The Worst of the Worst: Canola Oil
Unlike olive oil, which comes from olives, and avocado oil, which comes from avocados, canola doesn’t come from the canola plant, but rather crushed seeds.
The word “canola” comes from “Canadian oil low acid,” and is a genetically altered product of the rapeseed plant.
In the past, rapeseed oil was used in candles, soaps, lipsticks, lubricants, inks, biofuels, and even insecticides.
In 1956 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the use of rapeseed oil for human consumption due to the high levels of erucic acid. By the early seventies, rapeseed growers had found a way to genetically modify the seeds to produce an oil with reduced erucic acid.
The oil was reintroduced on the market under the name “Rape Oil” or “Lear Oil” (Low Erucic Acid Rape), which was later changed to Canola Oil for marketing purposes. It was touted a wonder oil, low in unhealthy saturated fats and high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
While this GMO seed may have a lower erucic acid content, hybridization and genetic modification also increased the amount of oleic acid. Oleic acid has been linked to stunted growth, abnormalities in blood platelets, free radical damage, and an increased risk of several types of cancer.
Canola Oil Is Danger:
- 90 percent of canola oil is genetically modified
A 2011 review published in Environmental Studies Europe reported that mammals fed genetically modified foods for 90 days showed dramatically reduced kidney (43.5 percent) and liver (30.8 percent) functions. This study is only one of the many studies linking GMO food to increased health issues.
- Canola oil is often used as a hydrogenated oil
Canola is a highly refined, processed oil. It undergoes degumming, bleaching, and deodorizing steps that usually involve high temperatures and toxic chemicals. Also, during the process harmful trans fatty acids are created which contribute to cardiovascular issues.
- Canola oil is the main ingredient of “non-chemical” pesticides
Most GMO foods contain high levels of pesticide residues which have shown to cause many life-threatening issues. Furthermore, canola oil is an excellent pesticide on its own, hence its use as a key ingredient in many “non-chemical” pesticides.
According to the Weston A. Price foundation and Fat Experts Sally Fallon and Mary Enig state:
Like all modern vegetable oils, canola oil goes through the process of refining, bleaching and degumming — all of which involve high temperatures or chemicals of questionable safety. And because canola oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which easily become rancid and foul-smelling when subjected to oxygen and high temperatures, it must be deodorized. The standard deodorization process removes a large portion of the omega-3 fatty acids by turning them into trans fatty acids. Although the Canadian government lists the trans content of canola at a minimal 0.2 percent, research at the University of Florida at Gainesville, found trans levels as high as 4.6 percent in commercial liquid oil. The consumer has no clue about the presence of trans fatty acids in canola oil because they are not listed on the label.
How Canola Oil is made:
- Once the rapeseed is collected, magnetized rods attempt to remove any foreign metal that may have been introduced into the collection of seed.
- Afterwards, a 60+ minute wash of a hexane solvent.
- After the hexane wash is complete, a wash of sodium hydroxide is performed.
- The “natural” waxes are collected and used to aid in the creation of vegetable shortening.
- Bleach is then introduced to lighten the cloudy color of the processed oil.
- Steam injection is then applied to remove the bitter smell.
Video: How Canola Oil is made
Recommendations for Healthier Fats and Oils:
- Virgin coconut oil – cooks well under a wide range of temperatures. Offers an abundance of healthy saturated fats in the form of medium chain triglycerides (MCT), one being lauric acid which helps support the immune system. Coconut oil is truly the healthiest oil on Earth you can consume.
- Extra virgin olive oil – that is cold pressed – conducts best under lower cooking temperatures.
- Organic grass-fed butter or ghee – a great source of Conjugated Linoleic Acid.
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