Canola oil has become more and more popular today and is named one of the best-selling oils in the world market. However, there are a lot of concerns about this oil as some of its features worry people’s mind because of different types of canola oil available and a small number of researches carried out regarding canola oil. So is canola oil bad for you? Let’s find out the dangers of canola oil.
The canola plant has been created from rapeseed by the Canadian scientists in the 1970s. Its name canola is short of Canadian Oil Low Acid, which means that canola oil is low in erucic acid in comparison with rapeseed oil. This comparatively young oil has a very beneficial fatty acids composition. 61% of its fat is monounsaturated heart-healthy oleic acid. The oil also contains omega-3 fatty acids, essentially needed for our bodies.
Notwithstanding the beneficial fat profile of canola oil some scientists believe that the high-heat and chemical extraction methods used for canola oil destroy omega-3 fatty acids contained in the canola plant and convert them into harmful trans fats. In fact, more researches are needed to check this possibility and to find out the difference in the fat profile of expeller-pressed and chemically-pressed canola oils.
One of the most discussing canola oil dangers is GMO issue. There is an opinion that all canola oil is genetically modified. It is not like this. Canola itself was selectively bred. Only in 1995 the Canadian scientists introduced a genetically modified canola plant. It is resistant to a herbicide and lets receive a better yield. Wikipedia notes that in 2005 87% of the canola plant is the USA was genetically modified. Remember that canola protein has been modified and it is not present in canola oil. The sad thing is that all GMO canola plants are treated with herbicides.
However, there is organic canola oil on the market, grown without herbicides and is non-gmo. One can choose this variety of canola oil when cooking at home. But what canola oil is used at restaurants and in commercial food preparation?
QUESTION ANSWERED: Can I Fry with Canola Oil?
Harmful extraction of oil
The extraction methods of canola oil may lead to several canola oil dangers. The fact is that manufacturers often heat the canola seeds and then extract the oil using hexane, a toxic chemical solvent as Wikipedia notes. After that the oil is degummed and bleached. As a result beneficial nutrients such as phospholipids, chlorophyll and lecithin are removed from the oil. During deodorization the taste of bleach is removed and the oil becomes almost tasteless and clear as we are used to. The dangers of canola oil in this case are presence of chemicals in it and lack of benefits present in mechanically-pressed oil.
Some people call erucic acid among the dangers of canola oil, as it is toxic for the human body and can cause the undesirable effect on the health. In fact, canola oil contains a very low content of erucic acid nowadays which is admitted as safe for human consumption.
Lack of research
As canola oil has appeared in the food chain lately, some people worry consuming it, especially in large amounts. Scientists have no results of its consumption for a long time by the humans yet. So, canola oil is not used for infants’ nutrition.