Stop Using Canola Oil Immediately! 6 Dangers
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Stop Using Canola Oil Immediately! 6 Dangers

Dr. Josh Axe — Food is Medicine
Dec 4, 2018

The Monsanto connection.

When it comes to canola oil, some people view it as a healthy food while others avoid it at all costs. When there are two extremely passionate viewpoints, it can be very challenging to get to the bottom of it all. On the one hand, detractors claim that canola oil is completely toxic, contains “the infamous chemical warfare agent mustard gas,” and causes everything from mad cow disease to blindness. (1) On the other hand, supporters believe that canola oil is one of the healthiest oils on the planet because it’s rich in omega-3s, low in saturated fats and is a good source of oleic acid. Granted, these properties are true on a surface level, but there is much more to the canola story.

genetically modified product, canola oil is a Canadian invention that’s backed by Canada’s government, cheap to manufacture, and many packaged or processed foods contain it. Canola oil was first created in the early 1970s as a natural oil, but in 1995, Monsanto created a genetically modified version of canola oil. As of 2005, 87 percent of canola grown in the U.S. was genetically modified, and by 2009, 90 percent of the Canadian crop was genetically engineered. (2)

With so many oils on the market and so much talk about the different types of oil, it’s difficult to sift through what’s fact, what’s entirely fiction and most of all which is the healthiest oil to use. I want to explain all the reasons why canola oil is not what you want to add to your shopping cart from genetic modification to an overload of unhealthy fats — plus, better alternatives and resources to help you avoid GMOs across the board.

What Is Canola Oil?

Rapeseed oil is made from the rapeseed plant, specifically from the seeds of the rape or rapeseed plant, which is a member of the mustard (Brassicaceae) family. It was in the early 1970s that canola was first bred from rapeseed at the University of Manitoba in Canada by Keith Downey and Baldur R. Stefansson. In 1998, “the most disease- and drought-resistant canola variety to date” was developed using genetic modification, and this is how the majority of recent varieties are produced. Rapeseed oil and canola oil are often used interchangeably.

Wild rapeseed oil contains large amounts of erucic acid, which is known to cause health problems, so the canola plant was developed from rapeseed in order to use it to produce a food-grade canola oil with lower erucic acid levels. The name of canola oil was originally LEAR (low erucic acid rapeseed) but for marketing purposes was changed to canola oil. This word was derived from the combination of “Canada” and “ola,” meaning oil. (3) Canola oil is a much more appealing name than LEAR oil or rape oil, but should you use it in your foods?

Canola oil works well as an industrial oil and has been used in candles, soaps, lipsticks, lubricants, inks, biofuels and even insecticides. Once the powers that be figured out how to genetically modify rapeseed oil, it began being sold as an edible food product. Hence, it’s been brought to market with the claim that it’s a wonder oil, low in saturated fats and a source of omega-3 fatty acids. But in its current hybridized and modified state, it can cause a large number of health issues that you will learn about shortly.

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