Is canola oil bad for you
Is canola oil bad for you? A YouTube viewer left a comment saying I shouldn’t use Canola oil because it was “One of the worst on this planet”. Is she right?
Not long after my Youtube viewer left that comment on my video for Roasted Cabbage and Sausage Sheet Pan Dinner my dad mentioned that he’d heard Canola oil was really good for you. He started talking about omega-3s and such and it got me thinking “Is Canola oil bad for you or is Canola oil good for you?”. I did a little research to find out, here’s what I found.
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Canola oil is produced by crushing the seeds of the canola plant, a crossbreed of the rapeseed plant, (that’s in the Brassicaceae or Cruciferae families like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and collards).
About 80% of canola oil is produced from genetically modified or GMO plants. That means physically removing the DNA from one organism and transferring the gene or genes traits into another. You can also find canola oil modified the old fashioned way, by hybridization or cross-breeding. These processes were developed in Canada giving us the name Canola (I don’t think calling it rapeseed oil would be a good marketing strategy), a combination of Canada and ola meaning oil.
Why modify the rapeseed plant?
Modified rapeseed oil contains lower levels of erucic acid than non-modified rapeseed oil, which has been linked to heart problems in rats. Modified canola oil has 2% erucic acid compared to straight rapeseed oil, with 43% erucic acid. I found this information on the Prevention website which I find to be a credible source. For the link to read more from the Prevention article go HERE
Canola oil, like soybean and corn oil, are refined, bleached, deodorized oils – or RBD. The chemical solvent hexane is used in processing to refine the oil and extract as much oil from the plant as possible. Trace amounts of hexane remain in the finished Canola oil but the levels are low (there is more info about that in the Harvard research I link to later in this post.) Steam is used to deodorize the oil to remove compounds that can cause unpleasant odors.
So, Is Canola oil bad for you?
Canola oil is great for making salad dressing as well as sautéing and deep frying because of its neutral taste, high smoke point (about 400°) and relatively low price tag.
I used Canola oil to fry this delicious Honey Butter Fried Chicken. Get the recipe HERE
There are some health benefits to Canola oil. Canola oil is higher in anti-inflammatory omega-3s than most vegetable oils, which may help reduce your risk of inflammatory illnesses like heart disease and cancer. Canola oil, like olive oil, contains lots of monounsaturated fats so it’s considered heart healthy. Low in saturated fat (7%) high in monounsaturated fat (63%). That information comes from Harvard and I believe it’s a trustworthy source. Here’s a link if you want to learn more >> HARVARD
If you are concerned about GMO products and chemical processing look for non-GMO or organic expeller pressed Canola oil like this one from Whole Foods or order some from Amazon https://amzn.to/2yfhrqV
Expeller-pressed canola oil is made without using chemical solvents. Take a bit more care with expeller-pressed Canola oil. It should be stored away from the stove in a dark cabinet or in the refrigerator to keep it fresh.
The bottom line
In my opinion, canola oil is a good, healthy choice for cooking. If you are concerned about GMO products or chemicals used to process foods, choose expeller-pressed, non-GMO canola oil. Remember, variety is the spice of life. It’s always a good idea to use a variety of oils in the kitchen.