Canola Oil: Good or Bad for You!

Holidays are around the corner, and, you’ll be using and consuming a quite good amount of vegetable oils. Are you getting the good healthy or the bad ones?

Have you been lied to about the health benefits of canola oil?

Many people believe that canola oil is a good healthy vegetable oil choice. But, the truth is 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 to fool the media into thinking it’s a “health oil” so that people, restaurants (use it heavily), etc will buy it up as their main oil of choice.

The dirty truth about canola oil

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.

The REAL issues with canola oil:

Canola oil typically ranges between 55-65% monounsaturated fat and between 28-35% polyunsaturated fat, with just a small amount of saturated fat.

While we’ve been led to believe that high monounsaturated fat oils are good for us (which they’re in the case of virgin olive oil, avocados or from unprocessed nuts or seeds), the fact is that canola oil has more detriments than it does benefits.

The biggest problem with most popular vegetable 0ils are highly processed and refined vegetable oils such as corn oil, soybean oil, and yes, even canola oil, is that the polyunsaturated component of the oil is highly unstable under heat, light, solvents, 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 (inflammation is today modern life ‘silent killer’) in your body when you ingest them, damaging your cell membranes, contributing to heart disease, weight gain, and other degenerative diseases.

The reason that extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is good for you is that it is generally cold pressed without the use of heat and solvents to aid extraction, and also contains much less polyunsaturated fats than canola oil, so is therefore more stable.  EVOO also contains important antioxidants that help protect the stability of the oil.

Canola oil, on the other hand, 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.

Does canola oil even have trans fats?

Even worse, 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 the crap that they are marketing 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 vegetable oils like soybean oil or corn oil.  The bottom line is that it is an inflammatory oil in your body and should be avoided as much as possible.

Alternative, best and truly healthy oil choices:

  • Extra virgin olive oil – for lower temperature cooking and salad dressing
  • 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 –  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, along with anti-cancer properties.  Grass-fed butter also has a much healthier omega-6 to omega-3 ratio than standard butter at your grocery store.  Kerrygold Irish butter is my favorite grass-fed butter, and Organic Valley pasture-raised butter is my 2nd favorite!
  • Macadamia nut oil & avocado oil – Both of these oils have a high ratio of monounsaturated fat making them moderately stable for use with heat.

These are much healthier oils than canola or other vegetable oils. Now, you know to NOT be fooled by food labels claiming that they contain “healthy canola oil”




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