There’s an urban legend about canola oil stating it causes teeth to fall out, hair to disappear, lesions to appear, hands and feet to numb, and more horrifying results
By Matt Hall — Staff Writer
While these consequences are over-exaggerated (and sometimes completely false), we do know canola oil is frequently (and deceivingly) mislabeled as non-GMO, can potentially cause cancer, and overall isn’t great for your health. Being better than a worse alternative doesn’t necessarily make something good!
Mike Geary, a certified personal trainer and best-selling author, states that the real issue behind canola oil’s unhealthy true nature isn’t in the erucic acid (what most urban legends claim causes outrageous results). Instead, he says that the processing of canola oil and oxidation of the polyunsaturated component of canola oil make it unsuitable for human consumption. If true, many so-called “healthy” foods that use canola oil are actually unsafe and potentially carcinogenic.
Why Canola Oil Can Actually Be Harmful
To start off, it’s important to note canola oil — which is often produced from GMO rapeseeds — usually ranges between 55-65% monounsaturated fat and between 28-35% polyunsaturated fat. The amount of saturated fat in this oil is minimal, causing many to market it as a “good” oil on par with olive oil. Even though oils high in monounsaturated fats are typically good for us, the potentially harmful results of consuming canola oil should take this oil of your list of approved oils.
The process of making it actually transforms a potentially healthy oil into an oil that looks healthy but is hiding a dangerous secret. Typically extracted and produced under high pressure, using extreme heat, and with petroleum solvents, canola oil is highly processed and transformed as it is made. In this way, more oil can be produced in a faster time. This process has several determinants:
This oxidizes the polyunsaturates in the oil, increasing free radicals in your body
This can actually force some of the omega-3 content of canola oil to transform into trans fat
It can potentially lead to bowel inflammation, heart disease, weight gain and other health conditions
That’s right: in order to make more oil for less money (and increase their profits), oil producers chemically alter the oil as they create it. This allows them to market a product that meets what consumers expect in a “healthy” oil but doesn’t actually live up to its promised health benefits.
Safe Alternatives to Canola Oil
Even though most brands of canola oil are produced under these high heat and pressure conditions (causing, according to Geary, the detrimental health effects), some types are still safe. Make sure the canola oil you buy and use is cold pressed before you put it in your shopping cart.
You can also choose to extra virgin olive oil as a safe go-to oil for most cooking and eating needs.
As usual, the same companies who use GMO products are hiding yet another harmful side effect of one of their “healthy” flagships. Unless it has been cold pressed, don’t believe the “canola oil is healthy” lie. It’s just more manipulation by big corporations trying to make a buck.