1. Kidney and Liver Problems
The majority of canola oil produced today is genetically modified. The side effects of GMOs in general cannot be overstated. In a 2011 review published in Environmental Sciences Europe, 19 studies of mammals fed GMO soybeans and corn were evaluated. The 90-day trials indicated liver and kidney problems as a result of GMO foods. The kidney and liver findings actually were differentiated by sex with the kidneys being disrupted by 43.5 percent in male mammals and the liver being disrupted in female mammals by 30.8 percent. (6) The kidneys and the liver are absolutely vital to our existence so ingesting a genetically modified food like canola oil is not something humans should be doing!
2. Life-Threatening Heart Trouble
As a monounsaturated oil, rapeseed oil has high levels of erucic acid. Erucic acid is a fatty acid that’s associated with heart damage, specifically Keshan disease, a disease that manifests itself with fibrotic lesions of the heart. Studies have shown that in areas where people are prone to Keshan, not only are selenium levels lower, but Erucic acid levels are higher. (7) Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils like canola are also known for causing inflammation and calcification of arteries, which are well-established risk factors for coronary heart disease. (8)
3. Hypertension and Strokes
Previous studies have shown that the consumption of rapeseed oil and some other types of vegetable oils shortens the life span of stroke-prone and hypertensive animal subjects. Specifically, research carried out at the Nutrition and Toxicology Research Divisions of Ottawa discovered that rats bred to have high blood pressure and proneness to stroke died sooner when fed canola oilas the sole source of fat. Additionally, the rats fed the non-canola oil-based diets lived longer than the rats fed canola oil. (9) Another study published in 2000 in Toxicology Letters specifically looked at the effects of canola oil on blood coagulation time or how long it takes blood to clot in stroke-prone animal subjects. The study found that there was a “canola oil-induced shortening of blood coagulation time and increased fragility in [red blood cell membranes],” which may promote the occurrence of strokes in animal subjects that are stroke-prone. (10)
4. May Retard Normal Growth
Up until recently, it was not legal to use canola oil in infant formula. There have been concerns about canola oil retarding growth in children. Specifically, the euroric acid in canola oil is harmful to infants due to an inability to properly break it down. The FDA previously made the use of canola oil illegal in baby formula. However, as of a few years ago, canola oil made it to the generally recognized as safe list. (11) What are they doinig!!? Not only is it highly concerning to feed developing infants a GMO oil, but it’s also highly questionable to give them unhealthy fats. Proponents brag about canola’s overall healthy fat profile, but this has been proven to be untrue! Now it’s being sold in the form of a baby’s first meal. Of course, I highly encourage skipping the commercial formulas and opting for breastfeeding or, if necessary, homemade baby formula as most baby formulas are made with soy which is another lethal ingredient in our food today.
5. Increases Intake of Unhealthy Trans Fats
According to a study published in the Journal of Food Lipids, when soybean and canola oils purchased in the U.S. were evaluated, “The trans contents were between 0.56% and 4.2% of the total fatty acids.” (12) When canola oil undergoes hydrogenation, which it often does to become a partially hydrogenated oil, this increases its level of trans fats. These are a group of fats you want to avoid as much as possible since they’re scientifically known to increase LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol.
**When you read “partially hydrogenated oil” on any food label, that guarantees there is some amount of trans fat present. This is true even when the label tells you that there is zero trans fat. How can that be? Well, if a serving contains less than 0.5 grams, the company is allowed to indicate there are no trans fats. Frustrating, I know. (13) Trans fatty acids are hazardous byproducts of food processing and are truly health destroyers. In fact, it is highly recommended to also stop cooking with these oils as well: corn oil, safflower oil, soy oil and vegetable oils as they pose the same health hazards as Canola oil.
6. Numerous GMO Health Side Effects There is a definite link between GMOs and negative liver and kidney implications, but it doesn’t stop there. According to the Center for Food Safety, there are several new and very serious health concerns and unexpected effects of genetic engineering unearthed by scientific research: (14)
- Organ Toxicity
- Allergic reactions
- Immuno-suppression leading to illness and infections
- Loss of vital nutrition ultimately leading to health problems in the future
So, what are the best oils for cooking? Here are top oils recommended for health and or cooking, and should be substituted for unhealthy canola oil:
1. Coconut Oil is best when it’s cold-pressed and virgin. Do NOT buy refined coconut oil. Your coconut oil should smell like you’re on a beach in the Caribbean. It has a high heat threshold and contains medium-chain fatty acids that can support both fat loss and your nervous system. Studies show that tablespoon or organic coconut oil improves thyroid function. Organic is always better too.
2. Ghee or Organic, Pasture-Raised Butter Both butter and ghee benefits come from alpha lipoic acid and conjugated linoleic acid, which can promote weight loss. Also, they contain healthy short chain fatty acids and have a higher heat threshold. When buying butter, stick with organic grass-fed varieties as they have higher amounts of Vit D and are more nutritious. Butter does not contrite to high cholesterol!
3. Olive Oil or Grape seed oil Grape sees oil is even better especially if it is expeller pressed and you can cook with it as well! You can find it on amazon! Olive oil is not recommend as the first option for cooking, but it is a much better option than canola oil. Look for an organic extra-virgin or cold-pressed olive oil that’s available in a darkly colored glass container. Many inferior, fake olive oils are mixed with cheaper, GMO vegetables oils like canola oil so make sure it’s GMO-free. Olive oil and grape seed oils are great in homemade salad dressings and for drizzling on finished products like cooked vegetables
4. Red Palm Oil and Flax seed oil (not for cooking)
Flax seed oil is high in Omega 3 oils which are good for the heart and brain so it should not be heated or cooked as it destroys the omega 3! Flax seed oil is great for salad dressings or to pour over cucumbers or veggies with salt, pepper, and or other herbs to get extra omega 3 oils in your diet for your heart and brain. Red palm oil is made from the palm fruit instead of the palm kernel, and in its unrefined state, it’s high in vitamin E and beta-carotene. It’s also stable under high heat and great for cooking. Make sure when buying palm oil that it’s certified sustainable.
If for some reason you must buy canola oil, make sure that it’s organic because then it at least can’t be from genetically modified plants. It’s still illegal to use genetic engineering or modification in certified organic products. (15)