- Canola oil is high in monounsaturated fatty acids.
- Canola oil is very low in saturated fats.
- Canola oil is a "healthy" oil and the best choice on the market today.
Correct. Correct. Wrong.
First, I have been emailed from a few people with the "hoax email" about canola and the Snopes website's rebuttal to the hoax email. The hoax email went on and on about canola and linked it to Mad Cow disease and glaucoma. That's all lies.
That is not why you shouldn't eat canola oil.
But let's start with what canola oil is. "Canola" is not a plant. Canola is a made up word for "Canada" and "oil". Canola oil is actually derived from the rapeseed plant. Obviously the food industry didn't think that RAPE was a good word to market their new oil, so they coined the name "Canola" and that's what we call it.
Until the 1970s, rapeseed was not fit for human consumption because it was too high in eruric acid. Eruric acid has been shown to cause heart lesions and vitamin E deficiency. This acid, though, made it the perfect lubricant for engines and it was used industrially. During World War II it's production skyrocketed. But after the war, the need for rapeseed oil plummeted and the food industry set about trying to figure out how to keep this big cash crop going.
They kept cross-breeding the rapeseed until they got the eruric acid level low enough to get the FDA to consider it GRAS (generally regarded as safe) seal of approval. The level "considered" safe is 2 percent or below. Most canola oil has anywhere from .5-1 percent eruric acid still in it. Is that safe? Hopefully. But when it's heated, even low levels of eruric acid have been linked to lung cancer. You should never heat canola oil.
But is that reason enough to not use it? Probably not. That was the big deal in the email hoax - the eruric acid.
Consider the FDA will not allow canola oil in infant formula because it was found to retard growth, according to the Federal Register in 1985. Do I need to make my children midgets?
And here is something that cannot be denied. Eighty percent of the rapeseed crop being planted now is genetically engineered to resist an herbicide called glufosinate ammonium. This herbicide is non-selective and will kill any plant it comes into contact with - unless the plant has been genetically altered to keep it from dying. This means you can dump as much herbicide as you want on the weeds and no longer worry about killing your actual crop. Glufosinate ammonium has been linked to nervous system problems in humans and animals. The FDA says even small amounts of this herbicide are toxic and no one is regulating the rapeseed oil for this residue.
This is big business for the companies that produce herbicides though. Big business!
These genetically altered plants are also posing another risk by crossbreeding with weeds and making the weeds resistant to glufosinate ammonium. Now you need to add a different herbicide in to kill the GA-resistant weeds. Guess what? This means more herbicides are being sold! Somebody is making even more money!
Honeybees are the biggest pollinators of rapeseed. Given the choice, honeybees will choose the rapeseed flower over other flowers. In 1997, the New Scientist published a report showing that proteins from the genetically engineered rapeseed are showing up in honey and may have adverse effects on bees and cause unknown allergens in humans.
Okay, so who cares about bees? Is that reason enough to stop eating canola?
Well then, let's also consider the fact rapeseed is a stinky oil. The reason no one but a few Asian cultures used it for food is that it has a stinky pungent odor. It's also a naturally dark oil. Look at your bottle of canola oil. Is it dark? In order to get the stink out and change it's color, it has to be deodorized and bleached. This process involves heating it and using chemicals. Guess what happens to the Omega 3s when they are heated? They become rancid. I could have linked the whole chemical process, but you would seriously need to be a chemist to get it. Do I need to be a chemist to know what I'm eating?
Okay, so if that isn't enough to convince you, also consider that in addition to being highly refined, heated, and bleached, solvents like hexane and acetone are also used in the process of extracting the oil from the seeds and preventing the crystallization of the rapeseed sediment.
So let's go over this. Canola oil contains potentially dangerous eruric acid, along with residues from herbicides, solvents, and bleaches. It's genetically altered. It's having an impact on the environment and on animal species.
Will it kill you? Probably not. Is is the best choice?
Your best choice is to use cold-pressed oils. They cost a lot. I use cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil. I prefer Greek. I also use high oleic, cold-pressed organic safflower oil. I sometimes use grape seed oil. We use butter. Do NOT use margarine ever. Do not eat hydrogenated anything.
You guys buy vacuums, I buy expensive oil. My oil costs more than my wine per ounce.
If you want to do one single thing to change your health, your cardiovascular health and your cholesterol, change your oil.
Do you know that Greg is "technically" obese according to his BMI (body mass index)? His cholesterol is 180. He has normal blood pressure. His blood sugar is lower than mine. His cardiologist said he's never seen a man of his size in such great cadiovascular health without serious medications. Greg takes no medications - not even aspirin.
Do you think that happened by accident? I plan to keep him around to drive him crazy for a long time.
It's all about the oil.
Don't buy into the Con-ola marketing ploy. It's not the best choice for your health.