The Truth About Canola Oil

What is a canola plant? You probably can’t picture it because it doesn’t exist.

Canola oil actually comes from the rapeseed plant, which isn’t the most appealing name in the world. During WWII this oil was used for industrial purposes and the oil was so toxic that it was actually banned by the FDA for human consumption in 1956! In the 1970s, Canadian farmers decided to grow a new variety of ‘rapeseed’ that had a lower content of the toxic euric acid. They also renamed it ‘canola’ oil, which stands for ‘Canadian Oil, Low Acid’. They used a genetic manipulation technique involving seed splitting to come up with this new form of the rapeseed plant. However, this form has high sulfur content and goes rancid easily. During the deodorizing process, the omega 3 fatty acids of processed canola oil are transformed into trans fatty acids, which increases total cholesterol and LDL levels in your blood. Trans fats are also a catalyst for a laundry list of other diseases that can occur. Canola oil is still toxic, and is a genetically modified oil, so it is in your best interest to steer clear!

The good new is there are many healthy alternatives to canola oil.  If you’re looking for an oil with a mild flavor, try Grapeseed oil. It is basically tasteless and has a high smoke point so it’s great for sautéing. Olive oil of course is a favorite because of its many health benedits. Coconut oil adds a slight tropical flavor that can really make a dish, and it also helps boost the metabolism to help you lose weight!

Oils are vital for nerve function, hormone production and balance and much more so having an ample amount is crucial for each and every cell to function. Make sure you choose raw, unheated oils in dark containers.