You may or may not have seen palmitic acid listed on food ingredient labels. That’s because if coconut oil or palm oil are on the ingredient list, the food may very well have palmitic acid and not label it. This fatty acid is found in animal products and some plant oils.
So, what is palmitic acid and what are its possible health effects?
Palmitic acid is a saturated fat. It’s naturally found in some animal products like meat and dairy, as well as in palm and coconut oils. Because these two oils are frequently used in processed foods, you might be getting palmitic acid in your diet without even realizing it.
Coconut oil contains 92 percent saturated fat, with each tablespoon containing 13 grams, according to Cleveland Clinic. However, they note that the saturated fat in coconut oil may not be as harmful as other saturated fats.
It’s also important to keep in mind that although plant oils like palm oil and coconut oil contain palmitic acid, they might not affect the body in the same way as if you ingested palmitic acid alone.
Lauric acid is another type of saturated fat found in coconut oil, making up about 50 percent of its fatty acid
Like so many other things in our diet, moderation is key. While eliminating all animal products and processed foods might be feasible for some, that lifestyle isn’t for everyone! Likewise, giving up coconut oil because it contains palmitic acid could mean going without its additional benefits.