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Q. How Healthy Is Canola Oil Really?

By Brierley Wright, M.S., R.D., March/April 2010

How Healthy is Canola Oil?

A. Canola oil comes from canola seeds. They are a genetic variation of rapeseed that was developed in the 1960s using traditional plant-breeding methods to make the rapeseed more palatable.

But canola often gets a bad rap. For example, we get questions from people who’ve heard canola oil is toxic and can cause various diseases, from emphysema to Mad Cow. The truth is there are no sound scientific studies suggesting a link between canola oil and any disease.

We also hear concerns that canola oil is genetically engineered (GE). This is true—most canola (93 percent in the U.S.) is GE. If that’s a concern for you, choose certified organic.

EatingWell often uses canola oil in our recipes because it’s one of the healthiest oil choices. It’s a good source of monounsaturated fats, the kind that, when used to replace saturated fats like butter and cheese, can help reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and lower your risk of heart disease. Canola is the richest cooking-oil source of alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fat that has been linked to heart health.

Canola is also versatile: it has a neutral taste, light texture and a medium-high smoke point, so it works well for sautéing and baking. (An oil’s smoke point is the temperature at which it begins to smoke. When it does, disease-causing carcinogens and free radicals are released, so you never want to heat your oil to that point.)

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COMMENTS POSTEDsort icon

As someone below mentioned, my wife also totally cramps up and has to go to the bathroom within 30 minutes of consuming even small amounts of canola oil. She also develops hives around her joints over the next day. It tooks us forever to figure out what was causing the problem, until one of our good friends suggested we consider the type of oil in the ingredients list, as one of their friends had a similar reaction. This highly processed/manufactured crap is garbage. I don't know why we think it is so necessary to meddle with nature instead of cooking with natural products that have been used for centuries. We think we're being so smart and creating products that will make us so much more healthy rather than just doing what nature intended and watching our diet. Again and again now, recent science is showing us that we've been fooling ourselves with these fancy, highly processed foods and supplements and that going back to the basics of our predecessors (when it comes to cooking) always made the most sense. Just look at all the fat people everywhere with tons of allergies and other maladies, and it should be completely obvious to anyone that we've been joking ourselves with all of this snake oil.

Anonymous

03/01/2015 - 5:25pm

What they do to food in the US is Amazing. I am glad I live in Europe.

Anonymous

02/25/2015 - 10:35am

I'm amazed by the ignorance of people. Controlled double blind studies don't lie. Any body can have a different reaction to food and drugs. It doesn't mean it will have the same effect on most people. These insane Nazi's with their GMO propaganda are devoid of common sense and suffer from mental neurosis.

Anonymous

02/21/2015 - 4:06pm

I have taken canola oil for almost a month now, one table spoonful at night and it works wonders. It has relieved my athritis and my skin has become very smooth and soft. So I would say that canola oil works and it is healthy to take.
Im Mary from Nakuru, Kenya.

Anonymous

02/20/2015 - 2:33pm

i tried canola oil and got GMO cancer. Had to have daily injections of high-fructose corn syrup chemo for the cancer. I cooked with pure virgin coconut oil and had to get a roto rooter treatment to unclog my coronary arteries. Olive oil put me and the pine tree out front into anaphylactic shock. My dog got sick on organic dog food but loves walmart brand.

Everyone has an opinion but most of us only want to hear what we already believe. Go to a "granola organic food" web source(you know who you are...)you will hear one sermon. Go to an agrobusiness one and you will hear a different one.

Seriously folks...try to check your nutritional religion at the door and follow the science with an *open* mind. That is what the author appears to have done. Pure science should be reproducible. Consider every web source with a grain of deiodized kosher sea salt.

Too many posters here have already made up their minds and do not want to be confused by the facts.

Anonymous

02/15/2015 - 4:34pm

This article is written by a person who holds a degree in nutrition no less. What a pack of lies! NO DOUBT PAID FOR BY THE OIL LOBBY!

Anonymous

02/08/2015 - 2:30am

Here is what I have learned about oils. During the 1970s mankind found a novel way to extract oils out of seeds. Canola oil is a genetically modified version of rapeseed oil and corn oil comes from the GMO corn. Grape seed oil comes from the seeds of grapes. We learned how to press the oils out of seeds using extreme force and by artificial means. To extract oils they use a hydraulic press and hexane gas. When the hexane, a well known carcinogenic gas hits the seeds, the oils flows out with little effort. The seeds go through a press and then through an extreme squeezing mechanism to remove every drop of oil. This process of extreme pressure, produces high heat and the oil now alone without the protection of the fibre and enzymes and it's encapsulated cellulose enclosure of the mother seed becomes rancid very quickly. This rancidity creates a pungent molecule that stinks. This smelly molecule is mother natures way of saying STOP! This stuff is bad and not worthy of human consumption.

Mother nature is a very smart and classy lady. She gave us olfactory nerves in our nose so that we can identify good from bad. So the stupid man, what does he do? Forget nature, lets remove the bad smell! Now the smelly oils are moved to a stink removal plant. At this plant the oil is heated to over 500 degree to burn off the smelly molecule. Whatever goodness there was in the oil is totally destroyed and what is left is a toxic liquid that even the insects, molds or bacteria won't eat. This oil will never go bad. Even if you forget this jar of canola oil on a shelf and your child grows up and finds it after 20 years in the back shelf and consumes it. The oils will still taste the same. Oils do not belong outside of the fruit which contains enzymes and fiber. it is protected deep inside the seed enclosed in a protective cellulose sheath. It was never meant to be consumed alone.

Anonymous

02/08/2015 - 2:30am

I have ony one coment, One teaspoon of canola in my system and I have stomach cramps and I have 5 to 30 min to reach a tolet. Also my poor grand daughter when going out for dinner she would have a blowout until my daughter found out it was caused by CANOLA oil. It is all about profit who cares about people!

Anonymous

02/06/2015 - 7:39pm

In my opinion, GMO products are not in their natural state. Our body recognizes natural substances. What does it do with products that have been scientifically altered to another state? Why are Americans getting sicker and sicker? Why are doctors not able to get us better without the use of multiple drugs? We need to get back to the basics of eating whole, fresh foods as much as possible. When we give our body what it needs, it will be healthier and happier.

Anonymous

Anonymous

01/29/2015 - 2:14pm

Anyone who is afraid of GMO clearly does not have an understanding of basic science. Ignorance and fear are far more harmful substances.

Anonymous

01/26/2015 - 3:14pm

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