throat.

(The companies have yet to respond to my email inquiries asking them to confirm if the ingredients in question are derived from palm oil.)

Benadryl equivalent

First, I wanted a stripped-down Benadryl equivalent. The active ingredient in Benadryl is Diphenhydramine, a histamine-blocker.

Allegra equivalent

Second, I wanted an OTC allergy medication for typical allergy symptoms. I was hoping to get the active ingredient in Allegra. We had never used Zyrtec or Claritin.

I called the same compounding pharmacy I used to get the Ibuprofen and cough medicine to ask if I could get these antihistamines. They had the active ingredient in Benadryl which they could make for me with a prescription.

However, they were unable to get Fexofenadine, the name of the active ingredient in Allegra. The pharmacy rep said they could use the active ingredient in Zyrtec which is Cetirizin. She explained, however, “it would be expensive,” and dissuaded me from it.

She needed to verify and call me back to see if they could get Loratadine, the active ingredient in Claritin.

Calling another compounding pharmacy

While I was waiting, I called another compounding pharmacy in our area. This second compounding pharmacy had the Benadryl equivalent, Diphenhydramine, in stock.

They too were unable to get the Fexofenadine. However, they did have the Claritin equivalent, Loratadine, in stock.

From this second pharmacy, I was able to acquire these antihistamines without palm oil.

I phoned my son’s pediatrician’s office and explained exactly what I wanted in the form of these two medications. The pediatrician called me back. He was able to write the prescription like he did for the other two medications.

When the pharmacist had the prescriptions, he called me to clarify and confirm what I wanted. We had a detailed conversation to ensure there wouldn’t be any palm oil derivatives in the capsules or as fillers.

The labels read:

DIPHENHYDRAMINE (DYE/LACTOSE FREE) 25 MG CAP

LORATADINE (DYE/LACTOSE FREE) 10 MG CAP

Now with four common OTC medications being palm oil free, we feel much better about giving these to our son when it’s necessary.

Cough drops without palm oil

Typically, the cheaper the cough drop, the more likely it contains palm oil.

Many store brand cough drops include these palm oil derivatives:

  • Glycerin
  • Medium Chain Triglycerides

Name brand cough drops often contain Glycerin.

Unless you contact the company directly to ask them the SOURCE of these ingredients, you won’t know if they are derived from palm oil.

However, generally, companies are looking for inexpensive ingredients, and palm oil is cheap.

We have not yet researched cough drops without palm oil. However, a brand to consider may be Halls Cough Drops. If you are at the store, you may want to keep this brand in mind.

We found these cough drops without Glycerin or Medium Chain Triglycerides and use them exclusively:

Young Living Essential Oils Thieves Cough Drops

The active ingredient is 8 mg of menthol.

cough drops without palm oil

Ingredients include 100% pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils. Also, they are free from preservatives, dyes, artificial flavors, and sugar.

Talk to your doctor

If you are seeking medicine without palm oil, it’s important to speak with your doctor. Most medications contain fillers, lubricants, stabilizers, emulsifiers, and more.

In order to get a “stripped down” version, you will most likely need to go to a compounding pharmacy.

Talk with your doctor about options for medicines.

For us in our situation, it’s been reassuring to know we can give our son these palm oil free medications when he needs them.

See what foods our son can safely eat and personal care products he can safely use with a palm oil intolerance. These are items we use which help us to shop, cook, clean, and organize to help us avoid palm oil.

Many people avoid palm oil due to the environmental issues. Some are concerned with the health aspects.

Once you know names for palm oil derivatives, it may surprise you to learn how prevalent palm oil is in everyday products.

Read labels. Be an educated consumer. See our list of palm oil free products and support them when you shop. Even if you can’t go completely palm oil free, there are ways to use less.

What’s in your medicine? Please leave a note in the Comments.