When most of us think about healthy oils, we often think of vegetable oils. After all, anything with vegetables is good for us, right? Wrong! If this was your conclusion, don’t blame yourself; Canola oil is a vegetable oil, but not all oils are created equal.

In the last few years, there has been an increase in the consumption of canola oil, and for understandable reasons. For one, it’s cheaper than healthy oils like olive oil. And secondly, people have been sold the notion that canola oil is somehow as healthy as olive oil.

But guess what? There are no real studies proving those claims to be true. In 2017, approximately 2.74 million metric tons of canola oil was consumed in the U.S. alone. Its popularity is by no means a sign of its health benefits or even its harmless nature.

Genetically modified

Canola oil is made from the seeds of the rape plant.  As there’s no canola plant or tree, canola is simply a trade name for rapeseed oil. The oil was created by Canada, and the word itself stands for Canadian oil, low acid. From 2005, about 87% of canola grown in the U.S. was genetically modified. In Canada, the number is higher at 90%. [1]

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are plants, living organisms or animals whose genetic components has been changed. This process can happen in different ways, but it usually includes using transgenic or genetic engineering technology in which scientists remove or add genes from a DNA of other organisms. These can be a combination of animal, bacterial, plant or virus genes.

I don’t know about you, but that’s simply sickening! What scientist basically do is change the natural composition of food, which is not only seriously dangerous for human consumption and the environment, but they are also interfering with the make-up of life; something we should all be concerned about.

After all, the way our food grows and how it comes out should be consistent with the way God intended; not what corporations decide or a few corrupt scientists cook up in a lab.

Canola oil process

If you visit the canola council of Canada, you might believe that canola is good for you. After all, they claim that “Canola oil has been thoroughly tested and is guaranteed safe and beneficial for humans.”  [2]  Imagine that blatant lie to unsuspecting customers!

The truth is, canola oil is so harmful that if you have been using it to cook, now is the best time to stop. Let’s start with understanding where your oil actually comes from and why that should worry you.

For example, to produce canola, a petroleum solvent is used to extract the oil. Following this, the oil goes through a vigorous process so that it’s refined, bleached (yep, you read that right!) and deodorized to get rid of any chemical-like smell. [3]

That’s not all! Do you remember what I mentioned earlier about how scientists can either add or remove genes when engineering organisms? Well, in the case of canola, bacterial DNA is added so that the crops can be resistant to glyphosate; a toxic herbicide called Roundup.

As the biggest-selling weed killer in the world, this herbicide makes Monsanto $9 billion in annual sales. This toxic chemical is banned in countless EU countries and restricted in many parts of the world. However, it’s widely used in the U.S. for both commercial and domestic purposes.

Fortunately, not all governments accept bribery from corporations like Monsanto to allow their toxic product to be sold in their countries.  For example, Sri Lanka was the first country to ever ban the use of glyphosate. This happened after a study which linked Roundup to fatal chronic kidney disease. [4] El Salvador also banned the use of glyphosate for the same reason as Sri Lanka.

If you think about it, the U.S. has knowingly legalized a deadly substance that has fully been banned in countless countries around the world including Bermuda, France and many countries in the Middle East; Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Countries that have partially banned the use of glyphosate include Belgium, Columbia and the Netherlands, and they have limited it to commercial use.

Health risks associated with canola oil

By now, I hope you have an idea about how dangerous anything that has been genetically engineered is. Remember that it’s not only your canola cooking oil that should worry you, but also the canola oil that is added to countless processed food that you probably consume on regular basis without knowing it.

While GMO food has no nutritional values, the health risks associated with it are too many to count. As mentioned above, Sri Lanka and El Salvador both banned an herbicide that contaminates GMOs including canola. Here are few other health risks linked to canola oil;

• Heart trouble

One of the side effects of consuming hydrogenated vegetable oil like canola is that it causes inflammation and calcification of the arteries, which are both known risks for coronary heart disease. [5]

• Memory loss

A study conducted in 2017 found that mice that were given canola oil for 6 months demonstrated impaired memory as well as significant weight gain. This clinical trial is a great example of the damages exposure to canola oil and any other GMO food can cause. [6]

•  Stroke

Another clinical trial found that rats with high blood pressure and prone to a stroke died sooner after consuming their only source of fat; canola oil. Interestingly, the other rats who weren’t given canola oil lived longer. [7]
Is not only canola oil!

While this post focused on canola oil, it’s important to note that all vegetables oils go through similar process, which make them unsafe for human consumption. Vegetable oils to avoid include the following;

• Margarine
• Cottonseed oil
• Corn oil
• Safflower oil
• Sunflower oil
• Soybean oil

Healthy oils to cook with

There are many healthy and cost-effective oils to cook with. Remember, even if your cooking oil costs more than any vegetable oil in the market, your health is worth the few extra dollars. It’s also important to keep in mind that any investment you make in your health now, is money saved from expensive healthcare later.

More importantly, it’s about ensuring your quality of life is not compromised as prevention is always better than cure. So, here are some of the healthiest oils to cook with;

• Extra virgin olive oil
• Cold pressed and virgin coconut oil
• Avocado oil
• Grass-fed butter

Final note

Many of us underestimate the importance of using the right cooking oil. No matter how healthy the ingredients we use are, cooking them with an unhealthy oil will make our food toxic.

However, using the right oil not only makes delicious food, but it also boosts our health and prevents countless diseases associated with genetically modified foods; a win-win situation!

What’s your favourite cooking oil?

Author's Bio: 

Ikram is passionate about health, wellness, and non-toxic living. She loves sharing tips on how to lead a healthier life using natural solutions. The undeniable link between lifestyle choices and chronic disease are of great interest to her. She writes about these topics on her blog: http://www.thehealthyhousehold.com/