Sunday, January 18, 2009

Rethinking Canola Oil--A Healthy Oil or Just Good PR?


Canola oil was created in 1978 from rapeseed that was bred to be fit for human consumption. Traditional rapeseed oil contains toxic levels of glucosin and high levels of erucic acid. Canola stands for "CANadian Oil, Low Acid" The name change from rapeseed to "canola" was a marketing technique to distinguish it from regular rapeseed oil and to make it a more marketable product. Rape comes from the latin word "rapum" which means turnip and the rapeseed plant is the same family as the turnip, brussel sprout, cabbage, kale and mustard seed plants. According to Wikipedia, 80% of canola is produced from genetically modified canola that is resistant to herbicide. Which means they can spray the crop with herbicide to kill the weeds and the canola plant will not be affected. You can read more about Round Up Ready Canola HERE. Which is wonderful for the farmers, but not so great for consumers of canola oil.

According to Poisoned Profits: The Toxic Assault on our Children, chemicals are tested alone and not in combination and "The pesticide Roundup, for instance, is more dangerous in its finished formulation than its active ingredients." 1 Yikes. Plus canola oil has to be highly refined to get the oil and can be a source of trans fatty acids, according to Dr. Mary Enig, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Maryland, who has brought public awareness to the dangers of trans fats. It is, as promised, low in saturated fat. But too low in saturated fat to be used exclusively in the diet--as we need some saturated fat to function and "Cholesterol is vital for the development and function of the brain."2

WHAT TO DO: Choose a healthier oil: coconut oil or olive oil are both good choices. Coconut oil is great to use in fried and baked goods because it has a higher smoke point and healthy, saturated fat is important for children's brain development. Olive oil is better for things that are lightly cooked at lower temperatures or added for flavor after cooking.


1.http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/332/7553/1330?ijkey=XhTeJopzPkacsS2&keytype=ref
2. Poisoned Profits p. 54

2 comments:

goabeachresort said...

is that so...here in India we usually use ground nut oil and sunflower oil..at your free time try visiting my blog: Goa

Print this post
Cannon and Kassie said...

Thanks for this great post, when it said HERE there was no link on the word. I would love to check it out. I am writing my own post on canola oil and will put a link. Thanks!!

Print this post