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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

Mayo clinic, Snopes and other sources debunk the myth of danger in Canola oil. Before blindly believing what strangers post, do research. Who you gonna believe, Mayo Clinic or Anonymous?

Anonymous

03/04/2013 - 1:31pm

Rapeseed itself is not edible. The process is has to through is scary to me. Add this chemical, bleach it, add another chemical, heat it up etc., etc. It is like casein. It was a byproduct of milk processing and considered a toxic waste. What a great Idea! Clean it up and sell it to the public. Protein powder that is for most people inedible and causes constipation and real bad gas. We are now deluded to the fact that canola oil is supposed to be safe. It is still heavily processed oil that is very plentiful and makes a few people very rich in Canada. It is no comparison to organic extra virgin OLIVE OIL. It is like saying raw honey and white sugar are the same thing. They are not. Carbohydrates yes. Equal, no.
Canola oil is not natural and I avoid any food that contains it. Unfortunately, it is in everything now.

Anonymous

02/28/2013 - 5:17pm

Best is to check your blood group type and know what you should and not

Anonymous

02/19/2013 - 11:11am

There is no GMO left in the oil. There is no cellular material left!! Moot moot!

Anonymous

02/01/2013 - 10:54pm

Rape seed oil rapes your health! Don't eat it if you respect your body and care for your health!

Anonymous

01/26/2013 - 1:53am

How the heck much canola oil does one consume to make them so ill? It sounds more like a canola allergy, unless one is drinking the stuff! Like a peanut allergy, an oil allergy is hard to detect right away! Anyhow, I am an avid cook and baker, I use oil for so few things, I am curious how much canola oil the average person uses in a day? I use it for brownie mixes and an occasional quick bread or a dash for salad dressing. I don't fry my food much and I prefer a little olive oil for sautéing with a swirl of butter on occasion. Interesting comments.

Anonymous

01/13/2013 - 8:01pm

Everyone here needs to understand the vital difference between GMO (genetically modified organism) and GE (genetically engineered). We humans have eaten genetically modified vegetable and fruit for thousands of years, When we selectively breed for desirable characteristics, we are genetically modifying that plant. Bees and other pollinators do it all the time, and there is nothing wrong with it. Genetic ENGINEERING, however, is VERY different: crosses and gene-splices are made that nature would not allow. Witness fish genes in tomatoes, and plants that survive heavy sprays of Roundup herbicide, and plants that contain Bt, a naturally-occurring pesticide that plants could not make by themselves.
The term GMO has been adopted as a slogan because it it catchy: "Say no to GMO." It is dangerously inaccurate, because it plays into the hands of Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow, etc. who WANT us to be confused and misled.
Without genetic modification, we wouldn't have broccoli, or Labrador retrievers, and tomatoes and lettuce would be inedible. Do your homework, folks, and please please please let's get it right!

Anonymous

01/06/2013 - 7:09pm

I like lard. Lots of it baby! If you're going to drive off the cliff, press the pedal to the floor I say! Vroooom!

Anonymous

01/06/2013 - 6:57pm

yes canola oil is amazing much better than olive oil compared to fat and omega 6 & 3 ratio

Anonymous

01/02/2013 - 2:03am

On 12/16/12 I eliminated ALL Canola Oil from my diet, and my health is recouping day by day. I will healthy, delicious fat spread at the end.
I read that it takes 10 years for outward symptoms to manifest, and that is correct in my case. I began buying Canola Oil at my trusted natural grocer by a healthy oil brand. The only ill affect I recall in retrospect, was notable lower jaw and mouth tension.
In 2010 a myriad of symptoms began which constitute a syndrome. I developed food intolerances/allergies to wheat, grains, sugar, and chocolate. I had episodes of inflammation and sickness that sent me to bed for 2-3 days. Sores erupted on my tongue, and my hair fell out excessively. I had heart arrhythmias. I had fatigue, neck pain, and small blood vessels that popped out on my abdomen. My abdomen ached if I consumed carbohydrates. I experienced sudden urinary weakness/leakage, and “IBS”. I became chemically sensitive to ammonia, peroxide with resulting sickness.
I changed my diet to vegetable-meat based and eschewed all forms of sugar, and prepared most of my food at home. In the second year, I was still consuming Canola oil in a spread, in gluten-free bread, and in foods occasionally eaten outside home. My health continued to decline: continuing episodes of inflammation and sickness, sickness to corn, worsening pain in neck, flutters, pounding and clicks in one ear, loss of hearing in same ear, and extreme TMJ syndrome with acute pressure in temples, cranium and sinuses. Each morning I awoke feeling like I'd been in a war, swelling under my eyes, incapacitating temple, frontal, and sinus pressure, and broken sinus blood vessels.
On 12/15/12 I ate potatoes cooked in canola oil, and I was sickened and bed-ridden for 3 days. I began researching canola oil then, and decided that it is the canola oil that was destroying me from the inside out. I knew something from outside me was hurting me, because I’ve always been healthy and had a very health-conscious diet and lifestyle. Not consuming CanolaOil means the return of my health and life. The first days after ceasing canola oil, my nasal capillaries stopped breaking-bleeding. My sinus and temple pressure abated. Swelling under my eyes is almost gone. I have less jaw pressure. Now I wake up feeling tranquil and rested, not war-torn. I still have food sensitivies which I must observe or I will experience fatigue. I’ve had no further episodes of sickness and inflammation. The flutter and pounding in my ear nearly gone, I only hear some ticking now and then. It will take time to reverse the damage done to me by canola oil. In the meantime, I will spread the word.
Not eating canola means not eating out and eating almost nothing processed. Fortunately I live in Portland Oregon, where there is non-gluten, non-canola bread made locally, as well as eateries I have yet to try. Ending Canola means talking to people about its dangers, and writing food manufacturers and restaurants.
Now here is that recipe for a delicious spread:
1 stick butter, room temp (pasture-raised preferably)
4 Tbs olive oil (cold pressed)
Place the butter in a food processor. Begin to process and drizzle in the olive oil. Blend until creamy.

Anonymous

12/26/2012 - 4:02pm

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