Is canola oil really good for us?

By on October 14, 2012 under Nutrition

Have you ever eaten a canola plant? I didn’t think so. So what is this canola oil that we are eating?

  • The word canola originated from “Canadian oil”. Canola was bred from the Rapeseed plant by crossing with other plants in order to reduce a toxic component, erudic acid, that was not safe to consume. Its seeds were produced to provide an edible oil suitable for consumption by humans and livestock. Rapeseed oil has been used as a lamp fuel, lubricant and biodeisel.
  • Canola oil is made at a processing facility by heating and then crushing the seed then refining using hexane. The oil is bleached and deodorized.
  • Canola oil is very low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated fats which are thought to be healthier because saturated fats have been associated with heart disease. Since it was produced, it has been marketed by the food industry as the healthiest fat.
  • The consumption of canola oil is” generally recognized as safe” by the United States Food and Drug Administration, as are many additives, preservative, and artificial colors/sweeteners that have been linked to various medical conditions.
  • In 2011 96% of the canola oil was made with genetically modified organisms (GMO).

I do not cook with canola oil and avoid eating foods with canola oil. This is why:

Canola oil is an industrial product, not a food. It is similar to high fructose corn syrup. It was produced by the food industry in order to produce food cheaper.

  • I prefer to use oils from plants that are meant to be eaten, such as olive, avocado, peanut, grapeseed, coconut and walnut oils. I recommend oils that are organic (therefore no GMO or pesticides) and first cold-pressed (not chemically extracted or filtered of nutrients).
  • I am concerned about consuming GMO foods. Almost all canola oil (96%) is GMO. I believe that genetic modification is an unnatural process and likely has unintended health consequences. Although there isn’t solid proof that it is unsafe to consume, there isn’t proof that it is safe for long term consumption.
  • Canola oil is highly processed and refined using hexane, bleach, and deoderizers. Health is achieved by eating food in its natural state and this processing robs food of its nutrients.