Canola oil is one of the most commonly used edible oils in the world and is found in many processed foods and culinary products. It is praised for its neutral flavor, and ability to remain relatively stable while being heated at high temperatures.
Despite this, there are many valid reasons why you should stop using canola oil and opt for a healthier alternative instead. Canola oil has been linked to health risks due to its composition, as it contains large amounts of Omega-6 fatty acids, which can cause inflammation in the body when consumed excessively.
Furthermore, studies have shown that canola oil may be detrimental to the environment due to its intensive production process. This article will explore four reasons why you should stop using Canola Oil and switch to healthier alternatives.
Reason 1: Canola Oil Contains High Levels of Trans Fats
Canola oil is one of the most widely used cooking oils. This oil is derived from the rapeseed plant, which is then highly processed and refined to create a neutral-flavored oil. Unfortunately, this type of oil is not as healthy as you might think. One of the biggest reasons to avoid using canola oil is its high content of trans fats. Let's look into why you should stop using canola oil immediately.
What are trans fats?
Trans fats, also known as trans-fatty acids, are a type of fat created when food manufacturers turn liquid oils into solid fats like shortening and margarine. Trans fat is formed when hydrogen atoms are added to vegetable oils through a process known as partial hydrogenation. It is added to our food supply for several reasons, including to improve texture, increase shelf life and enhance flavor.
Trans fats have been identified as a major health risk because they can raise low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels — the bad kind of cholesterol — in the blood. Research has linked this type of cholesterol to an increased risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. Additionally, trans fats have been found to contribute to inflammation in the body, leading to an increased risk of developing cancerous tumors.
The American Heart Association recommends that people keep their consumption of trans fats as low as possible by limiting foods that contain substantial amounts of industrially-constructed trans fats – such as canola oil – while choosing foods made with healthier unsaturated oils like olive or sunflower seed oil instead.
How does canola oil affect trans fat levels?
Canola oil is a type of vegetable oil commonly used in cooking and baking applications. It is derived from a hybrid of the rapeseed plant, which is a member of the mustard family. Canola oil is often touted as being healthier than other types of vegetable oils, but recent studies have suggested that it's not as healthy as previously thought. In fact, one of the main downsides to consuming canola oil is its trans fat content.
Trans fats are artificial fatty acids that are created through a manufacturing process. Trans fats can raise levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) in our systems by decreasing levels of good cholesterol (HDL). Eating high amounts of trans fat can lead to an increased risk of stroke and heart attack due to their effect on cholesterol levels in our bodies.
Canola oil contains an average of 4 percent trans fats per serving, according to recent studies published by the World Health Organization (WHO). This means that consuming one tablespoon (15 grams) of canola oil each day puts you at risk for higher levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol in your body and a greater risk for stroke or cardiovascular disease over time.
Reason 2: Canola Oil Contains GMO Products
Canola oil is one of the most widely used cooking oils today, but it is also one of the most dangerous. It is not only a highly processed oil, but it also contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs). GMOs have been linked to a number of health problems and can cause serious health risks over time. Let's explore further why you should avoid using canola oil and other related products.
What are GMOs?
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), also known as genetically modified organisms or bioengineered organisms, are any organisms whose genetic material has been altered through genetic engineering methods.
These GMOs are created in a laboratory setting, and scientists typically use the gene-splicing process known as “recombinant DNA” to combine DNA from different species to create a new organism with desired traits.
GMOs are widely used in food production and many of our staple crops have been genetically modified for higher yields, pest resistance, and enhanced nutritional content. However, some health advocates worry about the effects of GMOs on human health, citing studies indicating problems such as allergies, inflammation, and decreased gut health.
Researchers have yet to definitively prove the safety and potential risks associated with consuming foods containing GMOs, which adds to consumer unease about the long-term impact of these products.
Understanding what foods contain GMO products is important for those looking to avoid them – particularly when it comes to ingredients like canola oil that can be difficult to identify on product labels. Canola oil can be derived from both organic non-GMO sources as well as GMO sources so consumers should be sure they understand where their product is sourced before purchasing it.
How does canola oil contain GMOs?
Canola oil is made from the rapeseed plant, which is known to contain large amounts of toxic compounds. In the 1970s, researchers modified the gene sequence of rapeseed to reduce its toxicity, creating what we now call canola oil.
However, since many canola crops are currently owned by major corporations like Monsanto and DuPont Pioneer, they have been heavily engineered with genetic modification techniques.
Almost all of the current varieties of canola oil are GMO-based (genetically modified organisms). This means that—to a greater or lesser degree—the majority of canola oil in the market has been altered at some point with genetic modification techniques such as non-natural mutations, gene isolation, and DNA cloning. The main goal for these modifications was to increase yield and introduce resistance to certain pesticides and herbicides.
These genetically modified variants have an increased amount of Omega 6 fatty acids compared to regular rapeseed oil or virgin olive oil and contain higher amounts of trans fats due to the procedure used for processing them.
Unfortunately, this process also reduces levels of healthy antioxidants—substances that could provide some added benefits when used as cooking oils if present in their natural state. For this reason, it is essential to read labels carefully and make sure you're purchasing virgin or cold-pressed varieties whenever available as they tend not to contain any GMOs.
