Why Canola Oil Is Unhealthy | Canola Oil Health Facts
Why Canola Oil Is Unhealthy
First off, let’s just get to why Canola oil is unhealthy.
The main reasons why Canola oil is bad for you are that it is very much genetically modified, and the oil is extracted from the seeds using hexane. Hexane is a main component of gasoline, and is obtained by refining crude oil. I have always said that consuming Canola oil is like drinking motor oil. Well, it turns out it sort of is.
Canola oil is processed using phosphoric acid. Wikipedia states that at moderate concentrations phosphoric acid solutions are irritating to the skin, and that contact with concentrated solutions of phosphoric acid can cause severe skin burns and permanent eye damage.
Are you seeing why Canola oil is unhealthy? Should we continue?
What Does Canola Oil Come From and Where Is Canola Oil Made?
Canola oil was “created” in Canada (hence the “Can” part of the name). Canola is actually a copyrighted name. There is no natural plant or seed of a plant called Canola.
What Is Canola Oil Made From?
Canola oil is made from rapeseed, actually. Rapeseed is quite closely related to mustard, and is also in the same family as cabbage, turnips and beets.
Rapeseed is otherwise known as “oilseed rape”. Despite it’s awful names, and the fact that it is used to make Canola oil, rapeseed (and the oil extracted from it before Monsanto got ahold of it) is healthy, and also made into feed for farm animals.
Canola Oil Health Facts
Anyone who jumps up and down about the virtues of Canola oil has been listening to lies, or has never learned the whole story.
Canola oil was created in the early 1970s at the University of Manitoba in Canada. It was made to be an inexpensive vegetable oil, and was pretty healthy, for the most part.
In 1995, Monsanto made a genetically modified version of Canola oil. Now, since 2005, 87% of canola grown in the United States is genetically modified, and by 2009, 90% of Canada’s Canola was genetically engineered, as well.
Canola and other partially hydrogenated vegetable oils are known for causing inflammation and calcification of arteries.
Is Canola Oil Genetically Modified?
Genetically modified Canola oil is often partially hydrogenated, which increases its negative health effects. There are reports that Canola oil has caused many kidney and liver issues, as well as had negative neurological effects.
Before the University of Manitoba began to modify rapeseed in the 1970s, it was found to have high levels of both erucic acid and glucosinolate. Glucosinolate has quite an unappealing bitter flavor, but erucic acid had actually been linked to heart disease. So, it’s all good. Until Monsanto got ahold of it in the 1990s.
Roundup-Ready canola was the result. It was initially modified to be resistant to chemical herbicides, like glyphosate.
Today, nearly all of the canola grown in North America has been genetically modified to be resistant to herbicides. Most GMOs today are made by the same big companies (like Monsanto) that sell these harmful herbicides. And wouldn’t you know it– over 60 percent of the world’s entire seed supply is now controlled by just three of these companies.
How Is Canola Oil Genetically Modified?
Despite their claims that herbicide-tolerant crops reduce the use of chemical herbicides, the USDA’s findings indicate that glyphosate use has increased fifteen times since the early 1990s.
So how is canola oil genetically modified?
Chemicals and radiation are used to mutate a crop, and then the plants that show the most desirable results are selected to be bred into a new crop. This process is called mutagenesis.
But then there is another kind of mutagenesis, called oligonucleotide-directed mutagenesis, or ODM.
The ODM process introduces oligonucleotide into the cells of a plant, using in-vitro methods of biotechnology to mutate the DNA of plants. The Non-GMO Project has compiled a high-risk list, which contains products mutated by ODM.
But this is an article about Canola oil, and not GMOs in general. Here is a very informative article about why genetically modified foods are bad.
Is There Anything Good About Canola Oil?
Canola oil contains small amounts of vitamins E and K, but is otherwise devoid of vitamins or minerals.
It also contains some polyunsaturated fats, which include omega-6 fatty acid and omega-3 fatty acid, which tends to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. There are small amounts of good trans fats in some Canola oil, but most of the trans fats in Canola are artificial, and very bad for health.
More Canola Oil Health Facts
The good fats in Canola oil, which are considered essential for health are disproportionate.
The omega-6 fatty acid content in Canola oil is very high. Healthline.com reports that the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio in the average person’s diet is around 15:1. It should be around 1:1. This disproportion causes increased inflammation, which is the cause of most diseases we know of, but in particular heart disease, obesity and Alzheimer’s disease.
Highly refined Canola oil, because of the processes used to refine it, is all but devoid of the vitamins and antioxidants found in unmutated, cold-pressed Canola oil (still in existence, if you can find it).
Good Oils for Cooking
Good oils for cooking include virgin olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil. These oils contain anti-inflammatory compounds like polyphenol antioxidants, as well as the good kind of cholesterol.
Other oils that are not so good for cooking, but are good for dressings, and anything else you might have used Canola oil for in the past that won’t be subjected to much heat are hempseed oil, flaxseed oil and walnut oil. These are all very healthy.
The Bottom Line
Despite many reports you may come across, Canola oil is unhealthy.
Because so many foods that we buy contain Canola oil, you should definitely find an alternative, like virgin olive oil or coconut oil, for home use.
We have gone over why Canola oil is unhealthy, and listed some Canola oil health facts, which should convince you that, although there isn’t a large body of evidence as to the health risks of consuming it, there is enough to indicate that Canola oil is unhealthy, and should be avoided. And I hope that it is clear that anything good about most Canola oil is far outweighed by the bad.