Cooking with Canola Oil Releases More Toxic Cancer-Causing Chemicals Than Any Other Type of Oil

Canola oil is a vegetable oil that may not be as good for you as you think. Canola oil has been promoted for its health benefits because it is low in saturated fats. However, some evidence points to the fact that canola oil may have hidden dangers to your health.

Many people claim that canola oil is bad for you because it is made from GMO crops and is highly refined. There is some scientific evidence that canola oil is bad for your health because an increased intake of canola oil is linked to inflammation, heart disease, impaired memory function, and stroke.

In this article, you will find out if claims about canola oil dangers are founded. You will also find out if this oil is safe to use for cooking, frying, or in salads.

What is Canola Oil?

Canola oil is made from crushing seeds from a plant which is a variety of the rapeseed plant.

Pure rapeseed oil isn’t suitable for consumption as it contains high amounts of toxic compounds called erucic acid and glucosinolates. So, scientists in Canada developed an edible version of the rapeseed plant. This plant was called canola and its name comes from “Canada” and “ola” meaning oil. The oil from the rapeseed plant is low in saturated fats and high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. (1)

Canola belongs to the Brassicaceae family which is the same family as mustard, rapeseed, kale, cabbage, and broccoli. Although the rapeseed plant can be developed naturally by cross-breeding, most of the world’s production of canola oil is produced from genetically engineered crops.

Genetically modified rapeseed plants are designed to be resistant to many herbicides and weed killers.

There are quite a few steps in the canola oil manufacturing process:

Initially the canola seeds are cleaned and cooked.

The cooked canola seeds are then mechanically pressed to extract much of the oil.

The oil from the remaining canola meal is extracted using a solvent called hexane.

The oil is refined using different ways such as steaming, filtration or exposure to phosphoric acid.

Researchers found that the refining process removes most of the vitamin E and the carotenoids (plant pigments) from the oil. During the refining process trans fats can develop in the canola oil. Trans fats have been linked to various chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

Why Canola Oil is Bad for You

On the face of it, canola oil may seem like a healthy oil because it contains mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. However, there are many reasons why people look for canola oil alternatives.

Researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan report that canola oil may be bad for you because canola oil can contain solvents, trans fats, and too much omega-6. Compared to soybean oil and walnut oil, canola oil may have similar trans fats content.

At the end of the article you will find good alternatives to canola oil that are not associated with the dangers of canola oil.

Canola Oil and its Health Risks – Dangers of Canola Oil

Let’s look in more detail at scientific research on the reasons why many say that canola oil is not good for you.

Canola Oil Could Be Bad for Your Heart

The reason that canola oil is touted as being good for your health is due to having high levels of unsaturated fats. However, recent research has found that canola oil may not be as beneficial for your heart as once thought.

The journal Nutrients reported on a 2018 study on the effects of different cooking oils and metabolic syndrome. The research found that overweight or obese participants who usually used canola oil for cooking had more chances to have metabolic syndrome than those who hardly or never used it.

According to the Mayo Clinic “metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. These conditions include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels”

Cooking with olive oil seemed to be the best type of oil with cardio-protective properties.

Interestingly, there is some scientific research pointing to the fact that just replacing saturated fats with unsaturated oils may not reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

Some studies contradict these studies about the dangers of canola oil on your heart health. For example, a review of published research into the heart-benefits of canola oil found positive results. However, it is good to know that the review was funded by the Canola Council of Canada.

Although there are conflicting reports on the dangers of canola oil, more research needs to be carried out. One study on the benefits of replacing olive oil with canola oil (rapeseed oil) for its heart benefits couldn’t recommend canola oil as a suitable replacement. 

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