Oils, Fats & Why to Avoid Canola Oil

Diane Sanfilippo Fats and Oils, Food & Recipes 6 Comments

Ok, I know this may seem overwhelming, but take a few minutes to read some of this. And feel free to reply with your thoughts or additional insights for me to share with others.

Most of you already use olive oil mainly, I know, but be aware that the best overall are the following:

Organic Olive Oil- uses: low heat or cold for salad dressings, dipping (buy cold-pressed since heat-pressing is damaging to the positive qualities of the oil)

Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (unrefined if possible)-
perfect for vegetarians & vegans- great for high heat, has a mild, great taste. Solid at room temp but melts very easily. Don't be scared of the saturated fat, this stuff is something our human bodies have known how to process forever!

Organic Butter- from GRASS FED cows whenever possible!- best for baking, high heat

Raw Butter-
best for spreading on bread if it's not EVOO (don't bother using Raw butter for cooking because then it's not raw anymore)

As for those of you who are really into Earth Balance and Smart Balance spreads, this isn't a personal attack, but let me just say this: Years ago this country fell for the Margarine hoax. We bought into what we were told was food and was healthy. We all now know that Margarine is basically processed garbage and more akin to plastic than a food. I haven't been able to research to find some facts to read on EB or SB specifically, but my gut has always told me that those spreads are nothing more than new form of Margarine. It's oils that are treated and processed in ways that aren't natural. It's not pure food that your body knows how to process. How many ingredients are on that list that you can't pronounce?

And as for lowering cholesterol, I think we should reconsider everything else in our diets before trying to patch up over what we've already eaten with some concoction of oils made into a new “food” product. I think we all know there's something fishy about those spreads. Far too many ingredients to really be called FOOD, in my opinion.

I am of the school of thought that we ought to be focusing on all of the processed non-foods we're eating, rather than the real foods. Replace the crap with FOOD, and there's the secret to an easy, healthy diet! Remember, most FOOD doesn't have a package or a label…it can't shout at you the way some “foods” do. It's naked! It's raw! It's green! It has skin or peel…and if it's meat, it's “bleeding” 'til we cook it! ;o)

Consider this:
“One hundred years ago, heart disease was virtually unknown. Today, two-thirds of US citizens develop heart disease. Something has clearly gone wrong with the way we are living, and one of the main factors could indeed be the introduction of over-refined, over-processed, devitalized oils.”

And when you have a few minutes, click and read about canola oil.
Even if you don't use it in your house much, it's good to look out for it in foods you may buy. The information below is not my opinion, it's some information I have gathered from various sources. Here's a good link, it gives a lot of info and overall says that a lot of the studies proving Canola is safe are inconclusive due to the lack of time we've been consuming the substance. I think the year I found was, interestingly enough, 1978. The year I was born…that Canola oil first entered our food-system as an edible substance.

I like the Weston-Price Foundation's views, they are not government supported: http://www.westonaprice.org/knowyourfats/conola.html

And a couple of other articles to read and consider for yourself:

Here's some other info on Canola Oil:
“It has been very much in vogue in health food circles to praise Canola oil as very healthy oil-high in polyunsaturates, while condemning tropical oils such as coconut or palm oil as being saturated and unhealthy.

The high praise for Canola is propaganda put forth by the Canadian government because “can-ola,” a hybridized rape plant, is one of that nation's chief export products. Rapeseed oil contains toxic erucic acid. Canola has much less erucic acid in it.

Health food store operators parrot the hype without checking any facts. Consumers search out various products with Canola oil in them because they believe this is somehow much healthier than other oils. All food grade Canola, including the varieties sold in health food stores, are deodorized from its natural terrible stink with 300 degree F. high-temperature refining. You cannot cook a vegetable oil at that temperature and leave behind anything much edible.

Research at the University of Florida- Gainsesville, determined that as much as 4.6% of all the fatty acids in Canola are “trans” isomers (plastic) due to the refining process. Contrary to popular opinion, saturated fats, especially those found in coconut oil are not harmful to health, but are important nutrition. There are no trans isomers in unrefined coconut butter, for example. This refers to many published research papers by Mary Enig, Ph.D. that refutes all the establishment propaganda condemning saturated fats.”

How much do we know about it?

  1. CANOLA OIL: Canola oil from the rape seed, referred to as the Canadian oil because Canada is mainly responsible for it being marketed in the USA The Canadian government and industry paid our Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA). $50 million dollars to have canola oil placed on the (GRAS) List “Generally Recognized As Safe”. Thus a new industry was created. Laws were enacted affecting international trade, commerce, and traditional diets. Studies with lab. animals were disastrous. Rats developed fatty degeneration of heart, kidney, adrenals, and thyroid gland. When canola oil was withdrawn from their diets, the deposits dissolved but scar tissue remained on all vital organs. No studies on humans were made before money was spent to promote Canola oil in the USA.
  2. Used as a lubricant, fuel, soap and synthetic rubber base as well as an illuminant for slick color pages in magazines.
  3. It forms latex-like substances that cause red blood corpuscles to clump together.
  4. Experts agree that the effects of ingested Rapeseed Oil take at least 10 years to manifest – so not to be concerned.
  5. Irradiation (!) is used to turn the rapeseed oil into acceptable Canola Oil?

Comments 6

  1. Rapeseed oil (or ‘R-Oil’ as it is called to avoid the unfortunate name) is commonly available in the UK. It tastes pretty good and is a local food source (a trip outside of London in summer- to Yorkshire, maybe- and you see fields of bright yellow rapeseed flowers).

    What is it that is bad about this oil? Should I really not use this?

    How about sunflower oil?

  2. Wow, long time no blog…finally even seeing this comment! So…Rapeseed Oil and Sunflower Oil are the ones about which you are inquiring.

    Rapeseed Oil doesn’t seem to be a very clean, pure oil. However, I don’t know much about it as it isn’t sold here. What I do know is that the oil seems to be produced using fairly toxic methods. Do a little bit of research on it on your own to read how the oil is produced.

    Sunflower oil is very high in Omega 6 fats and it’s believed that our diets are already swayed too far in that direction (ideally we’d consume Omega 6: Omega 3 in a 1:1 ratio).

    It seems to me that oils from seeds and vegetables that require a lot of processing to extract are the least natural. For example, olive oil and coconut oil come from the meat of the actual fruits. They are often available cold-pressed and extra virgin. Oils are easily, naturally occurring in these plants. This is just my theory. The closer to the original form anything we consume remains the better!

    Does that make sense?

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  3. What about people with lactose intolerance? Is something like Earth Balance still a bad option for butter? What would you recommend?

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      I would not recommend Earth Balance for anyone as it is vegetable oil. If you want a buttery flavor, go with ghee – when you make ghee, the lactose is removed. It’s what I use at home and it’s ideal.

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