Have you been lied to about the health benefits of canola oil?
If you have been following our newsletters for some time, you may have noticed that I NEVER include canola oil in any of the recipes or any of the lists of healthy foods. Many people have asked ‘WHY?’, because all they hear in the mainstream media is that canola oil is “Heart Healthy” and a good source of monounsaturated fats similar to olive oil.
Well, first of all, you need to realize that much of what you hear in the mainstream media has been influenced by heavy handed marketing tactics by big food companies. Canola oil is CHEAP for them to produce so they want you into think it’s a “Health Oil” so that people, restaurants, etc will buy it up as their main oil of choice.
It is Just Simply Economics, Theirs not Yours.
Here Is The Dirty Truth About Canola Oil
It is true that Canola Oil is high in monounsaturates, but let me explain why Canola Oil is anything BUT “Healthy”.
Canola Oil is made from something called rapeseed. Rapeseed actually had to be bred over the years to reduce the percentage of a problematic component of rapeseed, which is ‘Erucic Acid’.
Here is an Important note on Canola Oil “Urban Legends”: There is a problem with most defenders of this oil DEFEND Canola Oil, saying that internet “urban legends” concerning the dangers of Canola Oil are ‘UNFOUNDED’.
The problem is that those that defend Canola Oil ONLY talk about the issue of Erucic Acid.
The issue of Erucic Acid IS an ‘Urban Legend’, why?
Because ‘Erucic Acid’ has been throught selective breeding and Genetic Modifications, ‘Bred Out of It’ to very low levels throughout the years, so ‘Erucic Acid’ it is really a NON-ISSUE today.
However, these defenders of Canola Oil are barking up the wrong tree because they do not address the issue of the ‘Processing of Canola Oil’ and the OXIDATION of the polyunsaturated component of Canola Oil, which is what makes Canola Oil unhealthy for human(YOUR) consumption.
This is the ‘Real Issue’ that the defenders of Canola either don’t understand (because they are not nutrition experts) or are simply ignoring it for whatever reason.
So, let’s look at the REAL issues with Canola Oil
Canola Oil typically ranges between 55-65% monounsaturated fat and between 28-35% polyunsaturated fat, plus a small amount of saturated fat.
While we’ve been led to believe that ‘high monounsaturated’ fat oils are good for us (which they are in the case of virgin olive oil or from unprocessed nuts or seeds), the fact is that Canola Oil has more detriments than it does benefits(high monounsaturated fats).
One of the biggest problems with highly processed and refined vegetable oils such as corn oil, soybean oil, and yes, even Canola Oil, is that the ‘polyunsaturated fat’ component of the oil is highly unstable under heat, light, and pressure, and this heavily ‘oxidizes’ the polyunsaturates which increases ‘free radicals’ in your body.
The end result of all of this refining and processing are oils that are highly ‘inflammatory’ in your body when you ingest them, potentially contributing to heart disease, weight gain, and other degenerative diseases. (Not So Good)
The reason that extra virgin olive oil is good for you is that it is ‘cold pressed’ without the use of heat and solvents to aid extraction. EVOO(extra virgin olive oil) also contains important antioxidants that help protect the stability of the oil.
Canola Oil, is typically extracted and refined using high heat, pressure, and petroleum solvents such as hexane.
Most Canola Oil undergoes a process of caustic refining, degumming, bleaching, and deoderization, all using high heat and questionable chemicals.
Canola Oil Even has ‘Trans Fats’
That right, all of this high heat, high pressure processing with solvents actually forces some of the omega-3 content of Canola Oil to be transformed into trans fats.
According to Dr. Mary Enig, PhD, and Nutritional Biochemist,
“Although the Canadian government lists the trans fat content of canola at a minimal 0.2 percent, research at the University of Florida at Gainesville, found trans fat levels as high as 4.6 percent in commercial liquid Canola Oil”.
And this is what is marketed to you as a “healthy oil”!
As you can see from the details above on how Canola Oil is processed, it is barely any healthier for you than other junk oils like soybean oil or corn oil.
Canola Oil’s Bottom Line
The bottom line is that it ‘Canola Oil’ is an ‘INFLAMMATORY OIL’ when it is in your body and should be avoided as much as possible.
The only Canola Oil that might be reasonable is if you see that it is “cold pressed” and organic.
Most Canola Oil is NOT cold pressed or organic, so you might as well choose oils that you know are healthier.
Truly Healthy Oils
Your best bets are these truly healthy oils:
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) – for lower temperature cooking or used as a healthy salad dressing oil.
- Udo’s Choice Oil Blend – NEVER use this for cooking as it has a higher polyunsaturated fat content (therefore heat destroys the benefits of this oil, and increases it’s inflammatory properties), but it is a cold processed blend of healthy oils that mixes well with olive oil for salad dressings.
- Organic Virgin Coconut Oil – great for all temperatures of cooking due to its super high stability under heat. A great source of healthy saturated fats in the form of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), one of which is Lauric Acid, which helps support the immune system and is lacking in most western diets.
- Organic Grass-Fed Butter – mix of grass-fed butter, coconut oil, and a small bit of olive oil for most cooking. Grass-fed butter is a great source of the healthy fat, CLA, which has even been shown in studies to have muscle building and fat burning properties. Grass-fed butter also has a much healthier omega-6 to omega-3 ratio than standard butter at your grocery store.
Don’t be fooled by food labels claiming that they contain “healthy Canola Oil”… as you can see, this couldn’t be further from the truth! Choose some of the healthier options above and your body will thank you!