Many of people usually have extreme views regarding many of the food items today. One of the examples of such foods is canola oil which is considered healthy and safe to use by some while others view it as necessarily harmful that should be avoided.
It is very hard to establish an opinion on foods such as these. You constantly hear two opposite opinions repeatedly which makes you unsure whether to buy and use the particular foods. It can be especially confusing in the case of canola oil.
On one side of the picture, many of the researchers and people believe that canola oil is nothing but toxic and can cause a number of health issues from blindness to mad cow disease as it also contains that warfare chemical mustard gas.
Conversely, the people who use canola oil and support its use claim that the oil is among the healthiest oils due to being low in saturated fats, having a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids, and being a good source of oleic acid.
Is canola oil really safe to use, then?
The advantages of the oil that are claimed by the supporters are true at surface level. When you look into the whole matter, you will discover there is much more to the whole question of whether you should use it or not.
Canola oil was originally a natural oil that was later switched with the genetically modified product in 1995 under Monsanto. Ever since then, canola oil worldwide was changed with the new and modified version.
You might have noticed that many of the packaged and processed foods also contain canola oil. According to statistics from 2005, 87 percent of the canola grown in the United States was genetically modified.
Today, it is really hard to decide which oil to use for healthy cooking because of the big variety of them available in the market. Secondly, it is really hard to differentiate between the actual and made up facts of the specific oil.
What actually is canola oil?
Canola oil was first created from the rapeseed plant at the University of Manitoba in the 1970s by the researchers. It was not until 1998 when genetically modified versions of rapeseed plant begin to become popular and started being used for development of canola oil.
Before the genetic modification took place, canola oil was primarily used for industrial purposes. The oil worked well in many products and has been used in lipsticks, candles, lubricants, biofuels, soaps, inks, and insecticides.
Canola oil flew in the markets as an edible oil soon as the researchers figured out the right way to modify it and it was claimed that it is low in saturated fats as well as full of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.
Looking at the canola oil used and sold today, almost every other health professional would advise switching to other alternatives since around 90% of the oil is genetically modified.
In addition, since canola oil is partially hydrogenated or refined to enhance its stability which makes more room for increased adverse effects on the health.
What are the harmful effects of canola oil?
Consuming canola oil can increase a whole bunch of health risks. In accordance with a review published in the Environmental Sciences Europe, genetically modified products can disrupt the kidneys and liver –both of which are needed for a good health.
Another effect which is even more harmful is calcification of the arteries and inflammation. Canola oil, like all other hydrogenated oils, can greatly increase the chances of developing coronary heart disease.
Thirdly, a study published in 2000 in the journal Toxicology observed the effects of canola oil on blood coagulation and concluded that the oil not only leads to shortening of blood coagulation time but increased sensitivity in the red blood cells’ membranes.
As for the claim of the oil is low in saturated fats, the hydrogenation of the oil leads to an increase in trans fats which you would want to avoid as it is well-known to lower the good cholesterol or HDL and increase the bad cholesterol or LDL.
Read about trans fat in hydrogenated oils here.
What oils should you use instead?
With the abundance of options available, people often ask this question. So far, the oils which are considered the healthiest of all are olive oil and coconut oil, both of which offer a lot of health benefits.
However, make sure that you buy the organic versions of both of the oils and not the refined ones as the other ones are usually mixed with cheap refined oils and can cause harm instead of bringing health benefits.