If you’ve been following my fitness newsletters for some time, you may have noticed that I NEVER include canola oil in any of my recipes or any of my lists of healthy foods.
Many people have asked me why, because all they hear in the mainstream media is that canola oil is “heart healthy” and a good source of monounsaturated fats similar to olive oil.
Well, first of all, you need to realize that much of what you hear in the mainstream media has been influenced by heavy handed marketing tactics by big food companies. Canola oil is cheap for them to produce so they want to fool you into thinking it’s a “health oil” so that people, restaurants, etc will buy it up as their main oil of choice.
Yes, it’s true that canola oil is high in monounsaturates, but let me explain why canola oil is anything but “healthy”.
Canola oil is made from something called rapeseed. Rapeseed actually had to be bred over the years to reduce the percentage of a problematic component of rapeseed, which is erucic acid.
Important note on canola oil “urban legends”: There is a problem with most websites that DEFEND canola oil, saying that internet “urban legends” on the dangers of canola oil are unfounded. The problem is that these websites that defend canola oil ONLY talk about the issue of erucic acid. The issue of erucic acid IS an urban legend, because erucic acid has been bred out to very low levels over the years, so it is a non-issue.
However, these websites that defend canola oil are barking up the wrong tree because they don’t address the issue of the processing of canola oil and oxidation of the polyunsaturated component of canola oil, and formation of large amounts of free radicals, which is what makes it unhealthy for human consumption, and why it causes massive inflammation in your body and harms your cell membranes.
THAT’S the real issue that they either don’t understand (because they are not nutrition experts) or are simply ignoring.
Let’s look at the REAL issues with canola oil:
Canola oil typically ranges between 55-65% monounsaturated fat and between 28-35% polyunsaturated fat, with just a small amount of saturated fat.
While we’ve been led to believe that high monounsaturated fat oils are good for us (which they are in the case of virgin olive oil, avocados or from unprocessed nuts or seeds), the fact is that canola oil has more detriments than it does benefits.More…