By Dr. Bruce Fife
you go to the grocery store you will see all types of foods proudly
proclaiming they are made with canola oil. You see it in every type of
food imaginable from frozen dinners to cookies and crackers. You can
even buy it by the bottle.
oil has gained a reputation a one of the "good" fats because it is
primarily a monounsaturated fat, like olive oil, which is regard as one
of the healthiest of all the fats. Many people claim canola oil is even
better than olive oil because, next to flaxseed oil, it contains the
highest amount of omega-3 fats. Omega-3s are believed to help prevent
heart disease. Olive oil contains no omega-3 fats. Because of this,
canola oil has received a great deal of recognition as the "premiere"
monounsaturated fat and is highly promoted as health food by food
producers. But how good is it really?
Food produces have learned from years
of experience that if they present a poor quality food as healthy, it
will become a best seller. That is the situation with canola oil. The
truth is that canola oil is not a healthy oil. In fact, it is one of the
unhealthiest oils you could ever eat and you should avoid anything
and everything that contains it. Let me tell you why.
Canola oil is not a natural oil. It is
a man-made oil never before seen in nature until a few years ago thanks
to the wonders of modern chemistry. There is no such thing as a canola
plant or a canola seed. Canola oil comes from hybridized, genetically
modified rapeseed plants. The oil from natural rapeseed contains a
highly toxic substance known as erucic acid and is illegal to sell for
human consumption. Erucic acid is highly toxic to the heart and promotes
heart failure. Rapeseed that is genetically modified to produce oil that
contains a lower amount of erucic acid is called canola oil. Although
most of the erucic acid has been removed, canola oil still contains
about 1% of this heart-destroying toxin. Why would you want to eat an
oil that contains harmful toxins?
One of the supposed benefits of canola
oil is its high omega-3 content (10%). This benefit, however, is another
reason why you shouldn't eat it. Omega-3 fats are very delicate and
highly sensitive to heat. That's why you never heat flaxseed oil. The
same is true with canola oil. It should never be heated because when
omega-3s are heated they quickly oxidize (become rancid) and produce
cell-destroying molecules known as free radicals. Canola oil is
processed under high temperatures (over 300 degrees). This causes
the polyunsaturated oils in it to transform into toxic trans fatty acids
and the omega-3s to oxidize and become free radicals. All the
beneficial omega-3s in the oil have been destroyed and turned into
You should never use canola oil in
any type of cooking, even low temperature cooking because it creates
trans fatty acids and free radicals both of which are very harmful to
the body. Ironically, most the food products sold that contain
canola oil are cooked or require cooking at home.
Don't be fooled by food company
propaganda regarding canola oil. It's one food that isn't fit to eat.
Dr. Bruce Fife is a certified nutritionist
and Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine. He has written 18 books and serves as
the publisher of Piccadilly Books/Health Wise Publications.