Reason 3: Canola Oil is Processed with Toxic Chemicals
Canola oil has been touted as the healthiest option for cooking due to its high smoke point, but it is anything but healthy. Not only is canola oil heavily processed, but it is also processed with toxic chemicals that can have harmful long-term effects on your health.
In this article, we will discuss the third reason why you should stop using canola oil immediately - the toxic chemicals it is processed with.
What are the toxic chemicals used in canola oil processing?
The toxic chemicals often used during canola oil processing are hexane and bleaching agents. Hexane is a colorless, flammable hydrocarbon produced from petroleum that serves as a solvent during the extraction process.
Bleaching agents such as phosphoric acid, chlorine dioxide, and sodium hydroxide also come into play in the refining of canola oil. If not properly deodorized, there can be an unpleasant smell associated with these chemicals.
Hexane has been linked to neuronal damage via occupational exposure, and long-term consumption could lead to similar health problems affecting brain function (1). Additionally, many of the bleaching agents used have been linked to health hazards including cancer risk due to their production of free radicals in cells (2). As a result, canola oil may contain trace amounts of toxic substances that could potentially put your health at risk if consumed on a regular basis.
Therefore it is important to avoid using canola oil whenever possible in order to reduce your exposure to potentially hazardous chemicals while still achieving desired flavor or texture results when cooking. Further careful research should be done when selecting which oils you intend on using regularly in order to prevent accidental consumption of toxic chemicals through food products.
How does the use of these chemicals affect human health?
The use of toxic chemical processes to produce food can have a number of consequences for human health, but they are particularly concerning when it comes to canola oil. Partially hydrogenated oils — including those that contain trans fats — increase the risk of problems such as coronary heart disease, inflammation, and obesity.
The chemical solvents used to process canola oil are also concerning. Hexane is sometimes used as a solvent in the extraction process and studies have found that it is linked to reproductive system toxicity and neurological damage. Other potentially harmful chemical solvents for canola extraction include petroleum distillates, benzene, and chloroform, which have all been associated with various health risks.
Canola oil producers have implemented steps to reduce or eliminate these dangerous chemicals from their processing line, however not all producers follow these protocols consistently and the high heat used for deodorization may contribute to other health risks as well.
These include disrupting omega-3 fat balance, producing inflammatory compounds like polar hazards (byproducts of oxidation) and glycation end products (GEPs), while decreasing antioxidants like vitamin E. In certain cases during this high-heat processing of canola oil, genetically modified organism (GMO) enzymes are also often used.
Reason 4: Canola Oil Contains Unhealthy Fats
Canola oil has been used as an ingredient in processed foods for decades now, but there are some potentially alarming health risks associated with its consumption. One of the biggest concerns is its high levels of unhealthy fats.
These fats are more prone to oxidation, which can lead to inflammation, and are linked to an increased risk of obesity and heart disease. Let's take a closer look at why this type of oil is unhealthy.
What are unhealthy fats?
Unhealthy fats, including trans-fats or partially hydrogenated oils, can have a detrimental impact on your health. Trans-fats are created when manufacturers use a process called hydrogenation to solidify liquid cooking oils and make them more shelf-stable.
These fats create unnatural structures in our body's cells and can contribute to issues such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity.
Canola oil is mainly composed of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are considered “good fats”. However, it does contain a small amount of trans fat for which the World Health Organization recommends limiting intake in order to maintain good health.
A 2003 study by the Harvard School of Public Health suggested that women with higher levels of trans fat in their diets had double the risk of coronary heart disease as those with no trans fats present in their diet.
How does canola oil contain unhealthy fats?
Canola oil is a popular cooking and baking oil because it contains 78% monounsaturated fat, 14% polyunsaturated fat, and only 7% saturated fat, giving it the most favorable fatty acid profile of any commercial cooking oil.
However, what is not often mentioned is that 90-95% of canola grown in North America is genetically modified (GMO) and has been heavily treated with a variety of industrial chemicals during the production process.
Most of the monounsaturated fats in canola oil are omega-9 fatty acids. While these fatty acids are beneficial for preventing heart disease and reducing cholesterol levels in some individuals, they, unfortunately, oxidize easily when heated due to their low smoke point (around 200 degrees Celsius). This can produce unhealthy trans fatty acids that may increase your risk for several health conditions such as high cholesterol and obesity.
The high amount of polyunsaturated fats (omega-3 and omega-6) found in canola oil also makes this type of oil very prone to oxidation with heat. Furthermore, most non-organic varieties contain high amounts of erucic acid which have been linked to an increased risk for heart disease when eaten in large quantities over time.
When it comes to choosing a cooking oil for health and for the environment, canola oil is definitely not the best choice. Its high omega-6 content means that it causes inflammation when consumed in large amounts over time. Plus, with an array of possible contaminants, from pesticides and fungicides to solvents and acidifiers, it makes sense to opt for something healthier.
Therefore, if you’re concerned about your health or the environment, then there are better choices out there than canola oil. Consider switching to a healthier cooking oil like olive or coconut oil and reducing your consumption of processed foods in order to reduce the amount of omega-6-rich oils like canola that you are consuming each day.